Battle of Largs| Ferquhard MackIntosh | Clan McIntosh

battle of largsThe Battle of Largs was fought between the Scottish and Norwegian Kingdoms during the Scottish Norwegian war of 1263. Ferquhard MackIntosh 5th Chief of Clan MackIntosh fought in the battle near Largs, Scotland that had emerged from a land dispute. King of the Scots Alexander III seeking to extend the kingdom to the islands western shores first attempted to purchase the lands from the Norwegian King. When all else failed Alexander III took to the sword, sending attacking forces to Skye. According to the Icelandic Annals the response of the King of Norway was to assemble the largest force to have ever sailed from Norway, setting the stage for The Battle of Largs.

Hakon embarked on the campaign in his massive ship the Kristsúðin (260ft long with 37 rooms) along side 40 other vessels. As they neared there destination being joining with local allies to form a fleet of upwards of 200 ships. Alexander was to said to have many large oared ships, but avoided a direct sea battle. Hearing the call of the King Ferquhard MackIntosh rising to the occasion rallies the clansmen of Badenoch to the cause and marches south to join the Kings forces in repelling the Norwegians.

Hakon captured several castles, raided and laid waste to Scottish lands upon arrival. After talks to settle the disagreement between dignitaries had stalled Hakon ordered a fleet to raid Loch Lamond positioning his larger force off the coast of Cumbraes. On the night of September 30, 1263 large storms arrived bringing treacherous weather for Hakons forces.  Several of his ships had gone aground and the troops there in began to take on arrows from a small force of Scots. After some number were killed Hakon decides best to bring in the main army and see personally to the salvage of the boats. On October 2, 1263 Ferquhard MackIntosh and the kings other forces of 500 Heavy Calvary  along side infantry showed to the scene. Hakon’s force was separated with several hundred on a mound above the beach and 700-800 including Hakon on the beach it self. Hakon fearing his smaller contingency would be in harms way ordered them to join the men on the beach. The Scots ceasing the opportunity thrust forth into battle sending the already retreating Norwegian force into full blown exodus. The Scots pursued them with great slaughter, with most fleeing to their boats. Several stragglers made up fortification among the beached vessels outnumbered 10 to 1 making a valiant stand.

With the Battle of Largs all but over Hakon having escaped from the fray into his boats left never to return. A great Victory for scotland with Ferquhard MackIntosh said to have played a “valiant part in the effort”.

A monument erected in 1912 marks the battle of largs and currently host annual viking festivals to bring tourism and pay dues to the great battle.