Archibald Riddell (minister)

Rev Archibald Riddell (16351708) was a Scots-born 17th-century Presbyterian church minister in Scotland and America. His name is sometimes spelled Riddel.[3] He preached at conventicles in a time when such actions were considered high treason. He was imprisoned on the Bass Rock and was later banished to New Jersey.

For the Canadian politician, see Archibald Riddell.

Archibald Riddell

Trinity College Kirk, Riddell’s last charge
Church Kippen, First Presbyterian Church, Woodbridge, NJ, Weymss, Kirkcaldy, Trinity College Kirk
Ordination private at Kippen
Personal details
Died 1708
Denomination Christian
Spouse died in transit to America
Children four: Janet (m. James Dundas), Walter (naval officer) and John (physician)[1] and Sarah (Mrs John Currie)[2]

. . . Archibald Riddell (minister) . . .

His father was Sir Walter, second baronet of Riddell.[4] His mother was Janet, daughter of William Rigg of Athernie, in Fife. Archibald had two older brothers: Sir John, who succeeded his father; and William, who started the Riddells of Glen-Riddell, in Dumfries-shire.[5] Archibald graduated from Edinburgh University on 9 July 1656 with a Master of Arts degree.[6]

Crags and scree in the Corrie of Balglass, near Fintry. A conventicle was held there which was attacked when it did not disperse when ordered to.

Archibald was privately ordained to the ministry at Kippen by John Law around 1670.[7] He was a field preacher along with John Blackadder and John Dickson. At one such conventicle, at which Robert Garnock was present there was an exchange of gunfire with government soldiers.[8][9][10] Riddell was caught for keeping conventicles, by the laird of Graden, a relative of his wife, in September 1680 and taken to Jedburgh tolbooth before being taken to the Edinburgh Tolbooth for about nine months.[11][12] “From there he was sentenced to the Bass Rock, on 8 July 1681 to remain prisoner there.”[13][14]

Following a petition from George Scot (whose wife was Riddell’s cousin)[15] who had himself been a prisoner on the Bass he was released from prison to be banished to a plantation in America along with other prisoners several of whom had been tortured:[16]

“Edinburgh, 24th December 1684. The Lords of his Majesty’s Privy Council having considered a petition presented by Mr George Scot of Pitlochie, desiring that, in regard the Council have granted him the benefit of some persons lately sentenced to the plantations, in order to their being transported thither, and that he is willing to transport Mr Archibald Riddell, prisoner in the Bass, liberty might be granted to him for some time to put his affairs in order, and attend several processes now depending both for and against him before the Session, upon the petitioner’s being cautioner for him, that he shall immediately after his liberty, come to his own lodgings in Edinburgh, and confine himself there during his abode here, and, in the mean time, keep no conventicles ; and be by him transported to East Jersey in America, and never return to this kingdom thereafter, without special licence from the Council : The said Lords do grant the said desire, and recommend to the Lord High Chancellor, governor of the said Isle of Bass, to give order and warrant to his deputy-governor of that isle, to deliver to the petitioner, or his order, the person of the said Mr Archibald Riddell, in regard the petitioner hath become caution to the effect foresaid, under the penalty of five thousand merks Scots money, in case of failure in any of the premises.”

. . . Archibald Riddell (minister) . . .

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. . . Archibald Riddell (minister) . . .