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The word Jacobite is derived from the Latin Jacobus, meaning James and thus the followers of King James Stewart became known as Jacobites. One of the signs of the supporters of King James was a white double bow of corded ribbon which signified the white rose of Alba. The Royal House of Stewart was the ruling house in Scotland from the time of King Robert 2nd in the year 1371 and of Britain from the death of Queen Elizabeth of England until the death of Queen Anne in 1714. King James was the father of this queen and she herself only ascended the throne by the machinations of the Westminster government who deposed he father, and on the death of her sister, Mary, and Mary’s husband, William, the usurping Prince of Orange without heirs. Although the Jacobite cause could be said to have begun with the usurpation of William of Orange, the seeds which grew into bitter conflict were sewn much earlier, during the reign of King Charles 2nd. James, then Duke of York, was the younger brother of Charles 2nd and heir to the throne. King Charles had learned through bitter experience that it was necessary to publicly be of the faith which suited the people, which at this point in history was the Protestant faith. James however was a staunch Roman Catholic.

In spite of a deathbed warning from Charles, his brother, James was steadfast in his Catholic beliefs. He was married to Anne Hyde who produced two daughters, Mary (who married the Prince of Orange) and Anne, who married Prince George of Denmark, and was the last Stewart monarch. While King Charles was still alive, William of Orange began to intrigue with the Duke of Monmouth and Buccleuch, one of Charles 2nd’s illegitimate sons, to rid the country of James, the Duke of York. The plot failed and Monmouth was sent in disgrace from court. King Charles died and again Monmouth conspired to remove the new King, James, Duke of York. Again the plot failed and James was not as forgiving as Charles had been. Monmouth was executed on tower hill and his co-conspirator, the Earl of Argyll was executed at Edinburgh. Anne Hyde, wife of the new King, died and in due course, James remarried to the Princess Marie Beatrix of Modena, another staunch Roman Catholic. The Whig government in London was by now in a conspiracy with William of Orange who landed at Torbay and the outcome of this landing was that King James was forced to flee the country with Queen Marie and their six week old son, Prince James, the heir to the throne. The Royal family fled to France, but James did not abdicate his throne and in fact, as he fled, he threw the Great Seal into the river Thames in the forlorn hope that without this, William could never be crowned.

From France, James went to Ireland to raise an army but before his preparations were complete, William laded there with a great force and at the Battle of the Boyne, James was defeated. He escaped and rejoined his wife and son at St Germains in France. The Royal family, now in exile, eventually settled in Italy where the young Prince James was raised. He eventually fathered two sons, Charles Edward (Bonnie Prince Charlie) and Henri, later Cardinal Duke of York. In the struggles to restore the thrones of the Stewarts, many were to die and the fighting only came to an end with the disastrous battle of Culloden (Drumossie Moor) in 1746.


On the 11th May 1689, the new Earl of Argyll on behalf of the Lords of Scotland, Sir James Montgomery for the knights and Sir John Dalrymple for the Burghs were sent to London to offer the Crown of Scotland to William. On the 21st of the month a new Scottish Parliament was opened at Edinburgh at this, the Duke of Hamilton was given full powers to imprison any person who might be suspected of disloyalty to the new government. While the northern parts of the country was mainly Catholic, the lowland areas were mostly Presbyterian and to some extent, the country was now divided in it’s support for the exiled King.

Prior to these events, on the 14th March 1689, a convention of estates had been called on the orders of the usurping King William and at this meeting, the foreign Prince invited all the nobles present to kiss his hand as a sign of their fealty. Some of the Scottish nobility were outraged at this, and two of them, James Graham, Viscount Dundee (Bonnie Dundee) and the Earl of Balcarres left the convention. Dundee left Edinburgh on the 18th march 1689 accompanied by his own troopers and rode north into the highlands. He paused briefly before he left and rode to Edinburgh castle where he spoke with the Duke of Gordon who was holding the castle for King James, then wheeled his horse and with his troopers behind him, rode out of the city. A troop of government soldiers was sent after him to bring him back, however, when they finally caught up with Dundee, they, fearful of his reputation, declined to even attempt to arrest Graham. Within days, Dundee was safely at home at Dudhope, near Dundee and from there he began to call out the clans, who quickly rallied to him.

General Hugh MacKay and a government force were sent out to arrest and bring him to Edinburgh. For some time, the forces of MacKay and Dundee crisscrossed Scotland until on the 27th of July, 1689, the two armies came together at the Pass of Killiecrankie. The Highland host was up on the hills high above the pass when MacKay’s force was seen approaching. As the government troops entered the pass, his officers urged Dundee to attack, but the Viscount replied that it was not the way of highland honour to attack an enemy who was not able to defend himself, therefore he would not attack until MacKay had cleared the steep sided pass. Dundee addressed his troops and a deathly hush fell over the highland ranks, which, as MacKay and his men cleared the pass below, gave way to a silent motion. Treading softly, the highlanders went silently down the hillside towards their enemy. The sun was setting in the western sky when, erupting in wild war cries, swords in hand and targets (Shields) glinting in the fading rays, the highlanders fell upon the unsuspecting government troops. MacKay’s men had been totally obvious to the nearness of Dundee and as the savage highland charge began, they were thrown into complete disarray, with men and horse falling over each other before they could get a chance to form up in their ranks. Dundee, at the head of his horsemen, charge headlong at the enemy cannon and drove the artillery back but as he wheeled his horse to face another section,. A stray musket ball found it’s target and caught him full in the chest, penetrating his breastplate. The noble Dundee fell from his horse, which continued to charge, but the ball had found its target and the Viscount fell dying from his saddle and died within minutes. When the cry that Dundee had fallen went up, the rage of the highlanders knew no bounds and under a vicious onslaught, MacKay was forced to give the order to retreat as swiftly as possible, pursued for a great distance by the screaming horde.

The day had been won, but the cost was high, for the blue bonnet of Dundee now lay in the dust, never again to be held in triumph by that proud hand. The Viscount had died, not knowing of his great victory but in the death of this great Jacobite, the triumph at Killiecrankie lost it’s glory and rather than the victory at Killiecrankie being and advantage to King James, it was probably the precursor of his ruin, for Dundee had been the one man who could have united Scotland. With Dundee on that day there fell nine hundred of his loyal men, amongst whom was Alaister Dubh, the brother of the Glengarry Chief, who, with each stroke of his mighty broadsword had brought down two of the enemy. The son of Glengarry also died, having taken down eighteen of the government force. Five cousins of MacDonald of the Isles also fell as did the Tutor of MacDonald of the Isles.


After the death of Dundee, the Jacobite forces came under the command of General Cannon, who, while he was a good soldier, was not in the least familiar with the ways of the highlanders under his command. At Dunkeld, the Jacobites attempted to take the town which was under the command of the Covenanting Cameronians who had been left their by Sir Hugh MacKay and who were under the command of William Clelland. Clelland had only about 12 hundred men, but the Jacobite force, even though they outnumbered the Cameronians, were unable to take the town and eventually left the area. Cannon now lost the respect of his men and most of the highlanders retired into Blair, leaving Cannon, some lowland troops and some Irish militia to go their own way.

During the winter of 1689/90 the highland army slowly diminished as, apart from losses and wounded, some of the men simply left to attend to their families and their own lands. King James now sent a new Officer, named Buchan to command the army, but he had no more success than Cannon had before him. The government had by now dispatched a force under Colonel Livingstone with orders to find and attack the Jacobite army. Buchan meantime held a council of war at Culnakill and was advised by his officers that he should not attempt to march beyond that place, but that they should make for Glenorchy and set up camp in a wooded area where they could remain out of sight. Buchan rejected this advice and marched the men down the river Spey to Cromdale where he set up his camp. By now, Livingstone was within eight miles of Strathspey and in the lands of the Laird of Grant, and here he received word of Buchan’s advance down the Spey. The Jacobites, unaware of the closeness of Livingstone, were resting near Lethindie on the plain of Cromdale.

Livingstone found a ford at Dellachapel and crossed the Spey and moved towards the Jacobite camp before daybreak. He and his men rode furiously into the camp as the men were just rousing themselves and the highlanders had no time to rally. Livingstone tried to get between the Jacobite camp and the hills, to cut off any escape in a short time, three hundred or more of the highlanders lay dead and more than a hundred were taken prisoner. The remainder fled, some of them naked, into the hills followed by Livingstone and his men, and at the foot of the Hill of Cromdale, some of the highlanders who had arms, turned to face him. Fortunately, at that point a thick mist descended and Livingstone was forced to give up the pursuit. The highland army however, was now scattered, and broken as an effective force, and not long after Cromdale the entire force dispersed.

On the 14th of June 1701, a bill was passed in Westminster to the effect that on the death of King William and his sister in law Anne, ( later Queen Anne ) the succession would pass to the Electress of Hanover and her heirs. This act effectively, with one stroke, cut off all the descendents of the Lawful King James of whom fifty three were much nearer to the throne than the Hanoverians. The act was like a death blow to the Jacobite followers of the Royal Stewarts and was typical of the pathological hatred the government at Westminster bore toward the Royal Stewart family. The exiled King James of Britain died at St. Germains on the 16th of September 1701 and was succeeded by his son, James, Prince of Wales. The King of France and other Royal houses of Europe immediately recognised the young James as the new King of Britain. This outraged King William of Orange who now began to fear that the French would invade England to restore James to his throne. In 1702, King William of Orange died as a result of massive infection, which had set into wounds he had received after his horse threw him. The horse had reared on the sudden appearance of a mole. A new Jacobite toast could then be heard across the land as they rejoiced in the death of the usurper William. ‘Here’s to the little gentleman in the black velvet coat’ Queen Anne now sat upon the throne. She was to be the last of the Stewart monarchs.

On the 1st May 1707 the treaty for the union of the Parliaments was completed at Westminster, but this treaty was seen only as an instrument for the destruction of the Scottish nation. The second act of the treaty, gave succession, not to the late Queen’s exiled half brother Prince James Stewart, but to the Electress of Hanover and her heirs forever. In Scotland, religious differences were now pushed aside as the people united for a common cause. Prince James sailed for Scotland but was unable to land when the weather turned so bad that the French fleet which had the Prince on board, after out running the English fleet who were lying in wait, was forced to turn back. There is little doubt that had James been able to land at this point, the entire Scots nation would have been behind him.

Meanwhile, large and small groups of heavily armed men could be seen marching across the highlands of Scotland and this caused considerable alarm in government circles. The Duke of Gordon was arrested and imprisoned at Edinburgh. The Marquis of Huntly and Lord Drummond were held captive in their respective homes. Campbell of Glendaruel was thrown into prison as was Sir Donald MacDonald of Sleat. The Earl of Mar was dismissed from his post of Scottish secretary at Westminster and riots began to break out all over Scotland. This was the state of affairs when the German Prince George of Hanover arrived to assume the thrones of Britain.


First of all, this was not a rebellion as is so often portrayed. This was a rising against a foreign King while the rightful heir to the thrones of Britain was still alive. The Earl of Mar returned to Scotland in August 1715 and he began to call up the clans. While the Jacobites were thus assembling, news came of the death of their good ally, the King of France and this news could not have come at a more unfortunate time. Meanwhile, the government became aware of the gathering of the clans in the north and had appointed the Duke of Argyll as commander in chief of the German King’s forces in Scotland and Generalissimo of the Stirling castle encampment. Argyll received his instructions on the 8th September 1715 and left London to take up his new post at Stirling.

On the 18th and 19th of September, seven hundred men were sent out from Glasgow to reinforce Argyll at Stirling. By the 5th October, Mar had around eight thousand men at his disposal, including MacIntosh, the old Laird of Borlum. Argyll had around two thousand at Stirling. All would have gone well had Mar chosen to march on Stirling at this point, but, brave and bold as he was on the battlefield, he was a politician, not a military man and he decided to linger at Perth to await the arrival of Seaforth who was presently marching towards him with another force of upwards of three thousand men. While Mar lingered at Perth, news was brought to him that English Jacobites in the north of England were desperate for aid, and now Mar made his second blunder by sending sent a large part of his force south, under the command of Old Borlum.

On the 9th of November, Mar called a council of war and his officers and chiefs decided it would be better now to leave Perth and advance on Dunblane On the 10th, the Jacobite army camped by Auchterarder. Argyll however was aware of the movements of the Jacobites and had sent for more reinforcements and on the morning of the 12th November he also rode towards Dunblane approaching the town from the opposite direction.

1715. THE BATTLE OF SHERIFFMUIR (13th November)

That evening, he set up his camp and put his army into battle order on the higher ground above Kippenross.Both armies were now within three miles of each other and separated only by the Sheriffmuir, a large expanse of waste ground which skirted the road from Stirling to Perth. Mar was unaware at this point of the closeness of Argyll and only realised this at daybreak on the 13th when he saw a scouting party from Argyll’s force, including Argyll himself, on the heights of Sheriffmuir.Mar had already put his force into battle order and by the time he had seen Argyll, the Jacobites were armed and ready for battle. On the Sheriffmuir, there is a gently sloping rise which would have been ideal for a highland charge, but now Mar made his third mistake. Instead of using the rise to his advantage, he called a council of Officers and chiefs at which an immediate advance was called for.

By now, Argyll was close to the rise in the ground and could not be seen from the Jacobite lines, neither could Argyll see the Jacobites, and as a result neither commander noticed the advance of the other until they were almost on top of each other. Each army then swung a bit more to the right than was necessary which resulted in the right wings of each army now outflanking the opposing left wings. Reaching to within pistol shot of the enemy, the Highlanders poured a volley into the Government infantry who immediately returned the fire, and much to the dismay of the Clanranald, their captain, Alan Muidardach fell, fatally wounded. He was immediately taken off the field by his men, and with his dying breath Maidartach told them that they must win the day for their King. After uttering these word, he died, sending his men into a state of shock and stupor from which they only recovered by the words of Glengarry who rode towards them calling “Revenge, revenge, revenge today and mourn tomorrow”.

This had the desired effect and driven on now by a thirst for revenge, Clanranald rushed forward in a fearful highland charge. Three of Argyll’s battalions which were not formed up, now had no chance to do so and under the ferocity of the charge they fell back on some squadrons of horse, sending horses and rider into confusion so that within eight minutes of the start of battle, a complete rout ensued on the entire left flank of the government force, which might have been totally destroyed but for General Witham who checked the advance of the highlanders. Mar’s left flank at this point was also under serious attack, and as they were being driven back, Argyll’s cavalry came thundering down on them. The left flanks of both armies were now routed and the battle became nothing more than a disordered rabble. The clan MacRae died almost to a man than day in a battle which neither side won, although each commander claimed victory. Not long after this fiasco, some of the clans decided to return home, not out of cowardice, but because it was the way of these warriors that after battle they would go home to see to their families and crops, but nonetheless, the defection of these clans was a severe blow to Mar.

On the 22nd December, the uncrowned King James finally landed in Scotland, and on the 24th of the month he traveled to Fetterosso, the residence of the Earl Marischal. He remained there for several days, and on his arrival there, he raised the Earl of Mar to a Duke. The King then traveled from place to place until he arrived at Glamis castle, seat of the Earl of Strathmore which he reached on the 4th of January. Prince James then went to Scone and while there, the date for his coronation was set for the 23rd of January. A council of war was called at Perth on the 16th January as news had reached the Jacobite camp that Argyll was advancing with a great force. The prospect of an oncoming battle delighted the highlanders who detested waiting around or marching idly from place to place, but the officers and chief were dismayed by the news and it was decided that the army should go into a retreat, the safety of the King being paramount. The planned coronation did not take place and on the 31st January the Jacobite retreat began and they marched in the direction of Dundee.

Meantime Argyll was on the march towards Perth but was furious to find when he arrived there that the highland force and the King had already gone. On the 2nd February, Argyll left Perth but by now the Jacobites were on the way to Montrose where the prince was to be put on a ship and sent to safety, against all his protests. At 9pm on the 5th of February 1716, King James Stewart, set sail from Scotland, never to return. The highland force then dispersed back into their own lands. On the very day that the Battle of Sheriffmuir was raging, down at Preston in Lancashire, the English Jacobites, along with the highlanders under Old Borlum were being rounded up after the battle there during the night of 12/13th and after the English officers had surrendered to the government army. Many of these prisoners were flung into prison to rot and many of those who survived the terrible incarceration were later executed with the remainder being sold as slave to the West Indies.

1719. GLENSHIEL (10th June)

In March of 1719, a large fleet carrying five thousand soldiers and a large Quantity of arms set sail from Cadiz to effect an invasion of England and detract the English from another landing which was to take place simultaneously in Scotland. From foreign shores, the Jacobites had planned another rising but to ensure the success of the two pronged attack, the details of this were not known in Scotland. Prior to the Spanish fleet leaving Cadiz, three other frigates had set sail for Scotland, carrying on board three hundred Spanish infantrymen and a number of exiled Scottish Jacobite nobles, among whom was the Earl Marischal, the Marquis of Tullibardine, the Earl of Seaforth and MacIntosh of Borlum who had escaped capture after the battle of Preston in Lancashire. This rising however was a very disorganised affair due in part to the secrecy which had surrounded the event, and to the fact that the Spanish fleet never arrived on England’s shores, having been smashed to bits in storms at sea. Rob Roy MacGregor raced to Glenshiel when he heard the news of Marischal’s landing, but could only muster about fifty men at such short notice.

After about four weeks, only a few hundred of the clans had answered the call to arms. When news of the sinking of the Spanish fleet reached Glenshiel, the Spaniards there wanted to return home, but Marischal sent the three Spanish frigates home to Cadiz without the soldiers. At this point there was now less than a thousand men under Marischal’s command, including the three hundred Spaniards. The rising soon reached the ears of the government and they sent General Wightman, commander of the government troops in Scotland, to march on Glenshiel with a force of around fifteen hundred troops. The two forces met at the head of Loch Duich on the 11th June 1719 in a battle which lasted for around three hours but it was a disaster for the Jacobites, for several reasons. One reason was the bad blood between the Scots and the Spaniards who had been forced to stay and fight against their will. Another reason was the long standing feud between the MacGregors and the MacRaes who refused to stand and fight alongside each other.

Added to all the squabbling, the Earl of Seaforth was injured in the fighting and the MacKenzies left the field with their injured chief. About six hundred of the Jacobite forces were now gone from the field and Marischal’s front collapsed in tatters. The remaining surviving highlanders dispersed into the hills and the Spaniards took the advice of t Earl Marischal to surrender to Wightman, and the rising was over almost before it began.


In this year, another Jacobite conspiracy was discovered by the government. This time it was in the north of England and involved several English nobles, among whom were the Duke of Norfolk, Lord Orrery, Lord Atterbury and Lord Stafford and several others, one of whom was the Bishop or Rochester who was committed to the tower of London on a charge of high treason.No clear evidence could be found against Norfolk, Stafford and Orrery and they were eventually released however Lord Atterbury was brought to trial on the 9th May 1721 and sentenced to be banished under pain of death if he ever returned.

1745. RISING

Again, this was not rebellion but a rising of the Stewart Supporters for their true King. In 1745, the thoughts of the French King turned once again to a possible invasion of England and the restoration of the Stewart Monarchy. Britain was in a state of great unrest due mostly to the continued presence of Hanoverian troops who roamed the country to do their King’s bidding. The Earl of Sandwich proposed that these troops be returned home but the motion failed. In the meantime, over in France preparations for an English invasion were well underfoot. The plan was to send fifteen thousand troops under General Saxe across the channel and a fleet of ships had been made ready for war. The exiled King James had been made aware of these plans, but by now, he was in the latter stages of his life and his enthusiasm to retake the throne of his father had faded with the passage of time and he had come to accept his exile, however, his son Prince Charles Edward Stewart was anxious to make his attempt for the throne of his Grandfathers. In due course the French fleet set sail for England but only two days out, a terrible hurricane brought disaster to the fleet. Many ships went down with a great loss of life, huge quantities of arms and ammunition, as well as most of the provisions were lost and the remnants of the battered fleet had no choice but to limp back to France. This was a bitter blow to Prince Charles but not for one second did he consider his cause to be lost. When the news of the destruction of the French fleet reached Scotland, the hopes and dreams of the Jacobites were cruelly shattered yet again.The French were now reluctant to offer much further aid, but on the 21st June 1745, Charles Edward Stewart sailed from St. Nazaire to Scotland on board the French frigate ‘Doutelle’.

The Doutelle was later joined by the Elizabeth which was carrying five hundred French broadswords, two hundred muskets and a hundred French marines. The Elizabeth was later so badly crippled in a gun battle with the English fleet that it was forced to return to France. Charles was accompanied by a party of men who became known as ‘the Seven men of Moidart’ They were, Marquis of Tullibardine, Sir Thomas Sheridan, Sir John MacDonald, Francis Strickland Esq. a Clergyman named George Angus MacDonald (brother to Kinlochmoidart) and an officer in the service of King James, named John O’Sullivan and an old servant of Lochiel named Duncan Cameron who had been brought along due to his vast knowledge of the highlands. Again the weather turned bad then the sea became becalmed and the ship could not move at all. Eventually after having outrun the English fleet and surviving horrendous weather, the Doutelle dropped anchor in Scottish waters. At first the clans were reluctant to come out for the Prince as he had arrived without an army and only a handful of men, but by the 18th of August he arrived at Glenshiel with a small force. There, his dejection was soon chased away as the faint sound of the bagpipes came floating in the air and a dark mass of men were seen marching over the crest of the hill. It was Lochiel and seven hundred of his men. All that day, the armed clans continued to arrive at Glenfinnan and by evening the ranks of the Prince had swollen from a few men to well over a thousand. After exchanging greetings with Lochiel and the others, the Royal Standard was passed to the Marquis of Tullibardine, and he, supported by two stout highlanders, had the honour of raising the Standard in Scotland in the name of King James. Tullibardine then read out a lengthy proclamation from the King.

The landing of Charles Edward Stewart came as a surprise to the government, in spite of rumour which had been circulating for some time and on the 19th August Sir John Cope and the Earl of Loudon went to Stirling and thereafter, Cope and a large force of men advanced on Almuree and from there to the Tay bridge where Cope received news of the size of the highland army and redirected his force towards Inverness. Charles and the highlanders however, had only remained one night at Glenfinnan and the following night set up camp at Inverlochy where a proclamation against the Prince was found. By the 26th of the month, Charles and his highlanders were at Glengarry and on the following night, they camped at Aberchallader before moving on to Corriearrick. It was at Corriearrick that news came to the Prince that Cope was now in retreat. The Jacobite army continued to march south, and as they marched more and more men came flocking to the Stewart banner. At Perth, one of the finest soldiers in the country joined the Prince, this was Lord George Murray, who, in his youth had taken part in the 1715 rising. Murray was a military genius whose bravery could never be questioned and the Prince, to the great joy of the Highlanders who knew him so well, immediately appointed him to the post of Lieutenant General of the Jacobite army.

The appointment did not go down so well with Sir John Murray of Broughton who was envious of Lord Murray’s reputation. Back in Edinburgh, the city had been lulled into a false sense of security because the magistrates there had been so sure that Cope would by now have destroyed the highland forces, but the highland force, having continued to march south, was by now almost on the doorstep of the city. On the 16t September, Charles sent a letter into the city and this letter was read to the citizens. At about four o’clock in the afternoon, a rider appeared, galloping at full speed into the Lawnmarket and claiming that the Royal army was more than sixteen thousand strong. B two o’clock next morning, the highlanders were inside Edinburgh and on the 17, Prince Charles Edward rode into the city. Cope, meantime had arrived with the government forces at Prestonpans, not far from Edinburgh and when news of his arrival there reached the Prince, a council of war was held and the decision was to advance on Cope, not wait for him to arrive at Edinburgh.

1745. BATTLE OF PRESTONPANS (21st September)

Just after daybreak on the 20th, Prince Charles drew up his ranks into battle order at Duddington and addressed his men. Cope had chosen to draw his men up on level ground bordering the Firth and had paid no heed to a high ridge running parallel with the shoreline in the direction of Tranent. Lord George Murray however, was not slow to note this error of judgment. He immediately took advantage of this higher ground and Cope only became aware of the highland presence when he saw the ranks forming above him. Murray sent men to investigate all the surrounding area and all that afternoon the two armies watched each other and waited. By nightfall, the highland lines were in darkness, still and silent while below them the government force lit campfires and constantly called out challenges into the darkness. Just as the morning sun began to break through the mist, the Jacobites advanced downhill and fell upon Cope’s men. The first of the enemy they made contact with was Gardners Dragoons and faced with this rapidly moving, screaming horde, the dragoons immediately broke their ranks and fled. A full highland charge now ensued, and a witness of the time said that the battle lasted no more than five minutes as the screaming warriors of the north mowed through the government ranks. Four hundred of Cope’s men were killed and seven hundred taken prisoner. The Jacobite loss was about thirty men killed and seventy wounded. Charles did not glory in this victory however, and he gave strict instructions that the wounded Government men were to have their wounds treated and given as much aid as possible. There was to be no looting of bodies on pain of death, and the Prince stayed on the field to ensure his instructions were obeyed to the letter.

The Jacobite army returned to Edinburgh where the Prince was hailed. The government at Westminster, when news of Cope’s defeat reached them, was profoundly shocked. It had been quite inconceivable to them that a band of untrained barbarians could have so humiliated the trained forces of the Hanoverian King. Scots who were living in England now became the victims of scurrilous abuse as the English began to smash and destroy their property and homes. Scotland however, now belonged to Charles and he was viewed as a savior by the people. Charles however, soon turned his eyes south to England and on the evening of the 31st October 1745, Charles and his highlanders began the long march south towards London. On the 10th of November, Carlisle was taken. By the 27th, the Jacobites were welcomed at Preston. Manchester fell to them and a new regiment, ‘the Manchester Regiment’ was formed their by young men of the city who had flocked to join the Prince. Derby, only 120 miles from London was reached on the 4th December. Had Charles pushed forward at this point, there is little doubt that the city would have fallen and many cannot understand why he did not do so. However, there are many factors which have rarely been taken into consideration at this point. In the first instance, the Jacobite supply line was still many miles to the north.

Next, was the condition of the army itself. The men were totally exhausted, having marched for hundreds of miles and fought in several battles. Thirdly, the bulk of the promised English support had not materialised, nor had the promised French aid. Added to this, The Duke of Cumberland and a force of eight thousand men were coming in from the west and was only one day’s march from Derby. At the same time, Marshal Wade was marching with around ten thousand men and coming towards Derby from the East London itself was ringed with Militia. The total of these forces was upwards of thirty thousand well armed men while the Jacobite numbered around ten thousand men who were battle weary, foot sore and running out of supplies. A council of war was called by Charles and Lord Murray stated that if the army was to survive, it must retreat or be caught in a pincer like trap. The only way out was north. Charles was outraged at this and even though the chiefs and officers agreed with Murray, he continued to argue and persisted in wanting to go on, but the decision was taken out of his hands by his council. On the 6th of December, the retreat from Derby began. After a weary and dangerous march, being attacked on the way by many who had welcomed them on the road south, the Jacobites finally reached Glasgow on the 26th December, ragged and worn. The city, which had thrown its weight behind the government and supplied troops for the government army, was now made to pay restitution. The highlanders, by now a ragged and worn out remnant of a proud army, were given footwear, clothing and supplies by a terrified and reluctant council and they rested there for a time, gathering their strength. Meanwhile, Cumberland had followed the retreating force and on the 21st of the month was at Carlisle where he attacked the castle there.

1746. BATTLE OF FALKIRK MOOR (18th January)

On the 4th January Charles marched his men towards Stirling and laid siege to the Castle there which was occupied by Government troops. While all these events had been taking place, General Hawley had been sent north from London to Edinburgh with ten thousand men. He was also awaiting the arrival of another six thousand Hanoverian troops from Germany who had left Wilhelmstadt on the 1st January. Murray received word of the arrival of Hawley and he went towards Falkirk with his men and was joined at the Dunnipace steps by Lord Pitsligo with his men. Hawley’s second in command Huske, sent an advance party out and this advance guard noticed the movements of the highlanders and reported back that the jacobites were making for high ground at Falkirk moor. Huske sent this news back to Hawley who was busily being entertained at Callendar House, and he took no notice of this report, until sometime later when he returned to his camp and saw the danger. He ordered an immediate advance, but was too late, and on arrival at the Falkirk moor, found the highland army already drawn up in battle lines.

The battle lasted less than thirty minutes before Hawleys men went into full retreat. As they fled past Linlithgow, the set fire to the palace there and burned it to the ground Losses to the Jacobites that day were estimated at fifty seven killed and between sixty and eighty wounded, while Hawley’s force had around three hundred killed and just under that number wounded. So furious was Hawley at this defeat of the force under Huske’s command that on his return to Edinburgh he hung a number of his own men on the gibbets he had prepared for his anticipated highland prisoners. Hawley, for all his attempts to blame Huske and the men for his humiliating defeat, was actually probably the sole cause of the disaster as he did not act immediately on the report he was sent. On the morning after the battle at Falkirk, Prince Charles gave orders that the dead of both sides were to be decently buried and the wounded, including the enemy were to be fed and their wounds tended. By the 28th of the month, news reached the Prince that Cumberland was still advancing and the Council of Jacobites decided that it would be better to retreat farther into the highlands. The men had by now march from Glenfinnan in the north to the very outskirts of London and fought and won many battles, some in appalling weather conditions but now they were weary, their strength was almost gone as they now trudged northwards into the highlands. By the 4th of February, they were approaching Inverness. On the 8th February, a large detachment of Hessian troops under the command of the Prince of Hessen arrived at Leith to join Cumberland.


The joint forces of Hessian, Hanoverian and other government troops now began a march north. By the 11th April they were at Culloden having rested at Aberdeen for five weeks. By now, the highland army had begun to shrink considerably. The men had almost no food and were surviving on one handful of oatmeal per day. Being constantly in retreat had also disheartened many of them and many slipped away home. Cumberland had by now moved to Nairne on the 14th of the month and on the 15th, Charles and the remainder of his ragged force arrived at Drumossie moor on the outskirts of Culloden. By now their numbers were down to around four thousand. On that drizzling wet morning, Charles Stewart, acting on the advice of John O’Sullivan and ignoring that of Lord Murray, drew his men into battle order on the bleak moor. All that day, the Jacobites stood in the drizzling rain, hungry and tired and waiting for the arrival of Cumberland but there was no sign of the Government troops. More men were now leaving the highland army, not to desert, but to go to Inverness in search of supplies of food and weapons. It now seemed that the best thing the Jacobites could do was to take the battle to Cumberland and they then set out on a night march to Nairne thinking to catch the government army asleep at their camp.

By 2 o’clock in the morning, they had reached the camp at Nairne, however, The camp was not asleep, but up and roused. It was almost as though Cumberland had heard of the Jacobite plans, and who knows. The highland army, lacking the element of surprise, now had no alternative but to make their way back to Drumossie. They arrived back there at 5 o’clock that same morning and in such a state of exhaustion that many of them were unable even to take the meager nourishment that had been found, but collapsed on the field. Three hours later, at 8 o’clock, they were roused from sleep with the news that Cumberland was almost upon them. Cumberland’s force of more than nine thousand well fed, well rested and heavily armed troops now faced the utterly exhausted, starving and ill equipped Jacobites. The icy rain was falling when at 11 O’clock, the Hanoverians advanced onto the moor and with in thirty minutes, the battle was over. The heavy cannon of the government tore into the ranks of the Scots and decimated them. Lord George Murray with the right wing of the highlanders made one of the finest charges in military history by a fierce but futile charge into the ranks of the enemy lines but did little damage. The Hanoverian cavalry now charged the broken Jacobite lines and these were forced into retreat. Jacobite losses in that short time were around fifteen hundred while merely a hundred of the government troops fell. Little should be made of Cumberland’s victory on that day and to contrast the behaviour of the Duke and his troops after the battle with the chivalry and honour displayed by Charles Stewart after Prestonpans and Falkirk, and high as these actions of the Prince stood, they were raised higher by the bestial treatment meted out to the fallen Jacobites at Culloden. Culloden and its aftermath was a terrible massacre which has stained the name of the House of Hanover forever.


What followed this battle could never be fully described as the incidents were so many, but the savage butchery began on the field itself when Cumberland gave the order to kill all the wounded who were lying among the dead, and these defenceless men were shot, bayoneted or clubbed to death, their corpses mutilated in a blood frenzy. Next the government troops were sent out to search the surrounding area, and ordered to kill any who had escaped the field and hidden in the surrounding countryside. The marauding soldiery then spread out across Scotland, burning and looting everywhere, killing the men and raping the women before killing them and their children. Defenceless old and young died at the hands of the soldiers and the countryside was soon turned into a blackened wasteland of ruin and desolation with dead bodies of men, women and children littering the landscape. There is no estimate as to the numbers who were butchered in the ensuing weeks and months as the marauders went about their work, under the orders of Cumberland. A vain attempt was much later made to justify these barbaric acts by saying that a letter had been found on a dead Jacobite which said no quarter was to be given to the Hanoverians, but this was later proven to be a blatant lie. Charles Stewart, an honourable man, had ordered no such thing, nor would he have even contemplated such an act. The aftermath of the battle of Culloden was the precursor to what followed, namely the Highland Clearances.

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