Service as Scots prisoners of war are reinterred
History: Men captives from the Battle of Dunbar
The remains of 17th Century Scottish prisoners of war will be reburied after skeletons were discovered during building work at Durham University.
Extensive tests were carried out after they were found five years ago and studies showed they had been held captive in the then empty Durham Cathedral following the 1650 Battle of Dunbar.
A simple graveside ceremony reflective of the 17th Century will be held today at Elvet Hill Road Cemetery, less than a mile from where they were found.
During the reburial service people will have the opportunity to scatter a handful of Scottish soil into the grave, in acknowledgement of the origins of many of the soldiers.
Professor Chris Gerrard, of Durham University’s Department of Archaeology, said: “It has been a privilege to research these soldiers and, having learnt so much from their remains, it was important to us to lay them to rest with respect and dignity.
“Today we are able to give these men the burial they were denied when they died almost 400 years ago.”
The reburial service has been designed by Durham Cathedral, and representatives from the Church of Scotland and the Scottish Episcopal Church were invited to comment, to ensure a respectful and dignified final committal.
Metrical Psalms from the 1650 Scottish Psalter and a Bible reading from the 1611 King James Version have been included in the service.
At the Battle of Dunbar the English Parliamentarian army, under the command of Oliver Cromwell, defeated the Scottish Covenanting army who supported the claims of Charles II to the Scottish throne.
DISCOVERY: The skeletons were found during building work at Durham University
Facial reconstruction of one of the soldiers