Covenanters of the Killing Times Not Buried in the Parish They Died In #History #Scotland

•May 19, 2017 • 2 Comments

Why are twelve of the ninety-three field deaths of the Killing Times (1682 to 1688) not buried in the parish that they were executed in? See right slice of pie chart ‘other parish yard’, above.

The answer to that question is not clear, as the process of their burials were rarely recorded in historical sources. Although we may not know how they came to be buried elsewhere in some cases, we can attempt to analyse the patterns behind those burials.

Episcopal clerical hostility to interring them in the churchyard of the parish where they died may not have been a significant factor at the Auchencloy Inciedent. For example, John Grierson and Robert Stewart who were shot at Auchencloy in Girthon parish in late 1684 were buried some distance away in Dalry parish in the Glenkens. However, Robert Lennox, who was shot at Kirkconnel Moor in Tongland parish a few months later, was buried in the churchyard of Girthon parish.

According to Wodrow, Robert Stewart and ‘John Grier[son]’ were from Galloway and ‘afterwards their friends carried off their bodies to Dalry, and buried them. Some accounts before me say, that by orders from Claverhouse, a party came and uncovered their graves and coffins, and they continued so open four days till the party went off. And it appears certain, that James Macmichan’s body, after it was buried [at Dalry?], was taken up, and hung up upon a tree.’ (Wodrow, History, IV, 177.)

One reason that three of the bodies were taken to Dalry parish churchyard was that at least some of them, perhaps all three of them, came from the parish.

Robert Stewart, came from Ardoch in Dalry parish.

‘John Grier[son?] of Blackmark’ appears on the fugitive roll under Dalry parish for ‘reset and harbour’. Hewison thought that he may have been the martyr at Auchencloy. (Hewison, Covenanters, II, 449.)

Wodrow appears to have held the mistaken belief that ‘MacMichan’, i.e., James McMichael, was from Nithsdale. McMichael had strong connections to Dalry parish. His brother Daniel lived at Lorg Foot at the northern edge of the parish close to the boundary with Nithsdale. He has often been mistaken as a Nithsdale man, when the evidence is clear that he was from Dalry parish in Kirkcudbrightshire. A ‘James Macmichael in Clachan’, i.e., St Johns Town of Dalry, was declared a fugitive for ‘reset and harbour’ in 1683. However, that James MacMichael was not the James MacMichael, who was a notorious traitor.

The only body left on the field at Auchencloy and buried there was that of Robert Ferguson who was not from Dalry parish. It is clear from the case of those killed at Auchencloy, that some of the bodies were removed by ‘friends’, a term that often denotes Society people, for burial in their home parish.

Robert Grierson, who was shot with others at Ingliston in Glencairn parish in Dumfriesshire, was buried in Balmaclellan in Kirkcudbrightshire. Although most of the dead in that incident were from Glencairn parish, why Grierson’s body became the only one of the dead to journey away from parish is not clear. Hewison identified him as from Galloway, possibly in ‘Reglen’, which lay somewhere near Regland Loch in Dalry parish and next to Balmaclellan parish. (Hewison, Covenanters, II, 470.)

There is also a clear pattern of dispersal of bodies for four of the five men shot at Kirkconnel Moor in Tongland parish. Like the Auchencloy case, one body was left to be buried at the site of their deaths. John Bell of Whiteside, David Halliday in Mayfield, Robert Lennox and Andrew McRobert were buried in four different parishes around Kirkcudbrightshire. Bell was buried in his home parish of Anwoth. Halliday, who was from neighbouring Twynholm parish, was for some reason, possibly due to kin relations, buried in Balmaghie parish. While Andrew McRobert was buried in Tywnholm parish. Perhaps most curious of all, Lennox, who was from Irelandton in Kirkpatrick-Durham parish, was, as noted above, buried in Girthon parish.

Two others, David Halliday in Glengap and George Short, who were shot close to the boundary of Twynholm and Tongland parishes, came from those parishes. However, they were buried at the churchyard of Balmaghie parish, either with, or nearby to, David Halliday in Mayfield.

What does connect most of the ten cases above, is that they were shot in contentious, large-scale incidents in the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright. For some reason, the pattern of removing bodies from the parish where they fell appears to be specific to Kirkcudbrightshire.

The three remaining cases involve individual deaths. William Smith, John Smith and John Hunter are buried in the neighbouring parishes to the one where they died. William Smith was shot in Glencairn parish, but for reasons that are not clear he was buried in Tynron parish. John Smith was shot in the hills, probably in Lesmahagow parish, but he was buried in Muirkirk parish that is adjacent to them. John Hunter died in hills in the north of Moffat parish, but was buried in the adjacent parish Tweedsmuir parish. In some of those cases, it may have been a simple matter of where the body was taken after their corpses were removed from the hills.

The above are the exceptions to the rule. What is striking is that the vast majority of the dead from the Killing Times were buried in the parish where they died.

Covenanters not buried in parish of field execution

Key to Table

Column 1. The numbers in this column for the 93 field deaths refer to the number they had in previous lists I have published, here and here, for ease of cross reference.

Column 2. ‘Name’ refers to the name of each of the field deaths recorded.

Column 3. ‘Incident Location’ refers to how they allegedly died – shot, hanged, drowned or killed in action – and in which parish that took place.

Column 4. ‘Shire’ refers to the shire in which they died.

Column 5. ‘Date’ refers to they year in which they died between 1682 and 1688.

Column 6. ‘Shields 1690’ refers to deaths recorded in Alexander Shields, A Short Memorial (1690).

Column 7. ‘Grave 1702–1714’ refers to gravestones recorded in the first edition of Cloud of Witnesses in 1714.

Column 8. ‘Wodrow 1722’ refers to the deaths recorded by Robert Wodrow mainly in the second volume of A History of the Sufferings of the Church of Scotland in 1722.

Column 9. ‘Grave 1725 to 1741’ refers to either gravestones recorded between those years with a specific date for their erection found in the inscription, or gravestones that were first recorded in the third and fourth editions of Cloud of Witnesses.

Column 10. ‘Later Grave Record’ refers to gravestones not found in the early editions of Cloud, but listed in the final edition of Thomson’s Martyr Graves of Scotland (1903) and one gravestone that he missed. The date given refers to the earliest record that was found for the existence of that stone. Nearly all of those graves were probably erected in the first half of the Eighteenth Century. This is the third column that is derived from the second of the triumvirate sources.

Column 11. ‘Grave Location’ refers to the parish in which the gravestone is found.

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

The Covenanters of the Killing Times and Their Graves: Part 2 #History #Scotland

•May 6, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Sometimes the labourious task of comparing data sets transforms our understanding of a how a historical source was constructed. This is one of those occasions …

The first part of this study looked at the connection between the historical sources and the gravestones for the dead of the Killing Times. The second part of this study, below, looks at what the gravestones of the Killing Times tells us about the historical sources for it.

The data this study is based on can be found here:

Table of Killing Times Graves in PDF format

The list of those killed in the fields contained in Alexander Shields’s A Short Memorial, a pamphlet which was published in 1690, is the foundation stone for understanding of the Killing Times. Without it, the other two key sources for the killings in that period, the second volume of Wodrow’s History of the Sufferings of the Church of Scotland (1722) and the gravestones erected to the martyrs would be poorer sources of information, as Shields’ list informed both.

The list produced by Shields was the basis for later lists produced by Ridpath in 1693, Cloud of Witnesses in 1714 and Defoe in 1717. Wodrow also used the list in Shields/Cloud as a source for his History.

Shields’s list, or recycled versions of it, were the core texts for many of the inscriptions on the martyrs’ gravestones. The interrelationship between Shields and the inscriptions is particularly clear in cases where typesetting errors found in Shields appear in later inscriptions.

Shields listed fourteen individuals in 1690 that were not recorded by Wodrow in 1722. They were:

Robert McQhae (17), grave erected 1702 to 1714.
Gabriel Thomson (53), grave erected 1702 to 1714.
Robert Lockhart (54), grave erected 1702 to 1714.
John Brounen (57), grave erected 1702 to 1714.
William Finneson (59), grave erected 1702 to 1714.
Thomas Young (61), grave erected 1702 to 1714.

In other words, six of the fourteen individuals not mentioned by Wodrow had been previously listed by both Shields in 1690 and on gravestones recorded in the first edition of Cloud of Witnesses.

The historical record for a further four individuals owes everything to Shields and gravestones erected before 1730, but nothing to Wodrow:

John Hunter (51), grave listed in 1730.
Matthew McIlwraith (78) grave listed in 1730.
Daniel McIlwraith (83) grave listed in 1730.
John Murchie (84) grave listed in 1730.

Four more individuals were only named by Shields, but did not have their graves recorded in Cloud until the nineteenth century or never had a gravestone:

John McClorkan (50)
Alexander Linn (85)
John Smith (52), who has no grave.
William McKergour (82), who also has no grave.

Wodrow used the first edition of Cloud of Witnesses as a source. He had information about both their deaths and their graves in a published source at his finger tips, but he did not mention them in his History.

The above indicates that Wodrow was selective about which deaths of the Killing Times he included in his History. He clearly knew, or had evidence of, more deaths, but chose not to include them.

That raises an interesting question in reverse: Did the deaths that Shields failed to list appear on gravestones before Wodrow’s History was published? The surprising answer is that many of them did. Wodrow listed twelve individuals who were not recorded by Shields. They were:

William Hunter (6), grave erected 1702 to 1714.
Robert Smith (7), grave erected 1702 to 1714.
Andrew MacGill (8), grave erected 1702 to 1714.
James Algie (19), grave erected 1702 to 1714.
John Park (20), grave erected 1702 to 1714.
John Hallume (28), grave erected 1702 to 1714.
John Nisbet (93), grave erected 1702 to 1714.

Only one gravestone in this group clearly post dates the publication of Wodrow’s History:

John MacGeachan (90), whose grave was erected in 1728.

The dates for two remaining gravestones, which features three men hanged in Wigtown at the same time and William Harvie hanged in Lanark, are not clear:

William Johnston (75)
John McIlroy (76)
George Walker (77)
William Harvie (92)

Their stories were mentioned by Wodrow in 1722, but the two gravestones for them were not recorded before the Nineteenth Century.

Wodrow’s record of seven (or possibly eleven) deaths that predate his History that were not recorded by Shields raises two important issues.

First, it reveals that Shields had carefully selected his list. Shields recorded eighty deaths, but missed out thirteen of them in his list. There is a remarkably distinctive pattern connected with the missing thirteen deaths in Shields. Eleven of them involved hangings in burghs: Hunter and Smith were hanged at Kirkcudbright, as was Hallume; MacGill was hanged at Ayr; Algie and Park were hanged at Paisley; Johnston, McIlroy and Walker were hanged at Wigtown; Harvie was hanged in Lanark; Nisbet was hanged in Kilmarnock. Shields may not have viewed them as field deaths. Shields did record the deaths by hanging of five men at Mauchline and two at Halhill in Irongray parish, but those deaths had apparently taken place without due process.

The other death that Wodrow, alone, recorded was that of MacGeachan, who died due to wounds he had received while attacking government forces at Carbellow Path. The last death, which neither Shields, nor Wodrow, recorded was that of John Law, who was also killed in an attack on government forces.

The clear pattern in the omissions from Shields’ list indicates that he almost certainly chose to exclude them (or at least those he may have known about) as they did not fit his criteria of field killings committed by government forces. Shields’ list was published in a pamphlet that was designed to accuse government forces of killing people in the fields without due process. Including individuals in his list who had either clearly attacked government forces, or faced some kind of formal judicial process in a burgh, would have undermined his argument about field deaths. That Shields may have excluded thirteen deaths on the grounds of his criteria for field deaths, highlights the care and attention with which he created his list. It was not a list created at random or based on the only field deaths known about at that time. The list was deliberately crafted to make an argument about field killings. The consistent approach taken by Shields in constructing his list adds to his credibility as source for the deaths of the Killing Times.

Second, the fact that Wodrow listed at least seven deaths that were not recorded by Shields and who had gravestones erected at least eight years before Wodrow’s dead of the Killing Times were published in his History, demonstrates that the “Continuing” Society people did not rely on Shields alone as a source for the dead. It is clear that when those gravestones were erected between 1702 and 1714, that the “Continuing” Society people must have independently collected information about martyrs from local sources. Not one of those seven (or possibly eleven) martyrs were recorded in a published source before Wodrow’s accounts appeared in print. That fact clarifies that the list of graves appended at the end of early editions of Cloud of Witnesses in 1714, 1730 and 1741 is a distinct historical source from the list of those killed in the fields produced by Shields in 1690 (which was copied by Ridpath etc.) and Wodrow. Further posts will interpret the list of graves found in Cloud of Witnesses.

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

A Different Perspective on The Killing Times of the 1680s #History #Scotland

•May 1, 2017 • 3 Comments

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A different way of analysing the Killing Times of the 1680s is to look at when the deaths of Covenanters appeared in Presbyterian sources.

This way of looking at the Killing Times abandons the traditional method of listing of the dead by when they died. Instead, the list, below, orders them by their appearance in post-Revolution Presbyterian sources.

There is a triumvirate of key historical sources that list the dead of the Killing Times. The first is Alexander Shields’s A Short Memorial (1690), which is the foundation document that influenced the other two key sources.

The second key source is the list of graves and inscriptions found at the end of the first edition of Cloud of Witnesses (1714) with the additions added to that list found in the third and fourth editions of Cloud in 1730 and 1741, and in the nineteenth-century process of recording the gravestones to the dead.

The third key source is Robert Wodrow’s second volume of the History of the Sufferings of the Church of Scotland (1722).

There are three other largely derivative sources that drew on the first key source, Alexander Shields’s A Short Memorial. They are George Ridpath’s list of 1693, the list of field killings found in Cloud of Witnesses in 1714, which is a different list from Cloud’s list of graves, and Daniel Defoe’s “list” of 1717. Ridpath’s list was derived from Shields, Cloud’s list was more-or-less a reprint of Shields’s list with minor alterations and Defoe’s “list” was inspired by either Shields, or Cloud.

Although all of the above sources appear in the table presented here, it is important to keep an eye on the different recording patterns of the triumvirate sources, rather than on the minor differences between the three sources derived from Shields.

I have excluded the “martyrs of tradition”, i.e., those for whom there is no historical evidence as they were only recorded in unreliable nineteenth-century “traditions”, from this list.

The full table can be found here:

Field Deaths Ordered By Presbyterian Sources

Key to Table:

Column 1. The numbers in this column for the 93 field deaths refer to the number they had in previous lists I have published, here and here, for ease of cross reference.

Column 2. ‘Name’ refers to the name of each of the 93 field deaths recorded.

Column 3. ‘Incident Location’ refers to how they allegedly died – shot, hanged, drowned or killed in action – and in which parish that took place.

Column 4. ‘Shire’ refers to the shire in which they died.

Column 5. ‘Date’ refers to they year in which they died between 1682 and 1688.

Column 6. ‘Shields 1690’ refers to deaths recorded in Alexander Shields, A Short Memorial (1690). This is the first and earliest of the triumvirate sources.

Column 7. ‘Ridpath 1693’ refers to deaths found in Ridpath’s list published in 1693 that was based on the list in Shields.

Column 8. ‘Grave 1702–1714’ refers to gravestones recorded in the first edition of Cloud of Witnesses in 1714. This is the first column that is derived from the second of the triumvirate sources.

Column 9. ‘Cloud List 1714’ refers to the list of field deaths reprinted from Shields, rather than the list of graves, found in Cloud of Witnesses in 1714.

Column 10. ‘Defoe 1717’ refers to the “list” of dead that Daniel Defoe derived from Shields/Cloud and his narrative of the Wigtown Martyrs both of which are found in his History of the Church of Scotland which was published in 1717.

Column 11. ‘Wodrow 1722’ refers to the deaths recorded by Robert Wodrow mainly in the second volume of the History of the Sufferings of the Church of Scotland in 1722. This is the third of the triumvirate sources.

Column 12. ‘Grave 1725 to 1741’ refers to either gravestones recorded between those years with a specific date for their erection found in the inscription, or gravestones that were first recorded in the third and fourth editions of Cloud of Witnesses. This is the second column that is derived from the second of the triumvirate sources.

Column 13. ‘Later Grave Record’ refers to gravestones not found in the early editions of Cloud, but listed in the final edition of Thomson’s Martyr Graves of Scotland (1903) and one gravestone that he missed. The date given refers to the earliest record that was found for the existence of that stone. Nearly all of those graves were probably erected in the first half of the Eighteenth Century. This is the third column that is derived from the second of the triumvirate sources.

Column 14. ‘Grave Location’ refers to the place or parish in which the gravestone is found.

The table reveals that most of the 93 field deaths were recorded very soon after they had died.

Eighty deaths were first recorded by Shields in 1690. His list was almost certainly built on information that the Society people had gathered about in the dead in the late 1680s for a proposed martyrology which was abandoned due to internal tensions over the project and the events of the Revolution at the end of 1688.

Seven deaths were first recorded in inscriptions on gravestones erected by the “Continuing” Society people between 1702 and 1714, i.e., within seventeen to thirty years of the killings. The information about those seven deaths must have been independently gathered by the Society people prior to the erection of the gravestones, as it did not come from Shields.

A further five deaths were first recorded by Wodrow when he gathered the evidence that later appeared in the second volume of his History in 1722. The evidence for three of those deaths, of men from Penninghame parish that took place in Wigtown, probably dates to 1711. Wodrow gathered testimony from the Penninghame Kirk Session about the two women drowned at Wigtown and others in 1711. (See NLS., Wod.Oct.XXIX, f.219.)

The last death to be recorded was that of John Law, which appeared on a gravestone erected prior to 1741.

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

Burial Patterns of the Killing Times, 1682 to 1688 #History #Scotland

•April 28, 2017 • Leave a Comment

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Of the 93 known “field” deaths between 1682 and 1688:

52 (or 56%) of the ninety-three are buried in a graveyard.

Of the fifty-two, 40 (or 43%) were buried in the graveyard of the parish that they died in.

Of the forty, 32 (or 34%) were buried in a graveyard after summary execution in the field. 8 (or 9%) were buried in a graveyard after execution on the gallows.

Of the fifty-two, 12 (or 13%) were buried in the graveyard of a different from the parish in which they died. All twelve of those buried in a different parish were shot in the field.

37 (or 40%) of the ninety-three were not buried in a seventeenth-century graveyard.

Of the thirty-seven, 13 (or 14%) were buried at a gallows site. 24 (or 26%) were shot and buried in the field.

4 (or 4%) of the ninety-three have no known grave. All four of them were shot in the fields.

The Covenanters of the Killing Times and Their Graves: Part 1 #History #Scotland

•April 21, 2017 • 4 Comments

When were the gravestones to the martyrs of the Killing Times erected? Or more accurately, when were they first recorded in a historical source?

This study looks at the recording of the gravestones of those who were summarily executed in the fields between 1682 and 1688 in historical sources.

Tables of Killing Times Graves in PDF format

It does not list all the graves published in tomes such as Cloud of Witnesses or The Martyr Graves of Scotland. It does not include the graves of minsters and others who either died in prison, or of natural causes. It does not include memorials to those who were subject to execution after a formal judicial process in Edinburgh or Glasgow. It does not include gravestones dedicated to those who died as a result of the Pentland Rising in 1666, the Bothwell Rising of 1679 or at Airds Moss in 1680. Why? Because this study targets the relationship between the historical sources for the Killing Times, in particular Alexander Shields’s A Short Memorial of 1690, and when the gravestones for the dead of the Killing Times were recorded.

This study will be posted in two parts. This first part deals with the two main historical sources for the Killing Times and when the gravestones for the dead were recorded. The second part examines what the relationship between the historical sources and the graves tells us about those sources.

This study adopts a fairly broad definition of what constitutes “The Killing Times”, a period that has several possible definitions and time frames. In a previous post, I listed 85 deaths with historical evidence for the Killing Times using a time frame between 1682 and July 1685. If one adopts a stricter definition for the Killing Times, i.e., that it was the intense period of summary field executions and shootings between December 1684 and July 1685, then four of those deaths are removed from that tally on the grounds that they were not killed in the fields or fall out with the period. That leaves 81 field deaths which can be attributed to the “classic” phase of the Killing Times.

In this post, I have expanded the time frame to 1688, as my previous list had excluded sporadic deaths in the fields that took place after the “classic” phase of the Killing Times, i.e., later in 1685, 1686, or 1688. Those deaths are numbered 86 to 91 in this post.

I have also added two deaths to the list, those of William Harvie in 1682 and John Nisbet in 1683, as they were not hanged in Edinburgh or Glasgow. Whether they count as field deaths may be doubtful, but as they had gravestones erected to them, they have been included as numbers 92 and 93 in this post.

As usual, I have excluded the “martyrs of tradition”, i.e., those for whom there is no historical evidence as they were only recorded in unreliable nineteenth-century traditions. A handful of them have memorials, but every one of those memorials was erected in the mid Nineteenth Century or later.

In total, 93 “field” deaths were recorded, either in published Presbyterian sources, or on gravestones, for the period between 1682 and 1688.

The vast majority, 92 (or 99% of the 93) were recorded either in the list published by Alexander Shields in A Short Memorial (1690), or in the second volume of Robert Wodrow’s History of the Sufferings of the Church of Scotland (1722). In a few cases, their listing in those sources was in an indirect fashion, i.e., it was reference to the numbers who died at a location or contained naming errors.

When broken down by the two key historical sources, Shields listed 80 deaths (or 86% of the total) and Wodrow identified 78 deaths (or 84%). In three cases marked with a “○”, Wodrow listed them, either under the wrong name, or possessed evidence in manuscript that he did not use, or mentioned them in Analecta. The only death which was not mentioned by Shields and Wodrow was that of John Law (49), who died attacking the Ducat Tower in Newmilns. His grave was first recorded in 1741.

It is clear that both Shields and Wodrow are not comprehensive sources for all the deaths of the Killing Times when looked at in isolation. It is only when those sources are brought together and compared with the record of known graves that a comprehensive picture of the Killing Times emerges.

Of the 93 deaths, 89 (or 96%) either have, or had, a grave marker. The four martyrs without any record of a marked grave are:

James McMichael (4), whose body is said to have been exhumed and exhibited on a gallows in 1685.
William Auchenleck (18), an innocent deaf man who was shot on the road.
John Smith (52), whose death near Newmilns has often been confused with other martyrs with a similar name.
William McKergour (82), about whom very little was known.

All four of those deaths were recorded by Shields.

Between 1702 and 1714, the “Continuing” Society people, aka. the McMillanites, erected gravestones on a number of martyr graves. When their Cloud of Witnesses was first published in 1714, 52 (or 57%) of the 93 deaths were recorded as having a dedicated gravestone. By the third edition of Cloud of Witnesses in 1730, the recorded total had risen to 58 (63%) with a gravestone. By the fourth edition in 1741, only two more, or 60 (65%), had been listed.

From then on, the list in Cloud did not receive a major update until Thomson’s mid-nineteenth century edition made a leap forward by listing 78 (85%). Thomson probably knew that more gravestones existed, as his edition of Cloud was a carefully edited version of the published text, rather than a fully updated record of graves. The publication of his Martyr Graves of Scotland, which in its final form was compiled from articles he had published in the decades up to 1894, nearly brought an end to the process of recording Covenanter graves by listing graves for 88 “field” deaths between 1682 and 1688. However, Thomson had missed one, that of James Smith (55) in Mauchline which had been recorded in 1852.

There is not a simple correlation between a gravestone being erected and it being recorded in published sources.

It is clear that those gravestones which were recorded in the early editions of Cloud of Witnesses were erected prior to either 1714, 1730 or 1741. However, many other gravestones were not recorded until the Nineteenth Century.

Seventeen gravestones (covering twenty-eight deaths) were recorded by Thomson in the Nineteenth Century, but most of them had clearly survived from the Eighteenth Century.

Two gravestones recorded by Thomson were certainly erected before the third edition of Cloud was published in 1730, i.e., the grave of William Shillilaw (32) erected in 1727 and that of John MacGeachan (90) in 1728.

Seven other gravestones recorded by Thomson can be approximately dated to the first half of the eighteenth century by the survival of an original stone next to a new monument erected in the early nineteenth century. The six martyrs at Caldons (9 to 14) had a ‘small monumental stone’ that Walter Scott mentions in Old Mortality (1816) as previously having had the lettering of its inscription restored. A new memorial was added at Caldons in 1827. Edward McKean (27) had a new stone erected next to his original stone in 1824. Semple and McClorkan (48, 50) had an old stone that lay flat on the ground before a new obelisk erected to them in 1825. The three Carsgailoch martyrs (70-72) had an old stone that sat before the new monument to them erected in 1827. George Wood (91) had an old, single-sided stone that was later built into a wall next to a new memorial stone erected in 1827. The old stone to Gilbert MacAdam (81) was built into a new memorial in 1829. (The Scottish Journal of Topography, Antiquities, Traditions (1848), 278.)

Alexander Linn’s Grave © Mark McKie and licensed for reuse.

In one case, Thomson makes it harder to tell when the gravestone was erected. The inscription on the stone for Alexander Linn (85) looks old, but Thomson claimed that ‘it was erected in 1827 in the place of an older one’. In other words, that a new stone had replaced an older stone in 1827. (Thomson, Martyr Graves, 406.)

The original stone to Linn? © Mark McKie and licensed for reuse.

However, Thomson was almost certainly mistaken. According to a second oval stone erected to Linn, which is mounted in the enclosing wall around the grave, the original stone was ‘renewed in 1827’. What ‘renewed’ appears to have meant in practice was that the original stone was lifted from the ground in 1827 and mounted in the new enclosing wall. It is worth noting that the chisel marks at the base of the stone appear to indicate that it had a different setting in the ground prior to its present one in the enclosing wall. Intriguingly, the inscription on it also does not follow the text of Shields/Cloud, which only claimed that the soldiers of Drummond, rather than ‘Drumand’ himself, ‘did shoot dead Alexander Lin’, rather than ‘Alexr Linn’. If the stone dates to 1827, why are there such curious differences in spelling and attribution that probably indicate an earlier origin?

All seven of the gravestones above, had, presumably, existed for many decades prior to the addition of new memorials beside them in the early Nineteenth Century.

Most of the remaining nine gravestones, eight of which were recorded by Thomson, certainly appear to be of an eighteenth-century origin. In each of the cases below, I have given the earliest source I could find via web searches for the existence of the gravestone. There may be earlier nineteenth-century sources that mention some of the stones.

One stone firmly existed in the Eighteenth Century. George Short (80) has an old upright stone inscribed on two sides that is similar in style to those of William Graham, erected in 1702 to 1714, and Andrew McRobert. His gravestone is plainly alluded to in the Old Statistical Account published in 1794. (OSA, XIII, 651-2.)

The Martyrs’ Graves at Wigtown © Lairich Rig and licensed for reuse.

Two stones to the martyrs in Wigtown also appear to be of a far earlier date than the first record of them. Johnston, McIlroy and Walker (75 to 77), have an eighteenth-century style stone inscribed on one side. Margaret McLauchlan (66), also has a eighteenth-century style stone with an inscription on two sides. Both stones were first recorded in the New Statistical Account in 1845, at which point the parish minister reported they were of considerable antiquity. They sit next to the gravestone of Margaret Wilson that was erected before 1730. (NSA, IV, 4.)

Grave of William Adam © Copyright Mary and Angus Hogg and licensed for reuse.

William Adam (29) has an old, upright stone with an inscription on one side which was mentioned in ‘Hogg’s Weekly Instructor’ in 1847. His also grave appears in the OS Name Book as ‘Martyrs Grave’ in 1852-1855.

Andrew McRobert’s (26) old, two-sided stone at Twynholm was also mentioned in the same edition of ‘Hogg’s Weekly Instructor’ in 1847.

Gravestone of Thomas Richard. Photo Copyright Robert Guthrie and reproduced by his very kind permission.

Judging by its style, the present gravestone of Thomas Richard (42) may be of a later date than the early eighteenth century. The inscription only appears on one side, but is divided by a line where one would expect if the text was taken from an earlier, possibly inscribed on two-sides, stone. Richard’s grave and inscription were recorded at some point before 1847. (Knight, The land we live in, a pictorial and literary sketch-book of the British empire, 175.)

Gravestone of Dun and Paterson. Photo Copyright Robert Guthrie and reproduced by his very kind permission.

Dun and Paterson (73, 74), who lie next to Richard, have an eighteenth-century style stone with a two-sided inscription that was recorded in 1861. (Murray, Songs of the Covenant Times. By an Ayrshire Minister, 207.)

The gravestones of Dun, Paterson and Richard (42) all lie at the former site of the gallows in Cumnock. It is clear that at least one, if not both, of those graves were known about in the 1720s, as Patrick Walker recorded Alexander Peden as being ‘in the grave, beside other martyrs’. The only other martyrs buried there are Dun, Paterson and Richard. Although Walker did not specifically identify other gravestones, it is possible that Dun and Paterson’s stone, and perhaps that of Richard, or an earlier version of it, existed in the 1720s. (Walker, BP, I, 84.)

Original Photo Copyright The Glebe Blog

The gravestone of James Smith (55), which was missed by Thomson when he was in Mauchline, was recorded in 1852. The inscription on it includes a typographic error found in Shields, that misdated his death to 1684, which was transmitted through all editions of Cloud of Witnesses. However, the inscription is not directly based on Shields/Cloud, as it contains different information about where he died, i.e., in prison, rather than at Burn Anne. (Wilson, Guide to Dumfries and surrounding neighbourhood, 14; CW, 279.)

The Grave of William Harvie © Lairich Rig and licensed for reuse.

On stylistic grounds, the gravestone of William Harvie (92) appears to be of an early date, but it also appears to he been renewed or replaced at some point in its history. It was not recorded until 1862. (Rankine, Biography of William Symington, Civil Engineer, 5.)

Summary

The gravestones for 52 of the dead from the Killing Times certainly date to before 1714. They were probably erected after 1702. The gravestones for a further ten deaths were erected before 1730 and three were erected prior to 1741. In total, the gravestones which were erected and recorded before 1741 list 65 deaths of the Kiling Times.

What of the remaining 24 deaths with gravestones?

Fifteen of those deaths were recorded on gravestones that predate nineteenth-century memorials erected to them. Those stones were probably erected in the first half of the Eighteenth Century.

The gravestones for the remaining nine deaths were not recorded before 1794 at the earliest and mainly in mid nineteenth-century sources. Many of those stones appear to be of early eighteenth-century origin.

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A Brief History of Flyposting: A Villainous and Blasphemous paper posted in #Edinburgh, 1680 #History #Scotland

•March 19, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Torwood Wallace Oak 4

A brief history of flyposting. When we ‘batter something out’ or something is ‘battered up’ it means doing it quickly and in haste. According to the Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue, one meaning of ‘batter’ refers to flyposting with paste, which began at some point in Scotland before 1640. The history of flyposting in Scotland stretches back nearly 400 years. Flyposting has always been a way of distributing news about events, politics and happenings to the people on the streets …

In 1680, government sources report the flyposting of possibly one of the most subversive documents produced in Scotland, the Torwood Excommunication at the Wallace Oak by Donald Cargill, the text of which delivered the leaders of the Scotland up to Satan. From what the report says, below, (printed?) copies of it were quickly torn down by the authorities. However, news of what it contained rapidly spread.

The report is useful in a number of ways. First, it provides us with a date for the Torwood Excommunication of 12 September, 1680, which until now has been obscure. Second, it gives us a date of 19 September, for Cargill’s seditious preaching at Falla Hills. Third, it mentions that Cargill initially forgot to excommunicate the Duke of Lauderdale, which suggests that the full list of those excommunicated was not thought through prior to the act.

Weigh House Edinburgh

The Torwood Excommunication was posted in at least two locations in the seventeenth-century city. One copy was found at the Weigh House at the top of the Lawnmarket, near to where a small, mini roundabout stands today. The Weigh House, or Butter Tron, had been built in 1660 to replace an earlier version of the building destroyed by Cromwell. The 1660 Weigh House was eventually demolished to widen the approach to the Castle for George IV’s visit in 1822. In 1680, the Lawnmarket, which ran down to Edinburgh Tolbooth, was at the heart of the burgh’s commercial life as the open public area in the centre of the city. As a location for flyposting the excommunication, it was perfect for quickly spreading word of it.

Charles II as Caesar

The other place where the excommunication was posted in Parliament Close, the centre of Scottish political power. Parliament Close, now known as Parliament Square, was a small oblong square surrounded by high tenements, shops and the old Parliament building. Today, the appearance of the square is very different from how it looked in 1680 due to the extensive remodelling of the facades of the law courts/old parliament after a great fire destroyed many of the tenements surrounding it in 1824. The controversial equestrian statue of Charles II, which sits in the square post dates the Torwood Excommunication by a few years.

From Thomas Murray to the Duke of Lauderdale.

‘Ed[inbu]r[gh], [Saturday] 18 Sept[embe[r], 1680.

May it please your Gr[ac]e.

here I send the copie of that villanous and Blasphemous paper, I mentioned in my last to ye Earle of Murray; ane double of it wes battered, upon the weighhouse, but wes torn in pieces, in pulling it of; the originall found in the Parlia[men]t closs I cause keepe, so that no double salbe given of it to anie alive, till I know your Gr[ace’s] thoughts about it, it is a copie of that treasonable and sacrilegious sentence pronu’nced last lords day [12 September] by Mr Donald Cargill in a numerous field conventicle at the Torwood, where manie were in armes; and your Gr[ace]: wes forgotten by him in the for[e]noon, but uncanonicallie he brought you up in the afternoon, and after ane scurrilous apologie for his ommission, he proceeded with his blunt thunder against you; this spirit of profannes, and blood hath here arrived to the height of Dementation and maddnes; and is ane verie angrie dispensation of gods judgement, upon that ungodlie and ungovernable tribe; I pray God, may convince them of their maddnes, and preserve us from their crueltie and violence. I beleeve this lyne may find your Gr[ac]e at the Bath, where I pray God, you may prosper in your health, that you may be preserved for manic happie years for the service of your King, and of the poor church, to ye comfort of
May it Please yo[u]r Gr[ac]e,
Your G[race’]s most humble and
Most faithfull servand,
Jo: Edinburgen.

Your Gr[ac] will see the learning of the curser while he calls S. Ambrose, Bishop of Lyons — I have nothing else to say by this post, that is new.’

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The Battle of Drumclog, 1679: Wilson’s Version #History #Scotland

•February 23, 2017 • Leave a Comment

In 1751, an account of the Battle of Drumclog by William Wilson, a schoolmaster in the Park of Douglas parish, was published by John McCallum and sold by Robert Smith, bookseller ‘at the Sign of the gilt Bible’ in the Saltmarket, Glasgow, under the title of The true and impartial relation of the persecuted Presbyterians in Scotland; their rising in arms, and defeat at Bothwell-Bridge, in the year 1679 (Glasgow, 1751).

drumclog-memorial

Drumclog Memorial (Built 1839, Rebuilt 1867) © Walter Baxter and licensed for .

William Wilson (1689–1757) was not born when the battle was fought. He was not an ‘impartial’ historical source, as he had been one of the post-Revolution McMillanites before he split from them. However, it is claimed that he consulted twelve sources, several in manuscript, for his accounts of the battles of Bothwell Bridge and Drumclog. One source he certainly used was Wodrow’s account, which also drew on original sources.

His work on the battles appeared again as A Relation of the Battle of Bothwell Bridge (Glasgow, 1797) and again in 1809 in Kilmarnock and in the An historical account of the lives and characters of Mr. W[illiam]. G[uthrie].

His account is as follows:

‘As to the rencounter at Drumclog, the true account of it is this. June 1st, [1679,] being the sabbath, the persecuted people of God met at Glesterlaw, in the parish of Loudo[u]n, for the public worship of God.’

‘Glesterlaw’ is the unnamed hill above Glaister, just to the west of Harelea Hill across the Tongue Burn.

Map of Glaister Law

‘Either late the night before, or very early this same morning; bloody [John] Graham or Claverhouse came from the new garrison at Glasgow, with three troop of horse and dragoons in great fury, vowing and swearing that whatever number were of them (meaning the honest people) he should be out through them; and according to his design, gave for his word, no quarters: and by the way, as he was plundering and spoiling houses, he took out of their beds, Mr. John King, and 17 honest country-men, whom he bound severely, two and two together, and drove them before him like beasts, and so marched towards Loudon-hill.

Immediately after divine worship was begun, by Mr. Thomas Douglas; the meeting was alarmed with the news of Claverhouse, his coming from Strathaven to surprize them; and that he had taken Mr. King, and others of their friends prisoners; whereupon, after a short consultation, they resolved, that for the relief of the prisoners, their own defence and the defence of the gospel, they would put their life in venture, and, through the Lord’s assistance, go and meet that cruel raging enemy; and, to the uttermost of their power, opose his hellish fury; and then drawing out all the men, who , any arms, and were willing to fight for the Lord’s cause, from the rest of the meeting, who were fifty horsemen, ill provided in arms, fifty footmen with guns, and 150 with halberts and forks.

Mr. [Robert] Hamilton was called to the chief command, and under him David Hackston of Rathillet, Henry Hall of Haughhead, John Balfour of Kinloch, Robert Fleeming [of Auchenfin], William Cleland, John Brown[, an ‘old soldier’].

Mr. Hamilton gave out the word, that no quarters should be given to the enemy; and then, with courage and zeal they marched forward, till they met with Claverhouse and his bloody company, near Drumclog, in the parish of Evandale, about a mile east from Loudon-hill.’

The site of the battle is usually placed about a mile north-east, rather than east, of Loudoun Hill.

Map of site of Battle of Drumclog                Street View of possible battlefield

‘The enemy fired first on them, which they bravely withstood, and fired back on them with much gallantry; and after a short, but very warm engagement with the enemy, while the enemy were drawing near to them (a stank being betwixt them) John Balfour, with some horse, and William Cleland, with some foot, and after them the rest, most resolutely brake through that passage, with courage and valour upon the enemy; and, by the good hand of God upon them, they did instantly defeat, and Claverhouse and his bloody crew took flight.

They killed about thirty-six or forty of them, wounded others, shot Claverhouse’s horse under him, and he narrowly escaped. They relieved Mr. King and the rest of the prisoners, whom Claverhouse had commanded the guard to shoot if he lost; but they were all so hotly handled at this time, that the guard got another thing to mind, than to put this part of their orders in execution. They pursued the enemy about two miles, who, in great terror fled back to Glasgow.

Mr. Hamilton discovered a great deal of bravery and valour, both in the conflict with and pursuit of the enemy: but when he and some others were pursuing the enemy, others flew too greedily upon the spoil, small as it was, instead of pursuing the victory: and some without Mr. Hamilton’s knowledge, and directly contrary to his express command, gave five of these bloody enemies quarters, and then let them go: this greatly grieved Mr. Hamilton, when he saw some of Babel’s brats spared, after that the Lord had delivered them into their hands, that they might dash them against the stones, Psal. cxxxvii. 9. [‘Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.’]

In his own account of this [in a letter of December, 1685], he reckons the sparing of these enemies, and letting them go, to be among their first stepping aside; for which he feared that the Lord would not honour them to do much more for him; and says, that he was neither for taking favours from, nor giving favours to the Lord’s enemies.

In this rencounter there was killed only one man, John Morton in Broomhill, in Newmills, a Loudo[u]n man, and five deadly wounded, who died of their wounds, viz. Thomas Weir, in Cumberhead [Lesmahagow parish]; William Dingwall, a Fife man [and assassin of Sharp]; James Thomson [in Tanhill] a Stenhouse man; John Gabby in Fioch, and James Dyks, Loudon men, who belonged to the persecuted party.’

Broomhill, the home of John Morton, lies beside Glaister Law.

Map of Broomhill                Street View of Broomhill

feoch

Feoch Farm © Gordon Brown and licensed for reuse.

Feoch, the home of John Gabby or Gebbie, lies to the north-west of Broomhill and next to Highside, which is said to have been where the James Nisbet executed in Glasgow in 1684 was from.

Map of Feoch                      Street View of Feoch

James Thomson is said to have been an ancestor of the Thomsons in ‘Tannahill’, i.e., Tanhill, which lies just inside of Lesmahagow parish. He is buried in Stonehouse churchyard. Tanhill lies next to Rogerhill, the home of William Steel, and Blackwood House, where John Brown was summarily executed in 1685.

Map of Tanhill                           Street View of Tanhill

Thompson records the graves of two other men from Loudoun parish who are said to have been killed at Drumclog, Thomas Fleming in Loudounhill and Andrew Richmond. (Martyr Graves, 123-4.)

loudounhill

Loudounhill

Loudounhill was the home of several fugitives and is said to have been where the John Law, who died attacking the Ducat Tower in Newmilns in 1685, lived.

Map of Loudounhill

‘After they returned from pursuing the enemy, they resolved to continue together, till they saw what the Lord would do with them. This night they went to Hamilton. The report of their victory over Claverhouse, and relieving of Mr. King, and the rest of the prisoners, encouraged severals to join with them by the way: and great pity it was, that they had not pursued the enemy hotly to Glasgow, considering the terror that was upon them, their defeat in all seeming probability had been easy. But being weary that night, they resolved to refresh themselves a little, and to surprize the enemy then in Glasgow, early next morning, which delay proved to be a loss to themselves, and an advantage to the enemy,’ … (Wilson’s account in An historical account of the lives and characters of Mr. W. G, 74-5.)

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