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Marquis of Montrose

Marquis of Montrose

Royalist soldier and poet

One of the most dashing and glamorous figures of Scottish history, Montrose was Charles l’s champion, winning a series of battles for the king. A final defeat in 1646 sent him into exile for four years, only to return after Charles l’s execution, at the request of the new king. But his luck had run out and after several reverses he was finally betrayed for £25,000 by Macleod of Assynt, from whom he had sought shelter. His trial was a foregone conclusion; for his execution on 21 May, he dressed and conducted himself with panache, appearing, as one observer said, more like a bridegroom than a criminal.

As well as a soldier, Montrose was also a talented poet and Scotland’s only composer of Cavalier courtly poetry.