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1860's Covenanter's Grave CDV Photo, Black Law Pentland Hills Scotland


This is an 1860's original vintage Victorian CDV carte de visite photo of a memorial tombstone near the summit of Black Law, Scotland in the Pentland Hills. The stone inscription reads: "SACRED To the Memory of A COVENANTER who fought and was wounded at Rullion Green, Nov 28th 1666 and who died at Oaken Bush the day after the Battle, and was buried here BY ADAM SANDERSON OF BLACKHILL." The photographer is unmarked, and unknown.

In 17th c. Scotland, a "Covenanter" was one who refused to accept the Church of Scotland, declaring allegiance to the Scottish Presbyterian Church. The name derives from their faithfulness to the National Covenant of 1638 and/or the Solemn League and Covenant of 1643. The "Covenanters" would gather in secret in the valleys, hills and woodland for their own nightly services. If discovered, they were beaten, fined, imprisoned and often killed for their religious beliefs. A minister found preaching covenanter views was subject to execution.

The story (and legend) goes that in 1666, a shepherd named Adam Sanderson answered a knock at his door on the night of the battle of Rullion Green, where a band of covenanters were sorely outnumbered by Scottish Highlanders brought in by the government. Rullion Green lies about 8 miles south of Edinburgh, on the beautiful slopes of the Pentland Hills. The knock was from a severely wounded fugitive covenanter named John Carphin of Ayrshire. He refused to enter, knowing this could cause harm to the shepherd and his family.

"Bury me within sight of the Ayrshire hills" was his solemn request. The next day, Adam Sanderson found the Covenanter's body at Oaken Bush. At risk to himself and family, Adam carried John up Black Law, burying him near the summit, thus granting him an everlasting view of the hills. A coded stone is said to have marked the spot. In 1841, the monument we see was erected by the Minister of Dunsyre. The stone ruins of Adam Sanderson's Blackhill farm can still be seen at the sight, click here for images.

The grave was excavated by archaeologists who found the Covenanter's body wrapped in a red cloak with Dutch coins sewn into his shirt collar. In the 1960’s, the original old stone was discovered lying face down about 20 feet away. In scrambled letter code, the original stone reads: A COVENANTER / DUNSYRE 1666, with a crude letter S...might that be Adam Sanderson's mark? This original marker stone now sits in the Dunsyre Kirk, in Dunsyre, South Lanarkshire, Scotland. A Kirk is a church of Scotland.

Found in Public Genealogy Records:
Although 60 years later, these Adam Sanderson family members may be descendants of the original ancestor Adam Sanderson in the Dunsyre area:

Record of Adam Sanderson and Isobel Gilray
Scotland Marriages, 1561-1910
Name: Adam Sanderson
Spouse's Name: Isobel Gilray
Event Date: 05 Jul 1726

Christening Record of Susanna Sanderson
Name: Adam Sanderson
Wife: Isobel Lawrie
Daughter: Susanna Sanderson
Christening Date: 14 Mar 1736
Birth Date: 05 Mar 1736
Father's Name: Adam Sanderson
Mother's Name: Isobel Lawrie

Adam Sanderson in Scotland Births and Baptisms
Christening Date: 09 Jun 1745
Birth Date: 03 Jun 1745
Father's Name: David Sanderson
Mother's Name: Isabel Leishman

We also found evidence of the Carphin family of Irvine, Ayrshire, Scotland in Scottish genealogy searches.

This is a wonderful old clean an crisp original 1860's image of the 1841 monument, taken about 20 years after it was erected. This Victorian era stone is now almost 180 years old, weather beaten and eroded by the Scottish winds. It won't last forever, and is a beautiful monument in Scottish history. The photo was found in Stratton St. Margaret, Swindon, Wiltshire, England and is a rare early CDV image.

Size: 2.5 x 4 inches
Debra Clifford Ancestorville Genealogy      Note: Hello from ~debra. I have spent years collecting over 10,000 ID’d lost family photos & paper from US flea markets & antique shops. I do the best gen research I can, but am always open to corrections. This is an original antique item, not a reprint. A new high quality rigid sleeve is included for extra protection, especially during shipping. You may buy a piece alone, or large intimate 300 dpi scans of the front and back sent immediately via email, or both. Please search carefully, as they are often found together and many may be related. I also invite you to join me at Ancestorville Genealogy on facebook. Thank you, enjoy! ~Debra Clifford (contact info on top bar)

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ORIGINAL VINTAGE PHOTO 1860's Covenanter's Grave CDV Photo, Black Law Pentland Hills Scotland - ORIGINAL VINTAGE PHOTO - 747 $22.00
Scans-300 dpi Large Crisp Scans of Front/Back-Sent via email 1860's Covenanter's Grave CDV Photo, Black Law Pentland Hills Scotland - Scans-300 dpi Large Crisp Scans of Front/Back-Sent via email - Scans $4.99

Ancestorville Genealogy: Lost Family Photos

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