Covenanter Grave Fenwick (Fergushill & Woodburn) #History #Scotland

John Fergushill and George Woodburn, Fenwick, Fenwick parish, Ayrshire. Died 1685.

Shields in 1690:
‘Lieu: Nisbet and his Party shot to death John Ferguson, George Whiteburn, and Patrick Gemmil in the parish of Finnick, the said year, 1685.’ (A Short Memorial, 37.)

Stone erected 1702-1714. Inscription:
‘Here lies the dust of John Fergushill and George Woodburn, who were shot at Midland by Nisbet and his party, 1685.’

‘When bloody prelates, once this nation’s pest,
Contriv’d that curs’d self-contradicting test;
These men for Christ did suffer martyrdom,
And here their blood lies waiting till He come.’

Based on Shields, but the inscription altered the surnames of Ferguson to Fergushill and Whiteburn to Woodburn.

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 the grave-stone at Finnick, lying on the dust of John Fergushill and George Woodburn, who were shot to death by Nisbet and his party, Anno 1685.‘

The gravestone (pictured above) is almost certainly a replacement stone for the 1702-1714 original and was erected in 1829. Recently, a modern gravestone was erected (pictured below) which appears to have replaced the 1829 stone.

The 1829 stone has similar nineteenth-century lettering style to a replacement stone at Cumnock for Thomas Richard (pictured below).

All three martyr graves at Fenwick lie close to each other in the same churchyard. A wander round the church will easily reveal them.

Map of rough location of the Gravestone at Fenwick Parish Church

What3Words (rough location)

Photographs of the Covenanters’ gravestone at Fenwick are © Copyright Bobby Guthrie @AftonKillie and are reproduced by his very kind permission.

~ by drmarkjardine on May 8, 2020.

One Response to “Covenanter Grave Fenwick (Fergushill & Woodburn) #History #Scotland”

  1. […] 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 […]

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