Lamonts at War

The next edition of TWH is a few weeks away from publication, and I regret to inform you that this is the point in the story when it gets rough. The last edition looked at the cause, but now it’s time to look at the effect. Following the events of the National Covenant in February 1638, the First Bishops War would ignite. The first of the conflicts known collectively as the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. These wars in Scotland, England, and Ireland between 1638 and 1651 coincide with our Clan history’s darkest times. Sir James had placed himself in an impossible position with difficult choices that would have either glorious or tragic consequences.

This next chapter aims not to place too much emphasis on the details but rather give a high-level overview. The subject is deep and requires more attention than the magazine platform allows. We all know the outcome but consider this glorious account of Lamonts on the march to war:

One can imagine “the pick of swank fellows” as they swaggered up Loch Striven through the clachan of Inverchaolain to the vaunting of the pipes. “Gabhaidh sinn an rathad mór, olc no math le cach e”—“We will take the high road, let them take it ill or well”—would be the quick step of the party, the women wishing more pith to their arms. The standard bearer, am fear brataich, would be to the fore, and Sir James with the feathers in his bonnet and the ghillies at his stirrup and the lads of the belt at call, followed by the duine uassail, including young Ascog, each with his own tail. They would go no doubt across the foot of Glendaruel from Auchenbreck to Ballochandrain, and then, with the sun glinting on the naked steel and the brass prongs of the targes, over the hill track to Loch Fyne, and so to the gathering at Kilfinan, where they met Stronalbanach and the folks from Kerry.

What a sight that must have been! History records that over the next five weeks of marching Sir James amassed a strength of 5000 fighting Lamonts. An impressive force to face his traditional enemy but yet another old saying remained true:

cho fad ’s a bhios slat ’an coill’ bidh foill ann an Caimbeulach

“as long as trees are in the wood, there will be treachery in the Campbells.”

November Edition is coming soon!

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