The decisions regarding reburial and commemoration…

Received: 1:51 AM, on 24 August 2016

Dear Ms Rust,

Thank you for your continued interest in the Scottish Soldiers Archaeology Project and active participation in the consultation phase.

I am writing to let you know that, following extensive consultation, Durham University has concluded that the remains of the 17th century Scottish soldiers found in a mass grave on the city’s UNESCO World Heritage Site in November 2013 will be reburied in Durham once research on the bones is completed.

It is intended that the soldiers will be laid to rest at the Elvet Hill Road Cemetery in Durham City, UK. They will also be permanently commemorated with a plaque near to the site where they were discovered.

The decisions regarding reburial and commemoration were taken following consideration of the extensive feedback received during consultation with professional bodies, academics, local government and councils, and interested individuals. The Team also took into account feedback received during the public meetings in Dunbar and Durham. The final decisions regarding reburial and commemoration have been approved by both the University’s Executive Committee and its Ethics Advisory Committee.

Your contribution to the consultation process was greatly appreciated, and we hope that you will continue to participate in discussions relating to commemoration and reburial. We will be in touch shortly in relation to these next steps.

The current programme of research on the remains, which is being led by the Department of Archaeology, is likely to be completed in late 2017 and you can follow the progress of the work via the research team’s blog.

The Project Team is also planning a trip to Massachusetts late in 2016, to visit sites where survivors from the Battle were sent as indentured servants, and to offer interested individuals the opportunity to meet with and discuss the project with the Team. You would be very welcome to attend any of the public meetings, details of which will be made available in due course.

More information on the project and the decisions announced today can be found on the Scottish Soldiers Archaeology Project web pages.

If you have any questions relating to the announcement, please contact us via the dedicated project email

Kind regards,

This entry was posted in Dunbar Prisoners Remains, Durham Castle, Durham Cathedral, UNITED KINGDOM: and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to The decisions regarding reburial and commemoration…

  1. Carol Gardner says:

    Dear Ms. Rust:
    I would be interested in attending the meeting with the Durham University researchers in Massachusetts in late 2016. I’m a descendant of Thomas Doughty. I’ve done pretty extensive research on him, and on several of his co-prisoners who arrived as servants in New England in 1650. I have uncovered some details that neither Charles Banks nor Everett Stackpole found. I’d love to share some of that knowledge, and to learn more from the researchers, whose work I’ve been following. Thanks for your consideration.

  2. Donna B. says:

    This is soooo interesting! I really appreciate your thorough updates on this project. Thank you!

  3. Jeannette Wood says:

    It is with great distress that I read this information! It was my hope that these remains would be returned to Scotland where these brave souls fought to preserve their homeland. My ancestors that were transported from Durham to the colonies were the McIntires; Micum, Phillip and Robert.

    Jeannette McIntire Sears Wood
    Descendant of SPOW
    McIntire; Micum, Phillip, Robert

  4. Paula Cummings says:

    My first thought was being re buried was great but going home to Scotland would have been better. Descendant of SPOW. Gray. Cooper

  5. Margaret Quivey DeMarco says:

    Thank you for letting us know. Although my ancestor, James MacWithey (a.k.a. MacRory) was transported to Massachusetts, I am intensely interested in these Durham remains, since some of his close relatives (father, brothers, cousins) and clan members may have been buried at Durham.

    These articles mention an existing plaque within the cathedral commemorating the Scots, and a planned plaque where the remains were discovered. Nothing was said regarding a memorial at Elvet Hill Road Cemetery itself. Will there be a memorial there, too? If so, what will it be like?

  6. Wayne Adams says:

    These men were Scots who fought defending their country from an invading army. For their patriotism they were on one fateful day taken prisoner, forced marched to an alien country, treated with cruel neglect and cruelly perished. They would never be seen again. There are modern equivalents which make us shudder.

    Now some Orwellian sounding committees and councils – petty authorities all – with the arrogance of a victor have taken it upon themselves to decide that the remains of these poor men should be re-interred in that alien land, their souls to remain forever prisoner to their oppressor. In chillingly clinical language we are told we are told that this “commemoration” will take place after research on the bones is completed.

    Rest assured that these are but temporary arrangements. The voice of Scotland will begin to speak with an ever louder voice. It may take fifty years. It may take three hundred years, but one day amid great rejoicing of the nation, the remains of these true Scots will be returned to Scotland where they will at last find eternal rest in their native soil.

    Wayne Adams
    Descendant of SPOW James Warren

  7. Beth Heckman says:

    Wonderful news about the Project Team coming to Massachusetts! I would be interested in attending the meeting with the Durham University researchers in Massachusetts in late 2016, as I am a descendant of Robert McClaflin. I would love to learn more from the Project Team. What is the best way to stay informed about the visit?

    • Subscribe to this blog/website. Join the Yahoo Group. Join the Facebook page. Follow us on Twitter @ScottishPOWs.
      Other ways to reach us and stay in touch:
      Yahoo Email Group: Scottish War Prisoners Yahoo Group – Open to the Public
      Facebook: Scottish Prisoners of War @scottishprisonersof war
      Twitter: @ScottishPOWs
      Scottish Prisoners Y-DNA Study: Scottish Prisoners – Transported Scottish Prisoners of the Civil Wars (1650

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