Concerning Gunn Coroner’s death
I’ve always had trouble accepting the stories attached to how Gunn coroner died.
1. There was meant to have been a long lasting Gunn feud with the Keiths.But the feud looks very questionable and will be a separate entry here another time…
2. The Gunns were meant to be randomly in a church in the middle of nowhere and did not hear anyone approaching – and no Gunn lookout was posted.
But it seems odd for Gunns to be randomly hanging around / in an empty church; it’s not as if a Minister was there with a congregation. And if the Gunn / Keith mythic feud was happening you would have posted a lookout if you had any intelligence, and Gunn coroner was meant to have had brains.
3. The Keiths and Gunns supposedly had a battle which the Gunns lost by trickery as the Keiths rode two men on each horse according to most accounts. Of course Gunns could never have lost in a fair battle, that’s not how Clan mythic history works…
Overall it seems likely Gunn Coroner and some of his family were attacked near the Church of St Tayre; the Coroner’s death meant the attack stopped. The Gunns may have been attacked by Keiths but that is unlikely as the Keiths could easily have removed Gunn from his Coroner’s position due to the their power at the King’s court. The death of Gunn Coroner seems more like a revenge killing by a bunch of ‘Caiths’ – people of Caithness - not Keiths. (Note how both Caiths / Keiths sound the same and that the 1450s is before spelling is fixed.)
No record of the Coroner’s appointment, death or appointment of a new Coroner appears in history texts although much else from this time is known. Did his death have any impact on the greater Caithness world? Perhaps not…
St Tears, the Coroner and more…