Buchanites

This most bizarre of all Scottish religious sects (1783-1846) originated in Irvine with Elspeth Buchan, a fanatical visionary of doubtful antecedents, and Hugh White, a popular young minister there, who became her devoted disciple. Claiming to be “the third person in the Godhead and the woman clothed with the sun of the Book of Revelation,” she led a mixed multitude, including White and the town clerk, on a weird pilgrimage to the south of Scotland, where at successive sites over a period of many years the steadily dwindling band awaited their vainly promised translation to heaven. The dramatic history of this venture, with the last lonely disciple keeping vigil over Mrs. Buchan's remains as he awaited her resurrection, has fascinated many thousands of readers.