The Lost Oaks of Arthur Inglis, a Covenanter killed near Wishaw #History #Scotland

Arthur Inglis Cambusnethan 3*

I am extremely grateful to Maxine Ross for alerting me to this passage in Brown’s Historical Sketches of the Parish of Cambusnethan (1859) on the death of Arthur Inglis. It was a book I’d forgotten I had read many years before and contains remarkable information about where Arthur Inglis was said to have been killed by John Graham of Claverhouse’s troop in 1679:

‘On passing down the road leading to West [or Lower] Carbarns, and immediately below Ranald’s Orchard, five venerable oak trees, toward the left, will arrest attention. They remain to mark the line of Stockelton-dyke. The late Mr. Paterson of Watersaugh, factor on the Wishaw estate, mentioned to the author that the late Lord Belhaven one day expressed a wish that the trees should be cut down.
Mr. Paterson took occasion to say, “My Lord, if I had a voice in the matter, I would decidedly say let these trees grow”
“Because, my Lord, there is a martyr’s blood under one of them. It was beneath the shade of one of those trees Arthur Inglis was sitting when he was murdered.”
“Then, Mr. Paterson, they shall remain untouched.”
They still remain untouched, and we trust shall remain untouched; and, if instructions should at any distant day again go out to cut them down, some friendly voice, certainly, will again interpose, and say —

“Woodman, spare that tree.”’

That got me thinking, do those five oak trees appear on old maps? Randalls Orchard does appear on the mid-nineteenth-century OS map

Netherton Wishaw Randall's Orchard

And there are the five trees, which now lie opposite the present-day sewage works.

Carbarns Oak Trees

The passage continues:

‘A few years ago [prior to 1859] one of those trees was struck by lightning, and very much injured. In adverting to this circumstance, it is but due to mention that Lord Belhaven, on ascertaining it, gave orders that the tree be bound with iron, if possible thereby to prevent its more rapid decay. Let those trees grow; and when they fall, let it only be by the hand of age.’ (Brown, Historical Sketches of the Parish of Cambusnethan, 143-4.)

It is not clear if anything from those oak trees survives. They do not appear on the 6″ OS Map of 1888 or on the 25″ OS map of 1892 to 1905.

1892 Carbarns

However, if we go back in time the line of ‘Stockelton-dyke’ is far clearer.

In 1859, the year that Brown published, the line of trees that formed ‘Stockelton-dyke’ was surveyed by the Ordnance Survey. Remarkably, there are the five oak trees.

25 Carbarns 1859

The oak trees lay around here.

Going back deeper in time, in 1816, there appears to be what was the line of trees marking ‘Stockelton-dyke’. It ran east from the house just above the old churchyard where Inglis is buried. However, the 1816 map was more a impression than an accurate detailed survey.

Carbarns Forrest 1816

When one looks back further to the 1750s, the arc of trees from the house by the churchyard is there, and the bump in the shape of the ground/trees after that, which is above Carbarns and found on the OS maps (above). That appears to indicate that even in the 1750s only part of the ‘Stockelton-dyke’ remained and that the five oaks above Carbarns were, even at that point, marking the former line of it.

Carbarns 1750s

The five oaks were certainly part of the original Stockelton-dyke, as in 1859 they were considered ‘venerable’, i.e., probably well over 300 years old. It is possible that the dyke was pre-Reformation or Medieval in origin and was of some antiquity when Inglis was killed there in 1679.

In retrospect, the locality where Inglis died does not appear to have been a random decision taken by troopers. The area around the dyke was home to several Presbyterians who had taken part the Presbyterian Rising in the days before Inglis was killed. It was probably that which drew Claverhouse’s unit to it. Some of them had probably been at the battle of Drumclog on 1 June, in which Claverhouse had been defeated. It is possible that he came to the area to find some of the men he had faced in that encounter.

The Cambusnethan Martyrs
Cambusnethan parish produced five Covenanter martyrs between 1679 and 1685. Most of them lived very close to the ‘Stockelton-dyke’.

Walter Paterson in Carbarns was killed in an attack on Glasgow in June, 1679. He lived beside ‘Stockelton-dyke’ at Laigh/Lower Carbarns.


Arthur Inglis from Netherton is said to have been killed at ‘Stockelton-dyke’ in June or July, 1679. Netherton lies just above the dyke. He is buried in the old grave yard at the west end of the dyke.

Map of former site of Wester Netherton

Robert Paterson in Kirkhill was killed at the Battle of Airds Moss in Ayrshire in 1680 and is buried on the battlefield. Kirkhill lies just above ‘Stockelton-dyke’.

Map of Kirkhill

His son, William Paterson in Muirhouse, was summarily executed at Strathaven and buried there in 1685. Muirhouse/the Murrays lay next to Kirkhill and the old graveyard. (See the 1816 map above for Muirhouse).

Map of Lower Muirhouse

The only one of the five martyrs who was probably not from near the dyke was James Stewart, a domestic servant to Thomas Steuart of Coltness. He was hanged in Edinburgh in October, 1681.

Map of former site of Coltness House


For more on the Covenanters in Cambusnethan parish, see here.

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Text © Copyright Dr Mark Jardine. All Rights Reserved. Please link to this post on Facebook or retweet it, but do not reblog in FULL without the express permission of the author @drmarkjardine

* With thanks to Robert French for his very kind permission to share this photo. Also thanks to Tookie Bunten for arranging that. Do not reproduce this photograph without permission.

~ by drmarkjardine on December 3, 2017.

3 Responses to “The Lost Oaks of Arthur Inglis, a Covenanter killed near Wishaw #History #Scotland”

  1. […] It is not clear from the map, above, which hedge/dyke, was Stockleton Dyke. However, a later source does record that Inglis was killed under one of five oak trees which mark the line of Stockleton Dyke. They have…. […]

  2. […] The site where Arthur Inglis was killed lies nearby. […]

  3. […] Nearby were the lost oaks of Arthur Inglis. […]

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