Bon Accord Metal Detecting and Historical Society

Bon Accord Metal Detecting And Historical Society

Bon  Accord Metal Detecting and Historical Society

1336:Sacking of Aberdeen 21/22 July

Edward III announces that as soon as the truces expire he will once again invade Scotland in great numbers, he appoints Henry of Lancaster, son of the Earl of Lancaster to command. He leaves in May for the north, with a small force of 500 men-at-arms and more than 600 infantry. Edward, having added some 400 men to his forces from Henry of Lancaster's troops, leaves Perth and relieves the siege of Lochindorb, where the Countess of Atholl and her forces are down to their last quarter of rye. He then proceeds to destroy every bit of livestock he can find. Edward reaches the Moray Firth, and begins to pillage the area. The food stores at Kinloss Abbey were emptied, Forres was burned, and while Elgin's famous church was let stand, nothing else around it was. He also burns the crops as far inland as he can reach. Edward and his troops reach Aberdeen, descending on the city from the North. Edward and his troops spend the day burning the town, and demolishing what cannot be burned.  Edward soon returned to England, while the Scots, under Andrew Murray, Guardian of Scotland, captures and destroyed the English strongholds of Dunnotar, Kynnef and Lauriston, and carried on a harsh campaign of destruction in his own territories, ravaging Gowrie, Angus and Mearns, seeking to make them uninhabitable by the English.

In 1336, when Edward III. had ravaged a great part of the north country, he desolated Mar on his way south, and burned Aberdeen, killing a great number of the citizens, [It would be out of place here to enter into any lengthened defence of the historian Boece; but it seems necessary to notice that sometimes mistakes are imputed to him without reason, as in the present instance; Mr Thom in his History of Aberdeen, says, "Hector Boece mentions that Edward II. sent ships to Aberdeen, anno 1333, from which a party landed and burnt the town for six days; but this must be a mistake:" there is, however, no mention of this expedition in Boece's history. Considerable confusion prevails in the statements on this subject, some alleging (apparently on the authority of an incorrect expression in Froissart, where he says that, in 1333, Edward entered Scotland, ("qu'il foula gravement toute la plaine d'Escosse, et ardit et exillat moult de villes privées de fosses et de palis;—et coururent ses gens tout le pays jusques à Saint Jehanstone et jusques à Abredane;") that the town was burnt in 1333 as well as in 1336; and that on one or the other of these occasions, (for it is differently stated) the fire raged for six days. There does not seem, however, to be any good evidence for more than one burning; and it is by no means likely that the town was then of such extent as to require six days for its consumption, though possibly the work of destruction by Edward's soldiers may have been carried on for that length of time.  In revenge, apparently, for the death of Sir Thomas Roslyne, who had fallen in an attack on the town the year before. The town was within a few years rebuilt, and seems at this time to have received the designation of New Aberdeen; not in contradistinction to the Kirktown of Seaton, which is now called Old Aberdeen, but simply because it was then a newly built town. It seems certain that Aberdeen was a town of some note long before Old Aberdeen was any thing more than a hamlet with a church.

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