Friday, May 9, 2008

Aberdeen in 1411- Saved by the Earl of Mar

From the The History of Scotland CHAPTER X. EARLY STEWART KINGS: ROBERT II. (1371-1390)

The Celtic North, never quiet, made its last united effort in 1411, when Donald, Lord of the Isles, who was in touch with the English Government, claimed the earldom of Ross, in right of his wife, as against the Earl of Buchan, a son of Albany; mustered all the wild clans of the west and the isles at Ardtornish Castle on the Sound of Mull; marched through Ross to Dingwall; defeated the great northern clan of Mackay, and was hurrying to sack Aberdeen when he was met by Alexander Stewart, Earl of Mar, the gentry of the northern Lowlands, mounted knights, and the burgesses of the towns, some eighteen miles from Aberdeen, at Harlaw. There was a pitched battle with great slaughter, but the Celts had no cavalry, and the end was that Donald withdrew to his fastnesses. The event is commemorated by an old literary ballad, and in Elspeth's ballad in Scott's novel, ‘The Antiquary.' (Before you take me to task, yes, the image is the famous William Wallace(1272-1305), the rebel of Braveheart fame, who had nothing to do with the attempted sacking of Aberdeen, except stirring up discontent a few decades earlier)

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