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The Covenants were expressions of support, particularly strong in Galloway, for the continuance of the Presbyterian mode of church governance initiated in the Scots Reformation of the later 1500s, and against the repeated attempts of Royal governments, in Edinburgh or in London, to re-establish an episcopal hierarchy in Scotland.
One of the few covenants from south-west Scotland to have survived is from Minnigaff, and a transcription from this was included by Alexander S. Morton in his book "The Galloway Covenanters or the Struggle for Religious Liberty in the South-West of Scotland" published by Pickering and Inglis, Printers and Publishers, London. Printed in the early 1900s this book is difficult to find, and would not be found in the average library's catalogue.
We are particularly grateful to Bev Payne for her tireless efforts towards the publishing of this material. She was helped in this project by Leigh-Ann Evans-Elliott.
Every effort was made to remain true to the text. However, in some cases the text was difficult to read, making it possible a misinterpretation crept into the transcription. More than likely, the original text represented one or two challenges during its first transcription by G. W. Shirley, and then Alexander S. Morton. Accordingly, we urge our readers to consider this when examining the list below.
Here is an snippet from the book. Note the differences: in the book the names run together separated only by semi-colons, while in the transcription the names are listed in a linear fashion.
|"There are other two Covenants preserved in the Cardoness Charter Chest, one of which is of the usual vellum type, written locally and signed by the parishioners of Minnigaff. It measures about 27 by 26 inches, and has altogether 355 signatures. The first is that of Mr. William Maxwell, minister of Minnigaff, who, with the other Galloway ministers, was turned out in 1662. His son was the gallant Colonel William Maxwell, a Covenanter of the Convenanters, who boldy stood by Argyle on the scaffold, and followed his body to Magdelene Chapel. He went abroad and returned with William of Orange, who held him in great esteem and presented him with a ring containing his hair and with portraits by Knellor of himself and his Queen, which are still to be seen at Caroness. He was Governor of Glasgow during the Rebellion of 1715, having "left his own family and countrey, above seventy miles distant from this place, at the desire of the Magistrates and Chiefs of the inhabitants." The Town Council presented him with a service of plate "as a mark of the town's favour and respect towards him." He married Nicholas Stewart, grand-daughter of the Earl of Galloway, and heiress of Caroness.*
(*For Memoir of Colonel William Maxwell, see One of King William's Men, by Professor Reid).
After the minister's signature are the signatures of the local lairds. These have evidently not been adhibited at one time.
Then follow the parishioner's names written by Notaries. There is a considerable space between the lairds' signatures and those of the parishioners showing that it was intended to get other signatures.
The parishioners' signatures overflow to the back, and the Glasgow Determiniation is also given on the back, being signed by twelve individuals.
The other Covenant at Cardoness is a long roll of paper formed of four sheets, each measuring about 14 inches by 12 inches. There has been at least one other sheet which is, unfortunately, amissing. The parishioners' signatures on the paper copy almost duplicate those on the vellum copy, and they are more distinct."
Mr. William Maxwell, minister at Minigoff; Arthore Dunbar off Machermoir; J. Dunbar; Alexr. Stewart; Patrik M'Kie, baillzie of Monygof; James Stewart, belze of Mongyf; Alexander Roxburghe; Johne Mcquharg; W. Hunter, notar; Johne Murdoch; Johne Sloane; Johne Stewart; Thomas Mcquharg; Thomas _____; Johne Mcquecheine; Johne M'Naght; Johne Mc co____; M.H. Charteris; Andro Heroune in Kirouchtrie; Johne Maxwell; James M'Millane; James Stewart Patrick Douglas, John Mc illoch; Johne Mcquhonnell; robert M'Kie; John M'Millane; William Megowne,____; Johne Hamiltone; Thomas Mcquhonel; ____ Stewart of ffisgill; Alexr. Stewart; Johne Stewart; Johne Mcquharg; Patrik Herroon; George Bell; Johne M'Millane; John Cunynghame; John Mcclymount; Thomas M'Kean; Archibald Makclanie; Patrig Thomsonne, Patrik M'Cauell; James Muir; Johne Mccoid; Alexander Gray; James Gray.
Mr. William Maxwell, minister of Minigoff; Sr. P. M'Kie off Larg; Alexr. Stewart; Andro Gray; J. Dunbar; Alexr. Steuart; Arthore Dunbar off Machermuir; Patrik Heron of Kirrouchrie; Johne Stewart; Pe Mcquharg; Johne Cunyghame; Patrik M'Kie, baelzie of Monygoff; William Dunbar; Andro heroune in Kirouchtrie; Williame Mcgowne; Johne Finlaystune; James M'Millne; Alexander Roxburgh; John M'Millane; Thomas M'Kean; David Mcculloch; Johne Mcgauchein; Patrik M'Kie; James Steuart; John Murdoch; Johne Maxwell; Johne M'Millane; Robert M'Kie; Johne M'Knocht; Patrik Douglas; Archibald M'Clauie; Johne M'Millane; John Sloane; John M'Coid; John M'Coid; James Muire; Patrick M'Cawell; Robert M'Cawell; Johne hamiltoun; W. Hunter; Johne M'Quharg; Johne Mcquharg; Johne M'Millane; John Mcquhonnell; John Steuart; Johne Roxburght; Johne M'Cornock; George Bell; Thomas Reid; Patrik Thomsoune; Gilbert Mc clliver; Alexr. gray; James Gray.
We, John Mcclymount and Jon. Gordoune in Kirrireoche, Johne Megowne in Kirrimore; George Gordoune in Kirrikenene; Johne Mcclymont ther; Thomas Mccully and Jon. Mctaggirt in Polgoune; Jon. Mcquhardg in Kirricastell; Mairteine Mcilroy and Patrick Thomson in Killkerow; Doncane, Andro and John Mcquhardges in Strone; Andro M'Millane in arshkouchene; Thomas, Jon Wm. and Adam gordounes in Inchbuchaine; Andro and Quinteine findlaysounes in Kiriachtrie; Gilbert, Alex. and Anchonie M'Caads in Trostane; Alexr. and findlay Mcquhardges in Auruch; Jon. aird ther; George M'Millane; Jon. M'Kie; John Mcquhennell in Clechmallock; Thomas McIlroy and Alexr. Mcquhennell in Glencaid; Patrik M'Kie; Andro Mcquhennell; Patrik Mctaggirt in Largforag; Jon Mcgill and Andro Mcgowne in merkcove; Gilbert and Thos. Cairdes and James Herroune in Drumjohane; Jon. M'Millane, and Jon M'Teir in Lansboy; Jon and George Mcclurges in Carndirrie; Alexr. Douglas in Dalnaw; Jon Mcdowell in glennrubock; Archibald Heirreane and Jon Mccanise ther; Jon and patrick M'Kies in bargrenane; patrick and James Mc coires ther; James Campbell in Drummell-wantie; Jon M'Taggirt in Drumrichloche; Andro douglas ther, and Jon M'Kie ther; David Shaw and Andro M'Kie in monewik; Alexr. Thomsonne in Brigtoune; Anthone M'Millane in Firrochbae; Patrik M'Kie in Meikle Caldounes; Quinteinne findlaysoune in littell caldounes; Johne and Gilbert M'Kies; Gilbert Mcgowne, Jone Hendrysonne and Patrick Mctaggirt in holme; Rot. Tait and Patrick tait in Borgane; Alexr. Jon. Thoms Patrik Stewarts and Patrik Mcquhroyters, elder and younger, in Larg; James Mcquhardge and Alexr. Thomsoune in cammer, Archibald Douglas, Walter Mctaggirt in Lagbaes; James Willsone, Rot. Stewart, and Jon Mcquozd in Cardorkane; Jon. M'Millan in clonts, peiter Douglas ther; John Mcquhroyter; thomas Mccoyd, Doncane Mcquhroyter; Jon. M'Millanie in Tochregane; Jon Stewart elder and Jon Stewart younger; Andro meines; Thomas Mcclellane in Drongandow; Jon Mccrackane in Barclay; Jon Watloun and George tait in Barclay; Alexr. Mcclellane in Dirrigal; Jon. Mcgill in Dirrigal Rot. Mccord; Andro Megowne; Jon Mcchlauchline; Jon Murdoche; Alexr. Stewart; Rot. Mcgowne; John Davidsonne, elder in Borland; Jon Davidsonne, younger in Borland; Mungo herroune in Kirkland; Jon Simpson; Jon cunigame; Jon Stewart and Alexr. Stewart in clauchrie; Jon Mcquhenill, elder in Glenmalloch; Jon Sk____herne and thomas Mccaa in Gleumalloch; Donnie M'Kie and Jon Mcclurg in Knockbrex; William stewart; Jon Campbell in Glenshalloch; Barnard, thomas, Jon. Alexr. M'Kies; Jon and Alexr. morrazes and Patrick Stewart in Garlarge; Jon mcchrachire, elder and younger, in Lomoquhen; Andro finlaysonne and Alexr. Simpsoun in Laggane; Jon and ninean Mcmillanes; Jon Gordoune and Jon Mccornock in Craigginkalzie; Jon Patrick and quinteine Mcmillanes in Craignell; Thomas mcquhroyter in firroch; Jon and James Mcmillanes in Polbrekburg; Mathew and Jon reids in craigde; Wm. M'Millane in Tonergie; Alexr. and James M'Millanes in Tontrie; Jon M'Millane in Dickitrik; Jon and William M'Millane; Thomas and michaell Mcclellanes in corwar; Walter M'Millanes and Andro Mcgauebane in overdalshe; Jon Reid and Jon Steinsonne in Dalashecairnes; Jon M'Kinnell and patrik maxwell in Barhose; Rot. and Jon cunighame and patrik heuchane in Bargallie; Jon and Wm culbertsonnes in ardwell; Michaell, Rot., and Jon M'Clellanes and Jon campbell in Gredock; Rot and Alexr. Mccoskries; Jon and thomas heuchanes; Jon Mcgill; patrik mccleave; Jon Ramsay; Jon marteine; Rot M'Millane; Jon Mccheitchie; Jon Doncane in Bardrochwood; Jon Walter and Jon M'Chessnyes in Little-park; Jon Mcgimpsies, elder and younger, and Jon murdoche in Little-park; Quinteine mccleane in Stron; Donald, Jon and James M'Kies in Bluckcraig; Jon mcdowall in _____outane; Alexr. conchie; Thomas Steinsonne; Johne heuchane; thomas heuchane; Andro maillige; patrick edgeare in cawgell; James mcquhardy in Glennamore; Patrick Stewart in Craignine; Jon murrayes, elder and younger in Barncauchall; Jon herroune in Drumneucht; Jon mcdowall in Corquhinock; Jon and gilbert mcdowells and alexr craik in Lesons; andro mcgauchie in Drakmorne; Jon murray ther; Patrick murrayes, elder and younger, and peiter murray in Stronbay; Alexr. M'Caa; Jon herroune; Patrick M'Millane; Jon Mcchessny in auchenlack; adam gordoune; Thomas Douglas in Risk, Joh ghrame; James and andro Mccornockes; george finlaysone in Drumnaquhinzie; Alexr M'Brydes, younger and elder, in Glenhoise; Jon and Wm. M'Brydes; Patrick and Wm M'Cawelles; Walter M'Millane and Rot. murdhoche in Glenhoise; Andro M'Cornock in Kirtrochwod; Donald Thomsone in Kirochtrie; Jon M'Kie; George herroune; Jou Roxburghe in Kirochtrie; Johne ____
____mcquoyd in Machrimore; Jon Sloane; Alexr. Mcdowalle in machirmore; Alexr. mcchuchie in Carsnaw; Alexr. Mcclurg in Carsnaw; Jon Dowane in Carsnaw; William Mccleave in carsmaneiche; Alexr. Mcclowane in Meiklecarse; Gilbert and Thomas herrounes in meiklecarse; George M'Millane; Robert Roxbrught; Andro M'Millane; Alexr. M'Kie; ninean Bodden; hew menzies; david chalmers; James M'Millane and Jon Mccoskrie; Rot. good; Jo. M'Millane; patrick M'Kie; Jon M'Coskie; Jon Bodden; Alexr. M'Clachie; patrick Wilsone; William M'Kie; Jon M'Cord; Wm. Mcchachie; Wm. Roxburgh; James Murdoche; Andro Bannoch; Jon Mure; Wm. Sloane; Culbert Simpsone; Jon Bodden; Patrick Stewart; thomas Mcilroy; Alexr. Herroune in the...
toune of monegoffe, with our hands at the pen led be the notars underwritten at or commands becaus we canot wryt or selffs.
Alexander Mccleave in bardrochwood; Robert M'Coskrie ther, and Alexander Heuchane ther; Alexander heuchane in reddock; Alexr. McChessny in Bargallie; Andro muligane in Dalaschcairnes; Thomas mcquhreyter in firroch; William thomsonne in Larg; Robert Stewart and Johne Mccoyde in Cardorkane; James M'Millane in firrochbae; Gilbert M'Kie, younger in heliae; Williame Mezwale in Risk; Docane M'Kie in Markcove; Patrick M'Millane and Johne M'Ilwayane in Barlarge; William Mcdowall in Carsdoneane; Robert Mcchouchtie in Culgow; James Mccaddam in Laggane; Patrick Mcquhardge in nather Stronbae; John McClardge in glenhoyse; Jon Mceindrie (?); Rot. M'Bryde in glenhoise; Jon. Mcquhardge in crouchlie; Jon M'Millane in dricknaw; Andro. coutart in holme; Jon and Patrick Stewarts in Caruuer; John tait in Drongaher; Thomas Simpson in Tochreline; Alexr. Stewart in Garlies; Andro findlay, younger, in laggane; James Allane Taylor in Carsnaw; John Mcclurdge in maggramore Johne M'Dowall in Corsuall; Alexander M'Crakane in Cailgow; John M'Caa in drongandow; Alexr. Mcmulzerdoch and patrick taite in barony; Jon Dunell ther; Jon M'Jorrie, elder and younger, ther; Jon Marews ther.
John Mcquharg; Mr. William Maxwell; Hew Stewart; J. Dunbar; ____ Stewart; Patrick M'Kie; Alexr. Stewart; James Steuart; Alexr. Mcquharg; Andro Herron; Alexr. Roxburgh; Johne Keillie.*
|"The question in the early part of this article as to what has become of other printed copies of the Covenant similar to the one at Cardoness suggests a like question about the Covenants signed in the Parishes of Galloway, for there were undoubtedly other Covenants signed in Galloway besides those at Borgue and Minnigaff. What has become of them? Probably some of them were deliberately destroyed by both sides during the persecution; others may hve been carried abroad by the Covenanters and lost; and there is just the possibility that one or two may yet be found in the Charter Chests of the local lairds.
*In endeavouring to decipher the signatures to the Covenants at Cardoness, the wrter had before him the result of the labours to the same end of Mr. G. W. Shirley, Dumfries, than whom none is better fitted for such a task. As will be readily understood this proved of inestimable value, and the opportunity is gladly embraced to cordially thank Mr. Shirley for his hearty co-operation in the matter.)"
|Several copies of the 1638 Covenant, signed in different parts of the country, are still extant. One signed at Borgue, Kirkcudbright (22nd April, 1638), is preserved in the Register House, Edinburgh. Dr. King Llewison, in his admirable work on The Covenanters, states that the tradition of the Covenant being carried out of Grey Friars' church to the people in the churchyard, and there signed on a tombstone amid scenes of religious fervour, rests on a unsatisfactory basis. Probably some of the details have been overcoloured, but, even so, we have, as he says, "a picture unique in Scots history."|