The martyrdom of John Ogilvie

A play celebrating the life of St John Ogilvie, who was hanged at Glasgow Cross 400 years ago, took to the boards in Cumbernauld last week.

Ogilvie, who came from Banffshire, was born into a Calvinist family, but converted to Catholicism and entered the Jesuit order.

On March 10, 1615, aged 36, he was paraded through Glasgow and hanged at Glasgow Cross for refusing to accept the supremacy of King James VI in spiritual matters.

The Martyrdom of St John Ogilvie is written and directed by Stephen Callaghan, director of the Archdiocese of Glasgow Arts Project.

It takes place in St Joseph’s Church, Broomlands Road, at 7.30pm.

In the midst of the religious turmoil engulfing Europe Ogilvie was received into the Catholic Church in Belgium, and was later ordained a priest in Paris.

He returned to Scotland disguised as a horse trader named John Watson, and began to preach and celebrate Mass in private homes in secret.

In 1614, he was betrayed and arrested in Glasgow and jailed in Edinburgh, then tortured to try and make him divulge the identities of other Catholics.

In 1976 he was canonised following the miracle of Glasgow dock worker John Fagan, who was inexplicably cured of stomach cancer.

Stephen Callaghan said: “The play attempts to give a snapshot of this period in Scottish history and an insight into the lives of its people.”