‘Men of Bute’ remembered in Rothesay ceremony

Michael Russell MSP addresses the audience at Saturday's 'Men of Bute' commemoration in Rothesay.
Michael Russell MSP addresses the audience at Saturday's 'Men of Bute' commemoration in Rothesay.

The six hundred men from Bute who lost their lives in the Battle of Falkirk in 1298 were remembered at a ceremony in Rothesay on Saturday.

Among those present at the commemoration at the Men of Bute memorial stone, next to the tourist information office at the Isle of Bute Discovery Centre, was Michael Russell, the Scottish Government’s cabinet secretary for education and the MSP for Argyll and Bute.

Mr Russell said there was a connection between what he called the “dreadful choice” made by the men of Bute more than seven hundred years ago and the “simple choice” facing Scots in next year’s independence referendum - namely the chance to imagine “the better country they and we might live in”.

“History tells us what we might do, and what might come if we do it,” he added.

“The men of Bute were motivated by a variety of things - pressed into service by their landlord, maybe, but also motivated by a cause, for their island and for their country.”

The men from Bute who fought at the Battle of Falkirk were led by their landlord, Sir John Stewart, who fought alongside William Wallace against the English army led by King Edward I.