A Satire on The Cameronian Tooth #History #Literature #Scotland

The following poem is a satire of the Cameronians, which was probably composed by Alexander Pennecuik shortly before his death in 1730. He was the nephew of Dr. Alexander Pennecuik who wrote about the Gypsies’ Field of Blood at Romanno.

It vividly mocks the culture in Protestant Cameronian circles to preserve relicts of their fallen martyrs and claims that over fifty years later that they were used in healing, i.e., that they were reputed to have similar powers to Catholic relics.

One intriguing parallel that others have noticed, is that the listing of “relics” is akin to the list Burns used in Tam O’Shanter.

The Cameronian Crucifix

Papists, ye’re fairly foil’d, think shame and blush,
Your various Relicts, are not worth a rush,
What’s Mary’s Milk, &. Peter’s rotten Bones,
When in Procession born by Human Drones?
What wonders can they do, confess the Truth?
They’re nothing to a Cameronian Tooth.
Which a grave holy sighing Sister wears,
That in the Grave lay five and fifty Years.
And that was Mris. Mary Crighton,
A Cameronian Pious right one.
Imboss’d in Gold, it dangled at her Heart,
Corroborating Lungs, and strengthning every Part.
When Tooth-ack doth affect the tender Jaws,
It hails all Pains, and takes away the Cause.
Grand Miracle, who can believe its true,
That rotten Teeth should cure the Teeth that’s new,
Fits of the Mother it cures, and Vapours too.
This Wonder-working Tooth all things can do.
Prevents abortion when ty’d upon the Knee,
They wear that Tooth where st——g T— e should be,
She shew’d to me a Box, wherein lay hid,
The Pictures of Cargil and Mr. Kid,
A splinter of the Tree on which they’re Slain,
A double Inch of Major Weir’s best Cane,
Rathillet’s Sword beat down to Table Knife
Which took at Magus-more a Bishop’s Life,
The Worthy Welche’s Spectacles who saw,
That Windle-straws would fight against the Law,
The Windlestraws were stoutest of the two,
They stood their Ground, away the Prophets flew.
And Lists of all the Prophets Name were seen,
At Pentland hills, Ardmoss and Rullen-Green.
Don’t think (she says) these holy Things are Popery,
They’re precious Antidotes, against the Power of Popery.

From A Collection of Poet Pennecuik’s Satires on Kirkmen, 9.

~ by drmarkjardine on June 2, 2019.

One Response to “A Satire on The Cameronian Tooth #History #Literature #Scotland”

  1. This shortcoming is as damaging to the beliefs of Cameron, Cargill, and Renwick, as Romanist superstition was to those of Mary, John, and Peter.

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