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No civic community in Scotland has been so distinguished in history for their bravery in battle, and their resistance to foreign aggression, as the people of Aberdeen. They assisted Bruce in 1308, and having aided in vanquishing the English betwixt Old Meldrum and Invernry, they returned and put the garrison of Edward to the sword. They subsequently opposed, with great vigour, the landing of English troops at Dunnotar, and were defeated only after severe fighting and slaughter. At the famous battle of Harlaw, which was a sort of pitched fight betwixt the Highlanders and Lowlanders, and took place in 1411, the citizens are known to have fought so bravely as to turn the fate of the day against Donald of the Isles and his kilted host.

In 1530 the Aberdonians repelled the attack of the clan Forbes with their usual intrepidity, and saved the town from being plundered. Seven years afterwards they sent a large complement of men southwards to oppose the invasion of the English under the Duke of Somerset; and they nearly all perished on the well-fought field of Pinkie.

The brave Aberdonians had also their share in the disastrous troubles of the reign of Charles I. For the eminent services performed by the citizens during the wars of the Independence, they received many privileges from Robert Bruce. In commemoration of a deed of extraordinary daring, namely, the destruction of the whole English troops that garrisoned the town in one night, they received, as a motto to their arms, the phrase "Bon Accord," which was the watchword on the occasion, and which is still used in common speech by the Aberdonians as a familiar name of the town.

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