Covenanter Grave Fenwick (White) #History #Scotland

James White Fenwick Bobby Guthrie

James White, Fenwick, Fenwick parish, Ayrshire. Died 1685.

‘Item. The said Peter or Patrick Inglis killled one James White, struck off his head with an Ax, brought to Newmills, and plaid at the Foot ball with it, he killed him at Little black wood, the foresaid year, 1685.’ (A Short Memorial, 37.)

Stone erected 1702-1714. Inscription:
‘Here lies the body of James White who was shot to death at Little Blackwood by Peter Ingles and his party 1685.’

‘This martyr was by Peter Ingles shot
By birth a tyger rather han a Scot
Who in his monstrous extract might be seen
Cut off his head & kick’t it o’er the Green.
Thus was that head which was to wear a crown
A football made by a profane Dragoun.’

Probably based on Shields. The present gravestone is probably a nineteenth-century replacement (1822) for the original.

James White Fenwick Bobby Guthrie 2

The grave was recorded the first edition of Cloud of Witnesses (1714), but those pages are missing in the copy held by the National Library of Scotland. The following lines come from the second edition of 1720, which copied the first edition:
‘Upon a third stone, lying on the body of James White, shot by Peter Ingles and his party, 1685.’

Map of rough location of the Gravestone at Fenwick Parish Church

What Three Words

Photographs of White’s gravestone are © Copyright Bobby Guthrie @AftonKillie and are reproduced by his very kind permission.

~ by drmarkjardine on April 6, 2020.

3 Responses to “Covenanter Grave Fenwick (White) #History #Scotland”

  1. Played football with his severed head. Lost for words. Do we have any way of knowing how old a man James White was? The gravestone gives no information.

    • Hi Alex, we do not know. However, generally if someone was young or notably old, the sources tend to mention that. So, probably somewhere in the 20 to 50 range. He was probably involved in some act of violence/rebellion either before or at the raid on Little Blackwood in March, 1685. There was probably a reason why the troopers specifically beheaded him after he was killed. Best, M

  2. […] we compare this gravestone to the form of that of Fergushill and Woodburn and the form of that of James White in the same churchyard, it is clear that it was probably replaced in around 1822 to 1829, although […]

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