Hall, Henry (d.1680) (DNB00)

HALL, HENRY (d. 1680), of Haughhead, covenanter, was a son of Robert (locally called Hobbie) Hall, whose name stands in an old valuation roll of 1643 as proprietor of Haugh-head, on the banks of the Cayle, in the parish of Eckford in Lower Teviotdale. The estate, now annexed to adjoining property of the Duke of Buccleuch, was then valued at 200l. a year. The ruins of the dwelling-house, which was continuously occupied till the end of the eighteenth century, are still preserved. Near the house is a flat stone inscribed with verses commemorating an encounter in 1620 between 'Hobbie' Hall and some neighbours who attempted to seize the land on behalf of a powerful landowner. The family belonged to a clan long famous on the borders. The son, Henry, of strong religious temperament, actively opposed the resolutions adopted by the moderate party in the church in 1651, ceased to attend the church at Eckford, and repaired weekly to Ancrum, then under the ministry of the Rev. John Livingstone. After the restoration of episcopacy by Charles II, Hall adhered to the presbyterian preachers, and became so obnoxious to the government that in 1665 he took refuge on the English side of the border, but within an easy riding distance of his estate. He left his retreat to join the covenanters, who were in arms at the Pentland Hills in 1676, and was arrested and imprisoned in Cessford Castle, two or three miles from his own home. The Earl of Roxburghe, to whom the castle belonged, procured his release, and Hall returned to Northumberland. There he was present at a scuffle near Crookham, at which one of his friends, Thomas Ker of Hayhope, near Yetholm, was killed. On this account he was compelled to quit the locality, and, returning to Scotland, wandered up and down, often in company with Donald Cargill [q. v.] and other covenanting ministers. Conventicles, or field meetings, were held on his estate. Its seclusion and proximity to the border hills, where refuge could easily be found in case of surprise by the dragoons, admirably adapted it for this purpose. There Richard Cameron [q. v.] was licensed to preach the gospel.

Hall was one of four covenanting elders who, at a council of war at Shawhead Muir, on 18 June 1679, were appointed, with Cargill, Douglas, King, and Barclay, to draw up a statement of 'Causes of the Lord's wrath against the Land.' He was also one of the commanding officers of the covenanters' army from the skirmish at Drumclog till their defeat at Bothwell Bridge (June 1679). The blue silk banner carried before him in battle is still in possession of a family in Moffat, Dumfriesshire, On 25 June 1679 the Scottish privy council ordered a search for Hall. But he escaped to Holland. Returning after three months, he was surprised by Middleton, governor of Blackness Castle, while entering a house in Queensferry in company with Cargill (3 June 1680). Hall, being 'a bold and brisk man,' struggled with the governor, and Cargill escaped. A blow on the head disabled Hall, but with friendly assistance he managed to get away towards Edinburgh. Fainting on the road, he was carried into a house near Echlin, where he was captured by General Thomas Dalyell or Dalzell [q. v.] of Binns and a company of the king's guards. He died while being conveyed to Edinburgh by the soldiers. His body was carried to the Canongate Tolbooth, and lay there three days, when it was interred at night by his friends. On his person was found a rough draft of a document, afterwards published under the name of 'The Queensferry Paper,' in which the subscribers renounced allegiance to the existing king and government, and engaged to defend their rights and privileges, natural, civil, and divine. Robert Hall (1763-1824) [q. v.] was a great-grandson.

[Old Valuation Roll, 1643-78; Howie's Scots Worthies, ed. 1870; Records of Privy Council of Scotland; Statistical Account of Eckford Parish, 1793; Scott's Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, and note; Transactions of the Berwickshire Naturalists' Club; personal visit and inquiries in the locality.]

J. T.