Events in October and November

17 October 1346
The Battle of Neville's Cross.  The English Army of about 700 men at arms, 10,000 archers and other troops had picked the favourable ground and the Scots invaders, between 10 and 15,000 were at a disadvantage from the start.  About 1,000 Scots were killed and many captured, including David II. He wore the Black Cross of Scotland to the Battle and lost it to the English. For the next 200 years the cross was given pride of place in Durham Cathedral's relic collection.
17 October 1821  


Alexander Gardner, renowned photographer of the American Civil War, born in Paisley.
17 October 1921 George Mackay Brown, Orkney poet, author and dramatist born.  He died on 13th April 1996.
18 October 1541
Margaret Tudor, sister of Henry VIII of England and wife of James IV, died.
19 October 1914
The first day of the First Battle of Ypres. The 7th Division (which included 2nd Bn The Scots Guards, 2nd Bn The Gordon Highlanders and 2nd Bn The Royal Scots Fusiliers) fought the advancing German Army to a standstill during the Battle.
20 October 1713 Archibald Pitcairn, physician, died in Edinburgh. He was buried at Greyfriars.
21 October 1805
The Battle of Trafalgar. 7% of Nelson's force were Scots.  5 of his 27 captains were Scots, the surgeon who attended his fatal injury was Scots, as was the woman who embalmed his body, and the youngest sailor a 10 year old cabin boy from Leith.  Many of the fleet’s sails were from the jute mills in Dundee, and a number of the fleet’s cannon were from the Carron iron works in Falkirk.
22 October 1775 Dr Alexander Murray, distinguished orientalist,  born Dunkitterick, Kirkcudbright.
23 October 1295
The 'Auld Alliance' treaty was signed between John Balliol, King of Scots, and Philippe IV of France. It provided for mutual military help against the English and was renewed by Robert The Bruce in 1326.  It was a military and diplomatic alliance but for most it brought benefits such as pay as mercenaries in France's forces and trade which brought French wine to Scotland.
23 October 1612 Annexation of the lands of Orkney to the Crown.

Records of the Parliaments of Scotland

See also The Annexation of the earldom of Orkney and lordship of Shetland to the Crown, 20th February 1472

24 October 1765 Sir James Mackintosh born at Aldourie, near Inverness. He trained as a doctor and barrister, but also became a journalist, judge, administrator, professor, philosopher and politician.
25 October 1761
The Coronation of George III.

25 October 1415
The Battle of Agincourt (Azincourt).  A smaller English Army (about 9,000) lead by Henry V defeated a larger French Army  (about 12,000) including, it is said, some Scots and Bretons, following which the French invoked the "Auld Alliance".  Sir Alexander Buchanan was sent over with a force of 7,000, and six years later the Franco-Scottish Army defeated the English at the Battle of Baugé, where Buchan killed the English King's brother, the Duke of Clarence. The Scots fought with the French against the English to the end of the "Hundred Years War". Shakespeare has Capt Jamy, a Scot, in Henry V's Army. James I was a captive in England at the time and with Henry V at the Siege of Melun, in 1420, when he tried to persuade the Scots to surrender.
25 October 1854
The 93rd Sutherland Highlanders fought in what became known as the "Thin Red Line" at the Battle of Balaclava.

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Scotland's Early History