The Battle of Harlaw 1411

Tue, Jul 12, 2011

220px-harlaw_monument_edited-1Clan Donald Commemorates Battle Of Harlaw

The Battle of Harlaw (Scottish Gaelic: Cath Gairbheach) was a Scottish clan battle fought on 24 July 1411 just north of Inverurie in Aberdeenshire. It was one of a series of battles fought during the Middle Ages between the barons of northeast Scotland against those from the west coast.


The battle was fought to resolve competing claims to the Earldom Of Ross, a large region of northern Scotland. The Duke of Albany, regent of Scotland, had taken control of the earldom as guardian of his niece Euphemia Leslie. This claim was contested by Donald, Lord Of the Isles, who had married Euphemia’s aunt Mariota. Donald invaded Ross with the intention of seizing the earldom by force.

First he defeated a force of MacKays at Dingwall. He captured the castle and then advanced on Aberdeen with 10,000 clansmen. Near Inverurie he was met by 1,000-2,000 of the local gentry, many in armour, hastily assembled by the Earl of Mar. After a day of fierce fighting there was no clear victor; Donald had lost 900 men before retreating back to the Western Isles, and Mar had lost 500. The latter could claim a strategic victory in that Aberdeen was saved, and within a year Albany had recaptured Ross and forced Donald to surrender. However Mariota was awarded the earldom of Ross in 1424 and the Lords of the Isles would keep the title for much of the 15th century.

The ferocity of Harlaw gave it the nickname “Red Harlaw”. It is remembered by a 40 feet (12.2 m) memorial on the battlefield, the Chapel of Garioch, and by ballads and music.

Wikipedia Extract

The High Council of Clan Donald will be arranging for clansfolk to attend the  commemorative service all details can be found a : The Highland Council Website 

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