Battle of Dryfe Sands
|Battle of Dryfe Sands|
|Part of Clan Johnstone-Clan Maxwell feud|
Coats of arms of the chief of Clan Johnstone (left) and chief of Clan Maxwell (right)
|Clan Johnstone||Clan Maxwell
|Commanders and leaders|
|Sir James Johnstone||Unknown|
|Casualties and losses|
About 3 kilometres to the west of Lockerbie on 7 December 1593, Clan Johnstone fought Clan Maxwell at the Battle of Dryfe Sands. The Johnstones nearly exterminated the Maxwells involved in the battle, leading to the proverbial expression "Lockerbie Lick."
Sir James Johnstone had been warned by Johnstone of Cummertrees about the size of Maxwell's army, he gathered a mix of English, Elliots, Irvines, Murrays, Scotts, Carruthers and Grahams.
Captain Oliphant, leading an advance Maxwell party, was beaten near Lochmaben by the Johnstones. In the skirmish, Oliphant was killed, the remainder of his forces sheltering in Lochmaben Kirk. However, some Johnstones set fire to the building, forcing the Maxwells to surrender.
Lord Maxwell's main army camped near Skipmyre, on a hill. A day later, he took up the left bank of the River Dryfe. However, Sir James Johnstone's men were on higher ground, and provoked Maxwell's men, with the result of some of Maxwell's men getting ambushed. This enabled Johnstone's main force to attack Maxwell's main army, which confused them. The Lairds of Drumlanrig, Closeburn and Lag rode off of the battlefield, presumably followed by many of their men. Maxwell's army was destroyed, and Maxwell himself was killed by William Johnstone of Kirkhill, or possibly by Sir James Johnstone.
- Way, George and Squire, Romily. (1994). Collins Scottish Clan & Family Encyclopedia. (Foreword by The Rt Hon. The Earl of Elgin KT, Convenor, The Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs). pp. 178 - 179.
- Way, George and Squire, Romily. (1994). pp. 429 - 430.
- Way, George and Squire, Romily. (1994). pp. 152 - 153.
- Way, George and Squire, Romily. (1994). pp. 446 - 447.
- "Battle of Dryfe Sands" (PDF). Retrieved 8 June 2013.