PEDEN, ALEXANDER (c. 1626-1686), Scottish divine, one of the leading forces in the Covenant movement, was born at Auchincloich, Ayrshire, about 1626, and was educated at Glasgow University. He was ordained minister of New Luce in Galloway in 1660, but had to leave his parish under Middleton's Ejectment Act in 1663. For 23 years he wandered far and wide, bringing comfort and succour to his co-religionists, and often very narrowly escaping capture. He was indeed taken in June 1673 while holding a conventicle at Knockdow, and condemned by the privy council to 4 years and 3 months' imprisonment on the Bass Rock and a further 15 months in the Tolbooth at Edinburgh. In December 1678 he was, with sixty others, sentenced to banishment to the American plantations, but the party was liberated in London, and Peden made his way north again to divide the remaining years of his life between his own country and the north of Ireland. His last days were spent in a cave in the parish of Sorn, near his birthplace, and there he died in 1686, worn out by hardship and privation.
See A. Smelhe, Men of the Covenant, ch. xxxiv.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)