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Kilmaurs Parish Session Records

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[Caution: The following entry includes obscene language.]
Session April 28 1709
After prayer Sederunt. Mr. Hugh Thomson.

Hugh Bankhead, Rott Harper, Rott Huie, William Bankhead, Allan Broun, James Watt.

Margaret Montgomeries former confession being read in her audience, she was asked if she had anything to add. She replyed, she could not tell all the times he and she had to doe together they were so many, but added that one time when John Cudbertson [Most probably the child born 1689 in Kilmaurs to Wm. C. and Isobel Biggart, presumably this same Wm. C.] & young David Bigger went to the Hill (his wife being on her death bed) he had to doe wt her at his own horse stall end. Another time on a Sabbath day (his wife being on her death bed) when she being coming to Killmares to fetch Maaks well water to his wife he followed her when she was gone from the house and drew her in to his own barn and there lay with her. Wm. Cumine being at the same time sitting at his fireside. She told that his and ordinair language was thief take him if had not his fil of ane hot mare and hote Bitch cost it him what it would he had spared her too long.
[Note: Maaks Well was one of two town wells in Kilmaurs, the other being at the town cross. It was later known as Monk’s Well, and noted for its water. Domestic wells at the various farms and yards were apparently shallower.]
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William Cudbertson being summoned to the Session was called and compeared. The whole lybell being read over to him he was exhorted seriously by the Minister to deal ingenuously in the matter and to glorifie God by a free confession of the truth; he replyed he blessed God for the Good advice he had gotten and intreated that the guilt of whatever he did or said at present might not be charged upon the parish of Killmares or upon his poor children and desired that Hugh and William Bankheads might be allowed to withdraw with him a little while which was granted.
After all he absolutely denys that ever he had carnal dealings with Margaret Montgomerie. The Minister asked him the following questions: 1. Whether or no he had said to any body upon the bark (?) of Margt. Montgomeries leaving the Minrs. Service that her Father was Montgomerie & the Earle of Eglintoun was Montgomerie & he would apply to the Earle and cause him take that quarrel by the hand (as no doubt he would) and get amends of Mr. Hugh Thomson? He replyed he could not tell if had had so said but if anyone would say it to his face he would take with it. Question 2d, whether or no he had said that the Minr. Had made this woman a Lown* and that she had confessd she was a witch and a thief and now the Minr. Was taking her part agt. Him
[* “Lown / Loon” includes the meanings of being a rascal, a loose woman or paramour, etc…. See The Scots Dialect Dictionary.]
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He acknowledges that said she had confessed to the Minr. That she was a thief but no more qlk confession the Minr. Denys to be true. Quest. 3d How he came for so many years near to twelve to be always absent from Dyats of Catechizing Rep. that he had been examined within this six years to qlk the Minr. Replied that the people in yt quarter could witness to the samen & was fully assured that what he acknowledged was true and when he could get an in that Quarter that could afferm they saw William Cudbertson Eldr. Examined these twelve years last bypast that he should acknowledge he was mistaken. Q4th. Whether or no he keeped family worship or if it was his ordinary these many years Rep. sometimes he did not. The Minr. Asserts for his servants information to him that for some years he had not keeped it sixt times in the year. Rep. There was never a week but he worshipped God, qlk the Minr. Desires he might make good.
He was removed then afterward both he and she were called in. She was confronted with him & her former confession being read over in both their hearings She was asked if any body had extorted this confession from her. She replies none had Moreover she added that he always said to her if I can get the once broken to it then will not have power to refuse me again altho in the middle of a mine, likenwise that he said to her he married this present wife [i.e. Sarah Boyd] an old filthy Xnt on to bear down the voyse of the country but he
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Should have his fill of a filthy hot Mare and hole bitch twice a week cost it him what it would. She told that upon the Sabbath before William Broun was married [IGI local record extract lists Wm. Broun married to Margaret Broun at Kilmaurs on October 11, 1707, which would indicate that the “wife” mentioned was the deceased Jean Rae, not Sarah Boyd.] being challenged by his wife for having dealings with others he satt down upon his knees and cursed himself and wished me might never see God’s face in Mercy if he was guilty with any woman (altho he had been guilty with her half ane year before that) and took up a great stone and swore that he should make her blood cold before she sleept.; But that She viz. Margt. Montgomerie took the stone from him and then he drew his sword and said he would stick himself; whereupon William Fergushill was sent for qlk he knowing, after he had apprased/appeased (?) all when he came gave it out that it was a fitt of the Collick. All which she says she will own altho she were cut in pieces and altho burning in a flame and even before Gods Tribunal. Nevertheless he absolutely denies all. But being seriously Intreated again and again by the Minr. To tell the truth he says that if he be guilty, he wishes that God may give him a Scarlet coloured sight of those sins, and may never give him any rest until he confesses. Whereupon the Minr. Going to him and laying his hand on Wms. Breast said unto him William I admire that you are so hardened that you do not confess. I perceive by your countenance that you are guilty I’le wager that ther is such horrible

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Terrour in your conscience from the sense of your guilt that your spirits are spent, and there is such a heat within you drying up your moisture that you cannot at present let over your spittle, to qlk the sd William replied to the observation of the Session standing trembling Sr it is so.
Thereupon the Minr. Told him he and others were convicted he was guilty. He replys that if he was convinced he was guilty he would say no more till another time and then he would come again to him and speak to him. The Sederunt ended with prayer.
Session May 18 1709
After prayer Sederunt. Mr Hugh Thomson

Robt Harper, Hugh & William Bankheads, John Lamburghton, James Smith, William Cudbertson younger, James Watt, John and James Willsons, John Andrew, Rott Huie

Margaret Montgomrie being called in was seriously dealt with not to say anything out of Envy and malice agt. William Cudbertson. She replied that all she had said of him was truth as she was to answer before God at the great day; and moreover adds that another time he had to doe with her on a Tuesdays night before the last communion at the Place gate [The Place is one of the old Cunningham properties, lying near Buntinhill] and another time when his wife went to Boogslett (?) to buy a cow.
Thereafter William Cudbertson being called and heaving heard all her confession read he was dealt with most seriously by the Minr. To deal Ingenuously and to tell the truth. After all he declared he was Innocent of any guilt with Margaret Montgomerie. Whereupon the Session went to Examination of witnesses as to circumstances and otherwise to fasten guilt upon him.
Margaret Huie servituire to the sd William Cudbertson aged about 19 years unmarried being summoned was called and compeared being solemnly sworn and being purged of malice and partiall counsel; Depones as follows that in summer last John Watt son to Alexr Watt came early in the morning and chauped [i.e. “knocked.” Scots Dialect Dictionary] att her bedside and asked wher the Goodman was She replied he was in his bed there. He rep. he was not, but said he could not be fare off for his wigg was here. Whereupon she missing Margt. Montgomerie out of the bed arose and went to the barn first (?) to the one door qlk was shutt then to the oyr which was standing a charr and heard them together in the barn. With a little William coming in She (viz. depon.) went out and saw Margt. Montgomerie setting in the barn with her hand on her haffet [i.e. temple / side of the face] all begrutten [i.e. tear-stained] and asked her what she was doing there and declared she (viz. depon.) said there could be no good betwixt ym yy being there together their alone so early in the morning and that she said to Margt. Montgomerie she would say to her deaths day that yy were guilty and was yet of the same mind. Depond further that to the best of her knowledge on Stewarton fair night last summer qn William Cudbertson came home to Shaw end with Elizabeth Miller and left her there and came
Page 128
Along with Margt. Montgomerie it was betwixt nine and ten of the clock qn he came home to his own house, further that Margt Montgomerie coming by Newalland Mill from Killmarnock on the hindmost day of the new fair the Dep. Declared that William Cudbertson and Margt. Montgomerie went out and stood sometime at the sheephouse together and that yrafter the sd Wm. gott his supper without and Margt. Gott hers within and then went away and he after her and he came not back till the Dep. Was in her bed and she knows not what time it was. Further depones that one time the sd William gave out himself to be sick, and desired her to take a grip of his arm to see if she thought he was not well & when she should have taken a gripp of his arm he took a grip of her in his arms and drew her in toward the bed to him, whereupon she started back and was afraid because never anyone did the like to her in her lifetime, and declares she had then nothing on but her shirt, and moreover depones that Wm. Cudbertson desired her to say to Margt. Montgomerie if she asked if he had written that paper to say he had written it. Further depones that the last half year she came to Wm. Cudbertson he made no family worship but upon the Sabbath day and this is the truth as she shall answer to God and declared she cannot write but ordains the Minr and Clerk to sign for her.
Sic subscribitur Mr. Hugh Thomson

J. Gray
Page 129

Helen Curry being called compeared a widow aged about 52 years being solemnly sworn purged of malice and partial counsel depones that about 14 (?) years agoe one time when she and he were in the barn together he put his hand about her shoulders and struggled and ____en her back to the Door, but what was in his mind she knows not and yt yr was something fell from him upone her ____ qlk she thought was his nature and this is the truth as she shall answer to God and declares she cannot write but consents yt the Minr. And Clerk signe for her.
Sic Subscribitur [not signed]
William Fergusell being called compeared & declares that on a Sabbath night William Cudbertsons children coming down to him with a dreadfull cry begging him to come up for their Father was not right for he was riving the hair out of his head qrupon he went up and asked where he was, & yy told him he was ____ ill with a colick he therefore went to him and – brought him benn [i.e. “in”, “inside”] & declared further he saw Margt. Montgomerie sitting greeting [i.e. “weeping”]
William Fergusell younger being called compeared aged about 34 years being solemnly sworn purged of malice and partial counsel depones that Margt. Montgomerie said to him one night when William Cudbertson was in the house that he might goe to the town now qn (?) there was company in the house, and the sd Wm Cudbertson said if he went this night he would be late
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Enough and he thinks that when he came home from the toun it would have been past Eleven of the clock and he asked Margt. Montgomerie when Wm Cudbertson had gone away. She Rep. a little while agoe. Further depones that another time in the day time he had gone to Killmarnock & returning he found William Cudbertson and a cad [i.e. as in “caddie”, and errand boy or young fellow] in the house with Margt. Montgomerie and when the Dep. Sat down he saw Wm. Cudbertsons privy members hanging out of his riven breaches & touched upon the cade to see them. Further depones that on that night he went to Killmares he was jealous [i.e. suspicious] they had been guilty with one another and being jealous many a time he wished for the half years end that he might be quite of Margt. Montgomerie qlk he signified to William Cudbertson and on the morrow after he had been at Killmares he signified the same to his father that he was jealous of their being guilty wt one another and this is the truth as he shall answer to God and subscribes
Sic subscribitur William Fergushil
Hector Armour being called compeared a married person aged about 60 years being solemnly sworn purged of malice and partial counsel, depones as follows that one time when he was buying a sheep from Wm. Cudbertson he had gone out and coming in from the Know [i.e. knoll] asking if he would give him the sheep the first sight that he saw was Wm. Cudbertson coming out of the byar and Margt. Montgomerie after him and says that he said he did not like such fashions, and thought their carriage not
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Commendable and this is the truth as he shall anser to God and setts to his
Sic Subscribitur H:A.
Mary Kirkland being called compeared a married person aged about 40 years being solemnly sworn purged of malice and partiall counsel deponed that Wm. Cudbertson never put a hand to her. [note in another hand --] see p. 136
This day a letter from Mr. James Stevenson was given in to the Session the tenor whereof followeth ____ to ____ -- Hugh Thomson
Sir I Intreat you may doe me the favor to see me get Justice as to the seat belonging to my predecessors and me for the lands of Boogsyde. I have ordered John Andrew for that end to ____ to you and the Session and expects your concurrence which will very much oblidge.
Irvine 27 December 1708 your Humble Servant
Sic Subscribitur Jas. Stevensone
The Session considering the affair they appoint John Andrew to take possession of that Desk that formerly belonged to the Boogsyde.
Testificates to John Stewart, Andrew Huet, Janet Boyd, Margaret Mann & Matthew Collqhoun.
This day William Steel gave ane Information in agt John Galt for slandering and reproaching him and particularly for saying yt. The sd William should have bann’d [i.e. curse, sworn, or used the devil’s name] and sworn; Whereupon the Session ____ the sd Wm. to bring in his witnesses and ordain the forsd John Galt to be summoned agt the next Session. The Sederunt closed with prayer –
Page 132
After prayer Sederunt Mr. Hugh Thomson
William Miller of Seamill, Hugh and Wm Bankheads, Robtt Harper, James Smith, Allan Broun, James Watt, John Lamburghton, John Andrew James Faire, John & James Willsons, Rott Huie
Margaret Montgomerie was called in and being inquired if she adhered to all her former confessions Rep. She did: --
Then Wm Cudbertson was called in and her confession read over in his hearing, all qlk the sd Will denyed upon qlk the Session proceeded to examine more witnesses.
Margaret Mann being called compeared unmarried aged about 20 years being solemnly sworn purged of malice and partial counsel Depones that one night she going over for some meall to Hugh Boyd when she had got the meal and was about to goe away, William Cudbertson said to her willt thou goe up the stair and see the rooms lass? Whereupon she went and going forward when she was looking to a bed William came forward and took a grip of her in his arms and she throwing her self out of his arms came down the stair; qrupon he said to her speak lass; she says to him if you have anything to say come down the stair and tell it, & this is the truth as she shall answer to God and declares she cannot write but allows the Minr. And Clerk to Signe for her.
[page not signed]
Page 133
After prayer Sederunt Mr Hugh Thomson, James Farie, Hugh Bankhead, Rott Huie & c:
John Walker being delated to the Session for swearing compears and acknowledged that he did particularly swear by God that by night or by day he should have amends of such a man & c: and that he did Invocate the Divel, by bidding the Diviel be in such a man likewise he acknowledges drunkenness. He having a child to be baptized and being examined before the Session is found to be grossly Ignorant: Whereupon the Session ____ greatly ____ is allow him the benefit of that ordinance. Then appoint him to be publickly rebuked before his child be baptized and pains taken on him to bring him to more knowledge.
July 17 John Walker appeared publickly and was rebuked for his horride swearing and drunkenness and ingaged never to be found guilty of the like again.
Margaret Dyat was delated for scandalizing of Thomas Wallace.
The Session appointed such persons as are habitual neglecters of family worship absenting from the church and Dyats of Catechizing to be summoned to the next Session.
John Auld is delated for prophaning the Sabbath day.

The Sederunt closed with prayer.

Session July 27 1709
After prayer Sederunt Mr Hugh Thomson
Page 134
John Cunninghame of Caddell, Hugh Bankhead, Rott Harper, Allan Brown, John Lamburghton, James Watt, John Andrew John Willson, James Farie, James Willson
John Auld being summoned was called and compeared. It was lybelled agt him that he had prophaned the Sabbath by beating a little boy called William Alison who was hard to John Auld his father [i.e. to John Auld’s father?] The boy being confronted before him affirms that he did ___ him into a furr [furrow] full of stens [stones] and ay as he rose he threw him doun again and debled him in a watter furr Adam Auld and his lass being present. The sd John Auld owns that he put his hand to him because he was casting stones at him before. the Session ____ the whole affair being convinced that the boy has maliciously accused the sd John Auld.
Margaret Dyat being summoned was called and compeared and being lybelled for calling Thomas Wallace in Killmares a common thief and murderer. She confirmed that she did call him a common thief and murderer: but she say it was no sooner out of her mouth but she rued it and would have gone to him and acknowledged her fault, had it not been for some people that dissuaded her from it and comes in the Sessions will for the censure and declares she cannot write and allows the Minr. And Clerk to signe for her. [not signed]
The Session after due consideration of the whole affair think fit to delay the censure till afterward and only rebuked her at present.
William Luke upon a delation made to the Session of his dredful cursing and swearing
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Particularly for his swearing by God that he should have amends of John Walker and likewise bidding the divell take him but he should ware a cow on it but he should have a mends of him. He being summoned was called and compears and absolutely denys the whole lybell whereupon the Session refers the whole matter to another occasion and appoint the witness to be summoned.
Rebecca Hunter having been summoned to the Session was called and compeared and being required who was the father of that child she had born in fornication Rep. that as sure as God was in Heaven James Watt was the father of it and affirmed yt she was not guilty of uncleanness with John Hunter. But being threatened that she must depone and again dealt with the guilt of perjury held furth to her if she should swear the same she acknowledges that John Hunter and she did live in uncleanness for about the space of ane year preceeding the time she went to James Watts it being about two years since and refuses that Hunter and she had to do with other after yt time. She confesses that James Watt had carnal dealings with her at Newhillburn in the winter fair night of Killmarnock as she had formerly affirmed. She said the first time he had to doe with her was when James Watt Eldr.
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And his wife were powing lint at the back the the Craige house, Robert Houstone and Agnas Watt being gone to Kyle with some Kine, and that yn he lay with her in the house (being about two year since also another time on a Sabbath day in the yeard having sent his sister that was a home away to the pease. She affirms the child to have been begotten in the Craige park about 20 days after Martimass [i.e. ca. December 1] The last time she says they had carnal dealings together was in the winter time at the Craig Park dyke when Janet Houstone, Margt. Findley, and Jean Templeton were going to the Craig with their Roks [“Roke” = a distaff; “Ruckat” = a loose upper cloak] it being then frost. Moreover she now owns that she has said to the Session before that they had no more but three times carnal dealings together before although she had condescended upon more now.
The Session upon consideration of the affair think fitt to delay any further prosecution of the affair till some other occasion seeing she is petitioning to have her child baptized they allow her the benefit of that ordinance to her child, upon her getting a sufficient sponser to Ingadge for the childs education, and ____ their further procedure because Hunter and Watt are out of the country.
The sd day Robtt Smith in Longmuir being summoned to the Session having confessed to the Minr and many others that he was guilty of fornication with Janet Dunlop he was cited but compeared not he is appointed to be summoned pro 2do. [Se]derunt closed wt prayer.
Page 137
Session October 1st (?) 1709
This day Allan Broun was chosend Ruling Elder to attend upon the Presbytrie and Synod
This day also Mary [or, Marg.] Smith in Town of Killmares is delated of as being with child to John Millar begotten in fornication, qlk she has acknowledged to the Minr. Before several witnesses.
Also this day John Galt is delated for cursing his neighbours some time ago particularly for bidding Gods curse be upon Bayliff Harper before these witness Margt. Smith and Margt. Templetone.
This day testimonials are allowed to James Dunaldson and Elizabeth Lowdon
The Session refers William Cudbertson affair to the presbytrie.
October 19, 1709
The sd day the comitee by appointment of the presbytrie mett with the Session of Killmares. After prayer Sederunt. Mr. Hugh Thomson Modr, Mr Findleson [Kilmarnock minister], Mr. Wright [Kilmarnock minister], Mr. Cuninghame [Dreghorn minister], and Mr. Pasley [?], the Laird of Caddell, William Miller, William Bankhead, John Andrew, Robtt Harper, Allan Broun, James Smith, John Lamburghton, James Watt, John Willson, &c:
William Cudbertson and Margt. Montgomerie were both called and compeared. The sd William was dealt with to confess but still denys. He was particulary inquired at what he had to alledge for himself in that instance given of his being so early on the morning in the barn with Margt. Montgomrie why they were so
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Early and what he had to doe then in the barn. He Rep. that she was still urging him with marriage hence & a field and that it was not early being then six of the clock, and that he had his Hay and several other thing to work with in the barn.
William Cudbertson younger, son to the sd William Cudbertson was called and compeared and being confronted with his father gave ane account of some things that had passed some time agoe betwixt him and his father particularly ane time his father and he being in the yeard after his stepmothers death he inquired at his father who would take care of the house that day his stepmother was to be buried & to qlk his father replied who but Margt. Montgomerie that knew the house best and was best aquaint with the bairns to qlk Wm. his son replied that if she took care of the house that day he would goe away tho the half of the folk were gathered to the burial qlk the sd Wm Cudbertson Eldr denies. Likewise that one time Wm Cudbertson his father coming to his house his spouse [presumably Janet Boyd] upbraided Wm. Cudbertson her father in Law for Keeping Margt. Montgomerie about his house and told him if he would not put her away, she should come down with a Rung and drive her away qlk the sd Wm owns. Moreover his son said likewise that he had still his own fears of his fathers guilt with Margt. Montgomerie.
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