A collection of historical and genalogical records
The curious report of a colossus standing astride the Lomond Hills in Fife is recorded in the manuscript memoirs of John Blackadder, an outlawed field preacher. He refers to the appearance of a tall, majestic figure in his account of a field conventicle in 1674:
‘There was a meeting on Lomond hills, where Mr John Wallwood, a young man, but grave and pious, and of a good understanding, preached to the meeting;’
The preaching of John Welwood (d.1679) was held in high esteem by the Society people. The location of his preaching ‘on Lomond hills’ may have been on East or West Lomond, or somewhere in the surrounding hills. In 1681, a field preaching by Donald Cargill was said to have been held at L..., however Cargill’s preaching actually took place on Devon Common, which lies to the east of East Lomond.
‘there came a party of the life-guards, commanded, as I heard, by Adam Masterton of Grange, younger;’
‘the meeting was on the hill; the troopers essayed to ride up to them, I suppose between sermons; the people stood on the face of the brae, and the soldiers shot bullets among the people, with carabins and pistells, and, as I heard, charged five or six several times; but though the ball lighted among men, women, and children, and went through some of their hair, and brake upon stones beside them, yet hurt none, which was observed as a wonder to all present;’
The attacks by the soldiers were met with resistance. Negotiations followed:
‘the soldiers seeing the people stand still, and not stir, were forced to retire, (some of them had their horses hurt with the stones cast down from the hill), and sent to call some of the people to capitulate with, desiring them to dismiss. The people answered, they were not to stay any longer than the public worship was ended; they told them also, they could not leave the hill till they had security to get no harm from them, which they did promise, but this was kept as many other of that sort; for, after the bulk of the people were gone, the troopers fell on the hindermost, plundering and stripping them, and apprehended about 18 prisoners.’
It is at this point that the reports of a vision of a majestic colossus protecting the field preaching appear in Blackadder’s narrative:
‘It was affirmed by some women who stayed at home, that they clearly perceived as the form of a tall man, majestick like, stand in the air, in stately posture, with the one leg as it were advanced before the other, standing above the people all the time of the soldiers’ shooting.’ (Law,Memorialls, 96n.)
I Wonder what they had been smoking ?
One of the features in the Lomond Hills is John Knox's Pulpit, so named because it is believed to be a spot where Covenanters held conventicles in the 17th century.
Falkland is a small picturesque town situated at the north foot of the East Lomond Hill, where the Covenanter Hotel is located.
The period referred to in your article are known as 'The Killing Times'. Mark Jardine, whose article you link to, is a source of good information on those times.
I have no doubts as to Mr. Jardines authentic information from this era , yet one must question the critical thought [ or the lack there of ] applied in Blackadder's narrative, '' Visions of a majestic colossus protecting the field preaching ''