Cameron, Richard

Cameron, Richard kămˈərən [key], 1648–1680, Scottish leader of the Cameronians, an extreme group of Covenanters. In 1672, under the influence of the open-air preacher John Welch, he became a Covenanter preacher and was known for his eloquence. Strongly opposing the measures aimed at reestablishing the Episcopal Church in Scotland, and objecting to any state control of the church, he led a small company who, in the Sanquhar Declaration (1680), disowned the royal authority of Charles II. A price was set on Cameron's head and within a short time he and a little band of supporters were overtaken by royal troops. Cameron and many of his group were killed. Later (1743) the Cameronians, growing in numbers, formed a presbytery, taking the name Reformed Presbyterians. This denomination is still represented by congregations in Scotland, the north of Ireland, and North America, but the greater number united (1876) with the Free Church of Scotland, which, in 1929, incorporated them in the reunited Church of Scotland. A body of Cameronians formed the nucleus (1689) of the celebrated Cameronian regiment of the British army.

See biography by J. Herkless (1896).

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