FP100: No. 31

The memorial cairn marking the site of the murder of Archbishop Sharp.
The memorial cairn marking the site of the murder of Archbishop Sharp.
0
Have your say

Archbishop Sharp

A pyramid shaped monument surrounded by an overgrown yew in Magnus Muir commemorates the grizzly murder in 1679 of Archbishop James Sharp of St Andrews.

A band of Covenanters were believed to have been lying in wait to kill the Sheriff of Cupar when news came to them that Sharp’s coach was on the road.

The nine assassins intercepted the coach and inflicted multiple fatal sword wounds on Sharp in full view of his daughter.

Five Covenanters captured at Bothwell Bridge near Edinburgh were taken to Magnus Muir and hanged on Christmas Day for refusing to divulge information to help identify the perpetrators. Their bodies were hung in chains until 1688.

A gravestone was erected over their burial place in 1728 and enclosed by a surrounding wall in 1877; the same year that a memorial to Sharp was built. Both are situated about half a mile south of the spot where the murder occurred.

Sharp was given an elaborate funeral and buried beneath an imposing black and white marble monument in the Holy Trinity Church at St Andrews. However, when the tomb was opened in 1849 it was found to be empty.