James Ure of Shergarton

Cited in Hewison`s The Covenanters etc

The Rev. Robert Wodrow, the historian of the Covenanters, gives a credible account of the hardships endured by James Ure of Shargarton, in the parish of Kippen, in Stirlingshire, a centre of nonconforming disaffection.' From 1670 Ure was leading the disorderly life of a dissenter, having his children baptized by outed ministers, now skulking in the Wood of Balwhan, anon in Ireland, and again an intermittent visitor at home. He was foremost among the braves who held the Bridge of Bothwell.  When the trial of the fugitive came off on 9th January 1682, all the political crimes of the day, as well as ` throwing off the fear of God,' were charged against him, and the traitor's doom and forfeiture were accorded him. The soldiery exhausted his estate. This severity merely confirmed the faith of his family, his septuagenarian mother was captured at a conventicle at the Gribloch and was one of a crowd marched down to Glasgow Tolbooth, which was overcrowded. Her petition to be allowed out on bond, 'at least to win to the prison doors for air` - those able to jostle took their turn at the chinks-was refused, so that the pestilential ward killed the old lady.  Among the prisoners was Margaret Macklum, wife of Arthur Dougall, miller at New Miln, Kippen, a non-churchgoer, who was apprehended in April 1681 and liberated on a bond.' Some of these prisoners were sent to Dunnottar and others were banished The offer of.100 reward for information regarding the hiding-places of Ure did not tempt those in on the secret. For intercommuning with her husband, Ure's wife, with a baby at her breast, was carried off first to Stirling, then to the Canongate Tolbooth, to be examined by the Council. After four weeks' detention she was released and returned to her devastated home in which her husband spent only three nights during nine years of wandering. The gallant laird, however, survived to become a potent factor at the Revolution, to get a commission in Argyll's regiment, to have his forfeiture rescinded by Parliament, and to see the extinction of the Jacobite Rising. Ure's neighbour, John Flockhart in the Hole of Kippen, another conventicler, who was married by a nonconformist, was punished by the quartering of seventy troopers, under Bruce of Clackmannan, and by condemnation to prison for several months.'

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