A doggerel poem about the "Whigs"

 Cited in Peterkins Records [fn. p 533] .  Hewison`s Covenanters vol ii p 198-9  quotes the first 19 lines with an additional, second, line  ` Or else the end of cauld November` and refers to a contemporary manuscript about the time of Rullion Green, 29 November 1666. There is a suggestion that it may have been composed by William Cleland, later Lt. Colonel of the Cameronian Regiment. However, it appears in "Galloway and the Covenanters" by A S Morton (1914) as by Samuel Colvil in Edinburgh, 1711 , but without the verse in [  ] about copying the Swiss. Whomsoever is the author, it nevertheless paints a vivid picture of the rough and ready state of this alleged `army` and the  `rebellion`. The `soldiers` were no more than a vociferous band of farm labourers and the like, and hardly a serious threat to the government.

Right well do I the time remember

It was in Januar or December,

[ Or else the end of cauld November]

                               When I did see the outlaw Whigs

Lye scattered up and down the rigs,

Some had hoggers, some straw boots,

Some legs uncovered, some no coats,

Some had halbards, some had durks,

Some had crooked swords, like Turks;

Some had slings, some had flails,

Knit with eel and oxen tails;

Some had spears, some had pikes,

Some had spades which delvit dykes;

Some had peat for firie matches;

Some had guns with roustie ratches,

Some had bows,but wanted arrows,

Some had pistols without marrows;

Some the coulter of a plough,

Some syths had, men and horse to hough;

And some with a Lochaber axe

Resolved to give Dalziell his paiks;

Some had cross-bows, some were slingers,

Some had only knives and whingers;

But most of all, (believe who lists,)

Had nought to fight with but their fists:

They had no colours to display;

They wanted order and array;

Their officers  and motion- teachers

Were verie few  beside their preachers;

[ Without horse, or artilzerie pieces,

They thought to imitate the Sweeses,

When from Novarr they sallied out,

Tremoville and brave Trivulee to rout. ]

For martial musique  everie day

They used oft to sing and pray,

Which chears them more, when danger comes,

Than others`  trumpets and their drums,

With such provision as they had,

They were so stout, or else so madd,

As to petition once again;

And, if the issue proved  vain,

They were with resolved,with one accord,

To fight the battells of the Lord.

 

Next:  Rullion Green.

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