The story of our family...for my sons

Monday, December 19, 2011

...just like in the movie "Elizabeth"

Maroitta Countess Direlton Halyburton, Lady Home (Hume), was a 16th-Century Scottish Noblewoman. She varied the spelling of her forename between Mariotta, Marion, and Mary. She is remembered for her Defence and Negotiation of The Surrender of The Castle of Hume after The Battle of Pinkie.

Mariotta was The Daughter of Patrick Earl Direlton Halyburton Of Dirleton Castle. She and her Sisters, Janet and Margaret, were Patrick Halyburton's heirs when he died in 1515. She Married: George Lord Home before 07 Apr 1529.

As The War of The Rough Wooing escalated, Regent Arran sent Soldiers and guns to help defend their Castle at Hume. The English defeated the Scottish army at Pinkie, near Musselburgh, on Saturday 10 Sep 1547. Alexander Home was taken prisoner, and George of Faldonside Ker was injured. While he lay wounded in Edinburgh, The English Army arrived at Hume on 20 September. Mariotta, herself, negotiated the Surrender of Hume Castle with the Earl of Somerset. Her instructions were brought to the castle by Somerset Herald and her sons, Andrew and John, agreed to surrender. The 78 Scottish soldiers within were allowed to leave, and Andrew handed the keys to the English Captain, Sir Edward Dudley.

George and there eldest son, Alexander, were taken to England, and to the Tower of London. Mariotta continued to write to the Earl of Somerset seeking a better solution for her own family and the border people. She complained that people in Scotland said she had given up Hume Castle for money, and marvelled, they thought she could keep the castle of Hume against the whole English army, while the whole Scottish nobility could not keep the field. Mariotta told the Earl that she dared not show her husband his letter and the pledges her people had made to England, and asked him to make new agreements that risked only their possessions, not their loyalty to Scotland.

Eventually Alexander was allowed back to Scotland, and soon on Boxing Day 1548, Hume Castle was taken from The English by a night raid. On 28 December Mariotta sent the news from Edinburgh to Mary of Guise, who had left Holyroodhouse for The New Year at Stirling Castle. By March 1549, Mariotta was back at Hume Castle with a garrison of French and Spanish troops. Now she wrote to Mary of Guise, the troops were disturbing the villagers because they would not pay for their groceries; Mariotta insisted Guise pay the soldiers so they would not trouble the poor folk of Hume. In another letter she advised Guise to maintain discipline amongst the soldiers at this crucial time for the Auld Alliance.

"Your grace maun be very scherp batht on the Franch men and on the Scottis men, or it will nocht be weill; yet ader (either) to do as aferis to tham or lat it be, they mecht never getin sa gud ane tym. Pardon me that writtis sa hamly to your grace for in gud feth it cumis of gud hart as [any] that loifis bath the honour of Scotland and Frans."

Mariotta's original letters to Somerset and Guise are kept in The National Library of Scotland and the Public Record Office at Kew. An English eyewitness, William Patten, described The Bloodless Siege after The Battle Of Pinkie and Mariotta's role. Jean de Beaugué, who later joined The French Army at The Siege Of Haddington, also gave an account of The Siege, which praises Lady Home's resolve and emphasises the role her fears for her Eldest Son may have played in the Negotiation.

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