Scotlands History

Battle of Langside

On 13 May 1568, Mary Queen of Scots made a last desperate bid to keep her throne. Her army faced the forces of the Lords of the Congregation under the Earl of Moray. They met in battle at the village of Langside, now part of Glasgow.

Cannons fired. As some of Mary’s men advanced many were cut down by musket fire. As they fell back Mary watched her troops falter. Her army disintegrated and fled as Moray unleashed his cavalry. The battle was lost. All that Mary could do was escape with her closest supporters.

She rode from Langside to the Solway Firth. Later Mary would write:

I have had to sleep upon the ground and drink sour milk... and have been three nights like the owls.

Her supporters urged her to sail to France but Mary decided to turn to her cousin Elizabeth I of England for aid. She sailed across the Solway to England. Mary hoped that Elizabeth would help restore her to her throne. She was to be bitterly disappointed. She would spend the next 18 years in captivity in England.

  • photograph of Battlefield Monument

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