Thomas Archer in the Argyll Rising of 1685 #History #Scotland

Battle of Muirdykes

In 1685, the minister Thomas Archer had been sent as an agent for the Earl of Argyll to Ireland. During the Argyll Rising, he and a few recruits joined it at Rothesay on Bute:

‘Mr. Thomas Archer, who was sent from Holland to advertise our friends in Ireland, came to us with James Lisk and nine other men; some hundreds would have come with him, if with safety he might have staid a few days upon them.’ (Erskine, Journal, 123.)

Archer was badly wounded at the Battle of Muirdykes on 18 June and taken prisoner.

On 7 July, one of Argyll’s men, John Erskine, heard of his capture:

‘This morning I came to Gribloch, and met with Mr. F[orreste]r, Mr. John Dougall, who told us that Colonel [John] Aylif, young Cultness [i.e., David Steuart] , Mr. Thomas Archer, minister, with severall others who had come from Holland with Argyle, were taken prisoners.

On the following day, Erskine and his companions considered rescuing the prisoners held in Glasgow:

‘8th. — I did now sit up untill it was daylight and then sleep. There was now some thoughts of rescuing Colonel Aylif and other prisoners now in Glasgow, but it failed, they being carried to Edinburgh before people were ready. (Erskine, Journal, 133-4.)

Thomas Archer was executed in Edinburgh in August.


~ by drmarkjardine on November 16, 2017.

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