CAMERON, RICHARD (1648?–1680), founder of a Scottish religious sect of Cameronians, which formed the nucleus of the regiment of this name in the British army, was born at Falkland in the county of Fife. He was educated at the village school, and his success was so great that, while still a youth, he was appointed schoolmaster. In this situation he became acquainted with some of the more enthusiastic field-preachers. Persuaded by them he resigned his post and entered the family of Sir Walter Scott of Harden as chaplain and tutor. Refusing to acknowledge the Indulgence, he joined the ranks of the non-conforming ministers, and incited the inhabitants of the southern counties of Scotland to protest openly against the new edict. So formidable was the agitation that the government pronounced illegal all armed assemblages for religious purposes. Cameron took refuge in Holland, where he resided for some time; but in the autumn of 1679 (probably) he returned to Scotland, and once more made himself formidable to the government. Shortly after the defeat of the Covenanters at Bothwell Bridge in that year, Cameron was slain in a skirmish at the Aird’s, or Airs, Moss, fighting bravely at the head of the few troops which he had been able to collect. His prayer before going into battle became a tradition—“Lord spare the green and take the ripe.” After the accession of William III. the survivors were amnestied, and the Cameronian regiment was formed from them.
See Andrew Lang, History of Scotland, vol. iii. (1907); Herzog-Hauck, Realencyklopädie (1897), s.v. “Cameronianer”; A. Smellie, Men of the Covenant; Herkless, Richard Cameron; P. Walker, Six Saints of the Covenant.