Helping the Escape of the Black Loch Covenanters in 1684 #History #Scotland

Drumlech Hill Black Loch

On Sunday 8 June, James Renwick field preached to a large body of Covenanters near Drumlach by the Black Loch. They then rode south via lands of Stane and Redmyre, where they drank at the house, before they turned west and headed for the Clyde. At the same time, Lieutenant-Colonel Winram was in pursuit of the Covenanters, but he lost them at Carbarns Ford across the Clyde. Soon after, Claverhouse took up the search on the south side of the Clyde, but his efforts were also frustrated. Departing for his wedding, he left Lieutenant-Colonel Buchan to search the one remaining area of the moss they had not covered. Buchan was in for a surprise. At a remote glen a firefight broke out. Once again, Claverhouse was brought back into the field to organise a sweep of the hills to find the armed attackers. However, Renwick escaped and slipped back across the Clyde.

After such a dramatic pursuit and confrontation, it is clear the authorities were very keen to find anyone involved in the affair in any way. On 2 July, 1684, five men were warded into Edinburgh Tolbooth for having either assisted, or failed to report the passage of, Renwick’s Covenanters. They were all from the area where the pursued Covenanters had stopped for a drink:

‘James Cleilland
John Smith [tenant in Stane]
Thomas Robertson [tenant in Stane]
David Russell [tenant in Stane]
Gavin Lourie [in Redmyre] all in ye fugitive roll & wairdit by John Bailzie meacer (Book of the Old Edinburgh Club, IX, 140.)

The entry in the tolbooth record mistakenly lists them as fugitives, when they do not appear on the published fugitive roll of May, 1684.

Gavin Lawrie in Redmyre was in particular trouble because the ‘rebels in a body, drank at his house’. (Wodrow, History, IV, 28.)

Previously, a James Pettigrew in Redmyre had been before the council in 1681.

Map of Redmyre

After five weeks in the tolbooth, they petitioned the council and were ordered to be released a week later on 14 August:

‘Gavin Lourie & vyrs relived by order of ye Counsell qrof ye termor followes

Ed[inbu]r[gh] 6 August 1684
The Lords of his Maties privie Counsell haveing considered a petion presented by Gavin Lourie in Ridmyre David Rusell tennent in Staine John Smith tennent yr Thomas Robertson tennent ther & John Cleiland prisoners in the tolbooth of Ed[inbu]r[gh] by sentance of Counsell for ther not giveing advertisment annent the rebells laitlie in armes at Blackloch they having past throu the toune of Staine suplicating for libertie in regaird they wer ignorant of ye Counsells proclamation and of ye necesitous condition & povertie and of ther long imprisonment Doe heirby give order and warand to the Magistrats of Edr to set ye sd fyve persones petitioners at libertie in regaird they have bound obleidged and enacted themselves in ye books of privie Counsell ilk an of them for others & for themselves that heirefter they shall live regularlie & orderlie keip ther paroch kirk [at Cambusnethan] & compeir befor the Counsell when called for under ye penaltie of fyve hundreth merks Scots money for ilk ane of them in caice of failzie And farder that they & ilk ane of them shall in tyme coming when they or any of them shall have notice of any rebells in armes or of any conventicles hous or feild furthwith advertis the narest magistrat or commanding oficer of ye forces thereof wnder ye forsd penaltie for ilk ane of them in caice of failzie’. (Book of the Old Edinburgh Club, IX, 146.)

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

~ by drmarkjardine on February 11, 2018.

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