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Battle(s) of Lanark


June 1073    King M   King Maelmuir defeats the Norwegians at the battle of Lanark and drives them from Strathclyde.



May 1297;   William Wallace led a rebellion of the Scots.

The first act which is definitely known to have been carried out by him was his killing of William Heselrig, the English Sheriff of Lanark, in May 1297. At the time this was not an isolated incident, but he was joining in with risings taking place across Scotland.

Not much is definitely known about this incident. The best account comes from the Scalacronica by Thomas Grey, whose father, also called Thomas Grey, was present. A fracas broke out at a court being held by Heselrig, which Wallace escaped from. He then came back with some supporters and attacked Heselrig and his men, killed Helselrig, nearly killed Thomas Gray senior, and set fire to some houses. Wallace then continued with his rebellion, which culminated in his victory at the Battle of Stirling Bridge four months later.

It is unclear what Wallace's background was prior to this incident at Lanark, what he was doing at Heselrig's court, and whether this was a spontaneous incident or if it was co-ordinated with other risings in Scotland.

According to later legend, written by Blind Harry, Wallace was seeking revenge for the killing by Heselrig of his wife, Marion Braidfute of Lamington.[3] However, there is little evidence for her existence. Harry also claims that Wallace then dismembered Heselrig's body.



1363        At the 1st battle of Nisbet in 1355 John Halyburton of Dirleton was killed while helping Ramsay of Dalhousie, Dunbar of Dunbar castle and William Douglas (later 1st Earl of Douglas) of Tantallon castle defeat the English garrison from Norham castle. Surprisingly, a few years later in 1363 Douglas and Dunbar turned on the Halyburtons and seized Dirleton castle in their first steps of rebellion against King David II of Scots for his attack on Kildrummy castle. This led to the battle of Lanark where Douglas and Dunbar were defeated by King David and forced to sue for peace. Dirleton was then returned to the Halyburtons.




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Last modified: Wednesday, 18 July 2018