The ferocity of Harlaw gave it the nickname "Red Harlaw". It is remembered by a 40 feet (12.2 m) memorial on the battlefield, the Chapel of Garioch, and by ballads and music.
In 1411, Donald, Lord of the Isles, made an inroad on the country to the west of Aberdeen, and advanced with the purpose of pillaging the town; but the Earl of Mar having collected forces in the low country, opposed his progress, and on the 24th of July a battle was fought at Harlaw, a place about twenty miles from Aberdeen, in which both parties sustained considerable loss, and neither could claim the victory. Among those who fell on the side of the Earl of Mar was Sir Robert Davidson, the Provost of Aberdeen, who joined him at the head of a band of citizens. His body was brought to the town and entombed in the Church of St Nicholas, where its remains were discovered when the church became ruinous about the year 1740. In consequence of the death, in this manner, of Provost Davidson, it is said that an act of the town-council was soon after passed, prohibiting the chief magistrate from quitting the town in his official character; but Mr Kennedy, though he mentions this, and though he refers constantly to the council records, does not quote any authority for the statement, or been able to find any notice of such an act in the Council Register.
The Weavers’ banner and Provost Davidson’s Sword.
Provost Davidson’s broadsword and the Weavers’ Banner said to have been carried at the Battle of Harlaw, 24 July 1411.
sermon from a church minister in the P&J claiming that the Battle of Harlaw was the turning point in the fortunes of the Gaelic culture and language and that the Lordship of the Isles was pivotal in Scottish History, being a veritable crucible of the nations soul. He tells of their tremendous energy in founding and and supporting the monastic communities and of their devotion to the culture of this country.