Covenanter Grave Mauchline #History #Scotland

Mauchline Martyrs

John Brounen, John Bryce, William Finnieson, Peter Gillies and Thomas Young, Mauchline, Mauchline parish, Ayrshire. Died 1685.

Shields in 1690:
‘Item, The said Claverhouse, together with the Earl of Dumbarton, and Lieu: Gen: Dowglas, caused Peter Gillis, John Bryce, Thomas Young, (who was taken by the Laird of Lee,) William Fiddison, and John Buiening, to be put to Death upon a Gibbet, without Legal Tryal or Sentence, suffering them neither to have a Bible, nor pray before they died, at Mauchlin, anno 1685.’ (A Short Memorial, 34.)

Shields had made a mistake in this entry, as the Earl of Dumbarton could not have been present at the alleged time of their trial and deaths, as he was returning from London. Wodrow presents evidence that Lieutenant-general Drummond, rather than Dumbarton, held the trial before a jury of soldiers in early May. However, the poetic inscription on the gravestone does mention Dumbarton, which proves it was based on Shields and his error.

Stone erected 1702-1714. Inscription:
‘Here lies the Bodies of Peter Gillies John Bryce Thomas Young William Fiddison & John Beuning who were apprehended & hanged without trial at Mauchline Anno 1685 according to the then wickeds Laus for their adherence to the Covenanted works of Reformation Rev. XII. 11’

‘Bloody Dumbarton Douglass and Dundee
Mov’d by the Devil & the Laird of Lee
Dragg’d these five men to death with gun and sword
Not suffering them to pray nor read God’s word
Ouning the work of God was all their crime
The Eighty-Five was a saint killing time.’

Based on Shields. It is one of the earliest references to the Killing Times.

The grave was recorded in Cloud of Witnesses (1st edition, 1714), but as those pages are now missing in the edition held by the NLS. The following lines come from the second edition of 1720, which copied the first edition:
‘Upon the stone at Machline, lying on the bodies of Peter Gillies, John Bryce, Thomas Young, William Fiddison, and John Bruning, who were apprehended and hanged up there without trial, Anno 1685.’

Mauchline Martyrs Obelisk 1885

The gravestone originally lay by the monument.

Map of Monument

The gravestone is now in a nearby shelter.


~ by drmarkjardine on April 20, 2020.

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