Prev Next

At the water of Carron he did begin, And fought the battle to the end; 70 Where there were kill'd, for our noble king, Two thousand of our Danish men.[L72]

Gilbert Menzies, of high degree,[L73]

By whom the king's banner was borne; For a brave cavalier was he, 75 But now to glory he is gone.

Then woe to Strachan, and Hacket baith![L77]

And, Leslie, ill death may thou die!

For ye have betray'd the gallant Grahams, Who aye were true to majestie. 80

And the Laird of Assaint has seized Montrose, And had him into Edinburgh town; And frae his body taken the head, And quarter'd him upon a trone.

And Huntly's gone the self-same way,[L85] 85 And our noble king is also gone; He suffer'd death for our nation, Our mourning tears can ne'er be done.

But our brave young king is now come home, King Charles the Second in degree; 90 The Lord send peace into his time, And God preserve his majestie!

1. A corruption of Endrickdale. The principal and most ancient possessions of the Montrose family lie along the water of Endrick, in Dumbartonshire. S.

5. About the time when Montrose first occupied Aberdeen (1639) the Covenanters began to wear a blue ribbon, first as a scarf, afterwards in bunches in their caps. Hence the phrase of a true blue Whig. The blue ribbon was one of "Montrose's whimsies," and seems to have been retained by his followers (see v. 50) after he had left the Covenanters for the king.

14. The faithful friend and adherent of the immortal Wallace, slain at the battle of Falkirk. S.

37. Glen-Prosen is in Angus-shire. S.

49. Of the family of Gicht in Aberdeenshire. He was taken at Philiphaugh, and executed the 6th of January, 1646.

52. Leith, of Harthill, was a determined loyalist, and hated the Covenanters, by whom he had been severely treated. S.

53. Newton, for obvious reasons, was a common appellation of an estate, or barony, where a new edifice had been erected. Hence, for distinction's sake, it was anciently compounded with the name of the proprietor; as, Newton-Edmonstone, Newton-Don, Newton-Gordon, &c. Of Newtown, I only observe, that he was, like all his clan, a steady loyalist, and a follower of Montrose. S.

54. Sir Francis Hay, of Dalgatie, a steady cavalier, and a gentleman of great gallantry and accomplishments. He was a faithful follower of Montrose, and was taken prisoner with him at his last fatal battle. He was condemned to death with his illustrious general. S.

55. I presume this gentleman to have been David Veitch, brother to Veitch of Dawick, who, with many other of the Peebles-shire gentry, was taken at Philiphaugh. S.

64. James, Earl of Aboyne, who fled to France, and there died heart-broken. It is said his death was accelerated by the news of King Charles's execution. He became representative of the Gordon family (or Young Huntly, as the ballad expresses it) in consequence of the death of his elder brother, George, who fell in the battle of Alford. S.

72. Montrose's foreign auxiliaries, who, by the way, did not exceed 600 in all. S.

73. Gilbert Menzies, younger of Pitfoddells, carried the royal banner in Montrose's last battle. It bore the headless corpse of Charles I., with this motto, "_Judge and revenge my cause, O Lord!_" Menzies proved himself worthy of this noble trust, and, obstinately refusing quarter, died in defence of his charge. MONTROSE's _Memoirs_. S.

77. Sir Charles Hacket, an officer in the service of the Estates. S.

85. George Gordon, second Marquis of Huntly, one of the very few nobles in Scotland who had uniformly adhered to the King from the very beginning of the troubles, was beheaded by the sentence of the Parliament of Scotland (so calling themselves) upon the 22d March, 1649, one month and twenty-two days after the martyrdom of his master. S.


Graham of Claverhouse and Balfour of Kinloch, commonly called Burly, the principal persons mentioned in this ballad, are characters well known to the readers of _Old Mortality_, in the earlier chapters of which the skirmish at Loudon Hill is described.

A few weeks after the memorable assassination of Archbishop Sharpe, Robert Hamilton, a fierce Cameronian, Burly, and a few others of the proscribed "Westlan' men" resolved to take up arms against the government. They began their demonstrations by entering the royal burgh of Rutherglen, on the 29th of May, 1679 (which, as the anniversary of the Restoration, was appointed by Parliament to be kept as a holyday) extinguishing the bonfires made in honor of the occasion, and burning at the cross certain acts in favor of Prelacy and for the suppression of Conventicles. After this exploit, and affixing to the cross a solemn protest against the obnoxious acts, they encamped at Loudon Hill, being by this time increased to the number of five or six hundred men. Claverhouse was in garrison at Glasgow, and immediately marched against the insurgents, with about a hundred and fifty cavalry. Hamilton, the commander of the Whigs, had skilfully posted his men in a boggy strait with a broad ditch in front, and the dragoons in attempting to charge were thrown into utter disorder. At this critical moment they were vigorously attacked by the rebels and easily routed. Claverhouse barely escaped being taken prisoner, and lost some twenty of his troopers, among them his cornet, Robert Graham, whose fate is alluded to in the ballad. Burly, though not the captain, was a prominent leader in this action. See SCOTT's _Minstrelsy_, vol. ii. 206, _et seq._

You'l marvel when I tell ye o'

Our noble Burly and his train, When last he march'd up through the land, Wi' sax-and-twenty Westland men.

Than they I ne'er o' braver heard, 5 For they had a' baith wit and skill; They proved right well, as I heard tell, As they cam up o'er Loudon Hill.

Weel prosper a' the gospel lads, That are into the west countrie, 10 Aye wicked Claver'se to demean, And aye an ill deid may he die!

For he's drawn up i' battle rank, An' that baith soon an' hastilie; But they wha live till simmer come, 15 Some bludie days for this will see.

But up spak cruel Claver'se, then, Wi' hastie wit, an' wicked skill; "Gae fire on yon Westlan' men; I think it is my sov'reign's will." 20

But up bespake his Cornet, then, "It's be wi' nae consent o' me!

I ken I'll ne'er come back again, An' mony mae as weel as me.

"There is not ane of a' yon men, 25 But wha is worthy other three; There is na ane amang them a', That in his cause will stap to die.

"An' as for Burly, him I knaw; He's a man of honour, birth, and fame; 30 Gie him a sword into his hand, He'll fight thysell an' other ten."

But up spake wicked Claver'se, then, I wat his heart it raise fu' hie!

And he has cried that a' might hear, 35 "Man, ye hae sair deceived me.

"I never ken'd the like afore, Na, never since I came frae hame, That you sae cowardly here suld prove, An' yet come of a noble Graeme." 40

But up bespake his Cornet then, "Since that it is your honour's will, Mysell shall be the foremost man That shall gie fire on Loudon Hill.

"At your command I'll lead them on, 45 But yet wi' nae consent o' me; For weel I ken I'll ne'er return, And mony mae as weel as me."

Then up he drew in battle rank; I wat he had a bonny train! 50 But the first time that bullets flew, Aye he lost twenty o' his men.

Then back he came the way he gaed, I wat right soon and suddenly!

He gave command amang his men, 55 And sent them back, and bade them flee.

Then up came Burly, bauld an' stout, Wi's little train o' Westland men, Wha mair than either aince or twice In Edinburgh confined had been. 60

They hae been up to London sent, An' yet they're a' come safely down; Sax troop o' horsemen they hae beat, And chased them into Glasgow town.


From _Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border_, ii. 237.

The success of the Cameronians at Loudon Hill induced a considerable number of the moderate Presbyterians to join the army of the insurgents. But though increased numbers gave the revolt a more formidable appearance, they cannot be said to have added much to the strength of the rebels, since there was no concert between the two factions, each having its own set of officers, and issuing contrary orders at the same time. An army of ten thousand men under the Duke of Monmouth advanced from Edinburgh against these distracted allies, who, in all not more than four thousand, were encamped near Hamilton, on the western side of the Clyde, and had possession of the bridge between that point and the village of Bothwell. While the Duke was preparing to force a passage, the more moderate of the Whigs offered terms, and while they were debating the Duke's reply, the Cameronians, who bravely defended the bridge, were compelled to abandon their post. The Duke's army then crossed the river without opposition, because the rebels were at that juncture occupied with cashiering their officers and electing new ones. The first discharge of Monmouth's cannon caused the cavalry of the Covenanters to wheel about, and their flight threw the foot into irrecoverable disorder.

Four hundred of the rebels were killed, and a body of twelve hundred surrendered at discretion, and were preserved from death by the clemency of the Duke. This action took place on the 22d of June, 1679.

Report error

If you found broken links, wrong episode or any other problems in a anime/cartoon, please tell us. We will try to solve them the first time.