Battlefield Road, Langside. Glasgow.

This morning, I visited the site of the Battle of Langside in Glasgow. What is now a busy, and heavily populated suburban location was, on May 13th 1568, an open, rural landscape where the tragic, Mary, Queen of Scots lost a battle against her half-brother following which she escaped to England where she was imprisoned for many years and finally executed.

In May 1568 Mary had escaped from imprisonment at Lochleven Castle and connected with the powerful Hamilton family where she raised an army of perhaps 6000 men, a force significantly bigger than that of her adversary, her half-brother, the Earl of Moray.

Mary set off to reach Dumbarton Castle on Scotland’s West Coast from where she hoped to obtain support/rescue from France.

By chance the two opposing armies met near Langside, south of Glasgow. Here Mary’s force were outmatched by superior strategy and the untimely incapacity of her key general, the Earl of Argyll.

After a conflict lasting only 45 minutes, 100 of Mary’s men had been killed and 300 taken prisoner including two loyal aristocrats, Lord Seton and Sir James Hamilton. There are reports of just one casualty on Moray’s side.

After the defeat Mary took advice to flee south, where she sought refuge in England, an ultimately unwise move resulting in her execution twenty-five years later.

Battle of Langside Monument (erected 19th century).

Video clip of battlefield area.

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