Leveller's Revolt

1724 - 1725

The Galloway Levellers were armed groups of small tenant farmers and crofters, including men, women and children, who roamed the SW of Scotland taking militant action against local landowners who wanted to enclose their land and evict them to make way for cattle. Beginning at Kelton Hill, the Levellers therefore began to 'level' the walls that had been built. They were armed with everything from muskets and swords, to pitchforks and scythes, and the landlords summoned troops to protect their interests and restore order. These landlords formed an unlikely coalition of Covenanters (Cameronians), Jacobites and supporters of the Hanoverian Government. By the Spring of 1725, the revolt was over and its leaders were tried and imprisoned, fined or sentenced to be transported to the colonies.

One of the few walls to survive belonged to Robert Johnstone of Kelton, only saved after the intervention of the local minister and promises that there would be no evictions.

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