Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Battle of Dalrigh

'...Hitherto Bruce and his companions in wandering appear to have experienced neither favour nor opposition from the inhabitants of the districts through which they rambled; but most part of the shire of Argyle, which they now approached, was under the command of a powerful chief called Macdougal, or John of Lorn. This prince had married an aunt of the slaughtered John Comyn, and desired nothing with more ardour than an opportunity to revenge the death of his ally upon the homicide. Accordingly, when Bruce attempted to penetrate into Argyleshire at the head of his company, he was opposed by John of Lorn, who encountered him at a place called Dalry (i. e. the king's field), near the head of Strathfillan. The Highlandmen being on foot, and armed with long pole-axes, called Lochaber-axes, attacked the little band of Bruce where the knights had no room to manage their horses, and did them much injury. Bruce, compelled to turn back, placed himself in the rear of his followers, and protected their retreat with the utmost gallantry. Three Highlanders, a father and two sons, assaulted him at once; but Bruce, completely armed, and excellent at the use of his weapon, rid himself of them by despatching them one after another. " Look at him," said John of Lorn, in unwilling admiration; " he guards his men from us as Gaul, the son of Morni, protected his host from the fury of Fingal...'

The Battle of Dalrigh, which Walter Scott covers in his "History of Scotland", was a defeat for Robert Bruce.  John MacDougall led Clan MacDougall, and the two adversaries would once have fought on the same side, but this became impossible after Bruce slayed his nephew John Comyn at Dumfries.  This episode in the Wars of Scottish Independence occured on August 11, 1306.  Bruce managed to escape from Dalrigh, and was on the run for about half a year.

No comments:

Post a Comment