WHOSE SIDE WERE YOU ON?
One of the highlights of 1396 for King Robert III and his royal court was a staged clan battle in Perth. The king ordered the Chattans and the Kays to settle their differences by each sending 30 of their best fighters for a fight to the death at North Inch in Perth. The side with the last man, or men, standing would be the winner.
But one of the Chattan men chickened out. Eventually a Perth blacksmith called Henry Wynd agreed to replace the missing man in exchange for one gold coin. When the fight began, Wynd picked out one of the Kays and cut him down. To Wynd’s mind, now that the numbers were even again, his part in the affray was over. But the Chattans insisted he fight on. Eventually, only one Kay was left facing Wynd and 10 Chattans. He decided discretion was the better part of valour and dived into the River Tay to escape certain death.
Wynd later admitted he had no idea whether he’d fought for the Kays or the Chattans. History also has a problem determining which families were involved in the so-called Battle of the Clans. The identities of the Chattans and Kays has long been disputed. The Macintoshes, Camerons, Davidsons, Macphersons, Keiths, Macgillivrays, Farquharsons and Macbeans have all been linked to the battle. Modern historians believe that fight was between rival factions within the Chattan clan confederacy.