Covenanter Grave Lesmahagow #History #Scotland

David Steel, Lesmahagow, Lesmahagow parish, Lanarkshire. Died 1686.

Shields in 1690:
‘Liev. Crichton, now prisoner in Edinburgh, did most barbarously after Quarters, shoot David Steel, in the parish of Lesmahago, Decem: 1686.’ (A Short Memorial, 37.)

Stone erected 1702-1714. Inscription:
‘Here lies the body of David Steel martyr who was murdered by Chrichton for his testimony to the Covenants and work of Reformation and because he durst not own the authority of the tyrant destroying the same. He was shot at Skellyhill on the 20th of December 1686 in the 33d year of his age.’

‘David a shepherd first, and then
Advanced to be king of men
Had of his graces in this quarter
This heir, a wand’rer, now a martyr
Who for his constancy and zeal
Still to the back did prove true Steel
Who for Christ’s royal truth and laws
And for the Covenanted cause
Of Scotlands famous Reformation
Declining tyrant’s usurpation
By cruel Chrichton murder’d lies
Whose blood to heaven for vengeance cries.’

Perhaps not based on Shields. The inscription contains new information that he was summarily executed at Skellyhill, an exact date from his death of 20 December, 1686, and that he was thirty-three.

Grave record in Cloud of Witnesses (1st edition, 1714, 287.):
‘Upon the Grave-stone of David Steil in the Church yard of Lesmahago is this motto.’

The lettering form of the inscription probably indicates that the stone ‘renewed’ in the Nineteenth Century actually replaced the original 1702 to 1714 stone.

Map of Steel’s Gravestone at Lesmahagow Old Parish Church (Rough Location)

What3Words (Rough Location)

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

~ by drmarkjardine on May 10, 2020.

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