The murder of James Sharp, Archbishop of St Andrews

On this day in Scottish History

murder of James Sharp
The murder of James Sharp, Archbishop of St Andrews

On the 3rd May 1679, a group of Covenanters led by John Balfour of Kinloch murder James Sharp, Archbishop of St Andrews on Magus Muir, Fife. Sharp was returning to St Andrews with his daughter when his coach was surrounded before he was dragged out and stabbed to death.

The attackers were probably waiting for the Sheriff of Fife, but were happy to kill instead the man leading the forces suppressing the Covenant in Scotland. It sparked a wider uprising, leading to what is known as the “Killing Time”.