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Biographia Scoticana Scots Worthies by John Howie

The Lives of Messrs. JOHN KID and JOHN KING.

Messrs. John Kid and John King suffered many hardships during the persecuting period, namely, from the year 1670, to the time of their martyrdom 1679. Mr. King was sometime chaplain to lord Cardross; and it appears, he was apprehended and imprisoned in the year 1674. but got out on a bond and surety for 5000 merks, to appear when called. Next year he was again, by a party of the persecutors, apprehended in the said lord Cardross's, but was immediately rescued from their hands by some country people, who had profited much by his ministry. After this, he was taken a third time by bloody Claverhouse near Hamilton, with about 17 others, and brought to Evandale, where they were all rescued by their suffering brethren at Drumclog. After which he and Mr. Kid were of great service, and preached often among the honest party of our sufferers, till their defeat at Bothwel, where Mr. Kid, among other prisoners, was taken and brought to Edinburgh. It would appear that Mr. King was apprehended also at the same time in or west from Glasgow. For a party of English dragoons being there, and one of them on horseback called for some ale, and drank to the confusion of the covenants. Another of his comrades asking him at the stable-green port, where he was going, he answered, To carry King to hell. But this poor wretch had not gone far whistling and singing, till his carbine accidentally went off, and killed him on the spot. God shall shoot at them with an arrow, suddenly shall they be wounded, Psal. lxiv.7.

Mr. King was taken to Edinburgh, where both he and Mr. Kid were before the council, July 9th. Mr. King confessed, when examined, That he was with those who rose at that time, &c. Mr. Kid confessed, he had preached in the fields, but never where there were men in arms, except in two places. They signed their confession, which was afterwards produced in evidence against them before the justiciary. On the 12th Mr. Kid was again examined before the council, and put to the torture. It seems he was more than once in the boots, where he behaved with much meekness and patience. Mr. King was examined on the 16th before the justiciary, and Mr. Kid on the day following. On the 22d, they received their indictments. Their trial came on upon the 28th. They were again before the justiciary, where, upon their former petition on the 24th, advocates were allowed to plead for them, but no exculpation was allowed them. When their indictments were read, the advocate produced their confessions before the council, as proof against them; and accordingly they were brought in guilty and condemned to be hanged at the market cross of Edinburgh on Thursday the 14th of Aug. and their heads and right arms to be cut off, and disposed of at the council's pleasure.

Accordingly, the same day the king's act of indemnity was published in the forenoon, and, to grace the solemnity, the two noble martyrs (who were denied a share therein) were in the afternoon brought forth to their execution. It was related by one there present, that, as they approached the place, walking together hand in hand, Mr. Kid, looking about to Mr. King with a cheerful countenance, said, |I have often heard and read of a kid sacrificed, but I seldom or never heard of a king made a sacrifice.| Upon the scaffold they appeared with a great deal of courage and serenity of mind, (as was usual with the martyrs in these times), and died in much peace and joy; even a joy that none of their persecutors could intermeddle with. Their heads were cut off on another scaffold prepared for the purpose.

Thus ended these two worthy ministers and martyrs of Jesus Christ, after they had owned their allegiance to Zion's king and Lord, and given a faithful testimony against popery, prelacy, Erastianism, &c. and for the covenanted work of reformation in its different parts and periods. The reader will find their dying testimonies in Naphtali and the western martyrology, page 146. &c. A few of their sermons I had occasion lately to publish.

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