Jacobite Risings in Scotland

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Date: 1689 to 16 Apr 1746
Location: Scotlandmap
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Jacobite Uprisings

The Jacobite Uprisings or Rebellions was a movement to restore King James to the throne of England. They took place between 1689 and 1746.

The name Jacobite is from the Latin form of James.

When King James II of England and Scotland was driven out of England in 1688 by nobles who did not want a Roman Catholic monarchy, his Protestant daughter Mary and her husband William of Orange were installed as joint monarchs.

James was supported by many clans in the Highlands of Scotland. Many, though not all were Catholics. They were also many Episcopalians who held to the divine right of Kings and believed James to be the rightful king.

First Uprising 1689

John Graham, First Viscount of Dundee, was a Scottish nobleman and distinguished soldier who commanded Highland troops. When the Scottish Convention went along with England and declared William and Mary sovereigns of Scotland he objected and led a Highland army in revolt.

The charge of the Cameron Jacobite forces at the Battle of Killiecrankie

Graham achieved a victory at the Battle of KillIecrankie but was killed during the fighting.

Despite the initial victory, without his leadership, the rebellion was soon put down.

After the failure of the first Jacobite Uprising, King William offered amnesty as well as a share of £12,000 to any clans for swearing allegiance to the crown. There was also a threat of severe repercussions to any who failed to sign by January 1, 1692.

Glencoe, 1692, 1692 by John Blake MacDonald

A delay in signing the oath led to the Massacre at Glencoe.


1715 Rising

The 1715 Rising, also known as "The Fifteen" and "Lord Mar's Revolt" was the attempt of James Francis Edward Stuart to gain the throne of England and Scotland.

After the death of his father in 1701, France, Spain, and the Papal States recognized James as the true King of England and Scotland.

In 1715, John Erskine, the Earl of Mar sailed from London to Scotland and met with Highland clans chiefs. On Sept. 6, 1715 at Braemar, he proclaimed James VIII King of Scotland, England, France and Ireland. He gathered an army and defeated English troops at the Battle of Sherrifmuir. But the Earl did not follow up and they retreated to the Highlands.

James Stuart, the Old Pretender, sets foot on Scottish soil at Peterhead, 22nd Dec. 1715

In November James arrived in Perthshire. He set up court in but soon fell ill. In February he returned to France, which demoralized an already depleted Highland army.

Jacobite prisoners were tried and sentenced to death.


1745 Uprising

Bonnie Prince Charles (1745)

Also known as the “The 45 Rebellion” or “the 45”, this was the last of the Jacobite rebellions.

In August, 1745, Jame’s son, Charles Edward Stuart or “Bonnie Prince Charles” as he was known to the Highland Jacobites, gathered clan chieftains at Glenfinnan to persuade them to mount another attempt to restore his father to the throne. Many were skeptical and advised him to go home. “I am home” Charles replied.

Eventually he persuaded enough to form an army, including:

Donald Cameron of Lochiel
Alexander MacDonald of Keppoch
George MacKenzie 3rd Earl of Cromartie
Simon Fraser of Lovat
Alexander Irvine Lord of Drum

George Murray, who fought both in the 1715 & 19 Uprisings was a Lieutenant General.

The Jacobite Highlanders advance at the Battle of Prestonpans.

In September they entered Edinburgh without firing a single shot. This was followed by an easy victory at Battle of Prestonpans.

In November they invaded Northern England. However pursuing English troops chased them back to Scotland. They had another victory at Battle of Falkirk Muir in January 1746.

Battle of Culloden

The Battle of Culloden, oil on canvas, David Morier, 1746.

The invasion and retreat had taken a toll on the Highland army. Prince Charles ignored his advisors’ suggestion they allow the army time to rest. Instead the engaged the English government forces at the Moor of Culloden on April 15, 1746.

The Battle lasted 40 minutes. 1500-2000 out of an army of less than 5000 Highlanders were killed or wounded. Only 50 were killed on the other side. Prince Charles managed to escape to France.


After Culloden

Jacobite Clans

Many Clans changed sides over the years.

  • Clan Irving
  • Clan McGregorRob Roy MacGregor fought at the Battle of Sherrifmuir. The Indemnity Act of July 1717 which pardoned all those who had taken part in the Rising, specifically excluded whole of Clan Gregor. During the 1745 uprising, some of Clan Gregor fought at the Battle of Prestonpans with the Jacobite army under the Duke of Perth. Some of Clan Gregor were among the Jacobite force that was defeated at the Battle of Littleferry in 1746 in Sutherland, and therefore missed the Battle of Culloden that took place the next day. [1]
  • Clan McLaren fought at Killiecrankie in 1689, Sheriffmuir in 1715 and supported Prince Charles in 1745. [2]
  • Clan MacLeanSir John MacLean, 4th Baronet commanded the right wing of the Jacobite army at Killiecrankie. He also fought at the Battle of Sherrifmuir.

Jacobite Tartan

Jacobite Tartan

Jacobite tartans have been known since the Union of the Parliaments in 1707. It was worn by participants in the Jacobite Rebellion of 1715 and is historically associated with the Scots national identity. It is often worn by persons with no clan connection as an alternative to a District tartan.[3]


  1. Clan Gregor Wikipedia
  2. [http://chrsouchon.free.fr/tartans.htm Highland Clans in 1745
  3. Scottish Register of Tartans

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