Hunthill House to America
Hunthill to America - by Gary Rutherford Harding
The first Rutherford known to Scottish history was Robertus Dominus de Rodyrforde, who witnessed a charter of King David I in 1140. The Rutherford record is continuous from the time of Hugo de Rutherford who was mentioned as a witness to a land grant about 1215. His grandson, Sir Nichol de Rutherford, signed the Ragman Roll like nearly all Scottish lairds except Wallace himself, but later joined Wallace, to whose wife he was related, and assisted him in the Battle of Biggar and the capture of Sanquhar Castle.
The progenitor of the Hunthill cadet was Sir George Rutherford of Chatto. Chatto and Hunthill are ancient estates quite near each other in Roxburghshire, Scotland. Hunthill is located very near Jedburgh just to the southeast of town and Chatto is located almost due east of Jedburgh near the Northumberland border. The family was later styled “of Hunthill” in the lifetime of Sir George’s son Robert. Sir George Rutherford of Chatto was the squire of Archibald Douglas, 4th Earl of Douglas. Sir George's son, Robert Rutherford, married the 4th Earl of Douglas' grand daughter, Margaret Glendonwyn.
Central to Rutherford genealogy in Scotland and to the Hunthill Rutherfords specifically is the family’s connection and descent from the powerful Black Douglases and their kin, the Glendonwyns. The Glendonwyns, today are called the Glendennings, and are direct descendants of "The Good Sir James" who carried the heart of Robert the Bruce to Spain where he was killed by the Moors. This is a long and colorful story which is the source of the various Douglas coats of arms which bear a human heart as a charge. The Rutherfords and Glendonwyns were the "scutifers' or squires to the Douglas family along with the Home and Hoppringle families. Sir Robert Rutherford’s wife, Margaret Glendonwyn, was the grand daughter of both Archibald Douglas, 4th Earl of Douglas and Margaret Stewart daughter of John Stewart, King Robert III of Scots.
Margaret Glendonwyn’s father was Sir Simon Glendonwyn of Glendonwyn and Parton (a 1455) who was married to Elizabeth Lindsay daughter of Alexander Lindsay, 2nd Earl of Crawford and Marjory (Margaret) of Dunbar a descendant of Gospatrick the great earl. Alexander Lindsay's aunt, Agnes Dunbar, was the wife of Sir James Douglas - 1st Lord of Dalkeith and as such was also the great great aunt of Sir Simon Glendonwyn. The Hunthill coat of arms carries a charge of three passion nails which came from the Douglas of Morton coat of arms. Margaret Glendonwyn, daughter of Sir Simon Glendonwyn married Sir Robert Rutherford of Chatto (a 1484, d before 05.1495) and acquired the land in Roxburghshire that is called Hunthill through marriage. Sir Robert Rutherford had confirmation of his late father's gift of Nether Chatto on November 21, 1429 from Archibald 4th Earl of Douglas, as "his dear esquire", with a Crown confirmation on March 25, 1439.
The Hunthill or Chatto cadet spells its name Rutherfoord and/or Rutherford. There are many junior lines from this family; Longnewton, Bankend, Littleheuch, Capehope, Ladfield, Knowsouth and Kidheugh.
The Hunthill Rutherfords have many descendants in America from the Nisbet-Crailing area; the Wigton-Walkers, the descendants of Thomas Rutherford of Paxtang, PA, the descendants of James Rutherford of Walker’s Creek, VA, the descendants of James Rutherford of Cub Creek, VA and the descendants of General Griffith Rutherford.
Early Scottish History
Scotland is an ancient Celtic country with various ethnic strains and a complex ethnic history. For we Rutherfords, however, Scotland begins during the reign of King David I and his parents, Malcolm Canmore and Queen/Saint Margaret. The accession in 1057 of Malcolm Canmore as King of Scotland introduced a new era marked by fundamental changes of the ancient Celtic culture and institutions. Long an exile among the English, Malcolm had acquired a profound interest in their customs and affairs. The consequent trend toward ‘Anglicization' of his realm was sharply accelerated when, in 1067, he married Margaret, an English princess later canonized as St. Margaret. She had been forced into exile in Scotland by the Norman Conquest in 1066. Under her influence, many of the teachings of the Celtic church were brought into harmony with the church of Rome. The royal family of King Malcolm and Queen Margaret became the actual cradle for Scotland's cultural shift toward the Flemish and Norman sphere of influence. Their three sons; Prince Edgar, Prince Alexander and Prince David, were to receive their educations at the Norman and Flemish court in England.
In 1097, Prince Edgar one of the six sons of Malcolm and Margaret, ascended the Scottish throne. The Anglicization of Scotland acquired tremendous momentum during the reign of Edgar and those of his brothers Alexander I and David I. Under these monarchs, all of whom had been deeply influenced by their mother's religious and cultural views, the Norman and Flemish feudal system was established in Scotland. The reorganization was confined at first to ecclesiastical reforms but gradually affected all sectors of Scottish life. Norman French replaced the Gaelic language in court circles, while English was spoken on the Scottish Borders and in many parts of the Lowlands.
David I claimed universal ownership of the land of Scotland in the Carolingian tradition called feudalism. As king he conveyed huge grants, particularly in central and southern Scotland, to Norman, Flemish and Scottish nobles, who thereby became loyal vassals of the Crown. All three princes reined as Kings of Scotland but it was David I who was to mold Scotland into a new nation; part Celtic and part Flemish. Following the death of Norman knight Simon de Senlis, the Earl of Northampton, in 1111, his widow Maud married Prince David. Maud was the great-granddaughter of Siward the Dane and of the Flemish house of Boulogne. To their marriage, she brought David the title of the earl of Huntingdon, with its extensive lands in the English Midlands, and a claim to the vast Northumbrian estates. When he ascended the Scottish throne in 1124 as David I, Maud went north with him as his queen, followed inevitably, by a large retinue of her Flemish kinsmen. They received large estates in Scotland and, in this way, a new feudal system from Flanders took the place of the older Celtic way of life. These Flemish knights were the ancestors of many Scottish families: Balliol, Beaton, Bruce, Cameron, Campbell, Comyn, Crawford, Douglas, Erskine, Fleming, Fraser, Graham, Hamilton, Hay, Innes, Leslie, Lindsay, Lyle, Murray, Oliphant, Rutherford, Seton and Stewart.
At about this time, Robertus dominus de Rodyrforde, first appears in the Scottish records. Robertus dominus de Rodyrforde witnessed a royal charter in 1140 granted by King David I of Scotland to Gervasius de Rydel. This indicated that Robertus held an established position at that time. His title included the Latin word dominus, which indicated he was the lord of a manor and/or a knight, and the Latin preposition "de", meaning "of", which was used in conjunction with land holdings or places of origin. It is interesting to note, the third syllable was spelled "ford" with the Flemish ending of "e" and almost identical to the Flemish toponymic name of Ruddervoorde in West Flanders, Belgium. Ruddervoorde or Ridervoorde means "a knight's river crossing" and interestingly the Gervasius de Rydel mentioned about has a surname with a similar etymology.
Under David I [1124-53] and Malcolm IV [1153-65] the Flemish counts, Thierry de Alsace [1128-63] and his son Philip de Alsace [1163-91] cooperatively developed a program to settle Flemish immigrants in various areas of Scotland, including Roxburgh. The purpose of this settlement policy initially was twofold: 1 - to define a border between Northumberland and Scotland and 2 - to develop a similar infrastructure as existed in Flanders at the time. In the long run, very strong economic and religious ties were also to develop between Roxburgh and Flanders. Not surprisingly, Counts Thierry de Alsace and Philip de Alsace were also the overlords of the Seigniory of the Court of Ruddervoorde in West Flanders. In 1128 Lambert de Ridefort [Ruddervoorde] served as a witness for Count Thierry de Alsace. In 1154 Lambert de Ridefort and his brother Eustachius [Eustache] served as witnesses to Gerald, Bishop of Tournai and Count Thierry dí Alsace. Sir Gerard de Ridefort [de Ruddervoorde] - 10th Grand Master of the Knights Templar accompanied Thierry de Alsace, Count of Flanders on his 4th crusade to Outremer in 1164, at which time, Gerard entered the service of King Amaury I of Jerusalem.
At the same time in Scotland, King Malcolm IV's daughter Marie married Eustache III, Comte de Boulogne. Eustache III was the brother of Godfroi de Bouillon, conqueror of Jerusalem. This created a dynastic link between the court of Scotland and that of Jerusalem and that of Flanders, which exercised great influence over the silk and spice trade at its midway point in Outremer.
King Malcolm's successor, his brother William I "the Lion" (1165-1214), continued Flemish settlement in the Roxburgh area and at the same time did battle militarily and politically with the English. In 1173, when William invaded northern England, he was reinforced by a Flemish contingent sent by Philip d’ Alsace, Count of Flanders. When William I invaded Northumberland in 1173 he was captured by the English and released only when he agreed to the Treaty of Falaise promising to recognize Henry II of England as overlord.
In 1188, William the Lion received a papal bull promising the independence of the Scottish church from England. Following the death of Henry II of England in 1189, Richard I "the Lionhearted" was crowned king of England. Through a deal with William I, England received 10,000 marks to fund Richard I's crusade to the Holy Lands. In the same year, the Treaty of Falaise between Scotland and England was annulled, effectively fixing the borders between Scotland and Northumberland as they are known today. Prior to this annulment, the border had been at the Firth of Forth. which followed the division of the old kingdom of Northumbria [Bernicia] and Scotland.
Rutherfords of that place and period:
During the reign of King William I "the Lion", Gregory de Rothirforde witnessed two charters of Roger Burnard to thirteen acres of the lands of Fairnington to the monastery of Melrose. It should be noted that Fairnington was eventually a Rutherford estate. Other charters were also witnessed by Gregory de Rothirforde in the reign of King Alexander II.
Gregory de Rothirforde's son Hugo de Rodirforde, a Scottish baron, witnessed a grant of Philip de Valoniis of the lands of Terpenhow in Northumberland to Robert de Stuteville in 1215 during the first year of the reign of King Alexander II. Philip de Valoniis had served as a hostage in King William the Lion's place and remained two years in England. In gratitude William made him High Chamberlain of Scotland and gave him the barony of Panmure. Philip's son William inherited the office of High Chamberlain and the estate.
In 1230 the seigniory of the court of Ruddervoorde in West Flanders was in the possession of Lamkin de Riderford. He inherited this title following the death of his father Sir Haket de Riderford who received it from the Dean of St. Donatian church in Bruges.
In Scotland Hugo de Rodirforde and Richard de Rodirforde witnessed a charter of Richard Burnard of Fairnington to the abbey and convent of Melrose in 1252, during the reign of King Alexander III. Neighbor Roger Burnard was established in the lands of Fairnington in the 13th century and made two grants to the monks of Melrose in his lifetime. Patrick Burnard also held lands further north near Gordon in Berwickshire about 1250. Down to the middle of the 14th century the family owned Fairnington in the county of Roxburgh and continued to figure prominently among the benefactors of Melrose Abbey. In 1296 William de Fairnington of Roxburgh paid homage to Edward I. "The Rutherfurds of that Ilk and their Cadets" by Thomas Cockburn-Hood published 1884, 1899 and 1903
The original place called Roxburgh or Rokesburg was located about a mile upstream from the confluence of the rivers Teviot and Tweed and about 3 miles downstream from the hamlet of Rutherford. The spot, which is no longer occupied, was a good site for a fortress owing to the height of the ground and the presence of a river on either side. In the Middle Ages it was also an important place for crossing the Tweed whose lower stretches could not be forded safely. It was originally called Rawic's or Roc's Burgh. It had also been known from Roman times as Marchedum and Marchmound, meaning a hill on the march or border.
By 1120 Roxburgh was "a going concern" ... "although possibly a recent foundation" and "from the first it was an enclosed and defensible place" "14th Report on the Ancient Monuments of Scotland: Roxburghshire" vol. 1, p. 252
Although little of either the fortification or the royal castle of Roxburgh has been allowed to survive, today one can view it's elevated site between the Tweed and the Teviot rivers. It’s composed of earthworks and deep surrounding ditches on three sides, as well as, parts of the massive walls, and some foundations of the towers and entrances. The space within the walls, once occupied by the castle and by a church and other buildings, is now largely overgrown with trees. The ancient burgh or town of Roxburgh, which lay outside the fortification on lower land just downstream, has wholly vanished. It is not to be confused with the present settlement known as Roxburgh about 2 miles up the Teviot, nor with nearby Kelso.
The fortification was built on the exposed end of a long narrow glacial mound or kame which rose some 70 or 80 feet between the converging courses of the Tweed and Teviot. The space enclosed by the fort was some 800 feet in length and its greatest breadth, upstream, was about 300 feet. Around the whole perimeter of the mound connecting the bastions and towers rose the curtain walls to a height of about 30 feet from a massive base. The total length of the walls was no less than 2,100 feet, enclosing an area of about 3.5 acres. [Roxburgh as Place Name and Family Name Over the Centuries - Donald C. MacGregor - 1965]
King David I and Roxburgh Castle
King David I decided he needed to use his manpower resources wisely if he wanted to change the nature of the land he governed. Since he owned Tweeddale by hereditary right, he decided to develop his earldom by creating a strong castle and build a thriving town around it. Roxburgh's position made a logical location for a stronghold. It was bounded by the River Teviot on its south side and by the Tweed to the north, the long teardrop shaped mount which was to become Roxburgh Castle was seventy to eighty feet high and dominated the the rolling hills which surrounded it. The Teviot and Tweed rivers join the east of the castle to make a peninsula which surrounded the burgh and its castle.
Although there is a strong likelihood that earlier forts had occupied the mount, it was David and his Flemish and French friends who probably gave the place its name. Roxburgh is usually styled 'Rokesburgus' or 'Rochesburgus' in the early documents. Roches is the French word for stones or rocks and the name would have signified to these early inhabitants the nature of the castle-mount, because, unlike Edinburgh or Stirling, it is not a single roche but a big stoney ridge - Rocksburgh.
The strategic importance of Roxburgh in terms of a military operation is underlined by the fact that David massed his army at Roxburgh before he invaded King Stephen's England in 1138. Not only was this site inherently strong but it also lay very near the junction of two medieval roads, and it controlled a relatively low crossing point of the Tweed - probably the last before the bridge at Berwick. For more than a century Roxburgh Castle stood at the centre of Scottish politics. It acted as a royal court on several occasions and many of the king's recorded acts ended with the phrase "at Roxburgh" and the date of the document.
In 1255 the strength of Roxburgh was recognized when the English faction at the quarrelling Scottish court kidnapped the young Alexander III and held him prisoner at Roxburgh. The royal wedding of Lord Alexander, the son of Alexander III, and Margaret de Dampiere, daughter of the Count of Flanders, followed in 1282 but the castle was to be occupied by the English at the end of the thirteenth century.
"The ancient parish of Roxburgh was more extensive than the modern parish; and it took its name from an ancient burgh, now called Old Roxburgh, in connection with which was an ancient famous castle; but the parts of the ancient parish on which the burgh and the castle stood, are now united to Kelso. A chapel, subordinate to the mother church of Old Roxburgh, anciently stood on the manor of Fairnington." The Imperial Gazetteer of Scotland, edited by John Marius Wilson and published in 1868 - volume II, p.677
The name Rokesburg appears in a deed or charter granted about the year 1120 by David, Earl of Lothian and Cumbria. It is worth recalling that David was the fourth son of Malcolm III of Scotland. Malcolm to whose name the appellation Canmore (i.e. "big head") is usually applied, had overcome Macbeth in 1054 with the aid of MacDuff, regaining the throne of Duncan his father whom Macbeth had murdered. Malcolm (whose wife, Margaret later became a Saint) died in 1093 and was succeeded in turn by his three older sons before David came to the throne in 1124. During David's constructive reign of 30 years Rokesburg, located at a strategic point on the River Tweed, suddenly became noteworthy as the site of a royal castle which was protected by unusually strong fortifications. "Early Scottish Charters prior to A.D. 1153" by Sir Archibald Lawrie
On December 9th, 1165 King Malcolm IV died at Jedburgh Castle and was succeeded by William "The Lion". The castle was later forfeited to the English in 1174. This was to help raise the ransom demanded for the safe return of Scotland's King William the Lion who had been captured by the English. In subsequent years, Jedburgh castle was the royal residence. The sphere of Scottish royal power rotated between Jedburgh and Roxburgh castles for nearly two centuries and protected the kingdom's two dominant cities.
King Alexander III was born at Roxburgh Castle in 1241 and crowned king at Scone in 1249 when he was eight years old. Two years later, he married Margaret, daughter of King Henry III of England [a distant cousin]. The couple had been engaged since infancy. His wife Margaret died in 1275 followed by his sons, David in 1281 and Alexander in 1284. This left Alexander III without a family or a male heir.
Alexander III was to marry again at Jedburgh Abbey in 1285, this time to Yolande de Dreux. The wedding feast was held at Jedburgh Castle. Tradition has it that a ghost appeared at the wedding feast and predicted Alexander III's death. Alexander's new wife Yolande de Dreux was from a noble family of Flanders/Burgundy which had supported the 1st and 2nd Crusades and the Knights Templar in particular. By all accounts, the couple were happily married and seemed likely to produce an heir. However, on March 19th, 1286, six months after their marriage, all was to change. The king had been in council with his lords in Edinburgh and had set out on a stormy night, anxious to rejoin his new wife at Kinghorn Tower. As he neared his destination, his horse stumbled and he fell to his death over a steep cliff. All were mindful of the prophecy made at the king's wedding. King Alexander III was the last of Scotland's Celtic kings.
Rutherfords of that place and period:
Sir Nichol de Rothirforde I was a witness to several donations to the church of St. Mary of Melrose Abbey and to the monastery of Kelso. In 1270 and 1272 Sir Nichol de Rothirforde I was designated as “Nicholaus de Rutherfoord, miles". This title indicated the family had attained an influential position in Roxburgh County, Scotland. Without a doubt, Sir Nichol was one of the gallant company at Jedburgh in 1283 when the marriage of King Alexander was solemnized. "The Rutherfurds of that Ilk and their Cadets" by Thomas Cockburn-Hood published 1884, 1899 and 1903
During the rule of King Alexander III, Scotland had been a peaceful and prosperous kingdom. Things were to change. The country was devastated without its rightful leader and Scotland fell into many years of conflict both foreign and domestic. King Alexander III was succeeded briefly by his infant grand-daughter Margaret, "the Maid of Norway", who died while traveling back to Scotland from Scandanavia. King Alexander III's death also presented an opportunity for Edward I of England "Longshanks" to intrude into in Scottish affairs and the succession to the Scottish throne. Robert the Bruce's grandfather “the Competitor” and the Comyns both began pressing their claims to the Scottish Crown. The situation escalated eventually into the Scottish Wars of Independence.
The Ragman Roll
Alexander's death brought into Scottish history the formidable figure of Edward I of England, who had recently completed the conquest of Wales. Before the Maid of Norway traveled to Scotland, it had been agreed by a panel of `guardians' that she should marry Edward's son and heir, although Scotland still should retain its independence. On her death, Edward was invited to choose between the claimants to the throne. At this point, sensing an opportunity, he chose John Balliol over his chief rival, Robert Bruce. Edward selected him, but even he reacted against the dictatorial treatment he subsequently received from the English king. In 1296, Balliol made an alliance with France and invaded England.
Edward responded with a counter-invasion, and large numbers of Scottish nobles including Bruce and his son came to pay him homage. Furious, Balliol confiscated Bruce's lands in Scotland and gave them to `Red' John Comyn. Edward captured Berwick with great slaughter; then, with Bruce at his side, defeated Balliol at Dunbar, before conducting a ruthless campaign as far north as Elgin. Edward required 2000 Scottish landowners to sign the "Ragman Roll" at Berwick-on-Tweed, August 28th, 1296 acknowledging him as king. The Ragman Roll has been described as 'a list of Flemish and Norman lords' who Edward I saw as a potential threat to his occupation of Scotland. Several Rutherfords were among those forced to sign. In fact, Sir Nichol Rothirforde’s daughter, Margarette de Rothirforde del Counte de Berwyk, was a personage of such consequence that she was also compelled to sign the Deed of Submission, popularly known as the "Ragman Roll".
In 1297, a young Scot named William Wallace became involved in a fight with some English soldiers at Lanark. He escaped with the help of a girl, possibly his wife, but she was captured and executed. Thus began the wars of independence between Scotland and England.
The Rutherfords and Sir William Wallace
Sir Nichol de Rothirforde I was married to Euphemia de Lisle the daughter of William de Lisle. Through this first marriage Sir Nichol came into possession of large tracts of land in England and Scotland. Upon his death it is thought that his son Peter took the English lands and sided with Balliol and his son Nichol II took the Scottish lands and sided with Sir William Wallace and Robert the Bruce in the Scottish War of Independence. It is thought there may have been a second wife and mother for Nichol II. Nichol's son Peter de Rothirforde [de Rotherfeld or Routherfelde] inherited land in the English West Riding including the manor of Hickleton. He was closely associated with the Balliols, and there may suggest some connection to the Rutherford coat of arms: "Argent, an orle gules, and in chief three martlets sable, beaked of the second." Sir Nichol de Rothirforde II was married after 1274 to Marjorie de Lamington in Roxburgh. Marjorie de Lamington was of the house of Lamington which was connected by marriage to Sir William Wallace having married a near relative of Marion Braidfute, Wallace’s wife. Sir Nichol de Rothirforde II was a well known friend of Sir William Wallace's. "The Rutherfurds of that Ilk and their Cadets" by Thomas Cockburn-Hood published 1884, 1899 and 1903
Marion Braidfute was the 18 year old heiress of Hugh Braidfute of Lamington located near Lanark. There is not evidence that Wallace and she were ever married. Marion was murdered shortly after the birth of their daughter. The bard Blind Harry the Minstrel mentions a young maiden named Marion Braidfute of Lamington, who Wallace allegedly courted and wed. Oral tradition has it that Wallace killed the Sheriff in revenge for the murder of Marion Braidfute. The son of Sir William Balliol was said to be Sir William Baillie of Hoprig who, according to many historians, was the first Baillie whose name appears in known records. He was knighted in 1357 and received a royal charter to the Barony of Lamington. Legend has it that the wife of Sir William Balliol was the illegitimate daughter of Sir William Wallace and Marion Braidfute of Lamington.
Robert "the Bruce" and James "the Good" Douglas
After Edward I had over-run Scotland, Sir Nichol de Rothirforde and his brother Aymer de Rothirforde del Counte de Roxburgh, signed the “Ragman Roll,” swearing fealty to the King of England at Berwick on Tweed on August 28th, 1296. A promise thus extorted by force was not considered binding and Sir Nichol de Rothirforde was one of the first Scottish barons who joined Sir William Wallace in fighting for the independence of Scotland.
It is believed that Sir Nichol was also connected with Wallace through the Hallidays. Thomas Halliday was a nephew of Wallace, and a friend of Rothirforde. Previous to the Battle of Biggar, as narrated by Blind Harry the Minstrel, Halliday brought his uncle a welcome contingent of three hundred "wee armed warriors" from Annandale, led by “twa gud sonnis, Wallas and Rudyrfurd.” Among the chiefs who remained faithful to Wallace was "gud Rudyrfurd, chyftaynlik” with a lordly air, who with sixty followers held his ground against the English in Ettrick Forest.
Sir Nichol de Rothirforde held considerable land located in several different counties. His estate at Doddington Mill in Northumberland were seized by the English King in 1296 as Sir Nichol was declared a rebel, for his support of the Scottish cause. "The Rutherfurds of that Ilk and their Cadets" by Thomas Cockburn-Hood published 1884, 1899 and 1903
William Wallace in the south and Sir Andrew de Moray in the north started a resistance campaign and a few months later triumphed over a vastly superior force led by Edward's viceroy at Stirling Bridge. After this victory, Wallace and a severely wounded Moray were appointed Guardians of Scotland and promptly invaded England over the winter of 1297/8 causing widespread havoc. At some point around this time, Wallace was knighted. Wallace in his turn was defeated by Edward the following year at Falkirk, but remained at large until 1305, when he was captured and executed as a traitor in London. Six months after Wallace's execution there was a rebellion in Scotland again.
With the capture and execution of Wallace in 1305, Robert the Bruce became one of the "regents" for Scotland along with the other claimants to the Scottish throne which included "Red" John Comyn. Robert the Bruce murdered Comyn in February 1306 in Greyfriers Church in Dumfries which had two outcomes 1] the Pope excommunicated him for sacrilege and 2] he had to fight for the throne against the Balliol factions of which Comyn had been the leader.
At one point legend tells, Robert the Bruce lay on a bed of straw, heartsick with discouragement. All seemed lost for Scotland and for his future. Idly he watched a spider hanging from its web and trying to swing itself from one beam to another of the wretched cottage roof. Six times the spider tried and failed. "If it tries again and is successful," said the fugitive to himself, "I too will make another attempt." On its seventh attempt the spider was successful. Taking heart from the spider's success, he now won back one stronghold after another. At last, on June 24, 1314, the English and Scottish forces met in the great battle of Bannockburn, which was to decide the fate of Scotland.
Robert was crowned King of Scots in March or April 1306 but lost two battles that same year - one against Edward I at Perth and the second at Dalry against the lord of Argyll, a kinsman of Balliol/Comyn. Robert then had to go on the run and his family was hunted down and killed, including his sisters. This was the time of the spider and "try, try and try again". Robert was accepted by the Pope as King of Scots in 1328 and his excommunication was lifted. Bruce proved to be a wise king and during his reign, from 1306 to 1329, was called "good king Robert."
In his later years he longed to go to the Holy Land to fight against the Muslims, who were again in possession of the Sepulcher of Christ. He was the more anxious to do this because he was troubled at the thought that when he was a young man he had slain his rival John Comyn before the very altar of God. When he knew that he must die without fulfilling his desire, he asked Lord James Douglas to be responsible for taking his heart to the Holy Land. Robert the Bruce died in 1329 and was succeeded by his son David II then aged 4 yrs.
When the Bruce died, Douglas put the king's heart in a silver casket and started with it for the Holy Land. In Spain he found the Christians hard pressed by the Muslims and went to their aid. In the heat of the battle of Granada he threw Bruce's heart into the midst of the infidel host, crying: "Go thou before as thou wert wont to do, and Douglas will follow!" The brave Douglas perished in the battle, but one of his knights recovered Bruce's heart. He carried it back to Scotland, where it was buried in Melrose Abbey. Each January 2nd the people of Granada remember with a fiesta the sacrifices made by those who died at the battle of Granada. Sir Robert de Rutherford was a friend of Robert the Bruce and of the "Good Sir James Douglas", and fell with Sir James in Spain, guarding the Bruce’s heart. Our Glendonwyn ancestors also accompanied James Douglas to Spain. Robert the Bruce and James Douglas are both maternal Rutherford ancestors.
The reign of Robert the Bruce was a high point in Scottish history. It saw Scotland united in purpose as never before. However, in the Middle Ages each king had to make his own destiny, and the accession of Bruce's five-year-old son David II was a signal for further chaos; just four years later Berwick fell to the English and the war was on again. Sir Robert de Ruthirfurde, patriot and friend of Robert Bruce, fought valiantly against the English during the war of Scottish independence. His son, Sir Malcolm Ruthirfurde was given the keepership of Edgerston during the reign of David II for his good service and that of his father. He, along with the Douglases at Hermitage and other pele castles along the Middle March, formed Scotland's first line of defense against an English invasion.
It was not until 1329 before the English king admitted that Scotland was free. However, when the news came that the English had agreed to Scottish independence, Robert the Bruce was dead. He had achieved more in his reign than many others had. He had united a realm behind him. From now on there would be no conflict of loyalties between Scots who held land on both sides of the border. After 1318, all Scots landholders had to decide which lands they wanted and swear fealty to the relevant king. If they wanted their Scottish lands then they forfeited their English lands and vice-versa.
Rutherfords of that place and period:
Sir Richard de Ruthirfurde, designed Ricardus dominus de Rutherfoord witnessed a charter to the abbacy of Coupar in 1328, and a donation of William de Felton to the monastery of Dryburgh in 1338. His son, William de Ruthirfurde was later designed “Willielmus de Rutherfoord dominus ejufd” in his donation to the monastery of Kelso in 1354. William forfeited part of his lands as appears from a charter of King David II granting to John de Allintum all the lands which belonged to Sir Richard de Ruthirfurde in the barony of Craufurd Lyndesay, April 12, 1357.
Sir Richard Rutherfurd of that ilk was a powerful Borders figure during the reign of King Robert III with whom he was a mighty favorite. In a Confirmation of that Prince, of a Charter of William Turnbull of Minto, [Willielmo Stewart nepoti suo, Ricardus de Rutherfurd, dominus ejusd. is a Witness anno 1390.] This Sir Richard being a man of parts, was appointed one of the ambassadors extraordinary to the Court of England anno 1398, and managed his negotiations with dexterity and prudence. Soon hereafter he and his sons were made Guardians [wardens] of the Marches, anno 1400, and did their country signal service in repelling the insurrections of the Borders. "The Rutherfurds of that Ilk and their Cadets" by Thomas Cockburn-Hood published 1884, 1899 and 1903
"Sir Richard Rutherfurd of that ilk and his wife Jean Douglas had a son, James Rutherfurd I of that ilk, born about 1395. James Rutherfurd I died in battle before 15th July 1455. He married Christian Lauder daughter of Sir John Lauder of the Bass family and Katherine Landells of Swynset [Swinsyde]. They had James Rutherfurd II of that ilk, and of Edgerston, born about 1420 and died in 1498. He married Margaret Erskine. All of the above mentioned properties are in Roxburghshire." Gregory Lauder-Frost – Scottish genealogist - FSA Scot
Sir Richard de Ruthirfurde of that ilk, in possession of all the estates and dignities of the family, was a person of great interest and activity on the Borders around 1390, and was a mighty favorite of King Robert III of Scotland. He was appointed one of the ambassadors extraordinary to the Court of England in 1398, and managed negotiations with dexterity and prudence. “A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol. 2”, 1882, P. 1694
Sir Richard, as one of the principal persons on the Borders, was bound as Warden of the Marches, and with his five sons performed signal service for Scotland in repelling the insurrections on the Borders through 1400. He and his sons were eventually taken prisoners, along with Sir John Turnbull, called “out with the sword,” and were deemed men of such mark that Henry IV, King of England, issued an order October 30, 1400 to the Earl of Northumberland to keep in safe custody Richard de Ruthirfurde, knight, and his five sons, lately taken in war. They were not to be ransomed or set free under pain of highest forfeiture. Douglas' Peerage of Scotland, Vol.. 2, 1813, p. 461
Richard of Rutherfurde witnessed a charter by Cyril Saddler in 1330, a deed of gift by Thomas Vigurus, burgess of Roxburgh, to Sir William of Fultoun, and another by the latter to the monastery of Dryburgh, circa 1338. “The Scots Peerage Founded on Wood’s edition of Sir Robert Douglas’s Peerage of Scotland” edited by Sir James Balfour Paul, Vol. VII, Edinburgh, 1910, p366.
By tradition, Sir Richard de Ruthirfurde was the progenitor or direct male ancestor of the Rutherfurds of Edgerston and the cadets at Hunthill, Hundalee, Fairnington, Fairnilee, Chatto, Nisbet-Crailing, Castlewood, Townhead and Longnewton.
Roxburgh Castle and neighboring Rutherford
Roxburgh Castle stood at the very center of Scottish political life for several centuries. Two historical events best highlight this volatile period. They also better explain the movement of the Rutherford family from the Roxburgh Castle area to further south near Jedburgh Castle. First would be the fascinating story of how Roxburgh Castle was won back by the Scots from the English in 1313. The English occupation was brought to a swift end by a daring and famous assault by Sir James "The Good" Douglas. Sir James Douglas, better known as the Black Douglas or the Good, took back the castle by scaling the walls on its south side. Sir James had developed a special portable scaling ladder and with his men disguised beneath cowhides, and under cover of nightfall, he ordered everyone down on all fours as they approached the castle. The English never suspected as the Scots rushed under the walls, threw up the ladders and ascended to surprise the garrison.
The castle then changed hands many times but spent more than 100 years under English control until being retaken by the Scots in 1460. King James II, known from a birthmark as "James of the Fiery Face" died as a cannon exploded during the siege of Roxburgh Castle. Fascinated by artillery, his fascination got him killed when he was standing too close to a bombard which exploded. "A soldier's king, James was impulsive and masterful, with the charm and versatility of the Stewarts." George Douglas was also injured during the siege of Roxburgh Castle by the same exploding cannon that killed the king, James II. At Kelso abbey it was George Douglas who placed the crown on the young James III's head. After taking the castle, the Scots reduced it to rubble to ensure that it would never again became a place of strife between the two nations.
Whoever visits this pleasant and somewhat overgrown rural spot today may find it difficult to imagine that for 400 years Roxburgh Castle was the strongest fortification in the strategic border country, or that it was during several reigns a royal residence and one of the four chief seats of the Scottish government. For centuries every event of consequence involving relations between Scotland and England, or England and France, or at times England and Spain, was reflected in the events at Roxburgh Castle. Roxburgh Castle was totally destroyed in 1550 and now only a few fragments of masonry are left. These lie mostly on the south side of the site by the River Teviot. Roxburgh was a large castle and it is surprising that so little of it has survived, even taking into account the energy of the stone-robbers from across the Tweed at Kelso.
Nowadays, Roxburghshire is divided into 31 parochial districts and became part of the new Borders region in 1975, which in turn became the Scottish Borders council in 1996. Rutherford is situated in the parish of Maxton whose town center is directly west of Rutherford on the Tweed. Maxton, like Rutherford and Roxburgh Castle, lies on the south bank of the river Tweed.
Rutherford of that ilk – The hamlet of Rutherford on the Tweed
The town name of Rutherford or Ruderforde first appears in a charter of William the Lion shortly after 1165. A settlement at this location is no doubt of great antiquity. The nearby moor of Rutherford has the vestiges of a Roman encampment, with a Roman causeway. Quite near the ford itself is a circular fort [perhaps pre-Roman] called Ringley Hall. In its glory days, Rutherford had a hospital dedicated to Saint Mary Magdalene. Hospitals in those days were as much an inn as a hospital. Therefore, the mission of Saint Mary Magdalene's Hospital was to take in travelers and care for the poor and sick of the area. In those days, there was no church at Rutherford, only a chapel within the hospital. The chapel churchyard also had a cemetery. In 1296 the master of the hospital swore fealty to Edward I "Longshanks" of England. These were the days of Sir William Wallace's fight for Scottish independence from the English. This "fealty" was achieved at the point of a sword. Later when Scotland had won its freedom, King Robert the Bruce granted the newly created hospital to the protection of the Abbey of Jedburgh. In about 1770 the cemetery was ploughed under. The gravestones were broken up and thrown into field drains by a farmer. In 1296 there was no parish attached to Rutherford, even so, Rutherford was to become a parish of its own at a later time.
"The present parish of Maxton comprises the ancient parishes of Maccuston/Mackiston and Rutherford." After its destruction by the English, Rutherford was absorbed into Maxton parish, a small town to the west. “The Imperial Gazetteer of Scotland, edited by John Marius Wilson published in 1868” - volume II, page 401
During the reigns of Saint/Queen Margaret and Saint/King David [mother and son] abbeys were created at Kelso, Melrose, Dryburgh and Jedburgh. These were strategically placed defenses against English invasions. This defensive line across the Cheviot Hills also included the smaller parishes, such as, Rutherford, Makerstoun and Maxton and at the center of the line were the castles at Roxburgh and to the south at Jedburgh. The Cheviot Hills is a region of heather covered moorlands and smoothly rounded hills divided by deep glens. The Tweed River itself has always been a barrier against the English. Hadrian's Wall to the south had been the traditional border between Scotland and England, but the English pushed it back to the Rutherford's front door on the Tweed. Rutherford's position as a key fording area on the Tweed made it very important militarily. If Jedburgh Castle fell, the next line of defense was Rutherford.
Jedburgh, second only to Roxburgh castle, was the political, religious and military center of "the lands of Rutherford". Jedburgh was made a royal burgh in the reign of Saint/King David I and received a charter from Robert the Bruce. Central to the town of Jedburgh are the old red sandstone ruins of the Augustinian Abbey of Saint Mary, standing on the high left bank of the Jed River. Lands, churches, houses, and valuable fisheries, on both sides of the border, were bestowed on the abbey by David I, Malcolm IV, William the Lion, and other royal and noble benefactors. Alexander III chose to be married in the abbey church to Yolande de Dreux in 1285. The town also has been called Jedward, Jedworth, Jethart and Jeddart. Scotland's style of hanging them first and trying them afterwards is known as "Jeddart Justice," a term which originated when Sir George Hume summarily strung up a gang of reivers during the reign of James VI.
For several centuries there was always some sort of fighting in the Cheviot Hills. As a result, fortified farmsteads known as pele castles sprang up throughout the area. Near to Rutherford are the famous castles/peles of Roxburgh Castle, Smailholm Tower, Ferniehirst Castle, Cessford Castle and Littledean Castle. There were also significant Rutherford towers at Hundalee, Hunthill, Edgerston and at Rutherford itself.
Foreign politics also created friction on the Scottish border. England and France were constantly at war and Scotland was France's ally. In this way, Scotland was forever caught in the middle. For centuries the English and Scots took turns invading each other. To complicate things even more, the French were Catholic and the English were Protestant with the Scots historically torn between the two. Many Rutherfords were among the Scottish soldiers who went to France to fight the English. As a result, the lands of Rutherford and the surrounding areas became a lightening rod for English cruelty.
By 1297, English troops led by Sir Richard Hastings had so plundered and wrecked the abbey at Jedburgh that in 1300 it was declared uninhabitable and the canons fled to Thornton-on-Humber. They hadn't even started rebuilding the abbey when it was ravaged again in 1410, 1416 and in 1464. Reconstruction began in 1478 and the tower was partly rebuilt by 1508. But then, English troops led by the Earl of Surrey torched the place in 1523, another English force led by Lord Evers burned it down again in 1544 and the Earl of Hertford led more English troops to destroy the abbey for a third time not too long afterwards.
The Rough Wooing
In a later period, the English warden Sir Ralph Eure, invaded Scotland southwest of Rutherford eventually losing a great battle at Ancrum Moor. The battle of Ancrum Moor was fought between the parishes of Maxton and Ancrum in 1543 at Lilliard's Edge. This place is named for a young woman of the name of Lilliard who fought with great bravery along with the Scots, and who lies buried in the field of battle. In this effort, the English commander, Sir Eure thought he had gained the cooperation of the Rutherford clan. The Rutherfords had agreed to fight with the English on the English side of the border in order to redress compliants against the Carrs/Kerrs. In fact on September 30, 1543 the Earl of Suffolk thought it unwise to mount a winter campaign north of the border with 10,000 English troops because of the threat of the Rutherfords at Hunthill, Hundalee and Edgerston. However, Sir Eure proceeded anyway making the fatal mistake of burning out dozens of border towns and then attempting to enter Rutherford country near Jedburgh. Jedburgh itself was burned to the ground and Adam, George, and Gawen Rutherford were taken prisoner.
From the times of Lord Thomas Rutherford of Edgerston, third son and eventual heir of Lord James Rutherford who lived from about 1460 to 1517, the Rutherfords had been allies and members of the clan Hume. Lord Thomas Rutherford even served as the bailie for Sir Patrick Home/Hume. Lord Thomas' son and heir was Lord Robert Rutherford of Edgerston who lived from about 1490 to sometime before October of 1544. Lord Robert was the leader of the dominant Rutherford line at the time of the Hertford invasion. He's honored among the Rutherfords for defending Edgerston from Walter Kerr of Cessford. For his efforts, he was declared an outlaw.
The English were pressing their campaign into Scotland in 1544 when the Rutherfords then joined their former rivals, the Kerrs, and defeated the English at Ancrum Moor. Ancrum Moor is a stone's throw from both Rutherford and Jedburgh. The battle was fought in February and Sir Ralph Eure, the English warden was killed. John Rutherfurd of Edgerston also died at this battle. Now the English thought they had been betrayed by the Rutherfords, but to the contrary, the Rutherfords had not agreed to fight for the English in Scotland. They had agreed to fight across the border in England and only against their enemy the Kerrs. This was in return for the safety of the Rutherford family. The Rutherfords had kept their end of the bargain. Lord Robert was to learn what many of our ancestors were to learn in America and throughout the empire; "never trust the English!" During the last months of his life, Lord Robert saw the ancestral village of Rutherford "spoiled" by Henry VIII's thugs in July of 1544. Two months later the town was "destroyed" on September 9th, 1544. The rest of the village was burnt, razed and cast down between September 9th and September 13th, 1544. On September 16th Hundalee was "razed and brent".
Two days later, after the burning of four noble Rutherford estates, the Rutherford Lords of Hunthill and Hundalee rode out to meet and remind the English army of its covenant with them. The English called the Rutherfords liars for obeying the Scottish governor's command to attack at Ancrum Moor. Lord Robert reminded them that they were in Scotland now and the items of their covenant with the English had been strictly kept. Hertford then agreed to spare the already burned Rutherford estates. Lord Robert had hoped to "ride both horses" and had failed. The English responded by sending another even larger force of foreign mercenaries the following year, cutting deep into Scotland sacking Edinburgh itself.
These times of the "Rough Wooing" are not forgotten on the Borders. Today every Border town celebrates this turbulent period by holding an annual Common Riding. Varying in style and content from one community to the next, they are all basically commemorations of the ancient need to ride the marches or "boundaries" of their communities for security purposes. The "riding clans" such as the Rutherfords, Scotts, and Kerrs ride out on horseback with banners flying. Toasts are drunk, ancient local customs are rehearsed, and everybody has a good time! The Common Riding was originally a military exercise to secure the town's defenses. The Common Ridings are also called "ride-outs." Ride-outs are led by "principals" whose "troops" follow on horseback around the town's outer limits. Ride-outs symbolically ensure that no rival clan has shifted the stone fences that formed local borders. Every July in Jedburgh, they have a rideout on "Festival Friday". Participants go riding to Ferniehirst Castle, the ancestral home of the Kerr family and then out to Jedburgh Castle There they present the new 'Callant' to the Kerr family and then ride back to town in great ceremonial style.
Another surviving tradition from that time is called "The Hand Ba' Game". It is celebrated on Candlemas [February 2nd] and comes from the troubles of 1549 when a few Scots played a post-battle football game with the severed heads of some Englishmen. Candlemas is a day of celebration in the town, culminating in a football game between the 'uppies' and the 'doonies'. Nowadays, a leather ball replaces the Englishman's head. In the good old days, they'd often captured an Englishman, cut his head off and kick the head around the town like a football. The boundaries of the game stretch from Castlehill, which is up on high ground, to Townfoot, down at the bottom. In this way, the town of Jedburgh is divided into the 'uppies' and the 'doonies' to form teams. English volunteers are always welcome!
Migration accelerated during this violent period, principally for economic and religious reasons. The violence of the two Civil Wars sent many Rutherfords abroad, first to the continent to fight for religious causes and eventually to Ireland and the Commonwealth at large. Immigration to Ireland began in the early 1600s. The Ulster Plantation brought thousands of Scottish Presbyterians to Ulster. When Charles I sought to impose his preferred style of worship and doctrines upon the Church of Scotland, a protest movement arose which culminated in the signing of a National Covenant in 1638. The Solemn League and Covenant was a pledge to maintain a reformed church throughout the British Isles and was agreed to by the governments of England, Scotland and Ireland in 1643. The new settlers maintained links with their relatives and co-religionists in Scotland. In fact, when William of Orange came to Ireland in 1690 many of his troops were Scots who had been serving in the Dutch Scots-Brigade loyal to the House of Orange.
Among the leading Scottish Covenanters of the day was Rev. Dr. Samuel Rutherford, a member of our Hunthill cadet of the Clan Rutherfurd. Rev. Samuel is our many times great uncle. He was born near Nisbet-Crailing in Roxburghshire and started his education in the family church at Jedburgh Abbey. He played a prominent role in the Westminster Assembly, which brought forth the “Westminster Confession of Faith” and its catechisms. He also wrote a book called “Lex Rex” (“The Law Is King”), whose principles greatly influenced the English philosopher John Locke. Followers of Rutherford and Locke include such notable figures in the United States as Rev. John Witherspoon, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and James Madison. The principles of Rutherford and Locke, such as having a system of checks and balances between three different branches of government, formed the foundation of American democracy. It was General George Washington, who said: "If defeated everywhere else, I will make my stand for liberty among the Scots-Irish in my native Virginia".
Beyond religion, the fundamental cause behind the Scots migration from Ireland was economic. Repressive trade laws, rack-renting landlordism, famine, and the decline of the linen industry were major factors in stimulating the overseas movement of the Scots-Irish or Ulster Scots. The loss of the United States was a great blow to the British Empire and changed the migratory paths of Rutherfords who were yet to leave Britain from 1776 onward. In the 18th and 19th centuries Canada, New Zealand and Australia became the Rutherford destinations rather than the USA. “The sun never set on the British Empire” and even far away Egypt, South Africa and India saw Rutherford military families, thus spreading the surname across the globe into the 20th and 21st centuries.
The Rutherford Emigration to America
Our Rutherford ancestors were Presbyterian Dissenters from Scotland and Ireland. They are found on the rolls of the earliest "Dissenter Presbyterian churches" in Pennsylvania and Virginia. The members of these churches at Paxtang, PA, Cub Creek, VA and Peaks of Otter, VA were uniformly of Scots-Irish descent.
Many Rutherford groups may well have made the same journey and at about the same time as their near relatives General Griffith Rutherford and Thomas Rutherford of Paxtang, Pennsylvania. In fact, Griffith lived with our James and William Rutherford in Cub Creek Virginia prior to moving to North Carolina. Griffith's name is often associated with our direct ancestors James and William Rutherford in tithe, will and land records. It’s worth noting that our Rutherfords are the only Rutherfords with whom Griffith has a documented association beyond his own wife and children.
The descendants of Thomas Rutherford of Paxtang, Pennsylvania remained in the Dauphin County area. Pennsylvania and New Jersey remained a launching ground for Scots-Irish emigration to Virginia and onward.
The Presbyterian dissenters have a long and interesting history on their pilgrimage from Scotland to Ireland to Pennsylvania to Virginia. From 1608-1697, 200,000 Presbyterians left the Scottish Borders and Lowlands crossing the North Channel to Northern Ireland. Here they took up the productive farm land offered by King James VI, and soon developed a flourishing textile industry. The native Irish Catholics soon became hostile. The Ulster Scots and the English settlers joined forces in mutual self-defense. Cities soon became fortresses. In 1618, Londonderry was encircled with a twenty-four foot high, six foot thick wall of lime and stone
In 1632, Charles I commanded that the Presbyterians join the Church of England. All those who resisted were called "Dissenters." This policy met with such opposition that an army was raised to force the Scots out of Ulster. Some of these dissenters emigrated to America while others returned home to Scotland. Those who remained in Ireland faced imprisonment. The Church of Ireland (same as the Church of England/Episcopalian, except in name), began to persecute the Dissenters, as well as, the Catholics. Limits were placed on Presbyterian ministers and on what subjects they could preach. In addition, they were subject to fines, deportation and imprisonment if they were found in violation. The Presbyterian clergy could not legally perform marriages and were forced to hold secretive services at night well hidden from discovery. The "Black Oath" of 1639 required that the Protestants of Ulster older 16 swear obedience to the crown of England.
In 1641, the Catholic clergy began to wage an all out religious war against the Scots-Irish. On 23 October 1641, Catholic peasants undertook a four month campaign to wipe out Ulster homesteaders. Less than two months later the Scots sent a desperate letter to the English Parliament asking for help. They stated they were in a miserable condition, and the rebels increased in men and munitions daily. All manner of cruelties and torment were brought upon the Protestants. Eventually the Catholic uprising was quelled and bloody reprisals commenced. Some priests claimed as many as 200,000 Irish Catholics were killed. The property of every Catholic landowner became subject to confiscation. Those who were accused of plotting against the English crown were executed; other participants were banished.
More conflict arose when King Charles tried to force the Protestants to use the prayer book of the Church of England. In 1638, hostilities broke out. King Charles also enraged English Puritans, who defeated his troops in the first English Civil Wars (1642-45 and 1648-49). In 1649, King Charles was executed and the Puritan general Oliver Cromwell was named as chairman of a ruling Council of State. (He was later called "Lord High Protector"). Scotland tried to break free of English control. Cromwell marched into Scotland, defeating the enemy twice, in 1650 and in 1651.
The Restoration and the Covenanters 1660 - 1689
Following Cromwell King Charles II was restored to the throne and swore to uphold the Solemn League and Covenant and to establish a Presbyterian Government, the crown having been placed on his head by the Marquis of Argyll. Yet, little more than a year after his restoration to the throne, Charles had Argyll executed at the Cross of Edinburgh because Argyll strictly adhered to Presbyterianism.
King Charles II, known to his English subjects as "the Merry Monarch", was wont to say that Presbyterianism was no religion for a gentleman and he made great efforts to restore the episcopacy in Scotland. Charles quickly developed had a vindictive attitude both to his former enemies and to the Presbyterians in Scotland who had been his allies. In England, the Act of Uniformity of 1662, the Conventicle Act of 1664 and the Five Mile Act of 1665 were concerted efforts to persecute those Protestants who failed to accede to the 49 Articles and the Book of Common Prayer. In Scotland, the Act of Proclamation of 1662 banished from their manses and parishes all ministers who lacked an episcopal license. The result was that on 1 November 1662, over 400 ministers came out of their churches and manses. This was followed by the Act of Fines of 1663, designed to punish those revolting clergy. The enforcement of those fines was placed under military control, using the newly formed standing British Army.
The Killing Times
The collection of those fines led to the first military rising of the Covenanters, at St John's Town of Dalry in Galloway on 12 November 1666. A small party of armed Covenanters overpowered some troopers under the command of Sir James Turner who were torturing a Covenanter who would not pay his fine. The Covenanters then marched from Dumfries to Lanark, increasing to some 2,000 in number. At Rullion Green, they encountered the superior forces of the Crown under General Dalziel. Some 1,000 Covenanters who determined to go forward at all costs were disastrously defeated. Over 100 prisoners were taken, to be afterwards executed, after various degrees of torture, at appointed spots all over the country. Other prisoners were subsequently transported as indentured labor to America.
The persecution of the ousted clergy and Covenanters, and anyone providing them shelter or support, continued along with heavy fines. By 1677, landowners and masters were required to sign bonds for all persons residing on their land. Their landowners refused to accept this impossible undertaking. The Government loosed upon the south-west, and Ayrshire in particular, the Highland Host - a body of 6,000 Highlanders and 3,000 Lowland militia who lived in free quarters while they extracted the bonds and looted the country. The simmering uprising led to the assassination of Archbishop Sharp, the symbol of the episcopacy and the persecutor of many Covenanters, at Magus Moor near St Andrews on 3rd May 1679. In the 1680's Charles II also dispersed Presbyterian congregations and invalidated their marriages. Married couples were dragged before ecclesiastical courts and charged with fornication; their children were declared illegitimate. The Presbyterians lost all their property to the Church of England. Ulster Scots again began to emigrate.
The Hope of Religious Freedom in America
The period of the Restored Monarchy in Scotland was a period of marked economic and political development. Yet the continued persecution of dissidents drove men to lands abroad where thought was considered more free. A small Quaker-Scottish colony was established in East New Jersey in the 1660s and in 1684; a Presbyterian settlement in Stuart's Town in South Carolina. Rockbridge County was also settled mainly by Scots-Irish Presbyterians. These rugged frontiersmen came in droves, establishing churches soon after their arrival. In 1720, there was the first mass migration from Ireland into America. A second wave of migration began about 1760 and lasted until the outbreak of the American Revolution. Other Scots-Irish immigrants trickled into Colonial ports at various times. In the 1730's many Scots-Irish families migrated down the "Great Road" from eastern Pennsylvania into the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. By 1737, calls for ministers were being sent to Presbytery by the people of Beverly Manor.
Presbyterianism was strict in many ways, but it also stressed freedom of religious thoughts. Conceived as a religion for the common people, it promoted no iron handed and self-serving ruling establishment. The Presbyterians believed human eyes were so clouded with sin that divine revelation could only be found in the Bible. They believed it was the duty of all Christians to study the Bible and the need for literacy was stressed. Along with the establishment of churches, we also find they soon established schools in the communities where they settled.
In 1685 Charles II died, James VII, a Catholic, then became King. James VII tried to turn Great Britain into a religious state in which only Catholicism could be practiced. He was deposed in 1688, and fled to southern France. In 1689 he tried to re-capture the throne by marching an army of Catholics into Ulster. They laid siege to the fortress city of Londonderry. Protestants were shot in their homes, women were tied to stakes at low tide, so they might drown when the ocean waves came back. The army which besieged Londonderry was fought off with a desperation. The Ulstermen had no trained army officers, were without sufficient food or ammunition, and faced deadly fevers, yet the invaders were beaten off. James' bid for the throne failed and he was succeeded by William of Orange. Ulster became safe for Protestants.
James' downfall became known as the "Glorious Revolution," as it spared Presbyterians almost certain massacre. However, persecution continued. Presbyterians were not allowed to sell religious books, teach anything above primary school, and in 1704, Presbyterians were barred from holding major civil and military offices. Presbyterian minister, William Holmes, returned from America with encouraging news that the New England colonies offered refuge to Presbyterians. In 1718, Governor Samuel Shute of Massachusetts encouraged the Scots-Irish families to scrape together their savings and head for the New World. Meanwhile the Church of England, which now owned all the lands, continued to pile indignities upon the Scots-Irish. Presbyterian farmers paid excessive rents and then had to use their profits for tithes to the church of England. “Scotch-Irish Presbyterians From Ulster to Rockbridge” Angela M. Ruley 1993
...... and yet, there were more reasons to leave