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The Buchanites, Scotland

A singular sect of religious fanatics that first made their appearance in the neighbourhood of Glasgow, Scotland. Their founder was a Mrs Buchan, the wife of a dyer in Glasgow. One of her chief tenets was, that all who followed her and her doctrine would go to heaven without tasting of death, like Elias, and that too, on a certain day which she prophesied, for she always wished to be looked on as a prophetess, and that she alighted on earth at the Clauchan o Thornhill, from heaven, keeping still the litt vats in the gorbals of Glasgow out of sight. At long and length the glorious day arrived on which they were all to be taken to the regions above, where endless happiness existed, and pleasure for evermore. Platforms were erected for them to wait on, until the wonderful hour arrived, and Mrs Buchan's platform was exalted above all the others. The hair of ilka head was cut short - all but a tuft on the top, for the angels to catch by when drawing them up. The momentous hour came. Every station for ascension was instantly occupied. Thus they stood, expecting to be wafted every moment into the land of bliss, when a gust of wind came; but, instead of wafting them upwards, it capsized Mrs Buchan, platform and all! and the fall made her all hech again on the cauld yird. After this unexpected downcome, she fell into disgrace by her leaders, and her words had not so much weight with them; still, however, a great number clung by her; and one night, she having been ailing for some time before, a fit came on her, out of which she never recovered; but her disciples, thinking it to be a trance into which she had fallen, expected her to awake; but no signs of this appearing for some days, and her body beginning to have a putrid smell, they thought it prudent to bury it in the earth beside the house; and by her have been laid all those of her sect who have since died.

John MacTaggart 1797-1830.

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