The Fight At Duneane
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About half way between the farm houses of Trees and West Enoch, there is a cairn of earth which, tradition says, marks the site of a fight betwixt the rival families of Cassillis and Bargany. It took place on the farm of Duneane, a farm now obliterated-and caused a great deal of excitement in old times. The story may be thus narrated, taking the "Historie of the Kennedyis" for a guide. "It chanced at that time-the date is 11th December, 1601-the laird of Bargany was at Ayr on some business, attended only by a few of his men. My lord of Cassillis hearing this, determined to lie in wait for him on his return. He accordingly kept spies in Ayr to inform him as to the laird's intentions. And so when the laird was ready to set out, Cassillis was prepared for him. Bargany, however, had learned of his adversary's movements, and was warned against taking the road with so few men. But he would not listen. Disregarding all remonstrances, he took the road homewards, accompanied only by such friends and servants as he had about him. He travelled by what we now call the High road from Ayr, and it is touching to read how he halted his men on the old brig of Doon (Burns' Brig), and thus addressed them: " Sirs, I am here to protest before God I am not come to seek the blood of my lord, nor his dishonour in no sort, but to ride home to my house in peace, if he will let me. And if my lord pursue me, I hope you will all do your duty as becomes men; and he that will not be willing to do this for my love and kindness, he will either say he will tarry with me to the end, or leave me now at this present." And they all answered-" We will all die in your defence." And so he rode forward, "dividing his horsemen (eighty in all) into two companies, taking one to himself, and giving the young laird of Carleton the other. When they came to Brock loch, near the Lady Cross, there my lord of Cassillis, coming out of Maybole with 200 men on horse and foot, with 20 musketeers, met him and stopped him. Now, the men of Ayr who were with Bargany would have been at shooting by this time, but the laird stayed them, and said, 'I will not pursue my lord, but I will decline all fighting as far as I may.' And, therefore, he left the road, and rode down the bogside of Duneane, thinking by that means to escape the Earl. But the Earl followed down the Qther side; and at the foot of the bog was a turf dike, to which the musketeers rode-the one company being at the head of the field and the other at the foot. And there my lord of Cassillis' men shot first; and then the laird, seeing his musketeers were near the enemy's horsemen, came and would not have his men in danger. My lord's musketeers, seeing him come forward, shot at him and the horsemen that were with him. Now, at the foot of the bog there was a small burn which the laird and his men had to cross, at the nrossing of which Gilbert Kennedy's horse was slain, and also the laird's brother Thomas's bridle was shot in two, whereby his horse threw him, and cast his arm out of joint at the shoulder. So there were none that crossed the burn but the laird himself, the laird of Auchendrane, the laird of Cloncaird, James Bannatyne, and Edward Irving. These crossed the burn thinking that all the rest were coming after him; but when there were no more, he turned about and said, 'Gude sirs, we are owre few.'

"My lord of Cassillis' men, seeing the same, shot first at these five; and then my lord's horsemen, thirty in number, perceiving that there were no more, gave the charge, led by Captain Foster, but were met by the laird and the five that were with him in such sort that the young laird of Grinak was struck through the chin, and he and his horse both struck to the earth, while Row Cunningham was struck in at the knee with a lance. Captain Foster's horse was hurt with swords, and his pistol struck out of his hand-himself having a steel hat was divers times struck on the head, but the same preserved him. Richard Spence, master of the household to my lord, was slain by the laird of Cloncaird, and sundry horse were hurt. While on the laird of Bargany's side, the laird was slain himself; Auchendrane shot and hurt in the thigh, and his horse also; James Bannatyne's horse was killed; and Edward Irving, the page, was slain by the stroke of a lance."

And thus was poor Bargany slain. On that cold December day, when the snow was so thick that you "culd not see the lenthe of ane lanse befoir you," these eighty horsemen must have ridden up the Ayr road, turned off at Slateford village, followed the valley as far as the Lady Cross, been met there by my lord of Cassillis and his men, and in attempting to get past, had been attacked somewhere in the valley between West Enoch and Trees, and utterly dispersed. Bargany was not killed outright on the field, but he did not survive many hours; and with his death, at the early age of twenty-five, the fortunes of his house sank, never to rise again. He now lies in a finely sculptured tomb within the old churchyard of Ballantrae. His funeral was one of the grandest ever seen in the district. It was attended by 1000 gentlemen on horseback, among whom were the Earls of Eglinton, Abercorn, amid Winton, the lords Sempill, Cathcart, Loudon, and Ochiltree, while high over all, the young laird of Auchendrane bore a banner, with the words-" Judge and revenge my cause, O Lord

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