James Gavin

 

James Gavin had his ears cut off by John Graham of Claverhouse around 1684. He was banished to Barbados but was able to return. The lintel of his home has been built into the cairn, with Gavin's initials and that of his wife, Helen Dickson, as well as a representation of a pair of shears. These are thought to represent his ears torture, but the lintel also includes an old smoothing iron, which with the shears is more likely to indicate Gavin's trade as a tailor.

James Gavin's Cairn

Main Street

Douglas

Lanarkshire

NGR - NS 835308

 

The cairn is located by the side of the Main Street on the site of Gavin's cottage. It incorporates the lintel of his old house and a plaque. This reads:

 

ON THIS SITE DWELT

JAMES GAVIN TAILOR
A HERO OF THE COVENANT, HE INCURRED
THE SPECIAL ENMITY OF CLAVERHOUSE WHO
WANTONLY SEVERED THE EARS FROM HIS HEAD
WITH GAVIN'S OWN SHEARS
ABOUT THE YEAR 1684.
TO COMMEMORATE AND PERPETUATE THE
BRUTAL OUTRAGE GAVIN CARVED
THE STONE WHICH IS SET INTO THIS CAIRN
AND PUT IT ABOVE THE DOOR OF THE
HOUSE ERECTED BY HIM
ON THIS SITE.  YEARS AFTER HIS
RETURN FROM BANISHMENT
TO THE ISLAND OF BARBADOES.
……………………………
BY GIFT OF LANDS FROM
WILLIAM WOOD,  ESQ, DOUGLAS
AND  JOHN MAXWELL, ESQ, CLYDEBANK.
THIS MEMORIAL GARDEN HAS
BEEN LAID OUT BY THE DISTRICT COUNCIL
TO PERPETUATE THE MEMORY OF
JAMES GAVIN