Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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SOCIETY, n. A name given to one of a number of groups of Presbyterians chiefly in the South-West of Scotland who refused to recognise the Indulgence of 1679 and the Revolution Settlement of 1688, calling themselves ‘Fellowship Societies,' and who finally united under the leadership of the Rev. John Macmillan (see Macmillanite) to form what is now the Reformed Presbyterian Church (see Reform). Chiefly attrib. and in pl. = Cameronians. Now only hist. Sc. 1722  R. Wodrow Sufferings iii. iv. s.4:
Next year [1681], when we shall hear they began to meet in Societies, and had a general meeting quarterly, they term themselves, The Societies united in Correspondence.
Sc. 1727  P. Walker Life A. Peden 110:
Reflections upon the faithful followers of the Lamb, giving them so many Nicknames, as Cameronians, Society-people, the warm Party, the warmer Sort, warm hot Persons, the violent Party, High-fliers.
Ayr. 1823  Galt R. Gilhaize III. xxix.:
Four alert young men, of the Cameronian societies.
Sc. 1839  J. MacKerrow Hist. Secession Ch. I. 8:
A class of dissenters, known by the name of Society-men, or Cameronians. These were the descendants of that party of the Covenanters, who carried their principles to their utmost length.
Sc. 1873  J. H. Burton Hist. Scot. VII. 310:
They were the representatives of those “Remonstrants” of old who drew themselves off, and separately incorporated themselves by “The Sanquhar Declaration.” They came to be known as “Hillmen,” “Society Men,” “Cameronians,” and “Wild western Whigs.”
Kcb. 1893  Crockett Raiders ii.:
He took no part in the services which were held by the Society Men.
Sc. 1905  J. O. Mitchell Old Gsw. Essays 141:
They worshipped regularly among themselves in ‘Fellowship Societies' (whence their name of ‘Society Men'). In 1706 the Rev. John MacMillan of Balmaghie, resigned his charge, and became minister of the ‘Society Men.'
Sc. 1934  J. Barr U.F. Church 44:
The persecuted had formed Societies all over the country, and these were federated in the United Societies. In their name a Declaratory Vindication was prepared and published by James Renwick on 8th November, 1684. It was entitled, “The Society People's Declaration.”

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"Society n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Dec 2018 <>



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