Bob Miller's Account of the Wreck of the Crown of London

Robert B. Miller, Jr.
2626 Anwell Drive
Richmond, Virginia
23235-3108 U.S.A.
804-330-8146, voice & fax

The Covenanters;

The Battle of Bothwell Bridge;

The Shipwreck of the Crown of London

Covenanter prisoners from the Battle of Bothwell Bridge, which was fought on June 22nd, 1679, were banished to the plantations as slaves. This was a rebellion between the Scottish Presbyterians and King Charles II’s Church of England/Episcopalians and it occurred 8 miles southeast of Glasgow. 1184 prisoners were captured after the battle, some were tortured and executed ("…to be hanged on a gibbet till they be dead, and their bodies be hung up on chains in the said place till they rot…"), but most were discharged on August 14th with the Act of Indemnity proclamation. However, an earlier order had been made on July 4th by the Privy Council for all "Ministers, Heritors, and Ringleaders" who were to be prosecuted and banished to the plantations as white slaves. William Paterson was the merchant in Edinburgh that contracted with Provost Milns, Laird of Barnton [7], for the job of transportation [2]. The prisoners were held in the Greyfriar’s Churchyard, Cannongate and Edinburgh Tollbooths (prisons) and Heriot’s Hospital. On November 15th the 30 prisoners held at Edinburgh Tollbooth were moved to Leith by Captain John Ballfour [3] to board the Crown of London [4] which was commanded by Captain Thomas Teddico [4] (described by the Reverend Blackadder as a "…profane, cruel wretch, and used them barbarously…") and sailed for either Barbados [6] or Virginia [8] on November 27th with 257 prisoners. On December 10th, they landed at Deersound, Orkney due to stormy weather but sailed that evening against local advise and wrecked at Scarva Taing about a mile west of Mull Head near Deerness, Orkney drowning approximately 211 of the prisoners [1]. The 46 known survivors are marked with an asterisk * [1] and were possibly reshipped to Barbados, Jamaica [6] or New Jersey [9] as slaves. However, the 9 bolded names were reported to have escaped to Ulster, Ireland [7]. Additionally, the families of Muir and Delday, on Orkney, claim to be descended from survivors [5]. Monuments have been erected at the Bothwell Bridge Battlefield site and at both Kirkwall and Scarva Taing on Orkney.

The following is an alphabetized list of the 248 recorded prisoners from the 257 total prisoners onboard the Crown of London. There were numerous spelling differences between the Reverend Thomson’s A Cloud of Witnesses (1714) and Carslaw’s Exiles of the Covenant (1908). In these cases, Thomson’s spellings were used since his was the original source.

Covenanter Prisoners onboard the Crown of London





1 Addie, John West Lothian Torphichen
2 Aitchison, James * Merse & Teviotdale Nethan/Nenthorn
3 Aitkin, John Clydesdale Shotts
4 Aiton, Andrew Clydesdale Evendale
5 Alison, Robert Clydesdale Evendale
6 Alison, William Clydesdale Evendale
7 Allan, John West Lothian Torphichen
8 Anderson, James Ayr Kilmarnock
9 Anderson, Robert Ayr Kilmarnock
10 Auchinclose, William Baronthrow/Renfrew Paisley
11 Auld, Robert Clydesdale Kilbride
12 Barton, Thomas Clydesdale Monklands
13 Beal, John Fife Newburn
14 Beck, Samuel Galloway Kirkmabreck
15 Bell, John West Lothian Livingston
16 Bishop, Alexander West Lothian Torphichen
17 Bissit, Alexander Mid-Lothian East Calder
18 Bitchet, David Ayr Fenwick
19 Bitchet, William Ayr Fenwick
20 Boog, Robert Fife Straithmiglo
21 Borthwick, Thomas West Lothian Linlithgow
22 Bouston, James Ayr Digen/Dreghorn
23 Breakenrig, William Clydesdale Bothwell
24 Brice, John Galloway Borgue
25 Brown, John Mid-Lothian Mid-Calder
26 Brown, Robert Galloway Kirkmabreck
27 Brown, Thomas Stirling Gargunnock
28 Brown, William Ayr Kilmarnock
29 Brownlee, Thomas Clydesdale Evendale
30 Bryce, John Ayr Kirkmichael
31 Bryce, Robert Galloway Borgue
32 Buchan, William Baronthrow/Renfrew Paisley
33 Buchanan, James Stirling Gargunnock
34 Buckle, Andrew Ayr Fenwick
35 Burden, Alexander Ayr Barr
36 Cairnduff, John Clydesdale Evendale
37 Cairns, Thomas Merse & Teviotdale Sprouston
38 Caldrow, Robert * Galloway Balmaghie
39 Caldwell, William Ayr Girvan
40 Cameron, Hugh * Ayr Dalmellington
41 Campbell, George Ayr Galston
42 Campbell, John Ayr Muirkirk
43 Chalmers, Robert Clydesdale Shotts
44 Christison, John Perth Kilmadock
45 Clark, Andrew * Galloway Lochrutton
46 Clark, James Clydesdale Kilbride
47 Clark, John Clydesdale Kilbride
48 Cochran, John Clydesdale Evendale
49 Colvil, James Nithsdale Glencairn
50 Cook, Andrew Merse & Teviotdale Melrose
51 Corson, James Galloway Kirkcudbright
52 Couper, James Clydesdale Carnwath
53 Couston, James Merse & Teviotdale Sudon/South Dean
54 Craig, John Clydesdale Glassford
55 Crighton, Thomas Clydesdale Carnwath
56 Cunningham, Daniel Stirling Drummond
57 Cunningham, James Baronthrow/Renfrew Eastwood
58 Currie, David Ayr Fenwick
59 Cuthbertson, John Ayr Kilmarnock
60 Deans, John Merse & Teviotdale Nethan/Nenthorn
61 Donaldson, Andrew Galloway Girthon
62 Donaldson, James Galloway Kelton
63 Donaldson, John Perth Kincardine
64 Douglas, John Ayr Kirkmichael
65 Douglas, Samuel Merse & Teviotdale Cavers
66 Drafin, George * Clydesdale Lesmahagow
67 Drips, William Ayr Mauchline
68 Dunbar, George * Ayr Craigie
69 Easton, Andrew West Lothian Torphichen
70 Easton, James West Lothian Torphichen
71 Easton, John * West Lothian Torphichen
72 Eccles, Mungo Ayr Maybole
73 Edgar, John * Galloway Balmaclellan
74 Eliot, John Merse & Teviotdale Sudon/South Dean
75 Ferguson, John Nithsdale Glencairn
76 Ferguson, William * Nithsdale Glencairn
77 Finlay, Thomas Ayr Kilmarnock
78 Finlayson, James Lennox/Dumbarton New Kilpatrick
79 Fork, James Mid-Lothian Crichton
80 Fram, William * Clydesdale Cadder
81 Galbraith, James Stirling Kippen
82 Gardner, John * Clydesdale Monklands
83 Gemill, John Ayr Cumnock
84 Germont, Thomas Ayr Kirkoswald
85 Gib, James West Lothian Abercorn
86 Gib, John Merse & Teviotdale Cavers
87 Gilchrist, Patrick Stirling Gargunnock
88 Gilchrist, Thomas Mid-Lothian Calder
89 Glasgow, John * Merse & Teviotdale Cavers
90 Glasgow, William * Merse & Teviotdale Cavers
91 Govan, John Baronthrow/Renfrew Neilston
92 Govan, John West Lothian Kirkliston
93 Gray, James Ayr Fenwick
94 Graze, James Mid-Lothian Calder
95 Greenshields, John Merse & Teviotdale Cavers
96 Grinlaw, William Clydesdale Monklands
97 Hamilton, Patrick West Lothian Livingston
98 Hannay, Samuel Galloway Kirkmabreck
99 Hardie, William Merse & Teviotdale Kelso
100 Henderson, William West Lothian Livingston
101 Hendrie, Robert Stirling Airth
102 Herd, William Merse & Teviotdale Ashkirk
103 Hopkirk, James Merse & Teviotdale Cavers
104 Horn, Thomas Ayr Maybole
105 Houston, James Galloway Balmaghie
106 Humper, Walter Ayr Dalmellington
107 Humper, Walter, Jr. * Ayr Dalmellington
108 Hutcheson, George Ayr Straiton
109 Inglis, Thomas West Lothian Livingston
110 Keir, Patrick Perth Kincardine
111 Kennedy, John Nithsdale Closeburn
112 Killen, John Clydesdale Shotts
113 Kirk, James Fife Largo & Kilconquhar
114 Kirk, John Fife Ceres
115 Kirk, Robert * Kinross Orwell
116 Lamb, Alexander Ayr Straiton
117 Lermont, Peter Clydesdale Shotts
118 Leydon, James * Merse & Teviotdale Cavers
119 Lilburn, James Kinross Kinross
120 M’Adam, Quinton * Ayr Dalmellington
121 M’Bratney, John * Galloway Kirkcudbright
122 M’Connel, James Ayr Kirkmichael
123 M’Cornock, John Ayr Colmonell
124 M’Cubbin, David Ayr Dalry
125 M’Culloch, William Ayr Dalry
126 M’Garron, Robert Ayr Maybole
127 M’Gie, John * Galloway Kirkcudbright
128 M’Harie, John Ayr Maybole
129 M’Kechnie, Walter Clydesdale Glasgow
130 M’Kenzie, Thomas * Mid-Lothian Liberton
131 M’Kie, James Stirling Denny
132 M’Lellan, John Ayr Colmonell
133 M’Lurg, Thomas Ayr Colmonell
134 M’Murrie, James Ayr Straiton
135 M’Nure, John Stirling St. Ninian’s
136 M’Quhan, Andrew * Galloway Kirkcudbright
137 M’Tagart, John Galloway Penninghame
138 M’Tire, John Ayr Kirkmichael
139 M’Whirter, John Ayr Maybole
140 Macgill, Robert * Galloway Galashiels
141 Mackervail, David Nithsdale Glencairn
142 Malcolm, John * Galloway Dalray
143 Martine, John * Galloway Borgue
144 Mather, John Merse & Teviotdale Jedburgh
145 Mathie, Thomas Clydesdale Monklands
146 Miller, John Clydesdale Glassford
147 Miller, Thomas * Fife Ceres
148 Miller, Thomas Stirling Gargunnock
149 Miller, William Clydesdale Glasgow
150 Miller, William Clydesdale Monklands
151 Milligan, John * Nithsdale Glencairn
152 Milligan, Robert Nithsdale Glencairn
153 Milligan, Thomas Nithsdale Closeburn
154 Mirrie, James Ayr Cumnock
155 Montgonery, Hugh * Stirling Falkirk
156 More, ? * Clydesdale Bothwell
157 Morison, John Stirling Airth
158 Murdoch, Andrew West Lothian Kinneil/Borrowstounnes
159 Murdoch, John * Nithsdale Glencairn
160 Murie, Andrew Perth Glendevon
161 Murie, John Perth Glendevon
162 Murray, Alexander * Galloway Penninghame
163 Mutray, Alexander Mid-Lothian Mid-Calder
164 Neilson, John Stirling St. Ninian’s
165 Newbigging, Andrew Merse & Teviotdale Baudon/Bowden
166 Nisbet, Samuel Merse & Teviotdale Nethan/Nenthorn
167 Oliver, John Merse & Teviotdale Hobkirk
168 Paterson, Alexander Ayr Muirkirk
169 Pender, John * West Lothian Torphichen
170 Penman, James * Clydesdale Quathquan
171 Phalp, Thomas Stirling Muiravonside
172 Pirie, Alexander Clydesdale Glasgow
173 Pirie, Andrew Fife Largo & Kilconquhar
174 Pringle, John Merse & Teviotdale Castletoun
175 Pringle, Thomas Mid-Lothian Stow
176 Ralton, David West Lothian Bathgate
177 Ramsay, Robert Ayr Kirkmichael
178 Rankin, John Clydesdale Bigger
179 Reid, William Ayr Mauchline
180 Reid, William Mid-Lothian Musselburgh
181 Richardson, John * Galloway Borgue
182 Richmond, Andrew Ayr Auchinleck
183 Rodger, William Ayr Maybole
184 Rodger, William Clydesdale Kilbride
185 Rosper, Thomas Nithsdale Glencairn
186 Russel, John Mid-Lothian Calder
187 Russel, Robert Clydesdale Shotts
188 Rutherford, George Merse & Teviotdale Ancrum
189 Samuel, David * Mid-Lothian East Calder
190 Sands, James * Stirling Gargunnock
191 Sands, Robert * Kinross Orwell
192 Scot, John Galloway Ettrick Forest
193 Scot, William Merse & Teviotdale Castletoun
194 Scular, William * Clydesdale Cambusnethan
195 Simpson, Hugh Ayr Dalmellington
196 Smith, John * Galloway Dalray
197 Smith, John * Nithsdale Glencairn
198 Snodgrass, Andrew Clydesdale Govan
199 Sprot, Andrew Galloway Borgue
200 Steel, James Mid-Lothian Calder
201 Steven, John West Lothian Livingston
202 Struthers, John Clydesdale Kilbride
203 Swan, Thomas * Clydesdale Carstairs
204 Swanston, William * Merse & Teviotdale Sudon/South Dean
205 Thomson, Andrew * Ayr Dundonald
206 Thomson, Andrew * Stirling St. Ninian’s
207 Thomson, James Clydesdale Quathquan
208 Thomson, John * Clydesdale Shotts
209 Thomson, John West Lothian Dalmeny
210 Thomson, John West Lothian Torphichen
211 Thomson, Thomas * Stirling St. Ninian’s
212 Thomson, William Galloway Borgue
213 Tinto, James Mid-Lothian Temple
214 Tod, James East Lothian Dunbar
215 Tod, Robert Ayr Fenwick
216 Torrence, Andrew Clydesdale Evendale
217 Unnes, John Merse & Teviotdale Castletoun
218 Waddel, Alexander Merse & Teviotdale Castletoun
219 Waddel, James Clydesdale Monklands
220 Waddel, Walter Merse & Teviotdale Sprouston
221 Waddel, William * Clydesdale Monklands
222 Walker, Alexander Clydesdale Shotts
223 Wallace, Robert * Ayr Fenwick
224 Wallet, Andrew Galloway Irongray
225 Watson, John Clydesdale Evendale
226 Watt, Patrick * Ayr Kilmarnock
227 Weir, George Clydesdale Lesmahagow
228 Weir, Robert Clydesdale Lesmahagow
229 Welsh, Andrew Ayr Ochiltree
230 White, John Ayr Kirkoswald
231 Whyte, John Ayr Fenwick
232 Williamson, Thomas Mid-Lothian Cranston
233 Wilson, Patrick West Lothian Livingston
234 Wilson, Thomas Clydesdale Quathquan
235 Wodrow, Francis Clydesdale Glasgow
236 Wylie, Andrew Ayr Stewarton
237 Wylie, John Ayr Fenwick
238 Wylie, Robert Ayr Stewarton
239 Wylie, Thomas Ayr Loudon
240 Wylie, Thomas Ayr Stewarton
241 Wynet, John Clydesdale Monklands
242 Young, Andrew Stirling Airth
243 Young, James * Merse & Teviotdale Cavers
244 Young, John Merse & Teviotdale Melrose
245 Young, Richard Merse & Teviotdale Cavers
246 Young, Robert Galloway Galashiels
247 Younger, James Ayr Galston
248 Younger, William West Lothian Livingston

William Waddel was recorded as being a survivor and according to his great-great-great-great-grandson Joseph Waddell quoting Thomson’s A Cloud of Witnesses in his work Annals of Augusta County, Virginia, p8;

Those who refused to take the oath of allegiance to the persecuting government were sentenced to banishment. The list of these men reads like a muster roll of Augusta County people, including the familiar names of Anderson, Bell, Brown, Brownlee, Cochran, Craig, Campbell, Finley, Hutchison, Hamilton, Henderson, Morrison, Reid, Scott, Steele, Waddell, Walker, White Wilson, & c. The following are the names of some of the prisoners who survived the shipwreck and escaped to Ireland: John Thomson, William Waddell, John Gardner, Thomas Miller, Thomas Thompson, Andrew Thompson, Hugh Montgomery, John Martin, Andrew Clark and James Young.


The Crown of London Proclamation

Forsameikle (For as much) as there (have been) many of the passengers and seamen that have escaped of the vessel late broken at Deirsound and called the Crown come into this town and some of them have (been) quhered (heard) to prejudge and wrong the inhabitants. In remead qrof (where of) these are in his Majesties name and authority and in name and authority of the provost and bailyies (aldermen) of the said burgh, discharging the haill inhabitants within the same to arrest of any of the said crew except such civil persons as the receivers of them will be answerable for and give notice of their names nightly to any of the magistrates in qais (whose) quarter they live, or to the clerk that notice may be had of their names and qualifications. Certifying these quha (who) dueth (do) in the contrair they shall be liable for any prejudice the saids strayling persons shall do by, and author such censure as shall be thought couverment for their contempt and disobedience qrof none is pnd (pretend) ignorance be these(?) puts (presents; this proclamation, a legal term). Given under the hand of our clerk of the said burgh the 17 day of December 1679.

God save the King

(Signed) Da. Forbes Cl.

17 Dec 1679 this proclaimed by WM Angussone officer and WM Marwick drummer for qch (which) given at the provest direction 12s out of Jaes adamesones (James Adamsons) wyfes fyne.


The inscription on the monument at Bothwell Bridge, Bothwell, an obelisk erected in 1903, reads as follows:



22nd JUNE 1679


22nd JUNE 1679

The monument in Kirkwall, Orkney, a fountain with a column on the Kirk Green erected in 1891, stands near the intersection of Broad Street and Palace Road. Its inscription reads as follows:


IN 1679



The inscription on the monument at Scarva Taing, Orkney was erected in 1888 and reads as follows:


For Christ, His Crown & Covenant

AUG. 1888
ON 10th DECEMBER 1679.

Over eleven hundred of the Covenanters were held as prisoners at Greyfriars Kirkyard in Edinburgh. In 1706 a the Martyr’s Monument was erected in their memory with the following inscription.


Halt passenger take heed what thou dost see.
This tomb doth shew for what some men did die
Here lies interr’d the dust of these who stood
Gainst perjury resisting unto blood
Adhering to the Covenants and Laws
Establishing the same which was the Cause
Then their lives were sacrificed unto the Lust
Or Prelatist’s abjur’d though here their dust
Lies mixt with murders and other crew
Whom justice did justly to death pursue.
But as for this in them no cause was found
Worthy of death but only they were found
Constant and steadfast zealous witnessing
For the prerogatives of CHRIST their KING
Which truths were feared by famous Guthrie’s head
And all along to Master Ranwick’s blood
They did endure the wrath of enemies
Reproaches torments deaths and injuries
But yet they’re these who from such troubles came
And now triumph in glory with the LAMB

From May 27th 1661 that the noble Marquess of Argyle suffered to the 17th of Febr 1688 that Mr. James Ranwick suffer’d were executed at Edinburgh about a hundred of Noblemen Gentlemen Ministers & others noble martyers for JESUS CHRIST. The most part of them lies here.

The flag carried by the Covenanters at the Battle of Bothwell Bridge was pictured on page 147 of FitzRoy MacLean’s book Highlanders A History of the Scottish Clans (London: David Campbell Publishers Ltd., 1995.) and was a cross of St. Andrew with five roses in the center and the words:







According to Elroy’s Scottish History "Some of the Burn, Wood and Clyde families apparently fought on the same side and were martyred for their cause on November 25, 1681. A grave stone that lay buried in a corn field near Magus-muir was the gravestone of Thomas Burn, James Wood, Andrew Sword, John Waddel and John Clyde. It reads as follows:


‘Cause we at Bothwell did appear,
Perjurious oaths refused to swear;
‘Cause we Christ’s cause would not condemn,
We were sentenced to death by men,
Who rag’d against us in such fury,
Our dead bodies they did not bury;
But upon poles did hang us high,
Triumph of Babel’s victory.
Our lives we feared not to the death,
But constant prov’d to the last breath."

The Crown of London’s Known Survivors’ List

    Aichison, James
    Caldow, Robert
    Cameron, Hugh
    Clark, Andrew
    Drafin, George
    Dunbar, George
    Easton, John
    Edgar, John
    Ferguson, William
    Fram, William
    Gardner, John
    Glasgow, John
    Glasgow, William
    Humper, Walter, Jr.
    Kirk, Robert
    Leydon, James
    MacGill, Robert
    Malcolm, John
    Martin, John
    McBratney, John
    McGee, John
    McKenzie, Thomas
    McQuhan, Thomas
    Miller, Thomas, descendants in Richmond, Virginia
    Milligan, John
    Montgomery, Hugh
    Murdoch, John
    Murray, Alexander
    Pendar, John
    Penman, James
    Richardson, John
    Samuel, David
    Sands, James
    Sands, Robert
    Scoular, William
    Smith, John (Galloway)
    Smith, John (Nithsdale)
    Swan, Thomas
    Swanston, William
    Thomson, Andrew
    Thomson, John
    Waddell, William
    , descendants in Augusta County, Virginia
    Wallace, Robert
    Watt, Patrick
    Young, James

Additionally, descendants of James Tod, #214, state that his son John Tod was also onboard and survived. This line lives in Lincoln, Massachusetts and includes Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of President Abraham Lincoln. John Tod’s name does not appear on either list, but nine names are known to be missing and some prisoners might have refused to give their names to protect their families from further harassment.



The greatest single source of material was Alison Fraser, Principal Archivist, The Orkney Library, Kirkwall. Without Ms. Fraser’s help, this work would not have been possible, thank you very much! (The Orkney Library & Archives, Laing Street, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1NW, Scotland)

  1. Carslaw, W.H. Exiles of the Covenant, Helensburgh: 1908.
  2. Mooney, Herald. "The Wreck of the ‘Crown’ and the Covenanters in Orkney," Orkney Miscellany, Orkney: 1950?.
  3. Dobson, David. Directory of Scots Banished to the American Plantations 1650-1775, Baltimore: 1983.
  4. Dobson, David. Scots on the Chesapeake 1607-1830, Baltimore: 1992.
  5. Ferguson, D.M. Shipwrecks of Orkney, Shetland and Pentland Firth, 1988.
  6. Scottish Covenanters, Civil and Religious Freedom: Speeches at the Unveiling of the National Monument, Bothwell Bridge, 1903.
  7. Thomson, Rev. J. A Cloud of Witnesses, 1714.
  8. Brown, Thomas. Diary of Thomas Brown, Notary Public, Kirkwall, Orkney, Scotland, entry for December 10th, 1679, published by A. Francis Steuart in 1898.
  9. Philip, Craig. "Tragic Memorial of Slave Ship." The Orcadian, December 31, 1992.