Covenanters Kill Captain Urquhart at Caldons in January, 1685 #History #Scotland

Covenanters Grave Caldons

In a description of Minnigaff parish written by Andrew Heron of Bargaly (at some point between 1699 and his death in c.1728) he describes Covenanters attacking Colonel James Douglas and Captain Urquhart (or Orchar as he calls him) in January, 1685:

‘And it is to be remembered, at a house called the Caldons, that remarkable scuffle hapned between the mountainers [of the United Societies] and Coll [James] Douglas, at which time Captain Orchar (I think it should be [Alexander] Urquhart) was killed: there was one particular worth the noticing, that, when two of these people were attacked, they got behind the stone dyke, with their pieces cocked for their defence. Upon their coming up at them, marching very unconcernedly, one of their peices went off, and killed Captain Orchar dead; the other peice designed against Douglas wou’d not go off, nor fire for all that the man could do, by which the Coll., afterwards General Douglas, escaped the danger.

There were six of the mountaneers killed, and no more of the King’s forces but one dragoon. — One of these poor people escaped very wonderfully, of the name of [Roger?] Dinn or Dun; two of the dragoons pursued him so closely, that he saw no way for escape; but at last flying in towards the lake, the top of a little hill intercepted the soldiers’ view, he immediately did drop into the water all under the brae of the lake, but the head, a heath-bush covering his head, where he got breath; the pursuer cryed out, when he could not find him, that the devil had taken him away.

That morning Captain Orchar had that expression, that, being so angry with the badness of the way, he wished the devil might make his ribs a broiling-iron to his soul, if he should not be revenged on the Whiggs that day, which was the Sabbath morning [of 23 January, 1685], he entred the Glen of Troul, and according to his wish, came upon these poor people, as they were worshiping God upon his day, with a surprizing crueltie.’ (The History of Galloway, Appendix, 162-3.)

When the above manuscript account was published in 1841, the escape of ‘Dun’ quicky found its way into one of Simpson’s Traditions about Roger Dun and later editions of Cloud of Witnesses.

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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 August 12, 2019.

One Response to “Covenanters Kill Captain Urquhart at Caldons in January, 1685 #History #Scotland”

  1. […] to military officers to do so, but he did not have a judicial commission. However, following an assassination attempt on him at Caldons in Minnigaff parish on 23 January, the privy council ordered the Galloway commissioners to appoint Douglas as one of […]

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