It so happened that we parked in the 'Grassmarket' and returning to the car I passed the Covenanters Memorial. At the spot of the old public gallows, it commemorates others who willingly put themselves in harm's way. The legend reads, "Many Martyrs and Covenanters died for the Protestant Faith on this spot."
Over 100 'Covenanters' died for their adherence to presbyterianism between 1661 and 1688. The name comes from the 'Solemn League and Covenant', an agreement of 1643 with the English Parliament that presbyterianism would be preserved in Scotland. However after the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, the pendulum swung to the other extreme: presbyteriansim was outlawed and ministers were ejected from their parishes.
Staunch presbyterians followed ministers into the hills where they worshipped at open air services known as conventicles.
|Cap badge of the Cameronians|
The period between 1680 and 1688 was (with considerable justification) known as the 'Killing Times'.
The last of the Covenanting martyrs was James Renwick from Moniaive near Dumfries, hanged on 17 February 1688.
The monument was opened in 1954 with a Guard of Honour found by the Cameronians.
The names of those who died are remembered on this memorial, just as those who died for their country in so many wars are remembered in war memorials throughout the country.