Roslin on the Lee

DESCRIPTION: Sir Simon Fraser and Sir John Comyn led "ten thousand hielan' laddies Drest in their tartan plaidies." "For one hour and a quarter There was a bloody slaughter Till the English cried for quarter And in confusion flee"
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1914 (GreigDuncan1)
KEYWORDS: battle England Scotland
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (1 citation):
GreigDuncan1 111, "Roslin on the Lee" (1 text, 1 tune)
Roud #5785
The Battle of Roslin
NOTES [204 words]: Bodleian, 2806 c.11(109) ["Performer: Simpson, MacGregor"], "Roslin on the Lee" ("Just leave your tittle tattle"), The Poet's Box (Glasgow), 1849-1880 appears to be this ballad but could not be downloaded to be verified.
GreigDuncan1: "This Scottish victory over an English force took place at Roslin, south of Edinburgh, on 24 February 1303."
For some background on Scotland's rebellion against Edward I see "Scots Wha Hae (Bruce Before Bannockburn)." - BS
This is one of those cases where folklore significantly exaggerates. Yes, there was scattered opposition to the occupation by Edward I after the defeat of Wallace at Falkirk -- but there wasn't much. Sir Simon Fraser and John Comyn the Red were among the leaders -- but both would eventuallly submit to Edward I (see Magnus Magnusson, Scotland: The Story of a Nation, Atlantic Monthly Press, 2000, pp. 151-152). It was, in fact, Robert Bruce's murder of the Red Comyn which formally started his war with Edward I (Magnusson, pp. 165-166).
Roslin was little more than a skirmish, involving far fewer men than this song would imply -- and was so minor that it was not even mentioned in the first six Scottish histories I checked. Its strategic significance was nil. - RBW
Last updated in version 2.4
File: GrD1111

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2018 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.