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King Edward III (1327-1377)
Black Agnes Dunbar : When Edward III sent the Earl of Salisbury to take her absent husband’s castle, Agnes brushed his attack aside - literally.
Black Agnes Dunbar

In the 14th century, Patrick, ninth Earl of Dunbar, found himself caught between the warring kings of England and Scotland, and survived by frequently changing sides. His wife was made of sterner stuff...

IN 1338, King Edward III of England saw a chance to put his own man, Edward Balliol, on the Scottish throne.

So he sent the Earl of Salisbury to lay siege to Dunbar Castle on the Scottish border, while the Earl of Dunbar, Patrick, was away in France.

But Patrick’s wife Agnes, with her raven-black hair and determined character, proved to be very much her husband’s equal.

She contemptuously brushed Salisbury’s attacks aside — literally. Agnes personally led her maids out with brooms to dust the castle walls wherever Salisbury’s latest assault had failed.

So it was that after five long months, Salisbury was compelled to admit defeat, and despite the best efforts of England’s King, Edward Balliol never did ascend the Scottish throne.

Black Agnes Dunbar had seen to that.

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Picture: © Philip Capper, Wikimedia Commons. Licence: CC-BY-SA 2.0. View original
Victoria Harbour and the remains of Dunbar Castle today.

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