- LANGSIDE, a village, in the parish of Cathcart, Upper ward of the county of Renfrew, 2½ miles (S. W. by S.) from Glasgow; containing 125 inhabitants. This village, ever memorable for the battle which took place in its immediate vicinity, between the forces of the regent Murray and those of Mary, Queen of Scots, and which decided the fate of that unfortunate sovereign, is situated on the road from Glasgow to Ayr. The particulars of this battle are shortly these. The Earl of Murray, learning the resolution of Mary to march from Hamilton to Dumbarton, immediately drew up his army on the moor beside Glasgow, with a view to watch her movements, and if possible bring her troops to an engagement. The moment he became aware that the queen's forces kept the south side of the Clyde, he gave orders that his horsemen should ford that river, while the rest crossed it by aneighbouring bridge; and these movements were scarcely completed when Mary's vanguard appeared and the battle commenced. For a time the conflict was doubtful; but at length the queen's ranks were broken by Murray's chief leaders, and irretrievably thrown into confusion. Murray himself, who had hitherto stood with a part of his troops on the defensive, contenting himself with repulsing the enemy's cavalry, which was far superior in numbers and equipment to his own, now seized the moment to charge with the main division; and the flight became general. This decisive engagement lasted but three-quarters of an hour: on the queen's side there were about 300 slain, or, according to some accounts, only half that number; while on the regent's, merely a single soldier fell. Previous to the conflict, Mary had taken her station upon an eminence half a mile distant, which commanded a view of the field; and here, surrounded by a small suite, she watched the vicissitudes of the fight. At last, when Murray's charge took place, she fled with great precipitation, and at full speed, in the direction of Dumfries, nor did she venture to delay in her progress until she found herself in the abbey of Dundrennan, sixty miles from the field. Though formerly of much greater extent, the village now consists only of a few scattered houses; the neighbourhood is enriched with wood, and the surrounding scenery, which is naturally picturesque, derives a peculiar degree of interest from the recollection of events with which it is associated.
A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. Samuel Lewis. 1856.
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