Current Linlithgow Bridge over River Avon

Current Linlithgow Bridge over River Avon

This evening, I am posting information on the Battle of Linlithgow Bridge, Scotland which took place on September 4th., 1526.

Location is about 19 miles west of Edinburgh.

The battle was a function of the power vacuum created by the Scottish defeat at Flodden (1513) at which King James IV died.

James’s son, James V was kept a virtual prisoner by one Archibald Douglas. The battle occurred as a consequence of an attempt by the Dowager Queen Margaret to release the young James, her son.

The Queen’s force of 10,000 men, led by the Earl of Lennox, were marching on Edinburgh when they were intercepted by a smaller force of 2500 men led by the Earl of Arran.

Despite the smaller numbers, Arran’s force prevailed due to advantage of high ground on which his (Arran’s) force was deployed and Lennox’s force being caught in a bottleneck between the River Avon, marshy ground and the high ground occupied by Arran’s force.Tipping point was arrival of pro-Douglas reinforcements from Edinburgh.

Outcome of the battle was:

  • Deaths of upwards of 3000 men.
  • Murder of Earl of Lennox, after his surrender.
  • James remained under control of Archibald Douglas until his escape in 1528 at age 16 years when he took up the role of Monarch at Stirling and reigned through to his death in 1542.

The Bridge today is located about one mile west of the town centre, along the High Street.

River Avon at Linlithgow Bridge, Scotland.

River Avon at Linlithgow Bridge, Scotland.

Linlithgow Peel (loch) near Linlithgow Palace. A probable mustering point for Arran's forces.

Linlithgow Peel (loch) near Linlithgow Palace. A probable mustering point for Arran’s forces.

Linlithgow Palace.This was a repository of weapons and munitions used by the Earl of Arran's forces.

Linlithgow Palace.This was a repository of weapons and munitions used by the Earl of Arran’s forces.

The West Port, Linlithgow. Probable site of ebb and flow of men during the battle.

The West Port, Linlithgow. Probable site of ebb and flow of men during the battle.

Mercat Cross, Linlithgow. An important communication and information centre for townspeople on day of the battle.

Mercat Cross, Linlithgow. An important communication and information centre for townspeople on day of the battle.

Be Sociable, Share!