The Battle of Drumclog
The battle of Drumclog was fought on the 1st June 1679, between the forces of Graham of Claverhouse (Bluidy Clavers) and a group of Covenanters, in Drumclog in South Lanarkshire.
The Covenanters were close to open rebellion, following their violent murder of Archbishop James Sharp of St Andrews in May 1679. They published the Declaration of Rutherglen against “the iniquity of the times”, and organised a conventicle, or open-air service, to take place at Loudon Hill. Group worship had been banned by the government. When news reached the conventicle that Graham’s soldiers were on their way, it is believed that the minister, Reverend Thomas Douglas, ended his sermon to the young fighting men, with the words, “Ye have got the theory, now for the practise…”
The Covenanters outnumbered the Government forces by almost 4 to 1. The Covenanters easily moved over the boggy ground to meet the government forces in close battle. Leaving many dead behind, the government soldiers fled, with the mocking words of Reverend King, a freed prisoner, ringing in their ears – “Are ye no bidin’ for the efternuin preachin?”
The people of the nearby town of Strathaven then turned out in force to block the Government troops. As a result, the soldiers had to fight their way through the town’s narrow streets, before heading towards Glasgow where they were supported by further government troops under the command of Lord Ross.