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the top of the tower into the court below and broke his neck. There is a tablet in the gable of an old building to the memory of the man shot which bears the following inscription :
“ RENEWED IN 1822. HERE LIES JOHN Law, WHO WAS SHOT AT NEWMILNS, AT THE RELIEVING OF Eight OF CHRIST'S PRISONERS WHO WERE TAKEN AT A MEETING FOR PRAYER AT LITTLE BLACKWOOD IN THE Parish of KILMARNOCK, IN APRIL, 1685, BY CAPTAIN INGLIS AND HIS PARTY, FOR THEIR ADHERENCE TO THE WORD OF GOD AND SCOTLAND'S COVENANTED WORK OF REFORMATION.
“ Cause I Christ's prisoners relieved
But for Christ's cause my life should give." Near the old tower is “ The Institute," as a handsome twostoried building is termed which Miss Brown of Lanfine presented to the inhabitants It contains a library, a reading anıl a recreation room, and has a very nice bowling green attached. Close by also is the Parish Church, a more handsome edifice than is often met with in country towns. The late Rev. Dr. Norman Macleod pieached in it for some time as minister of the parish, and by the side of its pulpit there is a beautiful monumental niarble tablet to his memory, which the church officer will be glad to show visitors.
The churchyard is small and unkept, but contains many interesting monuments. When pensively wandering over its uneven sward I stumbled upon the family burying-place of Dr. Lawrie, the friend and patron of the poet Burns. The tablet covering his grave bears a very just estimate of his character. Here is the inscription :
“ UNDER THIS STONE ARE DEPOSITED THE REMAINS OF THE Rev GEORGE LAWRIE D.D., LATE MINISTER OF THIS PARISH, Who Died 17TH OCTOBER, 1799, IN THE 71st YEAR OF HIS AGE AND THE 36TH OF HIS MINISTRY.
“He discharged the duties of his ministerial office with a
judgment and firmness of mind which no situation could shake. His piety was exemplary and sincere, devoid of all ostentation. He was an able scholar, and learned divine. His temper cheerful and steady. His heart warm and affectionate. Kind and hospitable to strangers, sincere and hearty in friendship, and fulfilled the duties of husband and parent with the most indulgent and tender affection.” By his side rests his son and successor, Archibald, a man of great worth. He had twelve children—four sons and eight daughters. One son died in infancy, but the others rose to distinction, and proved themselves worthy of such a parent. The late Rev. Dr. Lawrie became minister of Monkton, and the late James A. Lawrie, M.D., professor of surgery in the University of Glasgow. Francis R. H. Lawrie entered the army in 1822, and retired as Major in 1846.
The churchyard bears ample evidence that the inhabitants of Newmilns shared the struggle for civil and religious liberty. A plain slab bears the following >
6 TO THE MEMORY OF JOHN NISBET OF HARDHILL, WHO SUFFERED MARTYRDOM AT THE GRASSMARKET, EDINBURGH, 4TH DECEMBER, 1685. ANIMATED BY A SPIRIT TO WHICH GENUINE RELIGION ALONE COULD GIVE BIRTH, THE PURE FLAME OF CIVIL AND RELIGIOUS LIBERTY ALONE COULD KEEP ALIVE, HE MANFULLY STRUGGLED FOR A SERIES OF YEARS TO STEM THE TIDE OF NATIONAL DEGENERACY, AND LIBERATE HIS COUNTRY FIOM THE TYRANNICAL AGGRESSIONS OF THE PERJURED HOUSE OF STUART. HIS CONDUCT IN ARMS AT PENTLAND, DRUMCLOG, AND BOTHWELL BRIDGE, IN OPPOSITION TO PRELATIC ENCROACHMENTS AND IN DEFENCE OF SCOTLAND'S COVENANTED REFORMATION, IS RECORDED IN THE ANNALS OF THOSE OPPRESSIVE TIMES. His REMAINS LIE AT EDINBURGH, BUT THE INHABITANTS OF HIS NATIVE PARISH AND FRIENDS TO THE CAUSE FOR WHICH HE FOUGAT AND DIED, HAVE CAUSED THIS STONE TO BE ERECTED.'
This martyr was born in Newmilns about the year 1627. When Claverhouse was advancing against the Covenanting army at Drumclog, a message was despatched to Hardhill to apprise him of the fact and induce him to join the little band. Although he had suffered much from prelatic
persecution, he mounted a horse at once and rode with all possible speed to the scene of action, merely stopping on his way through Darvel to induce John Morton, the village blacksmith, to accompany him and assist with his brawny arm to discomfit the foe. Both were of immense service to the Covenanters, for they fell into their ranks in time to take part in the successful charge which decided the fate of the battle. In the thick of the fight, the smith encountered a dragoon entangled in the trappings of his wounded horse, and was about to despatch him, but being moved by the man's piteous appeal for mercy, he disarmed him and led him from the field a prisoner. Many of the Covenanters, however, were less humane, and demanded the dragoon's life, but this the smith strongly objected to, and declared that whoever touched a hair of his head would suffer, for having given the man quarter he would defend his life at the risk of his own. None feeling inclined to cross swords with the resolute blacksmith, he was allowed to have his own way, and to this day the dragoon's sword is preserved by his descendants in Darvel.
Besides the above, there are rude memorials of Cove nanting times to the memory of John Gebbie, John Morton, and others. Gebbie fought at Drumclog, and was carried off the field mortally wounded, and, like the mighty Nelson, died with the shouts of victory ringing in his
Morton was shot by Claverhouse at the same engage ment.
After spending a reflective hour in the churchyard, and enjoying a look through the town, I sought out the terminus of the Galston branch of the South-Western Railway. Near it is the scene of Ramsay's popular song,
“ The Lass o Patie's Mill.” The mill is modern, and occupies the site of the erection which graced the bank of the Irvine in Ramsay's day, but the field wherein the rustic beauty was making hay when she attracted the attention of the Earl of Loudoun is still pointed out, and although one hundred and fifty years have passed since the event the stranger still stops by the brink of the stream and enquires for the song-hallowed scene. The story is well known. It appears that the poet and the Earl were riding along the highway when it occurred to the latter that the comely appearance of the “ lass” would form a fit subject for Allan's muse. At the suggestion the bard
lagged behind, composed the ditty, and produced it the same afternoon at dinner. The train being due, I bade “Loudoun's bonnie woods and braes a fond and somewhat reluctant farewell, and in a short time reached Kilmarnock, for a seven mile journey is a mere nothing in these days of railways and telegraphs.
FROM KILMARNOCK TO DUMFRIESSHIRE-NOTES BY THE WAY—AULD
GIRTH AND ITS SCENERY-THE HOTEL-ON THE ROAD TO
AND ITS ASSOCIATIONS.
Having realised £500 by the sale of the Edinburgh edition of his poems, Burns was enabled to live for a time on his means, and to indulge in tours through Berwickshire and the North of England ; and also, the Highlands, by Inveraray, Lochlomond, Dunkeld, CastleGordon, and Inverness. In the course of these excursions he was received by men of rank and taste, and by the people generally with the most gratifying marks of respect for his brilliant talents, frank manners, and fluent conversation secured him many friends. In referring to his return to Mossgiel, Dr Currie says, “ It will easily be conceived with what pleasure and pride he was received by his mother, his brothers, and sisters.
He left them poor and comparatively friendless; he returned to them high in public estimation and easy in circumstances. He returned to them unchanged in his ardent affections, and ready to share with them to the uttermost farthing the pittance that fortune had bestowed.”
With characteristic generosity of heart he handed his brother Gilbert £180 to relieve him from the embarrassment in which he was involved by the sterile soil of an ungenial farm, and, despite the seductive power of "Clarinda"-a talented lady of fashion whose acquaintance he made in Edinburgh-married his much-loved Jean, and began to look about for the means to earn daily bread. In this world every man is left to work out his own fate, and it depends greatly upon the he steers what that fate is. Burns at this period of his history was still “without an aim," and still far from the enjoy