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TITLE
Brooch of Lorn
EXTERNAL ID
QZP40_2475_1_P011
DATE OF IMAGE
1857
SOURCE
Highland Libraries
ASSET ID
31685
KEYWORDS
jewellery
Brooch of Lorn

This brooch is said to have belonged to Robert the Bruce. After his defeat at the battle of Methven, in 1306, Robert the Bruce retreated towards the Argyll coast. At Dalrigh, near Tyndrum, he was ambushed by John Bacach, 5th chief of Clan MacDougall, with around 1,000 soldiers. The attack was revenge for the murder of John Comyn, a nephew of the MacDougall chief and rival for the throne. In the ensuing struggle Bruce was forced to leave his cloak and brooch in the grasp of one of his attackers.

The brooch was kept at Dunollie Castle until being moved to Gylen Castle, another MacDougall strongold on the nearby island of Kerrera, for safekeeping during the Covenanting wars. However, the castle was captured and burned by General Leslie in 1647 and the brooch was taken.

It was not seen again until 1819 when it was found in a chest after the death of Major Campbell of Bragleen. An accompanying document confirmed that it had been taken from Gylen Castle by the Campbells. It was returned to the MacDougall chiefs in 1824 by General Duncan Campbell of Lochnell. Queen Victoria later examined it during a visit to the MacDougall clan chief in 1842.

It is rarely seen in public and has been kept in a bank vault which can only be opened by the clan chief. One of the brooch's last appearances was during the Queen's visit to Oban in 1956.

The design is an oval-shaped crystal set in silver and surrounded by pearls. It was seen as a badge of authority, with the crystal unscrewing to reveal a chamber that may have held a relic or memento. However, experts in Scottish medieval art have recently claimed that the brooch dates from the mid-15th century and therefore cannot have belonged to Bruce.

This plate is taken from 'Notice Respecting the Brooch of Lorn, with an engraving' and published in 'Archaeologia Scotica or Transactions of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland', vol IV (1857)

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Brooch of Lorn

jewellery;

Highland Libraries

Fraser Mackintosh Collection (illustrations)

This brooch is said to have belonged to Robert the Bruce. After his defeat at the battle of Methven, in 1306, Robert the Bruce retreated towards the Argyll coast. At Dalrigh, near Tyndrum, he was ambushed by John Bacach, 5th chief of Clan MacDougall, with around 1,000 soldiers. The attack was revenge for the murder of John Comyn, a nephew of the MacDougall chief and rival for the throne. In the ensuing struggle Bruce was forced to leave his cloak and brooch in the grasp of one of his attackers.<br /> <br /> The brooch was kept at Dunollie Castle until being moved to Gylen Castle, another MacDougall strongold on the nearby island of Kerrera, for safekeeping during the Covenanting wars. However, the castle was captured and burned by General Leslie in 1647 and the brooch was taken.<br /> <br /> It was not seen again until 1819 when it was found in a chest after the death of Major Campbell of Bragleen. An accompanying document confirmed that it had been taken from Gylen Castle by the Campbells. It was returned to the MacDougall chiefs in 1824 by General Duncan Campbell of Lochnell. Queen Victoria later examined it during a visit to the MacDougall clan chief in 1842.<br /> <br /> It is rarely seen in public and has been kept in a bank vault which can only be opened by the clan chief. One of the brooch's last appearances was during the Queen's visit to Oban in 1956.<br /> <br /> The design is an oval-shaped crystal set in silver and surrounded by pearls. It was seen as a badge of authority, with the crystal unscrewing to reveal a chamber that may have held a relic or memento. However, experts in Scottish medieval art have recently claimed that the brooch dates from the mid-15th century and therefore cannot have belonged to Bruce.<br /> <br /> This plate is taken from 'Notice Respecting the Brooch of Lorn, with an engraving' and published in 'Archaeologia Scotica or Transactions of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland', vol IV (1857)