Patrick, 7th Earl of Dunbar and March, of illustrious descent, was a family man, less interested in warfare and matters of state than in the welfare of the folk of his Earldoms, and encouraging the trade generated by the great wool production of his sheep strewn Lammermuir hills.
However, despite his modest ambitions, Patrick of Dunbar was born to play a major role in Scotland's affairs. For these were troubled times. The Scottish King, Alexander III, was but a child, and the heir to the English for throne, Edward Plantagenet , already proving aggressive.
But it was the Norse men and the Vikings with their domination of the Hebrides as well as Orkney, Shetland and the Isle of Man and the immediate threat they presented to his trading links with Norway and the Baltic states, who finally drove the Cospatrick to action.
In his own inimitable style, Nigel Tranter vividly recreates the life and times of this reluctant hero who, aided by his shrewd and strong-minded wife, Christian Bruce, had to summon all the ingenuity and courage he possessed to protect his beloved Scotland from the threat of foreign invaders.