Conventicle Smashed .
In the year of 1685 armed forces loyal to King Charles II discovered and smashed an illeagle religious service which was being conducted at a place known as Talla Linn .This well hidden place only two miles south of the Clachan of Tweedsmuir was ayewis thought to be a safe place for a covenanted blanket meeting ..until this day .
Colonel James Douglas at the head of a troop of Royalist Drgoons , did bear down on the gathering , and put the entire congregation there at to flight.
A witness at the scene reports that he saw mounted soldiers come up from a deep ravine ,form line abreast and on a bugle call did attack the gathered convention .The troopers charged and shot thier firearms into the mass oif the worshipers .Then drawing Sabers they broke rank ,and began running down fleeing and terrified individuals .
Two of the younger covenanters on foot made a run westward taking the high ground and in the direction of the "Devils Beef Tub". This great hollow is a fine hiding place used for the keeping lifted cattle from which it recieved its` name this massive crater is was well known to Reveirs , and hill farmers alike.
Colonel Douglas and three Drgoons gave chase.The two fugitives bounded down the side of the gorge ,dodging rocks and stumbling on wild heather and gorse.
This was difficult country for horses to follow .The Troopers not prepared to damage thier mounts halted at the edge .Ane Sodjer named Scott,drew his rifle from its` holster. Stood in the stirrups,took aim and fired a shot at one of the running men.
The man pitched forward ,and lay face down. He took that bullet flat in the back.The Soldiers were obviously enough pleased with what they had achieved that day ,so much so that they actually allowed the other man whos` name was James Welsh ,of Tweedhopfoot .to escape.
The Drgoons slowly made thier way down the slope to where the body lay.Trooper Scott dismounted from his horse and as if to finish the job, he brought down the butt of his gun into the back of the head of the already dead man.Colonel Douglas looked at the corps ,and asked "Does onybudy ken this yin" ? No one knew ,no one cared !
His name was John Hunter aged just twenty-five. Born in Tweedsmuir 1660 ,and murdered in the Killing Times of 1685.
The body of John Hunter was left where it fell.Later when the Soldiers had left the area, some of his friends secretly took it back to Tweedsmuir, and buried it in the lower half of the kirk yard.John now sleeps the the sleep of Martyrs wrapped in the mantle of his chosen religion.
The Hunter Lairds of Polmood ,must have known the Covenanter .Or at least John would have known them.The then Laird of Polmood was one Robert Hunter in 1685 ,he died in 1689.The Clachan of Tweedsmuir is barely a mile from Polmood House.
This is one account of the killing of the Tweedsmuir Lad.Much of which was researched from the Book title ;
Scottish Covenanter Stories
The inscriptions on the headstones of Johns` grave reads .
Here lyes` John Hunter Martyre who was cruelly murdered at Corehead
by Colonel James Douglas and his party for his adherence to the word of God
& Scotlands` covenanted work
of reformation. 1685 .
On the rear of that stone is another inscription .
"When Zions` King was robbed of his right ,
His witnesses`in Scotland put to flight.
When Romanish Prelates
Combined `gainst Christ to ruin Presbyteries .
All who would not unto thier Idols bow
They socht them out
& Whom they found they slew .
For owning Christ`s cause .
I then did die .
My blood for vengence
On his enemies did cry.
these stones erected in 1762.
One more thing.
A statement from Colonel Douglas.,
" I am James Douglas, Colonel Kings Troop Dragoons.`
By my oath of allegence ,to his Majesty King Charles II
and the commwealth of Great Britain .It is my sworn duty to rid this land of a pestilence, which has been visited upon us. Rebellion has taken hold , particularly in the Borders and the lowlands of Scotland .
The intention of these Rebels ,is to deny the good and just people of Scotland the right to honour thier Sovereign and practise the ways of the true religion .
The Holy Church of Rome ,was welcomed to Scotland ,and established at the behest of King David I son of Queen Margaret .
Like his Mother he was a devout Catholic ,and wished his country to be the same.Catholicism has been the long and lasting religion of the great House of Stuart.
I am a sworn defender of that Noble Family .
Statement from the Scottish Covenanters Stories.
By Dane Love