James Graham, 1st Marquis of Montrose, was a Scottish military hero – perhaps the greatest in their proud history – and a genuine and noble Cavalier of unconquerable spirit. The hereditary chief of the Graham clan, Montrose first came to prominence as an opponent of Charles I’s’ plan to impose an Episcopalian Church on a largely Presbyterian Scotland. However, in the wake of Charles’ defeat in the Bishop’s War, Montrose increasingly opposed the extreme Covenant faction and swung his loyalty behind the King when the Civil War broke out. Montrose led the Royalist forces in Scotland, his army consisting of Catholic Highlanders and a contingent of Irish troops. In an astonishing whirlwind campaign Montrose repeatedly defeated the Covenant armies and his enemies in the Campbell clan at the battles of Tippermuir, Aberdeen, Inverlochy, Auldearn, Alford and Kilsyth. However, the Royalist cause collapsed when Charles was defeated at Naseby, Montrose’s army melted away, and, left with a handful of supporters he was easily defeated by David Leslie at Philphaugh. He fled into exile in Norway but was lured back in support of Charles II, landing in the Orkneys and attempting to raise the Highland clans. However, he was betrayed when Charles II made his peace with the Covenanters and Montrose was defeated at Corbidsayle and delivered into the hands of his chief enemy, the Duke of Argyll, chief of the Campbells, who contrived to have him sentenced to death. Montrose was hanged in Edinburgh with an early edition of this laudatory biography by George Wishart, Bishop of Edinburgh, around his neck. His body was decapitated and quartered but was put together and buried with honour after Charles II became king. Since then he has been recognised as a true Scots national hero.
MEMOIRS OF JAMES, MARQUIS OF MONTROSE 1639-1650
Massive laudatory biography of Scotland’s premier national military hero, the Marquis of Montrose, who kept the Royal flag flying with a series of brilliant victories over the Covenanters and Campbells, before his shameful betrayal and death. Written by George Wishart, Bishop of Edinburgh.