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Covenanter Stories… No.1, John Blackader



We begin this new series on Covenanting worthies in Scotland during the 17th Century, with a short look at Rev. John Blackader.

Blackader was the minister at Troqueer, near Dumfries, in 1662, when the non-conforming ministers were ousted from their parishes.  His wife and children were thrown out of their home, and were hounded so much by Turner and the dragoons that Blackader was forced to take to the fields.  He was a frequent preacher at conventicles, particularly at Beath in Fife, and was one of those of the rigorist party, who stood out against the Indulgence. (Yet Blackader was one of those who at Bothwell were not in the camp of Sir Robert Hamilton.  Blackader was strongly against ‘indulgence-ism’ but compassionate towards those who had  been so weak in their faith that they had accepted the indulgence.)

After a period in Holland with Rev. McWard, Blackader returned to Scotland around the time of Bothwell Bridge, and after the battle he wrote frequently to those Covenanters who were imprisoned at Edinburgh, urging them to resist any offer to sign the bond.

It was at Edinburgh, on 16th April 1681 that Blackader was apprehended by and taken to Dalziel, before being brought before a Committee of Council.  That Committee declared that he was guilty of keeping conventicles, and sentenced him to imprisonment on the Bass Rock.  After five years imprisonment on the rock he died of rheumatic fever, around the beginning of 1686.  Howie records that Blackader was, “A pious man and a powerful preacher.”  (Howie, The Scots Worthies, Banner of Truth, Pg 524)

Next week we look at the story of John Brown of Priesthill.

From → Covenanters

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