Friends of Ben Rinnes

The Battle of Balrinnes October 3rd 1594

Below is an extract taken from the University of California Berkeley from the book collection of Bertrand H. Bronson

The armies encountered at a place called Belrinnes in a district called Glenlivet. The Highlanders were posted on a mountain-side, so steep that footmen could barely keep their hold.
Notwithstanding this obstacle, the Earls determined to attempt the ascent, and Errol, supported by Sir Patrick Gordon, led the Hays up the hill in the very face of the foe. While the vanguard was advancing, Ker brought some of his artillery to bear on Argyle's front, which threw the Highlanders into confusion, and caused some of them to fly.
Errol's horsemen, however, were soon forced by the steepness of the mountain to wheel and move obliquely, and their flank being thus exposed, their horses suffered considerable damage from a volley of bullets and arrows. Upon this Huntly made a fierce attack upon Argyle's centre, and bore down his banner, and his cavalry soon after attaining to more even ground, where their horses could operate with efficiency, the Highlanders, who were destitute of lances, and so unable to withstand the shock, were driven down the other side of the hill, and put to utter rout.
The chief of Maclean alone withstood the assault of the horsemen, and performed marvellous feats of bravery, but was at last forced off the field by his own soldiers, and Argyle himself was compelled to fly, weeping with anger. Of the Catholics, Sir Patrick Gordon, Huntley's uncle, was slain, with only twelve others. The loss of the other party was several hundred soldiers, besides some men of note, among them Campbell of Lochinzell.
This battle was fought on the third of October, 1594.
The action is called the Battle of Glenlivet, or of Balrinnes, and also of Strathaven.

There is a Ballad of Balrinnes, written during the 16th century, click HERE to view the Ballad.

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