Traditions of the ‘Galloway Flail’: A Covenanter’s weapon? #History #Scotland

The use of farm tools as weapons has a very long history, but one of the stranger traditional tales of the Killing Times is the use of the “Galloway Flail”, said to have been created by a blacksmith …

craigeller-to-left
Take left fork to Craigeller

According to the OS name book for Tynron parish, Craigeller was the traditional site for the conflict between some Covenanters and Government troops involving the Galloway Flail:

‘A name given to several small projecting rocks situated about 1/4 mile East of the junction of the White Burn with the Shinnel Water At this craig a conflict is said to have occurred between a party of Covenanters & one of troopers, a person called the Galloway Flail (from generally carrying one) distinguished himself, he threshed all the troopers & broke their swords with the instrument which he was named after.’

craigeller

Map of Craigeller

A similar traditional story involving the flail were recorded by Simpson in the mid nineteenth century. He details the flail at some length here.

According to Simpson, the flail was used against troops under Robert Grierson of Lag soon after the owner of the Galloway Flail had shot an intelligencer in neighbouring Dalry parish in 1685.

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Text © Copyright Dr Mark Jardine.

Photo of Track by Craigeller © wrobison and licensed for reuse.

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~ by drmarkjardine on January 18, 2017.

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