Glasgow Cathedral Martyrs' Monument

Glasgow Cathedral


NGR - NS 603656


There are two monuments that commemorate the nine Glasgow martyrs at the Cathedral. One of hese is located on the wall outside of what is known as the Martyrs' Vault. The other is located inside the cathedral itself.

The inscriptions are as follows:


H E R E     L I E S     T H E   C O R P S     O F

ROBERT BUNTON,     JOHN HART,           








Who suffered  at  the  Cross  of  GLASGOW  for  their  Testimony  to  the  Covenant  and

Work of  Reformation  because  they  durst  not  own  the  authority  of  the  then  Tyrants

Destroying the same, betwixt 1666 and 1688


YEARS sixty-six and eighty four

Did send their souls home into glore

Whose bodies here interred ly

Then sacrificed to tyranny

To covenants and reformation

Cause they adheared in their station

These nine, with others in this yard

Whose heads and bodies were not spar'd

Their testimonies, foes, to bury

Caus'd beat the drums in great fury.

They'll know at resurrection day

To murder saints was no sweet play.

The newer stone has the additional inscription:

The original Stone and Inscription

Repaired and new lettered


At the expence of a few FRIENDS of the CAUSE



Glasgow Martyrs


Four Covenanters were executed at Glasgow Cross on 19 December 1666, having been tried two days earlier. They had taken parrt in te Pentland Riing.

The other five Covenanters listed were tried in Glasgow on 1 March 1684 and executed on 19 March 1684.

The nine Covenanters were:

Robert Bunton

Jon Hart

James Johnston

John Main

Matthew Paton

John Richmond

Robert Scot

Archibald Stewart

James Winning

John Main

According to the records, John Main ‘belonged to the parish of Old Monkland’. He was captured about the same time as John Richmond, Younger of Knowe, which took place in the Gorbals area of Glasgow in November 1683.

John Main was tried before a special commission at Glasgow on 17 March 1684. According to Rev Robert Wodrow, they were charged with having been at the Battle of Bothwell Bridge and also in conversing with those who were there. Although many witnesses were brought before the five Covenanters tried that day, no specific evidence could be brought against them. When asked about the death of Charles I and of the murder of Archbishop Sharp, they remained silent, which was seen by the authorities as an admission of guilt. The sentence of death was passed.

The execution took place on 19 March 1684. The gibbet was set up at Glasgow Cross and one by one the five Covenanters were hanged. ‘The Last Testimony of John Main’ was recorded and was published in The Cloud of Witnesses. In it he records the fact that at the time he had a mother and two sisters still living.

Archibald Stewart in Underbank


Underbank is near Crossford, in the parish of Lesmahagow. More information on Stewart (or Stuart in some accounts) can be found here.