BUCHAN, ELSPETH (1738-1791), founder of a Scottish religious sect known as the Buchanites, the daughter of a Banff shire innkeeper. Having quarrelled with her husband, she settled in Glasgow where she persuaded a small group of people that she was a saint with a special mission, that in fact she was the woman described in Revelation xii. Her sect, which ultimately numbered 46 adherents, was expelled by the magistrates in 1784, and settled in a farmhouse known as New Cample in Dumfriesshire. Robert Burns, in a letter dated Aug. 1784, describes the sect, which broke up on the death of its founder, as idle and immoral.
See J. Train, The Buchanites from First to Last (Edinburgh, 1846).