© Robert Guthrie
Minister of New Cumnock
Crawfurd of Auchinames
On the 11th July 1650, the parish of Cumnock was sub-divided
into the two new parishes of New Cumnock and Old Cumnock. John Cunynghame the incumbent minister of Cumnock became the
first minister of the parish of Old Cumnock, with the original parish church becoming
A new church for the parish of New Cumnock was built adjacent to the
Both Craufurd and Cunynghame, like 300
' Master Samuel Nimmo, minister of Cumnock, of the age off 44 years, married being solemnly sworn and interrogate, depones that he hes bein minister at Cumnock thir fourteen years last, but durst never venture to give the communion till Aprile last’ [RPC]
Fourteen years as minister at Cumnock and yet not until April 1683 did Nimmo venture to give his first communion. The likely reason for his new found courage becomes apparent, as we discover that Hew Craufurd had only a few months before been banished from the kingdom for keeping conventicles, which came into effect on the 1st May 1683. Nimmo no longer had the imposing figure of Craufurd to contend with.
Craufurd stayed loyal to the Covenants, declining the government’s attempt to entice ministers back to their churches in the First and Second Indulgences of 1669 and 1672. He would also witness the other face of the government’s strategy when in the early months of 1678 the Highland Host, 300 soldiers from Caithness, were quartered in the district, causing damages and losses of £3,000 Scots to New and Old Cumnock. At the same time another vindictive instrument was introduced by which noblemen, barons and heritors were under the threat of heavy penalties, and were bound to prevent their ‘tenants, wives, bairns and servants’ from attending conventicles and to apprehend any who did and bring them to justice. Despite these reprisals, field-meetings and field communions continued to flourish and particularly those lead by the young field preacher Richard Cameron, who openly denounced those ministers that had accepted the Indulgences. Cameron preached at Old Cumnock on Thursday 26th December 1678 and then at New Cumnock three days later on the Lord's Day of 29th December 1678 [Grant].
The fact that Cameron preached in both parishes suggests that the Earl of Dumfries’ annulment of 1667 had failed, in at least the hearts and minds of parishioners of New Cumnock and Old Cumnock, now warming to their friendly separation. What a momentous day for the young parish if Cameron and Crawford shared the pulpit at the vacant church at New Cumnock.This heart and minds concept may go some way to explaining why two covenanting flags bearing the name Cumnock (one in the Baird Institute, Cumnock and the other in the Hunterian Museum, Glasgow) still exist. Could one have been for the parish of New Cumnock and the other for Old Cumnock? These flags may well have flown side by side at the victory over Graham of Claverhouse at Drumclog, 1st June 1679 and then again at the heavy defeat at Bothwell Brig, 22nd June 1679.
The loss at
‘ Sir George Monro, called in, did take and sign the Test as a Privy Councellor; and also did sign the oath of alledgeance, act asserting his Majesties royall prerogative and the Declaration anent the Covenant and thereupon took his place as a Privy Councellor, conforme to his majesties commission’. [RPC]
With the formalities over, the work of the day proceeded -
‘The Lords of his Majesties Privy Council ordaines a citation to be direct for charging the cautioners of Stewart of Cultness, Hamilton of Monkland, Mr John Osbourne* and Mr Hugh Crawfurd, to exhibite and produce them before the council conforme to their bond’. [RPC]
* John Osboune, Minister of Kirkoswald
When Crawford appeared before the Privy Council, he declined to live orderly and declined not to keep conventicles and he was banished from the Kingdom as of 1st May 1683 -
'Mr. Hugh Crawford, late minister of New Cumnock, being convened before the Council at the Lord Advocate's instance to answer for keeping conventicles and for other disorders and he having compeared the Lords , upon consideration of the complaint, his answers thereto, and the report of the committee of their number regarding this case did conform to the act of Parliament, ordain him either to find caution to live orderly or to find caution to leave the kingdom before 1st May next and never return without license from his Majesty or the Council, under the penalty of 5000 merks "and farder that if he should goe to Holland he shall not vent, act or do anything contrar to his Majesties government, under the foresaid penalty"; and he having chosen to leave the kingdom, he has found caution to that effect. ' [RPC]
(N.B. John Osbourne chose to remain in the kingdom and to live orderly and not to keep conventicles.)
Crawford appears to have gone to
In October of that year, ministers and parishioners throughout Ayrshire were subjected to interrogations, forcing neighbour to inform on neighbour, regarding attendance at conventicles, having children baptized at conventicles, non-attendance at church or failing to have children baptized and so on [RPC].The interrogations precipitated Renwick’s Apologetic Declaration of November 1684, which threatened death to Government spies. The Government responded with the tyrannical Abjuration Oath, which in effect made it legal to execute without trial anyone who refused to take this oath and to disown the actions of Renwick and his followers. These measures and counter-measures set the scene for the Killing Times of December 1684 and much of 1685. On one Killing Day, seven Covenanters were executed within the boundaries of the parish of New Cumnock, after they had been captured as they returned home from a conventicle, held by Renwick.
During this volatile period, Charles II died in February 1685 to be succeeded by his son James VII & II. However, his time as monarch was relatively short-lived and in 1688 the Glorious Revolution saw his daughter Mary and her husband William of Orange become joint sovereigns.
In 1688, Hew Craufurd returned to New Cumnock
from exile, to find that Samuel Nimmo had translated
Nevertheless, it was almost three years later
on the 11th March 1691 when the parishes of New Cumnock and Old
Cumnock were formally re-established. Hew Craufurd was still the first minister
of the parish of New Cumnock and in the following year Hugh Kilpatrick, from
Ireland, was presented as the minister of the parish of Old Cumnock.In
1692, Hew Crawford died aged sixty-four, almost forty years after he had been
ordained as the first minister of the parish of New Cumnock and for thirty years
he had been ‘outed’ from his new kirk
that stood on the castle hill. All four ministers that followed Hew Craufurd in
The parish of New Cumnock
The paroche of Cumnock was split in twae,
On a glorious July on the eleventh day,
And New and Old came tae be.
In sixteen hundred and fifty AD.
Alas! The New and Old were put away,
On an overcast July on the fourteenth day,
By Willie Dumfries’ selfish weavin’,
In AD sixteen hundred and sixty seven.
Hail! The New and Old were then re-born
On a refreshing March on the eleventh morn,
Hew Craufurd’s parish had finally been won,
In AD sixteen hundred and ninety-one.
His NEW kirk is now oor Auld,
Ivy crawling about its walls,
Staunin’ yet on the castle-hill,
Aboon where Nith and
At the COMUNN ACH, the meeting place,
New and Cumnock the gither by God’s grace!
Robert Guthrie (with due respect to Tammas Murray)
By all accounts matters in Hugh Craufurd's private life were far from peacable. Bonds and papers covering the period 1658-1665 detail 'repayments of sums of money due by George Hamilton of Garrive to Mr . Hew Craufurd minister at new kirk of Cumnock' . Hamilton's son, William Hamilton succeeded to the lands of Garrieve, including the property of Nether Garrieve. His son, another George Hamilton, was married to Jean Crawford, sister of Hugh Crawford. In 1669, William Hamilton resigned the '2 merk land of Nather Garrive, in favour of Mr. Hew Crawfurd (Crawford), minister at Cumnock'.
MINISTER of the PARISH OF NEW CUMNOCK, 1653 -1693