M McLachlan (otherwise McLaughlan) and M Wilson: Covenanters (The Martyr's Stake)

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Reference WMO/274964


down the hill; from the Parish Church




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Status: On original site
Type: Freestanding
Location: External
Setting: Roadside
Description: Other monument
  • Metal Metal (any)
  • Stone Stone (any)
  • Timber Timber (any)
Lettering: Other
  • Scottish Covenanters (1638-1687)
About the memorial: A stone post on a rough base of stones. Sometime in the late 20th century an information board was added. this was then removed c2014 and a new information board was added. The 2 women were buried in Wigtown churchyard.
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On Stone Base- THIS MARKS/THE TRADITIONAL SITE/OF THE MARTYRDOM The Original Interpretation Board- THE MARTYRS STAKE/This monument marks the traditional site of/the execution by drowning of two local women on 11th May 1685. Margaret/MLaughlan, aged 63 and Margaret Wilson aged 18 were put to death for their sympathies with the/Covenanter movement which for fifty years defied the claim of the king to be the head of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland./The Covenanters honoured only Christ as head/of their church and they refused to submit to the/introduction of Episcopalian bishops or the use of/liturgy in their services./Locally billeted government troops pursued/these rebels as they met illegally on the moors and/in the hills for worship. Some were shot as they fled; others were taken prisoner, tried and sentenced to execution or banishment into slavery. After their trial in Wigtown's tollbooth the two Margarets were tied to stakes and drowned in the/tidal Bladnoch River. Their gravestones along with one for three Covenanter men hanged at the same time, lie in the local churchyard. A monument was/later erected on Windyhill to honour the Wigtown/martyrs./The river originally ran this far north before/being turned towards Wigtown Bay. In 1817 a new channel was dug further to the south to/create a deeper entrance to a new harbour site in/order to encourage trade with the larger steamships/being built. The project was undertaken by the/Burgh Council with the support of the Earl of Galloway./For further information visit Martyrs' grave. Wigtown Museum and the Martyrs' cell and then Windyhill monument. The Replacement Interpretation Board- "In all these things we are more than conquerors/through him that loved us."/Romans 8:37/ The granite stake on the merse marks the place/where two local Covenanter women, Margaret McLachlan, aged 63 and Margaret Wilson, aged 18, were tied to stakes and drowned on 11 May 1685./ In Scotland's Presbyterian kirk, Jesus Christ alone is/acknowledged as the head of the church. The claim/by the Stuart monarchs to the 'Divine Right of Kings' /and their attempt to impose Episcopacy on Scotland/had been strongly resisted by the people from 1638./In that year many had signed the National Covenant/as an act of defiance which continued through the/'Killing Times' of escalating punishment and/persecutions , from fines and banishment to torture/and executions, during the 'Fifty Years' Struggle' that/ended in 1688./ Originally the River Bladnoch cut a deep channel/where the stake is sited, the harbour for Wigtown/lying where today's Martyrs' Stake car park is./ This monument has been raised with funds from the/Galloway Association of Glasgow, the Scottish Covenanter Memorials Association, and the local/community, in recognition of the bravery of those/who suffered for their beliefs because they would/not bow to tyranny./ Please remember all those made to suffer for/conscience's sake.

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