Battle of Glenlivet, The, or The Battle of Altichallichan
DESCRIPTION: The singer comes to see the battle near Strathdown between Huntly and Errol on one hand and Argyle on the other. Various participants and incidents of the battle are mentioned. The song concludes with estimates of the losses
EARLIEST DATE: c. 1818 (GlenbuchatBallads)
KEYWORDS: battle death
1594 - Battle of Glenlivet
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (2 citations):
GlenbuchatBallads, pp. 74-83, "The Battle of Glenlivet or The Battle of Altichallichan" (1 text plus an excerpt from the history of the battle)
ADDITIONAL: Michael Brander, _Scottish and Border Battles and Ballads_, 1975 (page references to the 1993 Barnes & Noble edition), pp. 248-257, "The Battle of Balrines or Glenlivet" (1 text)
ST GlnBa074 (Partial)
NOTES [214 words]: The text of this ballad in GlenbuchatBallads is accompanied by a copy of a history of the ballad. This history is perhaps a little biased (it opens with a reference to "the extremely imbecile administratin of James 6th"!). It is certainly true that James -- like every other King of Scotland -- had a lot of trouble with his nobles. And the Battle of Glenlivet was a consequence. Yet James VI largely had his way.
According to D[avid] Harris Willson, King James VI and I, Holt, 1956?, pp. 114-115, "In September 1594, the King was ready to march [against the fractious earls]. On October 3rd, the young Earl of Argyll, who had been permitted to advance before the main body of the King's army, was roughly handled by Huntly's forces at the battle of Glenlivet. But the earls, with no stomach for a second encounter, fled to toe wilds of Caithness, and to satisfy the Kirk James burned their houses to the ground. Within a few months he obtained an agreement by which Huntly and Errol promised to go abroad, which they did in March 1595. Angus lurked among his friends in the Highlands but was powerless to do harm."
Thus, although Glenlivet was a tactical failure for James VI, he eventually gained his objectives, and Glenlivet very likely helped persuade the Earls to give in. - RBW
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