The Unknown Covenanter

The Unknown Covenanter

This is the grave of an unknown Covenanter who was wounded at the battle of Rullion Green. The stone on the left is the later one, the one on the right is the original one.

Making his way home to Ayrshire after the Battle, the nameless Martyr was suffering badly from his wounds when he knocked on the door of a shepherd named Adam Sanderson at blacklaw near Dunsyre. Afraid of reprisals the shepherd refused him entry but offered him the barn to rest the evening. Knowing he was seriously ill, the Covenanter asked that if the shepherd should find him dead in the morning would he bury him in sight of the Ayrshire hills, the land of his childhood. Sure enough the next morning he had succumbed to his injuries and was found dead. The shepherd carried his body to the top of Blacklaw hill and buried him, where you could just make out the Ayrshire hills in the far distance.

Inscription reads:

SACRED
To the Memory of
A COVENANTER
who fought and was wounded
at Rullion Green,
Novr. 28th 1666,
and who died at Oaken Bus
the day after the Battle
and was buried here
BY ADAM SANDERSON
OF BLACK HILL

Here’s a bit about of information about the discovery of the original stone.
The present stone is obviously 19th century, but in the late 1960’s the original was discovered only seven yards away from the present one, lying face downwards unnoticed and unrecorded.
The letters appeared to be scrambled presumably to confuse a passing Dragoon but not prevent a sympathetic person from reading the inscription. The letter “S” is of interest as it could be the signature for the amateur sculptor, Sanderson the shepherd, and it could be further presumed that if he could chisel a letter as neatly as the “S” he could have made a better job of the others had he wished. The date 1666 was not carved but was plainly legible when the stone was found, marked possibly by some kind of fluid which had resisted decay for over three hundred years. The sixes are perfect and uniform.

The inscription simply reads:

A COVENANTER / DUNSYRE 1666

Leave a Reply

Allowed Tags <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>