Duncan Macfarlane of that Ilk

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Duncan Macfarlane of that Ilk

Birthplace: Annochar, Dunbarton, Argyle, Scotland
Death: Died in Pinkie, Lothian, Midlothian, Scotland
Immediate Family:

Son of Andrew "the Wizard" MacFarlane and Margaret Cunningham
Husband of Catherine Colquhoun
Father of Andrew MacFarlane, 14th Baron of Arrochar, 11th Chief and Robert McFarlane

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About Duncan Macfarlane of that Ilk

13th Lord of Arrochar 1544-1547

1 - Duncan was present with his followers at the battle of Glasgow-Muir 1544, where he shared the defeat of the Lennox (father of Henry Darnley who married Mary Queen of Scots) against the Catholic party under the Regent Arran. He was also involved in the forfeiture which followed, but having powerful friends, Sir John Campbell of Lundy, Sir John Campbell of Calder, John Campbell of Farquhar, Colin Campbell of Ardkynglass, James Campbell of Lawaries (Lawers), Archibald Campbell of Glen Lyon and Arthur Campbell of Ardgarthnay who raised his 1000 pound caution in only 2 days, his property was, through their intercession, restored, and he obtained a remission under the privy seal. Duncan was invested in liferent in the lands of Arrochar on July 17th 1543

2 - "DUNCAN MacFarlane died on 10 September 1547 at the battle of Pinkie Cleugh (along with, among others, his uncle Walter MacFarlane of Gartartan, 1st Baron). On 17 July 1543 he was invested in Arrochar (upon his father's resignation) by, his second cousin, Matthew, thirteenth Earl of Lennox (later Regent of Scotland for his grandson, King James VI), and in 1544 he led three hundred of his clansmen for the earl and his ally, (DUNCAN's maternal uncle) William, fourth Earl of Glencairn, at the battle of Glasgow Muir (against DUNCAN's first cousin once removed, James, first Duke of Chatellerault, Regent of Scotland). DUNCAN was charged, on 21 December 1544, with his father and uncles, for an attack on Rossdhu, and succeeded his father soon afterwards as thirteenth Dominus de Arrochar and tenth Chief of Clan MacFarlane and heir-male of the earldom of Lennox. Just months before his own death , on the "Black Saturday of Pinkie," this Laird of MacFarlane & Arrochar led an attack upon Newark." from 'The barons of Arrochar and their cadets' a manuscript by Chevalier Terrance Gach MacFarlane, chapt. 1 - XIII.

3 - Duncan, 13th Chie f , who besides Andrew, his successor, had one other son, Duncan. All we know of the younger Duncan is given in the account of the Mill of Nab affair of 1578. [History of Clan Macfarlane Vol. II - manuscript by James Macfarlane; Chapt. 34]

3 - The policy of aggression of England on Scotland did not die with Henry VIII. The long wars, the continual pounding by a stronger neighbor " down against them," as Wharton said, " to their great beggary," had left the Scots small apparent power of resistance; and Somerset the governor thought that the business might now be finished by one good blow. Accordingly an army of fifteen thousand men crossed the border, under Somerset himself. They met no effective interruption. At the steep cleft of Cockbumspath, which a small force could have thoroughly defended, they found nothing more to interrupt them than some breaking up of the zigzag paths up the rocks, which their pioneers easily remedied. A fleet moved northwards by sea parallel with the army, and both stopped at the old town of Musselburgh, on the coast, six miles eastward of Edinburgh. A large Scots force was assembled by the regent, but it is surely exaggeration to say that it exceeded thirty thousand men. After some shifting of ground and skirmishing, the two forces took up position on either side of the small river Esk. The English had the range of a succession of low hills, the highest of which were called Carberry and Fauside; they form the sky-line to the west from the sea-shore. On the other side of the Esk the Scots had a strong position on a flat plain or terrace elevated by a steep bank above the Esk. An English observer who was present thus describes their position: He had "a full view of their camp, whereof the tents as I noted them were divided into four several orders and rows lying cast and west, and a prik shot asunder, and mustered not unlike, as thought me, unto four great ridges of ripe barley. The plot where they lay so chosen for strength as in all their country some thought not a better: safe on the south by a great marsh, and on the north by the Firth, which side also they fenced with two fieldpieces and certain hackbuts a' crock, lying under a turf wall; Edinburgh on the west at their backs, and eastward between us and them strongly defended by the course of a river called Esk, running north into the Firth, which as it was not very deep of water, so were the banks of it so high and steep, after the manner of the Peaths mentioned before in our Monday's journey, as a small sort of resistance's might have been able to keep down a great number of comers up. About a twelve score off from the Firth, over the same river, is there a stone bridge, which they did keep also well warded with ordnance." We are told that Somerset and his lieutenant, Dudley, Earl of Warwick, descended from Fauside Brac towards the small rising ground where the Church of St Michael of Inveresk stood, and the later parish church now stands. There they were addressed by a herald, who said he came from Huntly, the commander of the Scots army, to render a proposal for avoiding bloodshed. It was an offer to meet Somerset in chivalrous combat with companions, twenty to twenty, ten to ten, or, if he preferred it, the two generals man to man; but Somerset answered that he was not to peril his cause on such a venture, and offered some further but less cogent reasons about inequality of rank as between the challenger and the challenged. The proposition was so far astray from any practical conclusion, that it was set down as a device by George Douglas for obtaining information about the English army. On the morning of Saturday the 10th of September, when the English army were astir, under some order to bring them into fighting condition, they were surprised to find the Scots leaving their strong position and coming to meet them. The Scots had to pass the Esk; and as they made use of the old bridge still standing, some of them were killed by the cannon of the English vessels. The Londoner, who records his experiences of this affair, could only account for the movement of the Scots from their strong ground on the theory that they were afraid of Somerset's army retreating and slipping out of their hand. He says, "We came on speedily on both sides, neither as thereunto any whit aware of other's intent; but the Scots, indeed, with a rounder pace between the two hillocks betwixt us and the church, they mustered somewhat brim in our eyes, at whom, as they stayed there a while, our galley shot off and slew the Master of Graham, with five and twenty near by him." The Scots passed westward of the church. There was a broad stretch of almost level land, with a slight elevation towards the east and west, and there the Scots leader thought fit to force a battle. The ground might be pretty equal for both; but the Scots army was under the disturbing influence of a sudden change of position, while the English were moving on their own ground. It is an expressive testimony to the impulsiveness of the movement carrying the whole Scots army away from its position, that the English chronicler of the battle says they came on more like horse than foot soldiers. The English were strong in cavalry, which for centuries had been a preponderating power with them, and in artillery, which was becoming another. As the Scots were forming themselves, a body of horsemen was sent to try them; and the reception these met, described by the English chronicler of the battle, from his own side, is a good example of the Scots tactic for receiving the enemy's charge on a clump of long spears. From this prickly mass, according to the same narrator, came challenges as the English cavalry approached. "As our men were well nigh them, they stood very brave and bragging, shaking their pike-points, crying, 'Come here, loons! come here, heretics l' as hardly they are fair-mouthed men." The attacking force was scattered, and a pursuit was made by the Scots, who had better have remained at their post' They killed a considerable number of the fugitives; and it was noticed that many Of those slain were persons, of consideration, whose loss was a blow to the English side, which had to be avenged. In charging, the English found a ditch which they had some difficulty in crossing it may be seen yet. On their return they were prepared for it, but the Scots pursuers were not, and it confused them. While this secondary affair went on, the main body of the English army dressed and formed on the upper bend of the ground with entire composure and security, drawing in and placing the stragglers scattered by the attack on the Scots. The greater part, indeed, of the English army appears to have been still concealed from the Scots behind the low sky-line of Fauside ridge. It was determined to attempt no more skirmishes, but to let the Scots army feel the full weight of the well-appointed host they were so impatient to encounter. The Scots had no cavalry. Those who had horses left them in the camp on the other side of the river; and this tactic was so unaccountable on the English side, that the historian of the battle could only suppose that the foot-men compelled the mounted men to relinquish their horses, as likely to afford them a temptation and a ready means to take to flight. There was an unwonted element in that army-a body of Highlanders. Though their descendants became valuable troops when properly handled, they were ever at that time deemed by Lowland levies more dangerous to their comrades than to the enemy. Their manner of fighting was not in harmony with that of the Scots spear men and axe men, and, brought into such a host as was now assembled, became an element of uncertainty. The English narrator, indeed, says that the Highlanders-or the Irish, as he calls them-were the first to break rank and take to flight. The English were preparing for a grand charge of all arms. It was made under the protection of bow men in the flanks, and of artillery up on the brow of the hill, which could play over the heads of the English troops, making great havoc on the thick clumps of Scots spear men. The charge was a surprise. It was so thoroughly effective, that it was instantly followed by a breaking up and flight. It was a flight utterly helpless, without one organizing point. The Scots had suffered severely in other battles, as in Flodden, but they never had been so disgraced. The crisis came early in the day, so that the victors could pursue with daylight. That they should spare was not expected, yet the slaughter was almost an entire extermination, and taught the lesson that the best chance for the soldier in battle is steadiness. Such was the battle of Pinkie. Here, then, was another great calamity to a people ill able to bear it. The protector had founded on the exhaustion of the country-what was he to do now, after he seemed to have drawn its last drop of warlike blood ? Some more secondary castles were taken. The vital strongholds, however-Edinburgh, Stirling, and Dumbarton-were still kept for Scotland. Somerset found business to attend to at home, and it is possible that he may have seen, all the better for having gained a victory, that it would take many battles and much cruel work to subdue Scotland. He returned with the greater part of his army, after it had completed the destruction of the Church of Holyrood Abbev, and committed other devastation's round Edinburgh. The day of Pinkie Clench was one of the memorable epochs in Scots history; it was the last great disaster in a contest for national 'existence-the turning-point at which there came life when hope seemed past. A success of an encouraging and peculiar character, of which we have only the outline, followed the disaster of Pinkie. It was in February 1548 that Wharton, as Warden of the Western Marches, rode a raid into Scotland with three thousand men, trusting that Maxwell, Angus, and others of the " assured Scots," would bring their following to his aid, according to a promise they had made. The leaders professed to join him, but the follow turned fairly round to their own countrymen. The force was thus subtracted from the invaders and added to their enemy. The renegades fought bitterly and mercilessly against their own comrades, and both Wharton and, Grey, his lieutenant, were glad to carry away a shattered remnant of their English force. It was reported at the Court of France that this was a great victory over some nine or ten thousand invaders, of whom three thousand were slain; and the news went, with other events, to show that there still lived in Scotland a spirit of resistance which, with a little aid, might baffle England. [ 'Battle of Pinkie Cleuch' from History of Scotland by John Hill Burton Historiographer-Royal for Scotland Vol III pages 269-275 ] [6]

Sources [S473] History of Clan Macfarlane Vol I pub.1922, James Macfarlane, (published 1922 by David J. Clarke of Glasgow)

[S474] Colquoun_Cunningham.ged, Jamie Vans

[S90] Clan Macfarlane - A History 2001, Angus MacFarlane, (published 2001by House of Lochar)

[S2] Barons of Arrochar, Chevalier Terrance Gach MacFarlane, Chapter 1 - XIII (Reliability: 3)

[S6] Stirnet Genealogy, Peter Barns-Graham, Stewart14: The Scots Peerage (Avandale and Ochiltree), T h e Scots Peerage (Stewart of Arran), Burkes Peerages 193 4 (C astle Stewart) (Reliability: 3)

[S2] Barons of Arrochar, Chevalier Terrance Gach MacFarlane, 2 - Chapt.1 - XIII (Reliability: 3)

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Duncan Macfarlane of that Ilk's Timeline

Annochar, Dunbarton, Argyle, Scotland
Age 29
Gartmore, Stirling, Scotland, United Kingdom
September 10, 1547
Age 32
Pinkie, Lothian, Midlothian, Scotland
Age 32