Battles of Invernhaven And Perth – 1300s
As the story continues, following much strife and, undoubtedly, cost in lives, blood, and money, the MacIntosh chief sought relief from the Crown. It was determined and ordered that the clans should select 30 champions each and meet on the field at Perth for trial by combat. The majority of the remaining details have already been revisited, so we won’t do so again. However, a few details, including the ending of the battle, will be crucial to understand and will serve as points of reference and strength in opposition to prevailing Davidson mythology.
Some may have heard a variant of the following, but allow it to be retold as Allison illustrates, and it is a whole new game. Prior to the combat, Chattan found themselves short a man. Allison and others hold that the missing man fell very ill before leaving his home, and had worsened by the battle. He was, therefore, removed from the Chattan host. This, of course, left 29 to 30 in favor of the Camerons. The King asked if The Cameron would elect a man as a non-combatant, but he refused. MacIntosh refused to fight at anything less than full strength, but rather than refusing the fight to await another date and risk being seen as fearful or akin to it, he called out to the crowd who had gathered to watch and asked if there was anyone among them who would “fill in,” as it were. To what we can be sure was nothing short of the onlookers’ surprise, a man leapt the wall (which had been erected with its back to the River Tay to prevent the crowd from entering the field – and perhaps to prevent anyone leaving it) and stated that he would take the part of Clan Chattan in return for permanent protection and for being “established (cared for materially, etc.) for his remaining days.” The MacIntosh agreed. As it turns out, the man, a smith, proved invaluable on the field and seems to have been the one to draw first blood against the Camerons.
At the end of the battle – here’s the twist folks – 11 of the Clan Chattan, including the smith, also known as William Gow (Smith) or as “Hal o’ the Wynds” (apparently due to his love of t