Top Ten “Killers” of the Killing Times of 1685 #History #Scotland

•January 29, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Which Scottish Army officers or individuals were implicated in the historical sources with the most deaths in the Killing Times of late 1684 to mid 1685?

killing-times-7

The result may be surprising to some, as this is not how history is “supposed” to be. “Bluidy” Claverhouse, aka. Bonnie Dundee, was not the officer said to have been involved in the most deaths. The officer who was said to be involved in the most deaths was one Colonel James Douglas, the brother of the Duke of Queensberry, who, only a few years later, was a Lieutenant-General for William of Orange at the Battle of the Boyne.

In one of the ironies of history, here is Douglas, on the right, as a hero of the Glorious Revolution.

Colonel James Douglas William of Orange

The Home of an Executed Covenanter at Sundaywell #History #Scotland

•January 28, 2017 • Leave a Comment

sundaywell-tower

The tower at Sundaywell was the home of James Kirko, a Covenanter who was summarily executed at the sands of Dumfries in 1685.

According to the mid nineteenth-century OS name book for Dunscore parish:

‘This place was formerly a stronghold, & as such was held by the Enemies of the King during the Rebellion of the Covenanters, it was erected by one Kirko in the year 1651. It was a good deal higher than it now is. The original Tower having been altered and repaired is now amalgamated with the more modern buildings of Sundaywell Farm’.

Map of Sundaywell                 Street View of Sundaywell

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Photo of Sundaywell © Chris Newman and licensed for reuse.

Additional Text © Copyright Dr Mark Jardine. All Rights Reserved. Please feel free 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

‘Outlaws For Freedom’ (Scottish Reformation Society, 1986) #History #Scotland

•January 28, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Produced by the Scottish Reformation Society in 1986. ‘Outlaws For Freedom’ is presented by the Reverend A. Sinclair Horne. He would later present ‘In the Steps of the Covenanters’ for STV in 1990. He was also the coauthor with J. B. Hardie of In the Steps of the Covenanters (1974).

The title of the programme is taken from Hector MacPherson’s book of the same title.

It begins with general views of Edinburgh from Calton Hill and later near the Magdelan Chapel on the Cowgate.

It then moves to Greyfriars Kirk where the Covenant was proclaimed, with an aside about Greyfriars Bobby. Mention is made of Alexander Henderson and then the clashes between John Knox with Mary, Queen of Scots, and Andrew Melville with James VI., laying out the “Two Kingdoms” Theory.

It then moves on to the Prayer Book Riot of 1637 and Henderson at Leuchars. Horne deploys Alexander Shields’ later phrase that the Covenant was ‘the Magna Carta of Scotland’. The scene moves back to Greyfriars for the subscription of the Covenant.

It briefly skips over the next twenty years via Charles II’s reluctant taking of the Covenant to the execution of the Marquess of Argyll, the sufferings of Samuel Rutherford, minster of Anwoth, and James Guthrie’s death at Edinburgh’s mercat cross.

Their martyrdoms are among those recorded on the Covenanters’ Monument in Greyfriars (erected by James Currie in 1706). The ‘18,000′ claim on the monument, at least in terms of “murders/executions”, is vastly inflated.

It then moves to the post-Restoration field preaching struggle, mentioning Benhar(?) where Alexander Peden possibly preached in Lanarkshire, Skeoch Hill, where the Irongray Communion was held, and the Cargill Stone at Maybole, where Donald Cargill preached in 1681.

The programme then covers the death of John Law at Newmilns, the killing of Arthur Inglis, with a rare image of his gravestone erected in 1837 in Old Cambusnethan graveyard, and the death of John Brown in Priesthill in front of his wife, Isobel Weir. She had been warned of the event by Peden in 1682. Brown was summarily executed by John Graham of Claverhouse on 1 May, 1685. Where the image of ‘the cottage’ used by the programme comes from is not known, as Priesthill has been a ruin for a very, very long time. The “last martyr” is reputedly George Wood, who was killed near Sorn in 1688.

Horne also covers the drowning of the Wigtown Martyrs, Margaret McLauchlan and Margaret Wilson, on 11 May 1685, who were executed for refusing the Abjuration oath renouncing the Societies’ ‘war’ of assassinations, rather than just for ‘attending conventicles’. Images are shown of the martyrs’ graves at Wigtown of the two women and three men hanged there.

The monuments at Dalgarnoc, Lanark and the Grassmarket in Edinburgh (which is now much changed from 1986) are also featured. The executions of Donald Cargill (1681) and James Renwick (1688) are briefly discussed.

Back in the Magdalen Chapel, Horne conducts a wonderful interview with the Reverend George Hossock (1914–1998) about the Covenanters, before embarking on a mainly religious conclusion.

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Text © Copyright Dr Mark Jardine. All Rights Reserved. Please feel free 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

Seven Women Hanged in Edinburgh on 26 January, 1681 #History #Scotland

•January 26, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Hangings Alison and Harvie

Something the martyrologies of the Covenanters do not mention is that at least five other women were executed in Edinburgh’s Grassmarket with Isobel Alison and Marion Harvie. They were probably executed at the same time as the two Covenanters.

On 26 January, 1681:

‘The which day Issobell Allisone and marie hervie was sett at libertie by being taikin to the grassemarkatt and execuited ffor disowning the kings athoritie As also Elsa morisone Sibilla Bell hir daughter Jean hendirsone helline Girdwood & [blank] Donaldsons all hanged the foresd daye ffor murddering of ther childrein’ (Book of the Old Edinburgh Club, VI, 156.)

The etching, above, that only depicts Alison and Harvie comes from A Hind Let Loose, which was printed in the United Provinces and smuggled into Scotland in 1687. It was later recycled in the martyrology, Cloud of Witnesses, in 1714.

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Additional Text © Copyright Dr Mark Jardine. All Rights Reserved. Please feel free 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

The Covenanters and the Neolithic Cairn at Fleuchlarg #History #Scotland

•January 25, 2017 • Leave a Comment

 

white-cairn-fleuchlarg

According to the mid nineteenth-century OS name book for Glencairn parish, the White Cairn beside Fleuchlarg in Dumfriesshire was:

‘A large heap of Stones – supposed to have been the retreat of the Covenanters’.

white-cairn-glencairn-parish

It is also a neolithic chambered cairn.

Map of White Cairn

For more on the Covenanters in Glencairn parish, see here.

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Additional Text © Copyright Dr Mark Jardine. All Rights Reserved. Please feel free 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

Photograph of the White Cairn © Leslie Barrie and licensed for reuse.

The Preaching Howe in Penninghame Parish, Galloway #History #Scotland

•January 24, 2017 • Leave a Comment

preaching-howe-penninghame

By Ring Knowes in Penninghame parish, Galloway, is the ‘Preaching Howe’, which may be were John Welsh field preached at Barnkirk in the late 1670s. William Kennedy in Barnkirk, who lived very close by, was a fugitive.

According to the OS name book:

‘A small hollow in which it is supposed the Covenanters assembled for Worship during the time of the Conventicles, or, as it is commonly termed in the country “during the persecution”.’

The howe is not marked on modern maps.

Street View of the Preaching Howe

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Text © Copyright Dr Mark Jardine. All Rights Reserved. Please feel free 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

 

The Great Fire of Glasgow in 1652. #Glasgow #History #Scotland

•January 23, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Great Fire Glasgow

The Great Fire of Glasgow in 1652:

‘There followed [the Mirk Mounday Total Eclipse] a great heat that summer, and in July of that yeir was Glasgow brunt, the whole Salt-Mercat, and a great part of the town; the fire on the one syde of the street fyred the other syde; I observed myself the wind to have changed the tyme of the burning five or six tymes, which occasioned the burning of severall parts of the city.’ (Law, Memorialls, 6.)

Glasgow suffered a second great fire in 1677.

For other wonders of late seventeenth-century Scotland, see here.

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