Battlefield Reign
Battlefield Reign
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The Langside Monument commemorates a decisive battle in Scotland’s history, the Battle of Langside (13th May 1568), which marked the final defeat of Mary, Queen of Scots.  Eleven days after escaping from Lochleven Castle where she was imprisoned after being forced to abdicate in favour of her infant son James VI (who on the death of Elizabeth I, inherited her throne to become James I of England and VI of Scotland), she raised an army of 6,000 to regain her crown.


But young James’ Regent, Earl of Moray (who was his uncle and Mary’s half-brother) intercepted her planned march to Dumbarton by strategically out-manouvering her by placing his 4,000 troops on the vantage point of the battlefield hill. It proved to be one of the shortest battles not only in Scottish but British history – but important nevertheless, as it sealed the eventual religious belief of the country and with it, the first steps towards the creation of ‘Great Britain’.


It lasted just forty-five minutes by all accounts, with about 400 men killed.  The rest, as they say, being history.  Mary fled to England for the ‘safety’ of her cousin, Elizabeth I – but Elizabeth feared Mary would again raise a Catholic army and take her throne, so she was imprisoned.  But it was ‘unfinished’ business.  After being held for 18 years, leading Protestants loyal to the Reformation sweeping the country had uncovered a plot that would see their queen assassinated and – with the backing of the pope – Rome-backed Mary laying claim to her throne, so Elizabeth finally signed Mary’s death warrant and she was executed on February 8th 1587 at Fortheringay Castle.


The granite Monument in Battle Place in the south side of Glasgow was erected in 1887 to coincide with the 300th anniversary of Mary’s beheading.  It was designed by Alexander Skirving, ‘Greek’ Thomson’s principle assistant, and built by the renowned Glasgow firm Morrison & Masons Ltd.  In addition to the lion with the cannonball under his paw, facing the battlefield, the column is decorated with spirals of thistles, roses and fluers-de-lys reflecting Mary Stuart’s coat of arms, standing on a stepped pedestal with eagles seated at its upper corners. 


Leica M6 Classic & 2.8/90mm Elmarit

Ilford FP4+ (@125)

HC-110 (Dil. B – 7:30 min)

Plustek 7600i & Vuescan