John Brown (1685)

The story of John Brown of Priesthill is one that will be always remembered and often told to the infamy of Claverhouse. Nothing was charged against this honest countryman but his failure to attend the curate's preaching and his sheltering of intercommuned ministers and other homeless wanderers. Early one morning in May, 1685, Claverhouse and his troops suddenly swooped down upon his house. The man was already at work on the hill, but was soon brought home. After the usual questions had been put, the merciless captain of dragoons told him to prepare to die. After prayer he took farewell of his wife and children. The six soldiers who had been ordered to fire refused. Rough as they were and inured to scenes of blood, this was too much for them. With his own hand, then, Claverhouse shot him down, and turning to the weeping wife, asked, in cruel mockery, " What thinkest thou of thy husband now, woman ? " " How wilt thou answer," she said, " for this morning's work ? "

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