Battle of Kirtle - 2nd July 1484
William, 8th Earl of Douglas, set out for
London in 1451 to foment a rebellion against the Scottish Crown. After the
murder of William, his brother James, 9th
Earl of Douglas, attempted to avenge his death by armed opposition to King
James II. Betrayed by almost all his allies, but not the Bells, the 9th Earl
lost at Arkinholme on 1 May 1455. The Earl escaped
to France, but his possessions went to the victors and the Bell Family,
forfeited Kirkconnel to the Maxwells.
In 1484, the forfeited 9th Earl of
Dougas, with the Duke of Albany, returned to Scotland with a small Army of 500
men. He rested at Bell’s Castle on the eve of the Battle of Kirtle. Not all of
the Douglas family supported this invasion of Scotland. The
4th Lord of Drumlanrig,
William Douglas, was killed on 22 July 1484 at the Battle of Kirtle,
fighting for the Crown against his cousin, 9th Earl of Douglas.
killed at this Battle of Kirtle was Sir Simon Carruthers, the oldest brother of
Archibald Carruthers, 7th Lord and 2nd Baron Mouswald. Sir Simon was Warden of
the West March at the time of his death. Sir Simon's daughters married into the
Kennedy and Jarding families. Although not definitively recorded, it was
suggested by A. Stanley Carruthers in his book Records of the Carruthers Family,
that Archibald Carruthers, 2nd Baron Mouswald, was also killed at the Battle of
Kirtle, since he also died in 1484. The Douglases of drumlanrig were later
to acquire Mouswald.
interesting side note, Archibald's son, Sir Simon, 8th Lord and 3rd Baron
Mouswald, married the daughter of Douglas of Drumlanrig, before this Sir Simon
was murdered in 1504. The reason for the murder, by Thomas Bell of the Broom and
Thomas Bell of Currie, is not known. But it has been suggested that it might
have been connected with the acquisition of the Pennersaughs estate that Sir
Simon had bought in 1499. Pennersaughs is adjacent to the property of Middlebie,
owned by the Bells to which the murdering Bells were related.
Kirtle lies between Lochmaben and Carlisle.
Note: Kirtle is also refered to as Kirtie.