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Observations placeholder

Armies eating barlie



Type of Spiritual Experience


The rationale for why I have said the source is Robert Kirk is provided in the description for him.    The English or Scottish is as it is in the account only the 's' has been changed to be an 's', in the original it looks like an 'f'.  I have not used capital letters either - the entire text had each noun in capitals.

I think it was the presence of the Lieutenant colonel that enabled him to make the prophecy

A description of the experience

The Secret Commonwealth - Robert Kirk 1691

In the year 1653, Alexander Monroe - afterwards Lieutenant Colonel to the Earl of Dunbarton's regiment - and I were walking in a place called Ullabill in Loch Broom on a little plain at the foot of a rugged hill.

There was a servant working with a spade in the walk before us, his back to us and his face to the hill.  Before we came to him, he let the spade fall and looked towards the hill.  He took notice of us as wee passed neer by him, which made me look at him; and perceiving him to stare a little strangely, I conjectured him to be a seer.  I called at him, at which he started and smiled.

What are you doing? said I.

He answered, I have seen a very strange thing.  Ane army of Englishmen leeding horses coming down that hill, and a number of them are come down to the plain and eating the barlie, which is growing in the field neer to the hill.  This was on the 4th may (for I notted the day) and it was four of fyve days before the barlie was sown in the field he spoke of.

Alexander Monro asked him how he knew they were Englishmen?  he said because they were leeding of horses and had on hats and bootts, which he knew no scots man would have.

We took little notice of the whole storie as other than a foolish vision; but wished that ane English partie were there, we being at Warr with them and the place almost unaccceptable for horsemen.

But in the beginning of August thereafter, the Earle of Midleton - then Lieut, for the king in the highlands - having occasion to march a party of his toward the south highlands, he sent his foot thorow a place called Inverlawell and the fore-partie which was first down the hill did fall off eating barlie which was on the little plain under it. 

And Monro calling to mynd what the seer told is in May preceiding, he wrote of it and sent an express to me to Lochslin in Ross where I then was, with it.

The source of the experience

Kirk, the Reverend Robert

Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps