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The Anecdotage of Glasgow
Crossmyloof: said to have got its Name through Queen Mary


CROSSMYLOOF, now a part of Greater Glasgow, is located on and near the Pollokshaws Road. The singular name of Crossmyloof is accounted for by a popular myth which is yet current. It is said that, immediately before the battle of Langside, the forces of Queen Mary were drawn up on the site of the village.

A council of war was meanwhile held, at which it was debated whether they should, under the circumstances in which they were placed, risk a collision with the troops of Regent Murray. The Queen, always impetuous, was urgent that an attack should at once be made.

From this resolution several of her adherents attempted to dissuade her, representing to her the advantages likely to result from delay. Tired at last of their importunities, and eager to decide her fate, the Queen pulled an ebony crucifix from her breast, and laid it on her snowy palm, saying at the same time,— "As surely as that cross lies on my loof, I will this day fight the Regent."

From this circumstance, it is said, the spot received its name. Tradition in this, as in other instances that might be mentioned, has taken sad liberties with geography. The story is a pretty one nevertheless, and will continue, we daresay, to obtain credence at the winter evening hearth, in spite of the sneers of the prying student of history.

Such is the tradition as recorded by that prince of local writers, Hugh Macdonald, but in spite of his sceptical comment, the story may be true in all its main particulars, except as regards the alleged site of the encampment and Council of war. This probability is strengthened by the fact that Miss Agnes Strickland, who records this interesting incident in her Life of Mary, omits these tainly erroneous details. As her historical rendering from oral chroniclers is brief, it may be both pleasing and instructive to quote it here for comparison with the purely traditionary account given above.

This lady puts it on record that Maxwell, Laird of Pollok, one of Mary’s adherents, was created a baronet in the course of the eventful day the Queen spent in his vicinity, and that this was the last exercise of her power. She then relates as follows :—

Queen Mary, on being assured by the gentlemen about her—

"‘That in consequence of the position occupied by the rebel force, it would be impossible for her to get to Dumbarton,’ she placed her crucifix in the palm of her hand, and passionately exclaimed— "‘By the cross in my loof, I will be there to-night in spite of you traitors!

The explanation seems palpable by simply tracing the movements of the rival forces, as given by Hugh Macdonald, who writes :—

"Marching from Hamilton with the intention of proceeding to Dumbarton by the north-east side of Glasgow, the Queen’s troops were confronted at Dalmarnock ford by the army of the Regent Murray, which was drawn up in order of battle in the vicinity of Barrowfield. Desirous of avoiding the impending engagement, Mary’s adherents altered their route, and, passing by Ruthergien and Hangingshaw, endeavoured to accomplish their purpose of reaching Dumbarton by a forced march to the south-west of the city. Their course, however, was necessarily a circuitous one, and Murray having become aware of the alteration in their plans, at once pushed across Glasgow Green, forded the Clyde, and as we can see from the relative position of the places, was without difficulty able to intercept them in their progress." The council of war, and the dramatic incident recorded would, therefore, take place to the eastward of Langside, and immediately before the battle.


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