Taken from the book Inscriptions on the Tombstones and Monuments erected in memory of the Covenanters; with historical introduction and notes, by James Gibson, and published c.1881. 

Covenanter Tombstones and Monuments in the Stewartry


"The mossy cave their bed,
Where the waving fern, o'erspread,
Only canopied their head,
Near the Auld Kirkyard."

A few miles north-west of Dumfries, in the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright, is Irongray, a place of historical interest in connection with the Covenanters. The "Communion Stones" used by the persecuted people are at Skeoch Hill, the highest land on the moors of Irongray, where they are visited with great reverence, and have suffered no dilapidation or change after the lapse of nearly two centuries. Each stone lies in the exact spot, and in the order originally placed, and though the moors have been enclosed, and fences erected, no sacrilegious hand has ventured to remove or alter the stones. They consist of four rows of flat, irregular blocks of stone, resembling long tables. Each row contains about 30 seats, so that 120 people could communicate at the same time. The place lies in a valley, or bosom of the hill. They are a remarkable memorial of the old conventicles which drew together the suffering wanderers, and inspired them with fresh life and courage to "fight the good fight of faith."

The churchyard, too, has its romantic history as the burial place of Helen Walker, the prototype of Jeanie Deans in Sir Walter Scott's well-known novel of "The Heart of Midlothian," where a tombstone with an inscription written by the great novelist marks her grave.

Near the kirk of Irongray is a hill with a grove of oaks, hazels, and wild apples, within which the memory of two martyrs is preserved Edward Gordon, and Alexander McCubbin, who, with four others, were surprised and secured by Capt. Bruce, on Lochenkit or Larghill Moor, in the parish of Urr. Four were shot on the spot at the time of their capture; but Gordon and McCubbin were taken before the Laird of Lagg, at the Bridge of Urr, where he was occupied in forcing the abjuration oath upon the people. On their refusing to accept the test he pronounced sentence of death upon them.

Captain Bruce having taken upon himself to despatch the others, was anxious these two should receive a fair trial at the assize, but Lagg, with his usual remorseless cruelty, stormed and swore he would have no Court. They were conveyed to Irongray on the following day, and when near the church were suspended on an oak tree, at the foot of which they were buried.

A flat altar stone was erected as a memorial. In 1832, a sermon was preached on the spot by the Rev. G. Burnside, when a collection was made to erect a handsome enclosure of stone, and an iron railing.

The inscription is as follows:

REV 12. II. MAR 3. 1685.


In the year 1857 another monument was erected to the martyrs, inscribed as

Designed to express the respect cherished by the present generation for the Memory and Principles of the Martyrs whose ashes repose on this spot.


"Their home was oft the mountain cave,
Their couch the waving fern,
Their pillow oft the grey moss stone
In moorlands dark and stern."

A short distance from Dalbeattie, the granite city of the South, on Larghill Moor, about a mile and a half to the north of Brooklands House, is the grave of four martyrs, who were surprised and taken prisoners by Captain Bruce, and without any ceremony shot where they were captured. They were a party of wanderers in hiding from the fury of the persecutors, who swept like blood hounds through the district, showing no mercy, and even exceeding the strict orders given by the Council.

The early part of 1685 was the most terrible period of the persecution for field murders by the troopers, who were utterly callous to human life. Edward Gordon and Alexander McCubbin were taken prisoners, and hanged the following day near the kirk of Irongray. William Heron belonged to Glencairn: the other three men were from Galloway.

Their bodies were buried at the place where they fell, and a monument, enclosed within a wall (Geograph Photo), was erected to preserve their memory, on which is inscribed:

Here lyes
John Gordon, William Stuart,
William Heron, and John Wallace,
Shot by Captain Bruce.

Behold here in this wilderness we ly.
Four witnesses of hellish cruelty.

Our lives and blood could not their ire asswage,
But when we're dead, they did against us rage;
That match the like, we think, we scarcely can.
Except the Turks, or Duke de Alva's men.

Repaired by the friends of civil and religious liberty in 1823.

On a rising knoll near the gravestone, a granite monument (Geograph Photo) was erected in 1843, on the top of which is a hand pointing upward, and on one of the sides is inscribed:-

Yonder lie
William Heron, from Glencairn,
John Gordon, William Stewart, John Wallace,
Galloway men.
who were found out and shot dead here,
2nd March 1685
by Captain Bruce
for their adherence to Scotland's Covenant
and Reformation.
To commemorate the principles for which these
martyrs suffered
This monument is erected
by subscription
After services preached here by
Messrs McLachlan and McGill.


“Those martyrs who for conscience died
Though modish history blight their fame,
And sneering courtiers hoot the name
Of men who dared above be free
Amidst a nation's slavery."

The ancient royal burgh of Kirkcudbright is rich in historical events. The town is believed to have existed before the invasion of the Romans. Agricola with his victorious army penetrated into the parish in the year 82, and the Romans held possession of forts in the neighbourhood for three hundred years. Sir William Wallace, after his defeat at Falkirk, took shipping at Kirkcudbright for France, and Edward I. remained at the Castle with his Queen and Court in the course of his career of conquest, and from this port sent into England and Ireland large quantities of wheat to be made into flour. James IV. visited the town in 1501, and again in 1508, when he granted to the burgh the Castle and its lands.

The old church, as its name implies, was dedicated to St Cuthbert, and still retains its old designation, Kirk-Cuthbert, which can be easily transposed into its present form. It was situated about half a mile to the east of the burgh, and its site is still indicated by the ancient burial ground on which it stood a beautiful and sequestered spot, surrounded by fine old trees, and containing some interesting monuments, especially those of the Covenanters.

A large flat stone preserves the memory of William Hunter and Robert Smith, who with four others in hiding at Auchincloy, were taken prisoners by Claverhouse and his band of troopers while ranging through Galloway in search of fugitives.

According to instructions from the Council, giving him absolute power over his helpless victims, he ordered four out of the six to be shot on the spot.
Hunter and Smith were respited, and taken to Kirkcudbright, where an assize was called, and a form of trial gone through; but the fate of the prisoners was certain death. They were not permitted to write to their friends, and when brought to the scaffold the drums were beat to prevent their being heard by the assembled people. After being hanged, they were beheaded.

The inscription upon their gravestone (Geograph Photo) is as follows

William Huntre - Robert Smith - 1684.
This monument will show posterity
Two headless martyres under it doth ly,
By bloody Grahame were taken and surpris'd.
Brought to this toune, and afterwards were saiz'd,
By unjust law were sentenced to die;
Them first they hang'd, then headed cruelly.
Captains Douglas, Bruce, Grahame of Claverhouse
Were those that caus'd them to be handled thus;
And when they were unto the jibbet come
To stop their speech they did beat up the drum,
And all because that they would not comply
With indulgen and bloody prelacie.
In face of cruel Bruce, Douglas, and Grahame,
They did maintain that Christ was Lord supream,
And boldly owned both the Covenants.
At Kirkcudbright thus ended these two saints.

Another memorial stone, in the middle of the Churchyard, shows the burial-place of John Hallume, a young man, eighteen years of age. Seeing the soldiers coming he stepped out of the road he was travelling, and was followed on suspicion by Lieut. Livingstone and a party of dragoons; he was pursued and shot, as well as wounded with a sword, but not mortally; he was then taken to Kirkcudbright. On refusing the abjuration oath, an assize was held, composed of soldiers, when he was condemned and executed.

An upright stone marks his grave, on which is inscribed:



“Tis heard beside the rude gray stones, where oft, in days of old,
The holy convocation met, the sacred feast to hold:
Green Anwoth's heights have heard afar the same triumphant song.
And all the echoing rocks around, the hallowed strain prolong."

The old church of Anwoth is celebrated as the scene of the early labours of Samuel Rutherford. It was a very small and humble edifice, eighteen feet broad by sixty-four feet long, while the walls were not more than ten feet high. The ruins of the venerable fabric are only a short distance from the present church, built about fifty years ago.

One of the most staunch supporters of the Covenant in the time of the persecution was John Bell of Whiteside, in the parish of Anwoth, son of the heiress of Whiteside, who, after his father's death, was married to the Viscount Kenmuir. He was a man of great piety and worth, highly esteemed by all classes in his neighbourhood, but being implicated in the battle of Bothwell Bridge, he was too prominent a man to be allowed freedom. His house was pillaged, and his best horses taken away. For some time in 1681, Claverhouse made Whiteside a garrison for his troopers till all the provisions were consumed, and the grass from the meadow eaten up. For several years Mr Bell was forced to wander and hide in remote places, not venturing to reside on his estate, and many were the hair-breadth escapes he passed through before his final capture.

He had a hiding place in the fields a cave in a retired spot within his own grounds, where he secreted himself in time of danger. The soldiers knew of such a retreat, and were determined to discover it, which they at last accomplished by deception; being in the fields when the soldiers were advancing, he took to flight and again escaped, but he came at last to a hasty and bloody death by the hand of the infamous Laird of Lagg and a party of dragoons, who surprised him and four others in Kirkconnel moor, in the parish of Tongland, in February, 1685, where they were all most barbarously shot on the spot, without being allowed a few moments for prayer. Lagg knew Mr Bell well enough, and on his desiring a quarter of an hour for preparation, he resolutely refused, cursing and swearing, and saying, "What the devil! have you not had time enough to prepare since Bothwell? "

The names of the other four sufferers were, David Halliday, Andrew McRobert, James Clement, and Robert Lennox.

The remains of John Bell were buried in the churchyard of Anwoth, where a flat stone, supported on six small square pillars, close to the south-west corner of the old church, marks his grave, on which is inscribed:

Here lyes John Bell
of Whitesyde, who was barbourously shot
to death, in the Paroch
of Tongland, at the command of Grier of Lagg anno 1685

This monument shall tell posterity
That blessed Bell of Whitesyde here doth ly,
Who at command of bloody Lag was shot
A murther strange which should not be forgot.
Douglas of Morton did him quarters give,
Yet cruel Lag would not let him survive
This martyre sought some time to recomend
His soul to God before his dayes did end
The tyrant said What dev'l ye've prayed eneugh
This long seven yeare on mountains and in cleugh
So instantly caus'd him with other four.
Be shot to death upon Kirkconnel moor.
Thus did end the lives of these dear sants
For their adherence to the covenants

The people of Anwoth hold the memory of Samuel Rutherford, the first minister of their church, in the deepest veneration. In our notice of his gravestone at St Andrews, reference is made to the "Rutherford Monument" erected by his old parishioners on the farm of Boreland, Anwoth, about half a mile from the church. It is a granite obelisk, 56 feet high, and is conspicuous for miles around. It bears the following inscription:

To the Memory of
the Rev. Samuel Rutherford,
Minister of the parish of Anwoth
from 1627 to 1639,
when he was appointed Professor of Divinity
in the University of St Andrews,
where he died 1661.
This monument was erected A.D. 1842
in admiration of his eminent talents,
extensive learning, ardent piety,
Ministerial faithfulness,
and distinguished public labours
in the cause of civil and religious liberty.
The righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.
Ps. 112. 6.


The Parishioners of Girthon suffered many severe exactions during the persecution, for their devotion to the Presbyterian form of Church Government. In 1663 they were deprived of the valuable services of their minister, the Rev. William Erskine, who refused to conform to Prelacy, and was therefore ejected; he was sentenced to confine himself within the parish of Carsphairn, but having taken refuge in Teviotdale, in 1671, he was declared a fugitive, and in the following year, letters of intercommuning having been issued against him, he was apprehended and lodged in Stirling Castle. At the end of four years he was removed to Dumbarton Castle, from which he was liberated in 1679, but was again apprehended and confined in Blackness Castle, but happily survived the Revolution. Many of his parishioners were exposed to heavy pecuniary penalties and sufferings, while several forfeited their lives for their adherence to the Covenanters.

In the churchyard of Girthon, against the east gable of the Old Church, is the tomb, formerly of the Lennoxes of Cully (Cally), and now of the family of Broughton. A small upright stone at the mouth of the vault is dedicated to Robert Lennox, of Drumruck, a martyr for the Covenant, who, with Bell of Whiteside and four others was captured by Sir Robert Grierson, of Lagg, and a party of dragoons, in the parish of Tongland, Galloway, and shot on the spot.

Four were buried in their family burying-grounds of Anwoth, Balmaghie, Twynholm, and Girthon, and one on Kirkconnel Hill.

The inscription at Girthon is as follows:

Within this tomb lyes the corpse
of Robert Lennox,
sometime in Irelandtoun,
who was shot to death by
Grier of Lagg,
in the paroch of Tongland,
for his adherence to Scotland's
Reformation, Covenants,
National and Solemn League,


Near Loch Skerrow is the Auchencloy monument, to commemorate six martyrs who, with two others who escaped, were discovered concealing themselves from persecution, and were seized by Graham of Claverhouse, who ordered four to be instantly shot, at the water of Dee, in Galloway, 18th December, 1684.

Robert Fergusson, a Nithsdale man, was buried on the spot where he fell; the others were taken to Dalry (Galloway) and buried there.

A flat tombstone of humble pretensions marks the grave of Fergusson, on which is inscribed:

Memento Mori.
Here Lyes Robert Fergusson,
who was surprised and instantly shot
to death on this place by Graham
of Claverhouse, for his adherence
to Scotland's Reformation Covenants,
National and Solemn League,

A more suitable memorial has since been erected at the place where they fell, a stately square granite monument, 30 feet high (Geograph Photo) , on which is inscribed:

In Memory of the Martyrs
R. Fergusson, J. McMichan,
R. Stuart, and J. Grierson,
who fell on this spot, 18 Dec. 1684.
From a Collection made here,
On the 18th August, 1835,
and the profits of a sermon, afterwards
published, preached on that day.
By the Rev. R. Jeffrey of Girthon.
Daniel 3. 17. 18.


A Monumental pillar in the moor of Tongland marks the place where James Clement, who, with Bell of Whiteside, and others, was taken and immediately shot Clement was buried where he fell, and a memorial stone (Geograph Photo)  preserves his memory, on which is inscribed:

Here lyes.
James Clement,
who was surprised and instantly
shot to death on this place
by Grier of Lagg,
for his adherence to Scotland's
Reformation, Covenants,
National and Solemn League,

The monumental pillar, erected from the proceeds of a sermon preached in 1831 (Geograph Photo), bears the following fulsome dedication :

In testimony
Of the feelings of the present generation
On the 11h September, 1831
about ten thousand persons assembled here,
and after hearing an excellent sermon,
preached by the
Revd John Osborne
From Psalm 74, verse 22nd
Contributed a fund, for the erection
of this monument
To the memory of these martyrs.
(Alexander Murray Esq. of Broughton
having handsomely given the ground)
Four of whom were carried to their respective
burial places, but James Clement,
being a stranger, was interred on this spot.

Death broke their fetters, off then straight they fled.
From sin and sorrow; and by angels led,
Enter'd the mansions of eternal joy;
Blest souls your warfare's done, praise, love, enjoy.


In the churchyard of Twynham, the old and proper name of the place, lie buried the remains of Andrew McRobert, one of those shot in company with Bell of Whiteside and others in the parish of Tongland, Galloway.

The inscription on his gravestone (Photo) is as follows:

Memento Mori.
Here lyes
Andrew McRobert,
who was surprised and shot to death
in the parish of Tongueland,
by Grier of Lagg,
for his adherence to Scotland's
Reformation Covenants,
National and Solemn League,


“When the barbarous hordes as they onward rode,
By the wild and rocky glen,
Have heard, when away from man's abode,
A voice that awed like the voice of God, -
'Twas the hymn of fearless men! "

On a Sabbath morning in January, 1685, in spite of the rigour of a severe winter, a few faithful followers of the Covenant, part of that scattered remnant who were forced to seek shelter in the lonely glen or solitary moor, assembled to worship God according to their conscience, at the Caldons, in the parish of Minniegaff. They had scarcely begun when a sudden surprise came upon them at the appearance of Colonel Douglas and a party of dragoons. After a brief resistance, six persons were killed James and Robert Dun, Andrew Macaulay, John McClude, Thomas and John Stevenson; one dragoon was killed; also Captain Urquhart, who was shot by a countryman. The scene of the conflict was in the glen of Trool; the martyrs were interred near the place where they fell. The site of the old farmhouse of Caldons is supposed to be marked by a shapeless heap of stones, which had once been a cairn. A low stone wall encompasses the resting-place of the sufferers, which stands in a lonely marsh near the little water of Trool shortly after it leaves the loch a very wild and romantic spot. The monument consists of a strong plain wall, about four feet high, forming a square enclosure, within which stands the little grey tombstone (Geograph photo). The modern enclosing wall has a slab of red sandstone let into its inner side, on which is the inscription of 1827:

Here lyes James and Robert Duns,
Thomas and John Stevenson,
James M'Clude, Andrew McCall,
who were surprised at prayer in this house
By Colonel Douglas, Lieutenant Livingstone,
and Cornet James Douglas,
and by them most impiously and cruelly
murther'd for their adherence to
Scotland's Reformation Covenants,
National and Solemn League.

In memory of Six Martyrs
who suffered at this spot for their
attachment to the Covenanted Cause of
Christ in Scotland,
January 23, 1685.

Erected by the Voluntary Contributions
of a Congregation who waited on the
ministrations of the Rev. Gavin Rowatt
of Whitehorn, Lord's Day, 19 August, 1827.


In the churchyard of Kirk Andrews, parish of Borgue, a memorial stone preserves the memory of Robert McWhae, a martyr for the Covenant, who was shot in his own garden, in the parish of Borgue, by order of Colonel James Douglas, then passing through the district like a destroying angel. His body was buried in the churchyard of Kirk Andrews.

The original stone having been broken, a facsimile of it was erected in 1855 by the inhabitants of the parish (Photo). It bears this inscription:

Here lyes Robert McWhae,
who was barbarously shot to death by
Captain Douglas,
in this paroch
for his adherence to Scotland's Reformation,
Covenants, National and Solemn League,


The parish church of Crossmichael is surrounded by the churchyard, in which are several very handsome monuments.

An ancient tombstone (Photo1- Photo2)  preserves the memory of a sufferer for the Covenant, on which is inscribed:

Memento Mori.
Here lyes William Graham,
Who, making his escape from his Mother's house,
was pursued and taken, and instantly
shot dead by a party of
Claverhouse's troops,
for his adherence to Scotland's Reformation,
Covenants, National and Solemn League,


"The deer, faint and falling, a covert had found
But slough hounds, like vultures, were prowling around;
And the flower in the morning, all weary, he pressed.
At eve may be watered wi' blood o' his breast.”

St John’s Town of Dalry, or as it is called by the residents, the Clachan of Dalry, has a special niche in the history of the 28 years' persecution. In this small village the first collision took place between a few countrymen and the soldiers, occasioned by an act of humanity in rescuing an old man from the troopers who were about to inflict punishment upon him for refusing to pay fines imposed for non-attendance on the parish church. Compassion for a fellow-sufferer prompted their interference, which was construed into rebellion, and forced the Covenanters into a course of action neither foreseen nor desired, and caused the first deadly struggle a few weeks after this skirmish in the rising at Pentland.

The churchyard, which is situated close to the village, on a grassy mound near the margin of the river, has its martyr memorial, where a monument is erected to Robert Stewart and John Grierson, who with two others were killed by Claverhouse at the water of Dee, in 1684. The former was a youth of great promise, son of Major Robert Stewart of Ardoch, in the parish of Dalry, a staunch adherent to the cause of the Covenant. He and Grierson, with six others, were surprised by the dragoons at Auchencloy, and soon overpowered; one James McMichael, fought single handed with Claverhouse, and tradition says he had the best of the fight, till a dragoon came behind and clave his skull in two; some friends buried his body, but Claverhouse ordered it to be taken out of the grave and hung on a tree.

Two escaped, and the other two were executed at Kirkcudbright. The bodies of Stewart and Grierson were brought to Dalry, and buried by their relations.

The inscription on the gravestone runs thus:

Memento Mori.
Here lyeth Robert Stewart
(Son to Major Stewart, of Ardoch)
and John Grierson, who were murthered by
Graham, of Claverhouse,
Anno 1684, for their adherence to Scotland's
Reformation and Covenants,
National and Solemn League,
Behold! Behold! a stone's here forced to cry,
Come see two martyrs under me that ly.
At Water of Dee they ta'en were by the hands
of Cruel Claverhouse and's bloody bands,
No sooner had he done this horrid thing,
But's forced to cry, "Stewart's soul in Heaven doth sing;"
Yet, strange! his rage pursued even such when dead,
And in the tombs of their ancestors laid -
Causing their Corpse to be raised out of the same,
Discharging in Churchyard to bury them:
All this they did; - Cause they would not perjure
Our Covenants and Reformation pure
Because, like faithful Martyrs, for to die
They rather chose, than treacherously comply
With Cursed Prelacie, the Nation's bane, -
And with indulgencie on Churches Stain, -
Perjured intelligence were so rife, -
Shew'd their cursed loyalty - to take their life.

Young Stewart sustained a character so unimpeachable that his very enemies applauded him; even Claverhouse, after he had shot him, exclaimed, "Stewart's soul now sings in heaven!" a tradition recorded in the inscription on the tombstone.


“Like the gleaning o' grapes when the vintage is o'er,
This lone little cluster, like water must pour
The "red rain" of carnage, like dew on the sod,
For the martyrs are cast in the wine press of God. “

The churchyard of Balmaclellan is in close proximity to the village, which is situated on a high rising ground, and commands a fine view of the surrounding country; it contains several very ancient tombstones with quaint inscriptions. One of these preserves the memory of the Rev. Thomas Verner, a minister of the parish, for fifty-nine years, who died in 1716, in the 89th year of his age, and, as stated on the gravestone, "the last of the Presbyterian ministers who survived the Revolution."

One of five martyrs surprised in a cave at Ingliston, in Glencairn parish, lies buried here Robert Grierson, a Galloway man, was in hiding with other sufferers, when Colonel Douglas and Lieut. Livingstone were led by an informer to their retreat. The soldiers shot into the cave, wounded one man, rushed upon the others, and shot them on the spot, only one being allowed a few minutes' respite for prayer. This was John Gibson, who was buried at Glencairn.

A monument was erected to the memory of Robert Grierson, which has been recently repaired by order of the parish minister, and raised a foot from the ground.

It is inscribed as follows:

Here lyeth Robert Grierson,
who was shot to death by command of
Colonel James Douglas, at Inglestoun,
in the parish of Glencairn, anno., 1685.

This monument to passengers shall cry.
That goodly Grierson under it doth ly,
Betrayed by Knavish Watson to his foes.
Which made this Martyr's days by murther close,
If ye would know the nature of his crime,
Then read the story of that killing time.
When Babel's brats with hellish plots conceal'd,
Design'd to make our South their hunting-field.
Here's one of five at once were laid in dust,
To gratify Rome's execrable lust,
If carabines with molten bullets could
Have reached their souls, these mighty Nimrods would
Them have cut of; for there could no request
Three minutes get, to pray for future rest.

Near the martyr's gravestone is a monument to the memory of "Old Mortality," who deserves a niche in any record of the Covenanters.

There are few churchyards in Ayrshire, Galloway, or Dumfriesshire, where the work of his chisel is not yet to be seen, a labour to which, without fee or reward, he devoted forty years of his life; not only repairing and deepening the inscriptions, but erecting stones at his own expense.

The village of Balmaclellan was the place where the wife and family of "Old Mortality " lived. The inscription on the monument (Geograph Photo) is as follows:

To the memory of
Robert Paterson,
Stone engraver,
well known, as "Old Mortality,"
who died at Bankend of Caerlaverock
14th February 1801,
aged 88.

The venerable renovator of the tombstones of the Covenanters, in the last of his peregrinations at his hallowed work, was in the neighbourhood of Bankend, about eight miles from Dumfries, when he was seized with illness, and found on the road-side; he was removed to a friendly house, where he died in a few days, and was buried in the church yard of Caerlaverock. A few years ago, the celebrated publishers of the "Waverley Novels," Messrs Adam and Charles Black, Edinburgh, did a very kindly act in erecting a memorial over "Old Mortality's " grave; it is of red freestone, simple, but tasteful in design. Near the upper part of the stone, a mallet and chisel, crossed, are cut in relief, and underneath is the following inscription (Geograph Photo):

To the Memory
Old Mortality
Sir Walter Scott,
who was buried here,
February, 1801.

"Why seeks he, with unwearied toil,
Through death's dim walls to urge his way,
Reclaim his long arrested spoil,
And lead oblivion into day."


“But the bluidy, bluidy sword,
For their Auld Kirk-yard ;
Like water poured their blood,'
In that Auld Kirk-yard."

In the churchyard of Balmaghie are two martyr memorials, one in honour of David Halliday, portioner of Mayfield, and David Halliday in Glencayre, whose
memories are preserved on the same gravestone. The former was shot with Bell of Whiteside and others on Kirkconnel Muir, the latter was, a few months after, captured with George Short, by Lord Annandale and Grierson of Lagg, who were then searching the district for Nonconformists and all who refused to take the oaths. Halliday, on his surrender to Lord Annandale, received quarter, and was offered to be tried on the following day; but the merciless Lagg swore he should have no respite, and ordered his men to shoot him at once. The soldiers at first refused, till Lagg threatened to do it himself; and Short and Halliday were shot as they lay bound together on the ground, where their dead bodies were left till the following day, when they were taken and buried in the Churchyard of Balmaghie.

The inscriptions on the tombstones are as follows:

Here lyes David Halliday,
portioner of Mayfield, who was shot upon the
21st February 1685,
and of David Halliday, once in Glenape,
who was likewise shot upon the 11th of July 1685,
for their adherence to the principles of
Scotland's Covenanted Reformation.

Beneath this stone two David Hallidays
Do ly, whose souls now sing their Master's praise.
To know, if curious passengers desire,
For what, by whome, and how they did expire?
They did oppose this nation's perjury,
Nor could they join with lordly Prelacy,
Indulging favours from Christ's enemies,
Quench'd not their zeal: This monument then crys,
These were the causes not to be forgot,
Why they by Lagg so wickedly were shot,
One Name, one Cause, one grave, one heaven to tye
Their souls to that one God eternally.

An upright stone, three feet high, by two feet wide, marks the grave of George Short, on which is inscribed:

Memento Mori.
Here lies George Short,
who was pursued and taken, and instantly
shot to death under cloud of night,
in the paroch of Tongueland,
by Grier of Lag, and the Earle of Annandale,
because of his adherence to Scotland's
Reformation, Covenants,
National and Solemn League,


“Through years of oppression, and blood, and shame
The earth as a wine press trod
That silent witness abides the same,
In its mute appeal to God."

One of the most striking monuments in the centre of the churchyard of Kells is that erected in memory of Adam MacQwhan, one of the martyred Covenanters; the frame is of granite, and the old tombstone is so placed in it that it can be read on both sides.

Wodrow calls this martyr Andrew, and Crookshank in his History gives the same Christian name, and says, “he suffered on the hill of Knockdavie, in the vicinity of New Galloway, which is confirmed by tradition; some people retend to show his blood on the rock."

This memorial commemorates one of those atrocities which outraged all human sympathy. The victim of the remorseless soldiers, under the command of Colonel Douglas, was lying ill of a fever when they entered his house; he was either unable or unwilling to answer questions put to him, but in his helpless condition, was taken out of bed and carried to the Newtown of Galloway, where, next morning, without any process or assize, he was shot; his body was buried in the churchyard of Kells.

The original inscription is as follows:

Here lyes Adam MacQwhan,
who, being sick of a fever, was taken out of his bed
and carried to Newtown of Galloway,
and the next day most cruelly and unjustly
shot to death by the command of
Lieutenant General James Douglas,
brother to the Duke of Queensberry,
for his adherence to Scotland's
Reformation, Covenants,
National and Solemn League, 1685.
The above stone,
erected to the memory of Adam MacQwhan,
was placed in this granite monument,
A.D. 1832.
The expense defrayed by the inhabitants
of Kells, after sermon by the
Rev. James Maitland,
minister of the parish.

The churchyard of Kells has another memorial stone to the memory of one of the men wounded at the battle of Rullion Green, and buried here.

Here lyes the corpse of
Roger Gordon of Largmore,
who dyed March 2, 1662
aged 72 years,
and of
John Gordon of Largmore,
his grandchild,
who dyed January 6, 1667,
of his wounds got at Pentland
in defence of the
Covenanted Reformation.