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Conclusion - an End and a Beginning

I hope after reading the stories I have re-told here you will begin to understand why these women
are still held in such regard. They were not rich or famous or influential but they simply could not
deny their faith.

As I stood at the site of their martyrdom this year, I was feeling such a mixture of emotions -
pride, at belonging to the same country as them; horror at the cruel way they died;
and respect for how they died - but most of all humility and gratitude for their great faith and resolution.They belong to that group of ordinary Christians who, in their generation, ensured that
the truths of the Gospel could be passed on even in the face of severe persecution.

The watercourses have changed dramatically in the intervening years.
No -one would drown at the site of martyrdom now, not even at the highest tide.
It is almost as though the water itself drew back from those terrible events.

There is a Martyr's Memorial in Wigtown:

"Margaret Wilson, aged 18, daughter
of a farmer in Glenvernock
Margaret MacLachlan, aged 63, tenant in
The farm of Drumjargan, both in this County,
Were drowned by sentence of the Public Authorities
In the waters of the Bladnoch near this place
On 11th May 1685.
Because they refused to forsake the principles
Of the Scottish Reformation and to take the
government oath, abjuring the right of the
People to resist the tyranny of their rulers.
William Johnstone, gardener, and John Milroy,
chapman, in Fintilloch and Gilbert Walker,
servant, in Kirkala, all in this County were
summarily executed in the town of Wigtown in
the same year and for the same cause."

Three other names - three other deaths - this time by hanging.
William, John and Gilbert had been harried through those same hills for months. They were very ordinary men (a chapman was a pedlar) who had many remarkable escapes and were finally
captured and sentenced by the same Major Windram who had sentenced the women.

There is no end to the stories here!

In a way this is my personal memorial to those who died and suffered. It may not last as long as the stone monuments but, for a while at least, it will be available to the whole world to read.

Copyright (c) Elizabeth Tolson, 1st November 1999

Three Women Called Margaret
Background | Covenanters | Conclusion
Margaret MacLachlan | Margaret Wilson | Margaret Maxwell

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