History in Structure

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Grassmarket, Covenanters' Memorial, with Boundary Wall, Railings and Gate

A Category C Listed Building in Edinburgh, Edinburgh

Covenanters Memorial

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Memorial to the Covenanters who died on the gallows in the Grassmarket during the reigns of Charles II and James VII, the latter becoming known as 'The Killing Time'. Following Cromwell's occupation of Scotland in 1650, but more especially with the restoration of episcopacy by Charles after 1660, presbyterians who had aspired to a theocracy at the time of the National Covenant (1638) became persecuted religious dissenters. Viewed by their royalist enemies as dangerous fundamentalists (a Scottish Taliban), they could be killed on the spot if they refused to take an oath of loyalty to the Crown and were given no quarter if they had taken up arms against royal authority. Between 1661 and 1688, over 100 were hanged on this traditional execution site. The memorial, displaying a Martyrs Cross, was paid for by public subscription and created in 1937. The legend reads, "Many Martyrs and Covenanters died for the Protestant Faith on this spot."

Uploaded by kim.traynor on 6 May 2011

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