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Carberry Hill Battlefield

View over Carberry Hill Battlefield towards Carberry Tower (now Langside Farm)
©2016 Gazetteer for Scotland

View over Carberry Hill Battlefield towards Carberry Tower (now Langside Farm)

Carberry Hill Battlefield is located on the hill of the same name, 2½ miles (4 km) south of Musselburgh in East Lothian and which rises to a height of 122m (400 feet). It was on this site, on 15th June 1567, that a stand-off between the armies of Mary Queen of Scots led by her husband James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell, and a confederation of Protestant Lords under the leadership of James Douglas, Earl of Morton took place. The Lords strongly opposed Bothwell and his marriage to Mary; however she stood by her husband. There were challenges made for individual combat, but no significant fighting and with mediation from the French Ambassador, Mary realised that her cause was lost and her supporters began to drift away.

Protracted negotiation eventually gave rise to Mary's surrender. She was taken to Loch Leven Castle to begin a long period of captivity, which eventually ended with her execution. Bothwell left the scene for Dunbar and fled to the Northern Isles, and thence to the continent.


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