Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Battle of Bothwell Bridge

'There was now a pause in the military movements on both sides. The government seemed contented to prevent the rebels advancing towards the capital, while the insurgents were intent upon augmenting and strengthening their forces. For this purpose, they established a sort of encampment in the park belonging to the ducal residence at Hamilton, a centrical situation for receiving their recruits, and where they were secured from any sudden attack, by having the Clyde, a deep and rapid river, in front of their position, which is only passable by a long and narrow bridge, near the castle and village of Bothwell. 

Morton remained here for about a fortnight after the attack on Glasgow, actively engaged in his military duties. He had received more than one communication from Burley, but they only stated, in general, that the Castle of Tillietudlem continued to hold out. Impatient of suspense upon this most interesting subject, he at length intimated to his colleagues in command his desire, or rather his intention,—for he saw no reason why he should not assume a license which was taken by every one else in this disorderly army,—to go to Milnwood for a day or two to arrange some private affairs of consequence. The proposal was by no means approved of; for the military council of the insurgents were sufficiently sensible of the value of his services to fear to lose them, and felt somewhat conscious of their own inability to supply his place. They could not, however, pretend to dictate to him laws more rigid than they submitted to themselves, and he was suffered to depart on his journey without any direct objection being stated. The Reverend Mr Poundtext took the same opportunity to pay a visit to his own residence in the neighbourhood of Milnwood, and favoured Morton with his company on the journey. As the country was chiefly friendly to their cause, and in possession of their detached parties, excepting here and there the stronghold of some old cavaliering Baron, they travelled without any other attendant than the faithful Cuddie.'

 The Covenanters were defeated at the Battle of Bothwell Bridge, on June 22, 1679.  Victory belonged to the Duke of Monmouth, John Graham.  This battle plays an important part in Walter Scott's "Old Mortality", from which the text above comes.  Hero Henry Morton is on the wrong side in this one.

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