Cargill, Donald (DNB00)

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CARGILL, DONALD, or, according to some, Daniel (1619?–1681). covenanting preacher, was born at Rattray in Perthshire about 1619, studied at Aberdeen and St. Andrews, and was ordained in 1655. He became minister of the Barony parish in Glasgow in the same year. From the first he was a man of deep convictions and intense fidelity to them, but he did not become prominent till the time of the king's restoration, when, on 29 May 1660, instead of joining in public thanksgiving for the king's restoration, he pronounced the event a profound calamity, and denounced woe on the royal head for treachery, tyranny, and lechery. Cargill was deprived of his benefice and banished beyond the Tay by the privy council (1 Oct. 1662). He disregarded the sentence, became a field preacher, and was conspicuous for the earnestness with which he denounced the presbyterian ministers who accepted the 'indulgence' in 1672. On 16 July 1674 and 6 Aug. 1675 decreets were passed against him for holding conventicles and other offenses. In 1679 he took part in the battle of Bothwell Bridge, and was wounded, but made his escape both then and from other dangers of the same kind. At the ssae time he joined Richard Cameron [q.v.] in establishing the Cameronians. Cargill took part in drawing up a celebrated paper against the government, known as the Queensferry Covenant. He was also concerned, along with Cameron, in issuing the Sanquhar declaration (22 June 1680), and a reward was issued for his apprehension dead or alive. Afterwards, in September, at Torwood, between Stirling and Falkirk, he pronounced, without concert with any one, a solemn sentence of excommunication against the king, the Duke of York, Duke of Monmouth, Duke of Lauderdale, Duke of Rothes, Sir George Mackenzie, and Sir Thomas Dalzell. The Torwood excommunication was published in 1741. A larger reward was therefore issued for his capture, and after many hair-breadth escapes he was taken on 12 Sept. by James Irvine of Bonshaw at Covington Mill. Brought before the high court of justiciary on 26 July he was found guilty of high treason and condemned to death. He suffered at the cross of Edinburgh, 27 July 1681, expressing himself in the most jubilant and triumphant terms just before his execution. He married Margaret Browne, relict of Andrew Betham of Blebo, in 1655, but his wife died 12 Aug. 1656.

Though Cargill's very stringent views were not generally accepted by his countrymen, both he and his friend Cameron took a great hold on the popular sympathy and regard. Personally, Cargill was an amiable, kind-heart man, very self-denying, and thoroughly devoted to his duty. Wodrow ascribes some of his extreme sentiments to the influence of others. Among the people he seems to have won admiration for the profoundness of his convictions and the fearlessness with which he acted on them, when the result to himself could not fail to be ruinous. Some sermons, lectures, and his last speech and testimony have been printed; but Peter Walker in the 'Remarkable Passages' in which he records his life in 'Biographia Presbyteriana,' indicates that the impression produced by them was far inferior to that of his spoken discourses.

[Scott's Fasti Exxl. Scot. ii. 39; Biographia Presbyteriana, vol. ii.; Howie's Scots Worthies; Wodrow's History of the Sufferings of the Church of Scotland; M'Crie's Story of the Scottish Church.]

W. G. B.