Hailes Castle

This image is the copyright of Andrew Spratt who has generously given permission to display it here.

Located on the south bank of the River Tyne, 1½ miles (2½ km) southwest of East Linton, Hailes Castle is an extensive ruin dating from the 13th century. Built originally by the de Gourlay family, Hailes was enlarged by the Hepburn family in the 15th century, with a tower being added and the curtain wall extended. In the 16th century the castle was owned by James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell (1536-78) and third husband of Mary, Queen of Scots (1542-87). He brought her to Hailes on their flight from Borthwick Castle (1567). Hailes was reduced to ruins by Oliver Cromwell (1650). Later the castle was sold to Sir David Dalrymple (d.1721) of the noted legal family, whose grandson became Lord Hailes. The castle was given to the nation in 1926 by its then owner, the former Prime Minister, Arthur Balfour (1848 - 1930) and is now maintained by Historic Scotland.


The following is an extract from Maxwell's A History of the House of Douglas, Vol 1.

The Earl of March, deeply aggrieved by Rothesay's conduct in jilting Elizabeth Dunbar
for Marjorie Douglas, had appealed to Henry iv., not only on the grounds of equity but as a poor relation.' The grandmothers of the English King and the Scottish earl had been sisters, so, wrote March, " I am of third kin to you, the which in old time was called near." ' Henry
did not disown obligations to his Scottish cousin ; he accepted March's proffered fealty, bestowed lands and a castle upon him, but, inasmuch as the affairs of his own kingdom were in a very unsettled state, he could not at the moment respond to March's invitation to
invade Scotland. Indeed, it is pretty certain that King Henry was anxious for peace ; he made friendly overtures to the Scottish Government, which met with but a cold response. Accordingly, when the Douglases made raids upon Dunbar and Annandale, holding their lord to be a recreant and traitor, March wrote to protest that he was still one of King Robert's lieges, that he was only in England upon private business, and claimed that his officers should be protected in possession of Dunbar Castle. This request having been refused, March openly joined the English, and having allied himself with Hotspur Percy,
marched at Candlemas, 1400, as far as Popple in East Lothian, wasting all the country as he went The villages of Hailes, Traprain, and Markles were burnt and two unsuccessful assaults delivered on the castle of Hailes before the Master of Douglas arrived on the scene with an armed force from Edinburgh. At sunset he surprised the enemy in their camp between Linton and Preston. They broke up in confusion ; their camp and all the booty they had gathered fell into Douglas's hands, and the Scots pursued them as far as Berwick, killing and capturing many in the woods of Cockburnspath, and bringing away as trophies the lance and banner of Sir Thomas Talbot.

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