Fact of the day: 24th July

On this day in 1411 Battle of Harlaw, one of the bloodiest battles in Scotland took place.

The Battle of Harlaw 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.

Robert Stewart, 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.

The ferocity of the battle gave it the nickname “Red Harlaw.”

It is commemorated by a 40-foot (12 m) high memorial on the battlefield near the town of Inverurie, supposedly by the church at Chapel of Garioch, and by ballads and music.

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