Blue on Blue: The Covenanter who Shot a Covenanter #History #Scotland

Semple Old Dailly 1685

In the annals of the Killing Times of 1685, Alexander Ferguson of Kilkerran is remembered for shooting dead John Semple, one of the Society people, at Eldington in April. What has not been noticed in the accounts of his death is that Kilkerran, who was about 70 when he fired the shot, had been imprisoned for presbyterian dissent a few years earlier …

In the records of Edinburgh Tolbooth under 15 March, 1682, is the following:

‘His Royall Highnes his Maties heigh Comissioner and lords of Counsell haveing considered the petition off Alexr fergusson of Kilkeran prisiouner in ye tolbooth off Ed[inbu]r[gh] doe in regaird of his age & infirmittie & long imprisonment And that no persones insists agt him vpon ye grounds of his imprissonment Ordean ye Magistrats of Edr or Keiper of ye tolbooth of Edr to sett him at libertie’ (Book of the Old Edinburgh Club, VIII, 121.)

Moderate presbyterians were complicit in the killing of some of the militant Society people.

For the story of the killing of John Semple, see here.

Image: Semple’s Grave at Old Dailly © Walter Baxter and licensed for reuse.

Text © Copyright Dr Mark Jardine. All Rights Reserved.


~ by drmarkjardine on December 31, 2017.

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