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"
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)
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
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