The Royal Scots Cap Badge


Lament For Red Hector Of The Battles

The Lament For Red Hector Of The Battles, honours Red Hector of the Battles, Eachann Ruaidh nan Cath, 6th Chieftain of the MacLeans of Duart. He was born in 1367 and died at the Battle of Harlaw in 1411.


The Battle of Harlaw, although won by Donald MacDonald, 2nd Lord of the Isles, against forces under the Earl of Mar, was so bloody that both sides were exhausted. This battle is said to have ended Donald's aspiration to take full control of the north of Scotland.


During the battle, Red Hector and Sir Alexander Irvine of Drum fought a tremendous man-to-man battle that resulted in the deaths of both men. For years thereafter the MacLeans of Duart and Irvines of Drum annually exchanged swords in memory of these two mighty warriors.


Red Hector was carried off the field and taken to Iona for burial – a very special mark of respect for a renowned Chieftain and warrior.


This piobaireachd may be the oldest in the repertoire. The assumption is that so renowned a warrior as Red Hector would have been honoured with a piobaireachd, albeit in a simpler form than as played today.


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