Subject: [Test] Jeffrey Johnstone, who were the various John Carmichaels?
From: Jeffrey Johnstone <>
Date: 7/24/2021, 7:23 PM

Jeffrey Johnstone, who were the various John Carmichaels?

Sir John Carmichael, John Carmichael of Meadowflat, and General John Carmichael of Howgate


Dryfe Sands

A Novel of Scotland’s Bitterest Clan Feud

Now available as hardcover, e- book and paperback on Amazon

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   Welcome to my latest newsletter!   Please let me know whether you find these newsletters informative and interesting and whether you want to continue receiving them.  

   The 1909 History of the Johnstones by Catherine Laura Johnstone reports that  Sir John Carmichael, a historically important person as well as Lord Maxwell’s immediate predecessor as Warden of the Scottish West March, was a participant in the Battle of Dryfe Sands. This is certainly an error. At the time of the Battle, Sir John Carmichael was Captain of the King’s Guard in Edinburgh. However, John Carmichael of Meadowflat was at Dryfe Sands, as he is named in the Respite of King James VI to combatants in the Battle of Dryfe Sands immediately after the name of Sir James Johnstone of Dunskellie. 

   Out of my interest in Russian History I inserted in the novel one General Carmichael as an advisor to Sir James Johnstone of Dunskellie at Dryfe Sands. He wasn’t really there, but below is more information about the real General Carmichael, John Carmichael of Howgate.

     John Carmichael of Howgate, uncle of Sir John Carmichael, was a soldier of fortune in the Russia of  Ivan the Terrible  (more correctly "Ivan the Formidable"), whose real life exploits may have influenced Dorothy Dunnett when she wrote the Ringed Castle  about  Scottish mercenaries in sixteenth century Russia.

  John Carmichael of Howgate distinguished himself during the Siege of Pskov in 1581,  in the final stages of the Livonian War, in which he led 5,000 men against the army of the Polish king, Stephen Bathory. Carmichael was later made Governor of Pskov.

   The siege of Pskov from the Russian side

by Karl Pavlovich Bryullov

   In my novel, General Carmichael has a  Cossack sword, which he has named "Dolgorookie." I took this name from  Yuri Dolgorukiy  ("Yuri Longarm"), who is claimed as the founder of Moscow. This form of sword probably was not in use as early as the Battle of Dryfe Sands.

Russian Cossack Swordsmanship

     There is no reason to connect General John Carmichael  of Howgate with the Battle of Dryfe Sands except my imagination. 


General John Carmichael in Russia

Genealogy of General John Carmichael




Jeffrey Johnstone | 62 Babcock Drive, Rochester, NY 14610
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