Marquis of Montrose subject of free talk at museum

14 August 2012

Places are still available for a free illustrated talk on Aberdeen and the Marquis of Montrose, this Thursday [16 August] at 12.30pm at the Tolbooth Museum, Castle Street, Aberdeen.

The talk by Chris Croly, historian, with Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums, will explore the turbulent and violent relationship between Aberdeen and the Marquis of Montrose.

This year [2012] marks the 400th anniversary of the birth of James Graham, the Marquis of Montrose, one of the most intriguing figures in Scottish history. At the start of the civil wars Montrose was a Covenanter and the town of Aberdeen was Royalist. This led to Montrose attacking Aberdeen in 1639 and defeating the town at the Battle of the Bridge of Dee.

A few years later both Aberdeen and the Marquis had change sides and the Royalist forces of the Marquis of Montrose attacked the Covenanter forces of the Burgh Council of Aberdeen, which led to the Battle of Justice Mills on Friday 13 September 1644.

Historian Chris Croly said: "The Battle of Justice Mills was the greatest slaughter in Aberdeen's recorded history. Montrose defeated the town's forces and then allowed his troops to pillage the town and murder its citizens over the course of two days."

Chris will look at the complicated events leading up to this infamous, and bloody battle.

Places are free but advance booking is essential by telephoning the Tolbooth Museum on (01224) 621167.

The talk coincides with an exhibition at the museum that examines the changes in Aberdeen's relationship with Montrose. Items on display include a letter written by Montrose at Justice Mills on 13 September 1644 demanding the surrender of Aberdeen. This priceless and uniquely important historical artefact is on loan from Aberdeen City and Shire archives and is rarely on public display.

The exhibition runs until Sunday 9 September 2012.