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The Scottish Nation

CARGILL, DONALD, an eminent preacher of the Church of Scotland, in the reign of Charles II. was the won of respectable parents in the parish of Rattray, Perthshire, where he was born about the year 1610. He studied at Aberdeen, and became minister of the barony parish, Glasgow, in 1650. On the establishment of the episcopal church, he refused to accept collation from the archbishop, or celebrate the king’s birthday, which caused his banishment, by act of council, beyond the Tay. Paying little regard to this order, he was, in 1668, called before the council, and commanded peremptorily to observe their former edict. In September 1669, upon his petition, he was permitted to go to Edinburgh upon some legal business, but not to reside in that city, or go near Glasgow. He now became a field-preacher, and so continued for some years, during which period he had many remarkable escapes from the vigilance of the government. He refused the indulgence offered to the presbyterian clergy, and denounced all who accepted it.

      In 1679 he was at Bothwell Bridge, where he was wounded, but made his escape. He afterwards went to Holland, but early in the summer of 1680 was again in Scotland. On June 3d of that year, he made a narrow escape from being seized in a public-house in Queensferry by the governor of Blackness, who, in the struggle, mortally wounded his companion, Mr. Henry Hall of Haugh-head. In the pockets of the latter was found a paper of a violent nature, generally supposed to have been written by Mr. Cargill, which is known in history by the name of the Queensferry Covenant, from the place where it was found. Mr. Cargill also appears to have been concerned with Richard Cameron in publishing the declaration at Sanquhar on the 22d of June. In the subsequent September he preached to a large congregation in the Torwood, between Falkirk and Stirling, when he formally excommunicated the king, and the dukes of York, Monmouth, Lauderdale, and Rothes, Sir George Mackenzie, and Sir Thomas Dalzell. In consequence of this violent proceeding, the privy council offered a reward of 5,000 merks for his apprehension, but for several months he eluded the vigilance of the soldiery. In May 1681 he was seized at Covington, in Lanarkshire, by Irving of Bonshaw, who treated him with great cruelty, and carried him to Lanark on horseback, with his feet tied under the horse’s belly. He was soon after sent to Edinburgh, where, on the 26th of July, he was tried, and being condemned to suffer death for high treason, was accordingly hanged and beheaded, July 27, 1681.

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