The History of Leith

August 23, 2011

Battle on the Burghmuir

Sir Piers de Lombard (sometimes called Leland) joined King Robert, who, according to Barbour, created him Viscount of Edinburgh; but afterwards suspecting him of treason, and” that he had an English
hart, made him to be hangit and drawen.”
To prevent it from being re-captured or re-garrisoned, Randolph dismantled Edinburgh Castle, which for four and- twenty years afterwards remained a desolate ruin abandoned to the bat and the owl.
While in this state its shattered walls afforded shelter for a single night, in 1335, to the routed troops of Guy, Count of Namur, who had landed at Berwick, and was marching to join Edward III., but was encountered on the Burghmuir by the Earls of Moray and March, with powerful forces, when a fierce and bloody battle ensued.
Amid it, Richard Shaw, a Scottish squire, was defied to single combat by a Flemish knight in a closed helmet, and both fell, each transfixed by the other’s lance. On the bodies being stripped of
their armour, the gallant stranger proved to be a woman ! While the issue of the battle was still doubtful, the earls were joined by fresh forces under Sir Alexander Ramsay of Dalhousie, William Douglas and Sir David de Annon. The Count’s troops, chiefly cavalry, now gave way, but still fighting with the dogged valour of Walloons. Part of them that fled by St. Mary’s Wynd were nearly cut to pieces by Sir David de Annan, who led his men battle-axe in hand. The few that escaped him joined others who had reached the Castle. There they slaughtered their horses, made a rampart of the
bodies, and fought behind it with an energy born of despair, till hunger and thirst on the following day compelled them to capitulate, and the Earl of Moray suffered them to depart on giving oath never again to bear arms against David II. of Scotland.

Source-Old and New Edinburgh

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