Martyrs Monument, Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh.

Within the
Greyfriars Kirk yard stands the “Martyrs Memorial” which
commemorates some 18,000 Covenanters who died for their
faith . It also marks the area where the remains of some
hundred Covenanters  executed in the nearby
Grassmarket are buried. As was the custom and practice
most were beheaded and their heads placed on spikes above
the gates into Edinburgh – the Netherbow Gate which once
stood at the top of Canongate, was a populars one. Also
several martyrs had their heads and hands and arms hacked
off and sent to their home locality as a gruesome message
to any one else minded to resist the King`s will. The last
line of the inscription is literally true –The most
part of them lies here.

inscription reads:

passenger take heed what thou dost see
This tomb doth shew for what some men did die
Here lies interr’d the dust of these who stood
Gainst perjury resisting unto blood
Adhering to the Covenants and Laws
Establishing the same which was the Cause
Then their lives were sacrificed unto the Lust
Or Prelatist’s abjur’d though here their dust
Lies mixt with murders and other crew
Whom justice did justly to death pursue
But as for this in them no cause was found
Worthy of death but only they were found
Constant and steadfast zealous witnessing
For the prerogatives of CHRIST their king
Which truths were feared by famous Guthrie’s head
And all along to Mr Ranwick’s blood
They did endure the wrath of enemies
Reproaches torments deaths and injuries
But yet they’re these who from such troubles came
And now triumph in glory with the LAMB

From May 27th 1661 that the noble Marquess of Argyle
suffered to the 17th of Febr 1688 that Mr James Ranwick
suffr’d were executed at Edinburgh about an hundred of
Noblemen Gentlemen Ministers & others noble martyrs for
JESUS CHRIST. The most part of them lies here.

This Tomb
was erected anno 1706.

Thanks to the efforts of the Scottish Covenanters Memorials Association and the Greyfriars Kirkyard Trust ( work has been put in hand to save the monument that is itself suffering the effects of age. Special silicone solution is being injected into the stone to hold it together. It was hoped to re cut the bible that is at the bottom of the monument but instead a brass plate
has been inscribed and inserted below.




nearby the infamous “Greyfriars
stands the mausoleum of Sir George MacKenzie of Rosehaugh
who, as Kings Advocate, was responsible for the zealous
prosecution of the Covenanters  Smellie in Men of the Covenant,
amongst others, relates the pranks of schoolboys from the nearby Heriots
School. They would play in the kirk yard and cry out at the impressive
MacKenzie mausoleum :

Bluidy MacKenzie , come
out if ye daur;
Lift the sneck, and draw the bar: