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Conflicts of the Clans

The Brig of Dee

The year of God, 1588, there were some secret emulations and factions at Court. The Earl of Huntly being in favour with His Majesty, obtained the Captaincy of His Majesty's Guards, which the Master of Glamis had before; for this cause the Master of Glamis and associates, joining themselves to the English Ambassador, then lying in Edinburgh, do surmise to the King's Majesty, that some letters of the Earl of Huntly's, sent by him to the King in Spain, were intercepted in England. Huntly was called to make his answer; he compears and denies these letters to have been written or sent by him, but only devised by his enemies, thereby to put him in disgrace with his master; yet he is warded in the Castle of Edinburgh in the latter end of February, and being tried, he is released the 7th day of March following; whereupon the Earls of Huntly, Crawford, and Errol address themselves into the North, and take journey towards St. Johnstown, where they were advertised that the Earls of Athol and Morton and the Master of Glamis had convened forces to entrap them within St. Johnstown. Huntly, Errol, and Crawford issued forth of that town, with such small companies as they then had, and rencountered with the Marquis of Glamis, whom they chased and apprehended in Kirkhill, and carried him prisoner with them into the North.

Chancellor Maitland and the rest of the Master of Glamis's faction at Court, hearing of this accident, they inflame the King with anger against Huntly and his associates, and so persuade His Majesty to take a journey into the North. Huntly, in the mean time, assembles all his friends and dependants, to the number of 10,000 men, and came forward to the Brig of Dee, with a resolution to fight against his enemies, the 20th of April, the year of God 1589; for being certainly informed that the King was coming in person against him, he dissolved his army, and submitted himself to His Majesty, withal releasing the Master of Glamis from captivity; whereupon Huntly was committed to ward at Edinburgh, then at Borthwick, thereafter at Finnerin; from whence he was shortly released by His Majesty. The Earl of Errol was also warded in Edinburgh Castle, where he was detained until he paid a sum of money, which was employed to the use of Chancellor Maitland.


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