22nd December 1666

The hanging of martyr Hugh Mackail

Covenanter chaplain Hugh Mackail was forced to flee Scotland after giving a sermon that many believed was critical of the king. He lived for some time in the Netherlands, but eventually returned and supported other Covenanters in their fight against the government. Although he was not captured during the uprising, he was apprehended soon after and taken to Edinburgh for interrogation.

He refused to – or could not – give the names of anyone else involved in a plot against the king and government, despite being tortured. He was therefore tried, and found guilty of treason, and condemned to death. He was hanged at Edinburgh’s market cross on 22 December. He was 26.



Other events that occured in December

FREE Scotland history newsletter

Don't miss our weekly update on Scotland's fascinating history. We promise never to sell your data to anyone else, and there's a super-easy unsubscribe link on the bottom of each email so you can leave whenever you want.