The Royal Scots Cap Badge


Lament For Hector Roy MacLean Version 2


In the second phase of the Civil War, Charles Stuart made an attempt to recover the Throne his father had lost to Cromwell and his Roundheads.


Charles I raised a force of Scots and English troops. Sir Hector MacLean brought 800 of his clansmen to fight for the King. For the most part the King's men were raw recruits, untrained in war. At Inverkeithing in 1651 they faced Cromwell's well–trained and experienced Roundheads with disastrous results. During the battle the Royal dragoons fled from the field leaving Sir Hector with his clansmen and a force of Buchanans exposed. Rather than run, the impetuous young Sir Hector, age 27, chose to fight. And fight he did to the bitter end, which came after four hours of hand–to–hand combat. Untrained as they were, the MacLean clansmen stood with their Chieftain to the end. Sir Hector was wounded several times but fought on until felled by a musket ball.


It was said that the lament was composed by Sir Hector’s piper, Archibald MacLean, on his sad way home to Duart after the battle. He was one of about 40 clansmen who survived the carnage.


Young Hector was a descendant of Red Hector of the Battles, Eachainn Ruaidh nan Cath, 6th Chieftain of the MacLeans of Duart who fell in 1411 at the Battle of Harlaw.


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