Friday, May 13, 2011

Battle of Langside

‘To the death of Henry Darnley, it is said, some of the Border lords were privy. But the subsequent marriage, betwixt the Queen and Bothwell, alienated from her the affections of the chieftains of the Marches, most of whom aided the association of the insurgent barons. A few gentlemen of the Merse, however, joined the army which Mary brought to Carberry-hill. But no one was willing to fight for the detested Bothwell, nor did Bothwell himself show any inclination to put his person in jeopardy. The result to Mary was a rigorous captivity in Lochleven Castle; and the name of Bothwell scarcely again pollutes the page of Scottish history.

The distress of a beautiful and afflicted princess softened the hearts of her subjects: and when she escaped from her severe captivity, the most powerful barons in Scotland crowded around her standard. Among these were many of the West Border men under the Lords Maxwell and Herries. But the defeat at Langside was a death-blow to her interest in Scotland.’

The text above, from the introduction to Walter Scott’s “Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border”, describes the end, for Mary Queen of Scots, of her efforts to reclaim her forfeit crown. She had escaped from Lochleven Castle, but The Battle of Langside, fought on May 13, 1568 reduced Mary’s military support such that It could not overcome the power of the regent, James Stewart, 1st Earl of Moray. Mary escaped from this battle, but had to leave Scotland forever.

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