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Historical Tales of the Wars of Scotland
And of the Border Raids, Forays and Conflicts by John Parker Lawson (1839)


THE present Work consists of a series of Historiettes, or Narratives connected with Scottish History, which, it is hoped, will not be deemed uninteresting to the experienced reader; while to young persons, and those of mature age, who have not access to many books, or leisure to peruse them, it will supply them with much valuable information concerning the several localities with which they are acquainted. These HISTORICAL TALES are constructed on the same principle as Sir Walter Scott's "TALES OF A GRANDFATHER," differing only in this circumstance, that, as every Narrative is complete, no chronological arrangement is followed. This may be alleged as injudicious by some readers, but the plan was adopted to combine variety with agreeable information. The Work pretends to nothing new, nor does it interfere with any of the existing Histories of Scotland ; and as it is designed for general use, the great object is to condense the substance of many large and valuable volumes in a convenient compass, the whole being carefully selected and compiled from the most authentic Histories, Chronicles, Diaries, and original MSS. preserved in the public Libraries and in private Collections. These Narratives are designated HISTORICAL TALES, for the same reason that Sir Walter Scott calls his History of Scotland, for such it is on a small scale, TALES OF A GRANDFATHER. There is neither fiction nor romance introduced, and the Authorities are laid before the reader at the commencement of each Narrative.

Although the leading subject of the Work is Tales of the Scotish Wars, and of those on the Continent under the great Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden, and other Sovereigns, in which Scotsmen were engaged, numerous individual anecdotes, private encounters, and biographical sketches, are introduced. While the wars with the English, the battles of Wallace and of Bruce, and the exploits of the great Montrose, are prominently brought forward, the Border Raids, Forays, and Conflicts, the chivalrous inroads into the Lowlands of the indomitable Highland Clans, and their mutual battles, encounters, and attacks, are not omitted. On the whole, it is humbly hoped that the Work will be received with favour by the Public, as much on account of its cheapness as of any merits it may possess.


Volume 1

  1. Battle of Liff - 730
  2. Battle of Athelstaneford - 800 (see video)
  3. The Death of Alpin - 836
  4. Battle Of Luncarty - 980
  5. The Exploits Of Wimund - 1141
  6. The Serpent of Linton - 1174
  7. Battle Of Enbo - 1259
  8. Battle Of Largs - 1263
  9. Seige Of Berwick - 1296
  10. Battle Of Stirling Bridge - 1297 (see video)
  11. Battle of Roslin - 1302
  12. The Siege Of Perth - 1310
  13. Siege Of Carlisle - 1315
  14. Campaign Of Edward The Third - 1327 (see video)
  15. Battle On The Boroughmuir Edinburgh - 1335
  16. Siege of Lochleven Castle - 1335  (see video)
  17. Siege Of Dunbar Castle - 1337
  18. Surprise Of Edinburgh Castle - 1341
  19. Battle Of Nevilles Cross Durham - 1346
  20. Battle Of Poictiers - Escape Of Douglas - 1356
  21. Revenge Of Herries - 1371
  22. Conflict At Drumderfit - 1372
  23. The Raid Of The Monroes - 1378
  24. Conflict between the Clan Chattan and the Clan Kay on the North Inch of Perth - 1396
  25. Battle of Harlaw - 1411
  26. Battle Of Inverlochy - 1431
  27. Conflict Of The Mackays - 1431
  28. Assassination Of King James I - 1437
  29. Battle of Brechin - 1451
  30. Siege of Roxburgh and Death of James II - 1460
  31. Angus of the Isles - 1461
  32. Conflict At Tannach - 1464
  33. The Raid of Lauder - 1482
  34. The Battle of Sauchieburn - 1486
  35. Battle of Flodden - 1513
  36. Bell the Cat - 1513
  37. Rout Of Solway - 1542
  38. Conflict At Loch Lochy - 1544
  39. The Battle Of Ancrum - 1544 and 1545
  40. Siege Of Innerwick And Thornton Castles - 1547
  41. Siege Of Haddington - 1548
  42. The Bishops Leap - 1567
  43. Marys Surrender At Carberry - 1567 (see video)
  44. Battle Of Langside - 1568
  45. Siege Of The Castle Of Merchiston - 1571
  46. Surprise Of Dumbarton Castle - 1571
  47. Siege Of The Castle Of Edinburgh - 1573
  48. The Raid Of Ruthven - 1582
  49. Battle Of Dryfe Sands - 1593
  50. Feuds Of The Somervilles - 1593 and 1596
  51. Sir Gideon Murrays Offer - 1614
  52. Siege Of Edinburgh Castle - 1640
  53. A Lawnmarket Conflict - 1640
  54. Conflict At Thurso - 1649
  55. Battle Of Dunbar - 1650 (see video)
  56. Cromwell In Scotland Glasgow - 1650
  57. The Loch Lomdon Expedition - 1715
  58. Naval Battles of the Scots
Volume 2
  1. Invasion Of The Danes - 787
  2. Capture Of Inchkeith - 1549
  3. Siege Of Broughty Castle - 1550
  4. Battle Of The Grampians - 84
  5. Battle Of Dalree - 1306
  6. Siege Of Carrick Fergus - 1316
  7. Conflict Of Black Saturday - 1571
  8. The Kings Bishop - 1317
  9. The Death Of The Regent Moray - 1511
  10. Siege Of Abercorn Castle - 1454
  11. Battle Of Pinkie - 1547 (see video)
  12. Surprise Of Edinburgh Castle - 1312
  13. Assassination Of The Earl Of Douglas - 1452
  14. Acts Of The Lords Lovat - 1570
  15. Conflict At Linlithgow Bridge - 1526
  16. The Raid Of Stirling - 1571
  17. The Bloodhound Of Lorn - 1306
  18. Sieges Of Wark Castle
  19. Surprise Of Berwick - 1318
  20. Conflict Of Knock Mary - 1490
  21. The Highlanders Revenge - 1589
  22. A Legend Of Strathearn
  23. Feuds between Montgomeries and Cunninghams - 1588
  24. The Earl Of Glencairn's Expedition to the Highlands - 1653-4
  25. Battle of Bannockburn - 1314
  26. Seigneur de la Beaute - 1517
  27. Seige of Leith - 1559
  28. The Battle of Falkirk - 1298
  29. Battle of Kilsyth - 1645
  30. Seige of St Andrews Castle - 1546
  31. Highland Feuds
  32. Seige of Dunottar Castle - 1651
  33. Drumclog and Bothwell Bridge - 1679
  34. Battle Of Killiecrankie - 1689
Volume 3
  1. The Culdees
  2. Jacobite Officers in France
  3. Lords of the Isles
  4. Massacre of Glencoe
  5. Execution of Lady Warriston
  6. Scottish Invasion of Ireland
  7. Patrick Earl of Orkney
  8. Invasion of The Jacobites - 1715
  9. Insurrection of The Covenanters - 1666
  10. Life And Character Of James VI
  11. King Robert The Bruces Castle
  12. Specimens Of Ancient Pageantry
  13. Battle of Otterburn
  14. The Ancient Caledonians
  15. Raid of the Red Swire
  16. Restoration of James I
  17. Scottish Colony of Darien
  18. Battle of Halidon Hill
  19. The Highland Host
  20. Battle of Philiphaugh
  21. Soldierships and Superstitions, etc
  22. Exploits of Sir James Douglas
  23. The Sixth Earl of Douglas
  24. The Battle of Culloden
  25. Skirmish at Airsmoss
  26. Earls of Dunbar and March, etc.

Volume 4

  1. Feud of Frendraught
  2. Troops under Gustavus Adolphus
  3. MacGregors
  4. Strifes of Mortlach
  5. Siege of Bergan Op Zoom
  6. Execution of Lady Jane Douglas
  7. Frolics of James V
  8. Lord of the Isles
  9. Massacre of Glencoe
  10. Execution of Lady Warriston
  11. Demolition of Monasteries
  12. Heart of Robert Bruce
  13. Battle of Prestonpans (see video)
  14. Barns of Ayr
  15. James VI Severity
  16. Battle of Inverury
  17. Changes and Wars of Mora
  18. Siege of St Sebastian
  19. Somerled Thane of Argyll
  20. Wails of Yarrow
  21. The MacDougalls
  22. Highland Regiments in Germany
  23. Troubles of Carrick
  24. Battle of Gamrie
  25. Monks of Melrose
  26. Scottish Invasion of England - 1651
  27. Life and Character of James III
  28. QuatreBas and Waterloo
  29. Cardinal Beaton and his Victims
  30. The Murder of Rizzio
  31. Lords of Galloway
  32. Legend of Kilchurn Castle
  33. Siege of Red Hall, etc.
  34. Burning of Towie Castle
  35. Battle of Sheriff Moor
  36. Lords Airlie and Argyle
  37. Troops under King of Denmark
  38. Raising of Charles Standard
  39. Battle of Tara
  40. Conquest of Quebec
  41. Life and Death of Wallace
  42. Early Christians in Britain
  43. Fights and Forays in Braxholme
  44. Exploits of Colkitto
  45. Turmoils of Merse and Teviotdale

John Parker Lawson

John Parker Lawson who was born in England in 1807, and died in Edinburgh in 1852, was an ordained minister in the Episcopal Church of Scotland and the author of the books listed below. For some time he was also a chaplain in the British Army. Later in his short life, he lived in Edinburgh.

His works include:

The Life of George Wishart of Pitarrow, Edinburgh, 1827.
Life and Times of William Laud, … Archbishop of Canterbury, 2 vols., London, 1829.
The History of Remarkable Conspiracies connected with English History during the Fifteenth, Sixteenth, and Seventeenth Centuries, 2 vols., Edinburgh, 1829. This was issued in Constable's Miscellany.
The Roman Catholic Church in Scotland, Edinburgh, 1836.
Gazetteer of the Old and New Testaments, with Introductory Essay by William Fleming, 2 vols., Edinburgh, 1838.
Historical Tales of the Wars of Scotland, 2 vols., Edinburgh, 1839.
History of the Scottish Episcopal Church from the Revolution to the Present Time, Edinburgh, 1843.
The Episcopal Church of Scotland from the Reformation to the Revolution, Edinburgh, 1844.

Lawson also edited in 1844 the first two volumes of Robert Keith's History of the Affairs of Church and State in Scotland for the Spottiswoode Society, and wrote the letterpress for Clarkson Stanfield and James Duffield Harding's Scotland Delineated, Edinburgh, 1847–54.

The following appeared in 'The Spectator' for 4 JUNE 1836, Page 17

There is also a list of his publications at the Internet Archive including this four volume work, that will be serialised here on ES.

Scotland, Picturesque: Historical: Descriptive


THERE arc few countries whose historical and other associations present greater interest than Scotland. Only three centuries ago it was, as a nation, almost in the same category as was England in the days of the Saxons. Rival chiefs or clans were constantly promoting civil war, or fighting among themselves. The reign of the unfortunate Queen Mary affords some of the most painful incidents that can be found in the history of any nation. In the course of events, however, at the commencement of the last century, the Union between England and Scotland was effected, and from that date the progress of North Britain in commerce, the arts and sciences, and manufactures has been unparalleled. Scotland, in fact, at the present day, by the enterprise, perseverance, and energy of her inhabitants, stands foremost in civilised life. Perhaps the truth is not exceeded if we remark, that there is not a spot where civilisation has taken root throughout the world, that a Scotchman may not be found exercising his peculiar per-fervidum in promoting general progress.

Until very recently the tourist knew little of the beauties of the country, and still less of its historical associations. To describe these and other objects of interest is the purpose of the following pages. Fifty years ago, a journey to Edinburgh was, in every respect, as serious an undertaking as one to Egypt is at the present day. Put the extension of the railway system to the Ultima Thule, and the example set by her Majesty, have led tourists of all classes to acquaint themselves with the romantic scenery of Scotland, in place of a resort to Germany and Switzerland, as was formerly the case.

Scotland may be practically considered as consisting of three principal regions. In a line south of Edinburgh, drawn to Dumfries, and near Carlisle, the scenery partakes much of the character of the North of England. The Cheviot Hills introduce to the higher system of mountain ranges in the north. In this portion, agriculture, the rearing of sheep and cattle, arc the chief occupation of the inhabitants. Within the central zone the leading historical incidents of Scotland have occurred, the capital, Edinburgh, having been their centre. This also includes Stirling, Glasgow, Falkirk, Sec.; and here coal, lead, and iron mining, textile and chemical manufactures, have attained the highest position. The Clyde and the Forth, connected by a canal, become the veins or arteries of immense commercial activity.

North of this the great mountain ranges commence, with the magnificent lochs of sea and fresh water, that indent the whole of the western portion of Scotland. In the Grampian range is Hen Nevis, having a height of 4,370 feet, and Ben Macdhui, said to be 4,390 feet high. In some of these mountains there arc ravines from 1,000 to 1,500 feet in perpendicular depth. Still further north is a range extending from the Atlantic to the German Ocean, one of the highest hills being Ben Wyvis, 3,720 feet. In the West Highlands, the scenery from the mouth of the Clyde is of the most romantic description, the Isle of Arran affording a kind of microcosm of their topography and geology. The inland lakes or lochs, such as Lomond, Katrine, Awe, Ness, Leven, &c., afford every variety of scenery, while those running in from the sea arc scarcely inferior in beauty; as, for example, Lochs Fyne and Long. In these districts we need scarcely remind our readers that shooting and fishing are carried on, and afford some of the strongest inducements for the visit of the tourist. Deer-stalking is reserved for the more northerly districts, as Sutherlandshirc and neighbouring counties.

Scotland is rich in its archaeology. Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace still remain as monuments of history. The same may be said of Stirling Castle, and the ruins of Linlithgow and other palaces. As regards cathedrals, those of Glasgow and Elgin are magnificent specimens of ecclesiastical architecture. Among abbeys, those of Melrose, Dryburgh, Kelso, and Roslin Chapel are too well known to require further than the mere mention. The style of these, and their ornamentation, present some curious features of study, in an ethnological point of view, when we contrast them with the character of the Celts, little emerged from a state of barbarism at the period of the erection of such buildings. It is singular, indeed, that the soft, flowing lines of Scott, and the tender, or at times forcible poetry of Bums, should have emanated from a people which even now retain, in some places, traces of the feudal system.

Such arc some outlines of various interesting matters described in minute detail in this Work. With respect to the Illustrations, they afford lively pictures of what the intended tourist may expect to realise on visiting Scotland. On the other hand, those who arc familiar with that country will be enabled to reproduce in the mind a constantly-recurring sense of pleasure.

Edinburgh - History of the Castle
The Abbey and Palace of Holyrood
Edinburgh: The Old City
Edinburgh: The Old City (continued)
The New City
Leith and its Vicinity

The Lothians Part 1
The Lothians Part 2

The Lothians Part 3
The Lothians Part 4
The Borders Part 1
The Borders Part 2
The Borders Part 3

Culzean Castle, Dunure, The Kennedys
Castle Campbell
Falkland Palace

Glen Sannox, Elgin, Loch Katrine, etc.
Dunfermline Abbey, St. Andrews, etc.
Castles and Lochs

Tales of a Grandfather
By Sir Walter Scott

As this book is mentioned above we thought we'd make it available for download in pdf format. As you'll see from the text below this publication was intended for the younger reader.

Volume I
Volume II
Volume III
Volume IV
Volume V
Volume VI

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