Battle of Corrichie, The
DESCRIPTION: Mourn, Highlands and Lowlands "for the bonnie burn o' Corrichie His run this day wi' bleid." Huntley's son loves Queen Mary and, with the Gordon clan, faces "fause Murray" whose "slee wiles spoilt a' the sport And reft him o' life and limb" Details follow
AUTHOR: John Forbes? (source: Aytoun)
EARLIEST DATE: 1772 (_Scots Weekly_, according to Greig)
KEYWORDS: love battle death Scotland royalty
Oct 28, 1562: The troops of Queen Mary, under the Earl of Murray, defeat and capture the Earl of Huntley, who is subsequently killed (source: Aytoun, but see NOTES)
REFERENCES (4 citations):
Greig #140, p. 1, "The Battle of Corrichie" (1 text)
Whitelaw-Ballads, pp. 555-556, "The Battle of Corichie" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: William Edmonstoune Aytoun, The Ballads of Scotland (Edinburgh: William Blackwood and Sons, 1859 ("Digitized by MIcrosoft")), Vol. I, pp. 245-248, "The Battle of Corrichie" (1 text)
Michael Brander, _Scottish and Border Battles and Ballads_, 1975 (page references to the 1993 Barnes & Noble edition), pp. 87-89, "Corichie or The Hill of Fare" (1 text)
The Battle of Corichie
NOTES: Some sources think that the Huntley of this song is the Geordie of "Geordie" [Child 209]; see the notes to that song.
Of the events described here, Magnuson, p. 347, declares, "in the summer of 1562 Mary [Queen of Scots] went with Lord James Stewart on a campaign against the most powerful Catholic family in Scotland, the Gordons of Huntly; George Gordin, the fourth Earl of Huntly (the 'Cock of hte North,' as he was called) and one-time Chancellor of Scotland, died of apoplexy after being captured at a skirmish at Corrichine in October. His embalmed corpse was solemnly convicted of treason, and later Mary had to witness the bungled beheading of one of Gordon's sons, who had tried to abduct her. The scene reduced her to hysterical tears."
Mitchison, p. 127: "[Mary] set herself to work the [Protestant] settlement of 1560 within her kingdom, and there are no grounds for believing she did not mean this sincerely. She took to the more moderate leaders in the Protestant party; her half-brother Lord James was given the earldom of Moray. This involved a breach with the house of Huntly, who had claims to some of its lands. Unwisely the Gordons put up a show of resistance and Mary went jaunting out with her soldiery to subdue them.... Lord James won a small battle, the Marquis of Huntly dropped dead, and Mary reluctantly executed a Gordon."
Upon her return to Scotland from France, Mary Stuart had set out to tour the country and meet the people. She "stands out as the last Stewart monarch to traverse much of the kingdom of the Scots.... [Her progress of 1562] was rather longer than expected as Mary had been forced to face the first noble insurrection of her personal rule. The Earl of Huntley's forces faced up to those of the queen, led by Lord James Stewart (now the Earl of Moray), at Corrichie on 28 October 1562. Huntley was defeated and disgraced, but died before his trial for treason" (Oram, pp. 253-254). - RBW
Last updated in version 3.2
- Magnus Magnusson, Scotland: The Story of a Nation, Atlantic Monthly Press, 2000
- Mitchison: Rosalind Mitchison, A History of Scotland, second edition, Methuen, 1982
- Oram: Richard Oram, editor, The Kings & Queens of Scotland, 2001 (I use the 2006 Tempus paperback edition)
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