John Welsh’s Secret Meeting in Edinburgh in 1679 #History #Scotland

Nor Loch Edinburgh 1690

Alexander Hamilton of Kinkell was a intimate of John Welsh, the former minister of Irongray who was one of the main leaders of Presbyterian Rising in 1679. Kinkell was imprisoned between July, 1679, and the end of February, 1680, on suspicion of his role in the Presbyterian Rising. During his imprisonment, he is said to have secretly met with the fugitive Welsh in Edinburgh at the end of 1679.

What makes his connection to Welsh interesting, is that his servant, John Henderson. was connected to the militant Donald Cargill. Henderson was described by one presbyterian opponent as ‘an ignorant, proud, presumptuous, crack-brained sectary’ and Cargill’s ‘armour-bearer’. He was also sent to a meeting at his master’s commission that planned an attack on the sheriff of Fife which led to the assassination of Archbishop Sharp on 3 May, 1679. Some of the assassins may have been hidden in Kinkell Cave after the deed. At some point in that process, Kinkell rejected Henderson.

‘I am well informed, by one present, that Mr John Welsh was at Edinburgh in the end of the 1679, or therabout. Ther had been a great intimacy between him and Mr [Alexander] Hamiltoun of Kinkell. He was at that time in prison at Edinburgh. Mr Hamiltoun was suffered to go out sometimes with a keeper with him in the day time, and came still at night back. One day, finding Mr Welsh in town, and desirouse to meet with him, he got rid of his keeper for a little money, and came wher Mr Welsh was. When they wer together, his wife brought the allarum that ther was a search, and that it was already in the same land [i.e., set of buildings in Edinburgh] they wer [in]. Mr Welsh paused for a little, and at lenth he said to Miss [Mistress] Hamiltoun, “Be not affrayed, I am assured the searchers shall not once come near us !” and so it was, they did not enter that house. This was the last time Mr Welsh was at Edinburgh, before he went to London and dyed. (Wodrow, Analecta, III, 12.)


~ by drmarkjardine on June 27, 2018.

One Response to “John Welsh’s Secret Meeting in Edinburgh in 1679 #History #Scotland”

  1. […] was imprisoned, although he did payoff his captors to secretly meet with the field preacher John Welsh at the end of 1679. Kinkell remained under the threat of forfeiture until 16 February, 1680, […]

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