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Kilmaurs Parish Session Records

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The sd Wm Cudbertson adheres to what he said before the Presbytrie viz. That he would undergoe any punishment they pleased if his son would witness to his face the foregoing instance.
Allan Broun a member of the Session declares
Page 139
That Wm. Cudbertson did say to him at the cross of Killmarnock that the Minr. Was fare in the wrong to Margt. Montgomerie and reflected upon and abused the Minr to hym for appearing so much agt. Her because he never saw anything of her but a good honest Hussie since ever he knew her, upon qlk the sd William Cudbertson accused Allan Broun for having him at malice which he undertakes to move.
Witnesses were adduced to move the full question proposed to him by the Minister in Session Aprile 28 in this Instant year 1709.
Agnas Gray being called compeared a married person aged about 26 years being solemnly sworn purged of malice and partiall counsel Depones that Wm. Cudbertson said once in their house that if my Lord Montgomerie was once come home he should want of his will if Margt. Montgomeries father went not down and cause my Lord to take amends of Mr. Thomson for being so fare in the wrong to Mart. Montgomerie and this is the truth as she shall answer to God and subscribes sic subscribitur Agnas Gray Wm. Cudbertson rests upon her oath and acknowledges the matter to be truth.
William Fergushill in attestation of his former declaration being called compeared ane old man about 60 years unmarried being solemnly sworn purged of malice and partiall counsel Deponed that the winter before Wm Cudbertsons wife died, Wms children came up to him and said dear will you come down for our father is mighty
Page 140
Unwell he is rugging the hair out of his head. Qrupon it being Sabbath night, nevertheless he went down and going in saw Margt Montgomerie sitting benn ni the house greeting [weeping] with a child in her arm. The sd Wm. and his wife being in the byar, his wife looking benn to him said what now are you there William? Heard you our bairns greeting ther & for air Goodman has taken the Colick; whereupon he went but and desired the sd Wm. to come benn the house and this is the truth as he shall answer to God and declares he cannot write, but allows the Minr and Clerk to signe for him. Sic Subscribitur.
About the matter she alleges that they lay together the fryday after his wifes burial Wm. Fergusell declares that he saw Margt. Montgomerie going over the Land above his own house and he thinks it was upon that fryday after the burial.
Wm Cudbertson owns that she gott ane Hekle [a sharp pin; a comb with steel teeth for dressing flax and hemp, etc.] and ane aprone one day out of his house but he will not be positive whether it was upon that fryday Immediately after his wifes burial or not.
Jean Templeton acknowledges that she should have said to Margt. Montgomerie that she heard it that Wm Cudbertson had said to somebody that if he could get one of Margt. Montgomeries old masters to say something agt. Her that Mr. Findlesson would get him freed and that he would have Wm off had it not been for a hoarse Minister; being urged whom she heard say so, shil (?) answered that she would not have said it had it not been said to her.
Robert Templetone acknowledges that he heard
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It about the doors and from John Smith his brother in law that Wm Cudbertson should have said to him that he thought he would be the better of one of Margt. Montgomeries old Masters to say some ill of her to Mr. Findleyson and he thought Mr. Findleyson would get him freed.
[Note: Francis Finlayson was one of the two Ministers of Kilmarnock, and was sitting on the committee. He had officiated at Wm. Cuthbertson’s marriage to Sarah Boyd in 1708.]
The former Jean Templeton acknowledges concerning the instance given by Margaret Montgomerie of their being in their beds yt night she came to their house where she alledges she had committed uncleanness with Wm Cudbertson at Billsland land end and of another night that they were in their beds when Margt. Montgomerie came and lay two nights in their house but knows not qlk were the nights.
Wm. Cudbertson acknowledges that upon that night John Broun and Thomas Gibson gott some meall from him out of the Garnell, they went away to their won homes and left Margt. Montgomerie and him to come home together.
The comitee appointed Marion Auld in Causeyside [Wm. Cuthbertson’s home before Buntinhill, according to OPR], John Smith in Boostene [probably Buiston, up near the Dreghorn parish boundary], and several oyrs to be summoned to the Presbytrie.
This day also John Galt being summoned to the Session was called and compears and denys that he cursed Bayliff Harper whereupon witnesses were adduced.
Margaret Smith being called and compeared and was solemnly sworn purged of malice & partiall counsel depones that she being to get sume meall from John Galt he wanting a balk to weigh it with and could not get one, she heard him bidd God’s Curse be upon him that had his balk, She Inquired who had it….
(pages 142 -151 not included)
Page 152
Session July 26 1710
After prayer Sederunt. Mr. Hugh Thomson, John Andrew, Wm. Craig, James Willson, John Lamburghton, James Smith, David Bigger, Allan Broun, John Willson and James Armour
The three absenting Elders were warned to be present this Session but were not present.
There was this day given to the bellman Eight merks more in part payment of his fees since he entered.
Concerning the three Elders James Watt, Hugh and Wm. Bankheads, who had withdrawn from their offices and therin given offence and should have been present this Session to give ane account of the causes for their so doing; But seeing they did not appear the Session vote that they should be summoned agt. The next Session to answer for themselves.
Afterwards William Bankhead did the same day compear and the Minister giving him a full description of what the Session had to say against him partarly that his carriage had been very stumbly by his being oft disordered and overcharged with drink, and likewise that he had given great offence by his withdrawing from his office at the giving of the sacrament.
The qlk the sd William Bankhead replied that upon the consideration of his escapes and failing he did withdraw and as to his being overcharged and disordered with drink he owned the same before the Session and told that he was willing solemnly to acknowledge his fault and was sorry that he should have offended God and his people, and he lamented that he had carried so unconsciously and that he had not been more ingenuous in the Session in some things as he might have been.
She Session inquired at him whither he desired to reform and amend or not: He replied that it was his
Page 153
Dewty in point of conscience and that through Gods Grace he was willing to reform
Whereupon being gravely rebuked and the Session being fully satisfied with his acknowledgement and profession of repentance, he was unanimously desired to return to his office qlk he Ingadged to do. The Sederunt closed with prayer.
Session October 7th 1710
The sd day the Minr. Reported that he had a paper from the presbytrie agt. Sd William Cudbertson qlk the Presbytrie appointed to be read by the Minr. From the pulpit and him to be publickly rebuked and laid under the sentence of Lesser Excommunication the Minr. Did aquaint the people he had such a paper but did not read it because of William Cudbertson’s absence. The tenour whereof follows.
Irvine Octr. 4 1710
The Presbytrie of Irvine taking to their serious consideration the affair of Wm. Cudbertson accused by Margaret Montgomerie of fornication and adultery do find that although Margt. Montgomerie has not proven any Instances of guilt alledged agt. Him, qlk she never pretended to prove, that yet nevertheless they find agt many pregnant presumptions of guilt in the sd William. First his material acknowledgement of guilt before the Session of Killmares saying that if he be guilty he wishes God may give him a Scarlet coloured sight of these his sins and may never give him rest till he confess, and the Minr alledging he perceived by his countenance he was guilty apprehending there was such a horrour and terrour in his conscience arising from the sense
Page 154
of his guilt that his Spirits were spent and that he could not let over his spittle; to qlk the sd William replied (to the observation of the whole Session trembling) Sir it is so, and said seing the Minr. Was convinced of his guilt he would say no more till another time, but would come again to him and speak to him. 2ly That Margt. Mongomrie has proven the veritie of sundry of the circumstances of the time and place of their being together solitary and unseassonalbe, he not being able nor offering to disprove one of them by proving himself alibi or otherwise, qlk as it is a strong presumption of Margt. Montgomeries Ingenuity sd of Wms. Guilt. 3ly mor particularly its Deponed agt. Wm Cudbertson that supper being over he went out after Margt. Montgomerie and came not in till the deponent was in her bed and can give no account where he was at that time or what he was doing. 4ly That the sd Wm. stands charged of base and abominable carriage not only by Margt. Montgomrie but also by three other women. 5ly that he is guilty of horrid disingenuity prove agt and confess by him. 6ly that he accused most unjustly and wickedly one of the Elders of Malice agt. Him qlk he offered to prove, but not only failed in the probation but afterwards acknowledged before the presbytrie that he was a lyar for so saying. 7ly they find him guilty of speaking maliciously agt. His Minister qlk is proven agt. Him by witnesses and also acknlowledged by him self. Upon all qlk the Presbytrie find cause to declare the sd William a scandalous person
Page 155
And uncapable of being admitted to the sealing ordinances, and appointed him to be publickly rebuked and Intimation of the premises to be made from the pulpit of Kilmaurs Sabbath next. Extracted out of the Minutes of the Presbytrie
Sic Subscribitur James Calldwall

Cl. Press.

The sd day the Session appoint that they should meet at the Hill for prayer the next Saturday at twelve of the clock – the Sederunt closed with prayer.
Octr. 13 1710
The Session mett at the Hill according to appointment. After prayer Sederunt Mr. Hugh Thomson

Allan Broun, Rott Huie, John Lamburghton, William Craige, Rott Harper, David Bigger

The sd day compeared Jean Willson and desired to be admitted to give satisfaction for the scandal of the sin of fornication qlk she confessed herself to be guilty of with Patrick Dickson, but upon the account the sd Patrick had not been before the Session nor made any judiciall acknowledgement they ordain both her and the sd Patrick to be present at a commitee of the Session viz Mr Hugh Thomson, Allan Broun, Rott Harper, David Bigger, & c: upon Saturday next. The committee according to appointment mett but neither Patrick Dickson nor Jean Willson compeared.
The sd day William Luke Younger in Milltoune was delated for swearing and is appointed to be
Page 156
Summoned to the next Session
They appointed that Wm Cudbertson should be ordered to speak to the Minr. The Sabbath morning next before sermon. The Sederunt closed with prayer.
Session Octr 18, 1710
After prayer Sederunt. Mr Hugh Thomson, William Miller of Seamill, Allan Broun, John Lamburghton, James & John Willsons, David Bigger, James Smith, Wm. Craigie, James Ffaire, James Armour
The Session mett for prayer the day appointed severals came and these that were absent gave it out they could not come.
This day the three Elders who had formerly withdrawn viz. James Watt, Hugh and William Bankheads offered themselves to the Session, and Inquiry being made into the reasons of their withdrawing from and deserting their office, they were found to be frivolous, groundless and to proceed merely from mistakes and misapprehensions, Qrupon they were gravely and yet severly rebuked and admonished and cautioned agt. The like in time to come, and exhorted to return to the discharge of their office qlk they cheerfully ingadged to doe. This sederunt closed with prayer.
Session Novr. 5, 1710
After prayer sederunt. Mr. Hugh Thomson, Allan Broun, Hugh & William Bankheads, John and James Willsons, Robt Huie, John Andrew, James Watt, William Craigie, David Bigger, Robt. Harper, John Lamburghton, James Smith, James Armour.
The Minr. Reported that William Cudbertson had been summoned pro secundo to this Session to
Page 157
Give ane account why he did not submitt to the Presbytries sentence. The session appoint him to be summoned to the next Session pro 3tio
A report of Bethia Carsells scandalous carriage with James Cather both in this parish they appoint her to be summoned to the next Session. They also appoint Wm. Luke younger to be summoned who before was delated for swearing. The allow a testificate to William Willson. The Sederunt closed with prayer.
Session November 12th 1710
After prayer sederunt Mr. Hugh Thomson Allan Broun David Bigger, James Ffairie, Rott Harper, John Lamburghton, Wm. Craige, Wm. Bankhead, James Smith, James Armour.
William Cudbertson was this day cited pro 3tio but upon a report made that he said he was indisposed and that he promised to be present agt the next Session they rested upon it.
This day compeared Bethia Carsell and the lybell following was read agt. her
Lybell of the Session agt Bethia Carsell for scandalous carriage with James Cather
Particularly that she should have been out in the open fields with the sd James unseasonably many nights, yea almost whole nights their alone, and coming in to the house at unseasonable hours (being twelve of the clock at night, over dykes and through windows, and likewise keeping him darned in a close rome and particularly at a solmene occasion in Killmarnock….
(pages 158 to 161 not included)
Page 162
… thinks it convenient he is to be privately rebuked and absolved. The [Se]derunt closed with prayer.
The day appointed James Cather appeared in the publick and was rebuked.
Session Janr. 28, 1711
After prayer Sederunt. Mr. Hugh Thomson, James Watt, James Ffarie, John Wilson, John Andrew, John Lamburghton, Hugh Bankhead, David Bigger, Robt (x-ed out) Harper, Allan Broun, Robt. Huie
This day David Bigger was chosen Ruling Elder to attend upon the Synod.
The sd day it was Informed agt Jean Ervine/Ewine (?) in Milltoune that there was a scandalous Report going of her, the Session appointed ane of the Elder next that place to desire her to get her testificate from Irvine.
This day it was reported by the Minr. That the Presbytrie had allowed Margt. Montgomerie who had confessed herself guilty of fornication and adultery with Wm. Cudbertson Elder in Bunteenhill to pay her penaltie and appear in publick and there acknowledge here sins, be rebuked, and give evidence of her repentance. Whereupon the Session allow her to make her first publick appearance Sabbath Feb. 4th 1711. This Sederunt closed with prayer.
Febr. 4th, Margt. Montgomrie convict of fornication and adultery with William Cudbertson Eldr. In Buntenhill made this day her first publick appearance and was rebuked.
Session Febr. 10 1711
After prayer Sederunt. Mr. Hugh Thomson, Rott Harper, Allan Broun, Wm Craige, Hugh Bankhead, David Bigger, John Andrew, John Willson, John Lamburghton, James Smith
This day it was proposed in Session that ____
Page 163
William Miller of Seamill was ane Elder in the parish he came from and understanding that he had carried very soberly and Christianly since he came amonst us that he should be invited to joyn with the Session and be ane assistant here likewise. It was put to the vote and none opposed it. Therefore the Session appointed the Min. in the name to Invite him; which was done & he accepted.
David Templeton in Toun of Killmares petitioning for a testificate but being under scandal for fighting, banning, and swearing the Session inquired at him what he would doe for the removing thereof. He replied he would come in to the Sessions will for the censure and pay his fine whereupon he was Sessionaly rebuked, and upon payment of his fine a testificate was appointed him. The Sederunt closed with prayer.
Febr. 10 Margt. Montgomerie made her second public appearance

Febr. 17 She made her 3d publick appearance and was rebuked. She having paid 3 ____(?) of her fine

The sd day John Connell in Grassmeilsyde was laid under sentence of lesser excommunication by the appointment of the presbytrie for the
Page 164
Evident presumptions of his being guilty of the sin of fornication with Margaret Morison who acknowledged the same on her death bed before both Minrs. Elders and oyrs. Likewise for his ____ lies and calumnies agt. his Minr.
March 4 1711
After prayer Sederunt, Mr. Hugh Thomson , Wm. Miller of Seamill, David Bigger, James Smith, Rott Harper Allan Broun, Rott Huie, James Willson, John Lamburghton, James Ffarie.
The sd day the Session taking it into their serious consideration that there are a great many strangers servants & some families who do come to and are harboured and received into the sd parish without testimonials; some qrof have lived a considerable time in the sd parish without testimonials & oyrs have been coming and going these sixteen years bygone without testificates and have never been taken up for the sd space into any examination Roll nor examined either in this or any oyr congregation and this contrary to the laudable custome and order of this church and manifest prejudice and unspeakable loss to the sd persons themselves. Therefor the sd Session doe exact and strictly appoint and require that each Elder in the parish to goe through their respective quarters and that as soon as possible and require and call for sufficient testimonials from all and every person or persons and families as ane come into the sd parish without testimonials that the samine may be timeously produced to the Session certifying all such as shall ____ produce and obtain sufficient testimonials to the sd Elders within a month after the date of their
Page 165
____ and for time coming that servants and others coming to the sd parish if yy bring not and produce to the sd Elders ____ of their several Quarters sufficient testimonials of their life and conversation wtin the space of a month after they shall come to the sd parish then both they and those who shal harbour and reset ym shall be proceeded agt and prosecute Ecclesiastically in order to church censure, and particularly that if one James Orr who hath been coming and going for the most part of these sixteen years bygone had his residence in this parish without a testimonial, notwithstanding the samen hath been several times required of him, and he not having been examined the space forsd either here or elsewhere to his manefest losse, living rather like a pagan than anything else and hath particulary had his residence in the Old Yeards and hath been harboured by Alexr. Broun there, notwithstanding the sd Alexr. Hath been both by Minr. And Elders discharged so to doe, yrfor the sd Session do discharged the sd Alexr Broun and all oyrs in the sd. congregation to harbour the sd James Orr in any time coming till he bring a sufficient testimonial and subject himself to instruction and ordinances dispensed in the sd congregation as they would not manifest their comtempt of the good order and laudable custome of this church, certifying all such as shall contraveine the samene, that they shall be proceeded agt. and censured according to the laudable acts and constitution of this church in the lake cases and appoints Intimation hereof from the pulpit that none may pretend Ignorance.
[James Orr may be the “poor waif who had subsisted on private charity for sixteen years, banished from the parish because he could not produce a certificate of character.” McNaught, page 169]
The Sederunt closed with prayer.
This day Margt. Montgomrie made her 4th publick
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Appearance and Jean Willson made her second.
March 7 (or, 9?) Margt. Montgomerie made her 5th publick appearance
Session March 10 1711
The Session being mett remitted the rest of Jean Willsons penaltie.
She made this day her 3d publick appearance was rebuked and absolved and a testificate was allowed her. A testificate was appointed to John Young.
March 25. Margt. Montgomrie made her 6th publick appearance.
Session Aprile 8, 1711
After prayer Sederunt. Mr Hugh Thomson, Hugh and William Bankheads, David Bigger, John Andrew, James Watt, James Fairie, Wm. Craige & c:
This day it was proposed to chosse a Ruling Elder to attend upon the Presbytrys and next Synod Whereupon Wm. Miller was unanimously chosen.
This day it was reported that John Connell in Grassmealsyd had confessed the guilt of Habitual uncleanness for the space of two years and upwards with one Ann Mitchell in Killmarnock parish, wherefor they appoint him to be summoned before this Session agt. their next meeting.
The Sederunt closed with prayer.
Session Aprile 15, 1711
After prayer Sederunt. Mr Hugh Thomson, Wm. Miller, Dav. Bigger, Jam:Willson, Hugh Bankhead, Allan Broun, Rott Harper, James Ffarie, Rott Huie, John Lamburghton, James Smith, & c:
John Connell being summoned was called and compeared. He here (?) confesst that he was
Page 167
Guilty of fornication with one Ann Mitchell for the space of ane year and some more. The Session after due consideration thinking it fitt to take the presbytries advice anent the sd John they appoint him to appear before the Session the next Sabbath. He was accordingly summoned apud acta. The Sederunt closed with prayer.
Session Aprile 22d 1711
After prayer Sederunt. Mr. Hugh Thomson, William Miller, David Bigger, James Smith, John Willson, Hugh Bankhead, & c:
This day the Minr. Reported that the presbytery advice anent John Connell that he be appointed to appear one day in the publick and there be rebuked for his guilt of these scandalous sins with Ann Mitchell and for the preseumptions of his former guilt and his sentence of excommunication renewed against him and Intimation to be made that he is thereunder to lye until he give evidence of repentance to the Session of Killmares.
John Connell was this day called, but did not compear nor sent any to give in his excuse. Qrupon the Session ord. upon the account of his contumacy ordain that application be made to the Justices to get up his bond and to get it regestrate; and delay all further prosecution until ane account be heard from the Justices.
Jean Willson, Mary Weir, Rott Thomson, Christine Ferguson, Wm. Parkhill, are allowed testificates. The Sederunt closed with prayer.
May 20 Patrick Dickson convict of the sin of fornication with Jean Willson made his first publick appearance and was rebuked….
(Pages 168 to 177 not included)
Page 178
… after consideration the Session ordains that the matter goe before the presbytrie. Sess. Closed wt. prayer.
Session Decr. 26 1711
Sederunt. Mr. Hugh Thomson, James Farie, Hugh Bankhead, Robt. Huie, John Willson, John Andrew, Allan Broun, James Smith, John Lamburghton, & c:
This day Margrat Montgomrie applied to the Session for absolution. After consideration they refer her to the next presbytrie.
This day it was reported by the Minr. That Margt. Smith being summoned to the presbytrie was call and did not compear and were appointed to be summoned pro 2do.
Likewise the Margrat Ervine and Robt. Willson being summoned were called and did not compear & were appointed to be summoned pro 2do and both their lybells to be drawn out and given to the Ruling Elder to be conveyed by him to the presbytrie.
Janr. 13 1712
After prayer Sederunt. Mr. Hugh Thomson, Dav. Bigger, Allan Broun, Robt. Huie, Wm. Craig, John Willson, & c:
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