The Battle of Falkirk Muir

On the 17th January 1746, just under three months before Culloden, the Jacobites won their last battle.

After their success at Prestonpans in September 1745, the general feeling among the Jacobites was one of increased optimism. Charles Edward Stuart, along with the Jacobite army, marched to England in November, reaching Derby in December. He had been hoping to find English and French recruits waiting to join the Jacobites so that they could march on London and overthrow the Hanoverians; upon arriving in England, however, they were all soon disappointed. Back in Montrose, 800 French soldiers had joined, but of the 12,000 that Louis XV had promised to aid an invasion, no more had arrived. There were also fewer English additions than had been expected. Charles wanted to continue onto London regardless, but he was convinced not to, and on the 6th December the Jacobite army began their march back to Scotland.

When the Jacobites returned to Scotland, they were strengthened by the addition of some more recruits, which brought their number to almost 8000 (mostly infantry, with around 300 cavalry). The Jacobites besieged Stirling Castle, which was under the control of Government Major General Blakeney. In an attempt to help Blakeney, Lieutenant General Henry Hawley (known by men as Hangman Hawley due to his harsh treatment of deserters) led a Government army of around 7,000 (mainly infantry, with approximately 700 dragoons) towards Stirling, but found that he was blocked by Lord George Murray at Falkirk Muir.

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Lord George Murray

 

The Jacobite troops were deployed on the 15th and 16th January, as George Murray had been expecting an attack, but the Government army remained in their camp. On the 17th, Henry Hawley, feeling that a battle was not imminent, went to have lunch with Lady Kilmarnock. It was then that George Murray decided to attack, marching the Jacobite army into two lines. As this was happening, Henry Hawley was alerted, and he and his army made the steep climb to meet the Jacobites.

The conditions of the ground at Falkirk Muir, unlike at Culloden, were good for the Highland Charge. Hawley underestimated the power of the Charge, believing that his soldiers would be triumphant due to the speed at which they had shown they could fire volleys of musket shot; on the day, however, as a result of the horrible weather, most of the powder was damp, and as a result the volleys shot were rather weak. A tactic used by the Jacobites to fight the dragoons was to thrust their dirks into the horses’ stomachs, before attacking the dragoons as their horses lost balance.

The battle itself lasted for about twenty minutes, but as a result of the heavy winds, rain and fading light (the battle had begun at 4pm), there was initially a bit of confusion as to who had won. The Government survivors had retreated towards Linlithgow, and it was not until the next day, when George Murray saw more than 300 dead Government men lying on the ground, that he was sure that the Jacobites, who had lost around 50, had won. It is estimated that a further 300 Government soldiers were captured.

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Battle of Falkirk Memorial

 

The Jacobites abandoned the siege of Stirling Castle, and instead decided to go north to their Highland strongholds with the plan of renewing the campaign in the spring. The Duke of Cumberland arrived in Edinburgh on the 30th January. Henry Hawley met with him and the two, along with the rest of the Government army, travelled to Aberdeen. The Duke of Cumberland made sure than the troops were practised in a new tactic that would make them able to withstand a Highland Charge (in a pair the troops were told to always stab at the right regardless of what was coming towards them, reducing the power of the targe). In pursuit of Charles Edward Stuart and the Jacobites, they reached Culloden in April, where the two armies fought for a final time.

We hope you enjoyed this insight into one of the most famous battles of the ’45. As always please like, share, tweet and comment.

All the best, The Culloden Team

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Who wasn’t at Culloden?

We get many people coming through the exhibition here at Culloden Battlefield & Visitor Centre asking where their clan was in the battle and sometimes the answer isn’t always what they expect.

Whilst many men from the Jacobite army were indeed at Culloden there were a couple of parties who didn’t make it to the field of battle on 16th April 1746.

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Culloden Battlefield

 

Firstly, the Earl of Cromarties regiment. This regiment originally joined the Jacobite forces in Perth and consisted of men raised by George MacKenzie, 3rd Earl of Cromartie. There were many Mackenzies in the regiment as well as other clan names with MacLeod, Ross, Campbell and MacLean, just to name a few. Around 80 men had been raised from Cromarties own estates and many of the other men were recruited from the northern highland around Dingwall and Tain.

In early 1746 the regiment was ordered north to try and meet with a French ship in the Moray Firth and to try and help contain the Government regiment of Lord Loudon. The regiment was largely successful and took command of Dunrobin Castle as their base. However, the day before Culloden (15th April 1746) the regiment was returning to the castle when they were surprised by a Government force. Many of the men were killed and some 180 men were taken prisoner including the Earl of Cromartie and his son. Thus, the regiment would not be present at Culloden and many of the men would face a spell in prison followed by transportation.

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Jacobite marker at Culloden

 

Another large regiment not present at the battle of Culloden was that of MacPherson of Cluny. This regiment was raised largely in Badenoch by Ewan Macpherson of Cluny and joined the Jacobites in Edinburgh in October 1745. The regiment was the last to leave Derby in the retreat and took a key role in the Battle of Falkirk in January 1746. On the day of Culloden they were said to be just a few miles from the moor when they came across men retreating. The battle had barely lasted an hour and the regiment could not make it to the moor to help their fellow Jacobites in time. They did however, form part of the rear-guard which helped protect the men as they fled to Ruthven Barracks. Following Culloden many of the men later surrendered in Badenoch, however Cluny himself remained a fugitive for 9 years until he finally made his way to France.

As well as these regiments there were many individual men who were absent from the battle. Some were on separate expeditions like these regiments whilst others were simply exhausted from the unsuccessful night march and the lack of provisions. As Culloden was the last of several Jacobite battles there were also many men who were taken prisoner by the Government forces, killed during battles and skirmishes or injured in the Jacobite Rising.

We hope you found this information interesting. As always please like, share, tweet and comment to let us know if there is any topic you’d be interested to know more about.

All the best,

The Culloden Team

Anne Marie d’Orléans: 18th Century Jacobite Heiress

Anne Marie d’Orléans is mostly forgotten today, but in the early eighteenth century, the combination of her royal lineage and Catholic faith meant that, amidst the political uncertainty and civil war, she stood out as a significant figure; this is especially true in regards to the Jacobite succession, as for six years, between 1714 and 1720, she was the Heiress Presumptive to the Jacobite claim on the thrones of England, Scotland and Ireland.

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Anne Marie d’Orléans

 

Anne Marie was born on the 27th of August 1669 at Château de Saint-Cloud to Henrietta Anne of England and Philippe, Duke of Orléans. Known as Madame and Monsieur at court, her parents were first cousins and had a tumultuous relationship. Philippe was the only sibling of King Louis XIV of France; Henrietta Anne was the youngest daughter of Charles I of England, Scotland and Ireland. Henrietta had lived most of her life in France, but was close with her eldest brother Charles, and from the time that he became Charles II in 1660, she often acted as an intermediary between the French and English courts.

Anne Marie’s birth would have been a disappointment for her parents, as they had been hoping for a son; since their marriage in 1661, despite several pregnancies, only one other daughter, seven year old Marie Louise, was still living. Less than a year after the birth of her younger daughter, Henrietta Anne, whose health had never been strong, died at the age of twenty-six.

Louis XIV had no legitimate daughters who survived childhood, and so, as Anne Marie and her sister were two of the highest-ranking women in France, much consideration was given about their marriages. In 1679, Anne Marie’s sister, Marie Louise, married the King of Spain; five years later, Louis XIV, in an effort to maintain French control in northern Italy, had Anne Marie marry Victor Amadeus II, Duke of Savoy. Louis gave his niece a large dowry, and her father travelled with her to Juvisy-sur-Orge, before she left France and journeyed to Italy.

Though they did not have the happiest of marriages, Anne Marie and Victor Amadeus would go on to have nine children together, and he sometimes made her regent in his absence. Despite the marriage being made as a means of linking France and Italy, Victor Amadeus joined the anti-French side in the War of the Spanish Succession, and in 1706, Anne Marie and her sons were forced to flee to Genoa after Turin was besieged under the direction of her half-brother. For his role in the War of the Spanish Succession, Victor Amadeus was made King of Sicily in 1713, before being made to exchange the Kingdom of Sicily (whilst still retaining the title of King) for the Kingdom of Sardinia, which was considered inferior, in 1720.

In addition to the titles she owed to her husband, Anne Marie, at the beginning of the 1700s, was in her own right an important figure in British politics; in 1701, William of Orange was King of England, Scotland and Ireland, and both he and his successor, Anne of Denmark, were childless, and it was decided that a succession needed to be established. As one of the last remaining legitimate grandchildren of Charles I (her sister, the Queen of Spain, had died in 1689), Anne Marie’s Stuart blood linked her closely with the crown, but she had always been a devout Catholic, so she was barred from becoming queen. Sophia of Hanover, a protestant descendant of Charles I’s sister Elizabeth, was named Anne’s successor. King William died the following year, and Sophia predeceased Anne by a month in 1714; Sophia’s son George became king.

In 1714, Anne Marie’s name was again brought up in talks of succession. The deposed James II of England (and VII of Scotland) had died in 1701, and his son, James Francis Edward Stuart, was now the Jacobite claimant. In 1714 he had no children, and so in August, when Queen Anne died, Anne Marie became the Heiress Presumptive to the Jacobite claim.

She remained an Heiress Presumptive for six years. An Heir/Heiress Presumptive can be dislodged by an Heir/Heiress Apparent, whereas an Heir/Heiress Apparent cannot be dislodged by anyone; Anne Marie was dislodged in 1720 when James Francis Edward Stuart’s Heir Apparent was born, a son named Charles Edward Stuart. Charles would go on to fight at Culloden in 1746 and succeed his father to the claim in 1766.

Anne Marie died eight years later, one day before her fifty-ninth birthday, outliving all of her children but one: her son Charles Emmanuel, who succeeded his father his titles in 1730 and died in 1773. Through her daughter Marie Adelaide, Anne Marie was a grandmother of Louis XV of France, and through her daughter Maria Luisa, she was a grandmother of Louis I and Ferdinand VI of Spain. Anne Marie was buried at the Basilica of Superga in Turin.

Years after her death, she again was linked to the Jacobite Succession; Charles Edward Stuart had died, leaving no legitimate issue, in 1788, and his brother, Henry Benedict, succeeded to the claim, with the Jacobites calling him Henri IX. As he was a cardinal, he had no children, and when he wrote his will, which he signed Henry R., he named another Charles Emmanuel, Anne Marie’s great-grandson, his successor; Henry Stuart died in 1807, and through Anne Marie, the claim fell to the House of Savoy. Charles Emmanuel IV neither acknowledged nor renounced the legacy that had passed down to him.

We hope you enjoyed this insight into the life of Anne Marie. As always please like, tweet, share and comment.

All the best, The Culloden Team

Grave markers at Culloden

When people visit Culloden Battlefield most will inevitably head out across the moor and stand in front of the large memorial cairn in the centre of the field. Surrounding the cairn are most, but not all, of the grave markers on the field so it seems fitting to turn our attention to the history of these markers.

Old photo of the Clan Mackintosh marker

 

The markers on the battlefield were put in place in 1881, some 130 years after the battle. One of the main question we are asked regards the names on the stones, as many carry the names of one or more clans who fought at Culloden. We have had geophysical tests of the area completed and they show that the area around the cairn does indeed hold many mass graves but how the names on the gravestones were chosen is something of a mystery.

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Selection of gravestones at Culloden

 

Clansmen would not have been easy to distinguish from one another. There was no clan tartan back in 1746 so identifying a persons clan relied on smaller things that their cap badge or clan plant that men may have worn. After the battle it would have been incredibly difficult to accurately determine who was from which clan so it is believed that the markers on the field are symbolic of the major clans who fought at Culloden and who suffered significant losses.

As well as the marker by the cairn, there are a few others across the field. Further north are three stones that commemorate the MacDonald’s who fought on the far left of the Jacobite front line. Whilst they did not take part in the hand-to-hand combat that occurred further south they were instrumental in aiding the retreat of the Jacobite army. Each year at the anniversary of the battle the local MacDonald clan and supporters will march down to the stones after the main ceremony to lay a wreath for the men.

Clan Donald stone
Clan Donald Stone

 

Perhaps one of the most annoying and intriguing stones on the battlefield is that of the ‘Field of the English’. This stone lies behind the front line of the Government troops and supposedly marks the site of a grave of the Government men who died during the battle. However, there are two issues we have with the stone. Firstly, research has shown that there is no sign of a mass grave by the stone. The nearest lies some fifty yard to the West of the stone. Secondly, its inscription, ‘Field of the English’. As we know this is not accurate. The Government army was not an English Army, it was made of men from Scotland, Wales and England making it a British Army.

 

Despite some questions on the accuracy of the markers though there is no doubt to how special they are to the site. Many who visit take a moment as they walk past the stones to take in the incredible atmosphere of the battle and remember the history of the site.

We hope you enjoyed this short piece about the marker as always please like, share, comment and tweet.

All the best, The Culloden Team

Highland Women’s Clothing in the Mid-18th Century

Unlike that of their male contemporaries, in the mid-1700s women’s clothing in the Highlands did not differ much from what was being worn in the Lowlands, England or the rest of western Europe.

The distinctive arasaid (Gaelic: earrasaid or earasaid), a large piece of plain, striped or tartan fabric that covered the head and wrapped around the body, had been worn often at the beginning of the century; as the years passed, it gradually became less and less popular, until eventually it was mainly worn just by women of the Western Isles. The Royal Dress Act of 1746, which restricted the use of tartan, did not apply to women, and so tartan was sometimes included in a woman’s outfit, often as the print for a modesty cloth or scarf. The general items worn at the time are detailed below, but as is the case today, factors such as the woman’s wealth, age and occupation, as well as personal preference, varied things significantly.

Depiction of an arasaid

 

The first thing put on would have been a shift. A shift was a long white garment, which often doubled as a nightgown, and it was worn to separate the body from the clothes that were to be put on top; in an age when daily bathing was not common, this was considered necessary in order to preserve the other items of clothing. Next, the woman would have put on stays, a tight linen garment heavily reinforced with whalebone on the top, and structured with whalebone or cane at the bottom. Stays were worn to help obtain the fashionable hourglass shape, to provide a rigid structure over which the outer clothes could be arranged, and prevent curvature of the spine in cases of rickets and similar conditions.

Following this base, she would have worn a dress, which could be plain, striped or printed, or a petticoat, skirt and some sort of fitted sleeved garment on top, such as a day jacket, casaquin, bed gown or short gown (which reached mid-thigh). Rich women would also have had ball gowns and riding habits, and would have chosen costly imported fabrics and dyes for their clothes; those with more limited means used local plants for homemade dyes. Some examples are brambles, which were used for a burnt orange colour, braken for yellow, elderberries for blue and sundew for purple.

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Example of 18th Century pockets

 

Finally she might have worn an apron, depending on her rank and occupation, and pockets (cloth bags) which were connected with a string, tied around the waist under the petticoat or apron, and accessed through slits. Bits and pieces, such as money, thimbles and keys, would be kept in these pockets, hidden from view. A modesty cloth would have been tied about the neck, and, unless young and unmarried, a woman covered her head with a scarf or a cotton cap.

Shoes varied a lot from class to class. Women who did not need to work would have softer, flimsier shoes, purchased for how fashionable they were rather than their sturdiness; a working woman would have had plainer shoes, made of leather or wood, sometimes with a buckle of ties. Many woman had only one pair of shoes, and so apart from in winter, they were worn only at church in an effort to maintain them.

We hope you enjoyed this little insight in women’s fashion. As always please like, share, tweet, comment and if you visit Culloden you may see one of our volunteers dressed in outfits like those described.

All the best, The Culloden Team

War Atrocities and other Bedtime Stories: learning programmes at Culloden

Over the past few years our learning team have spoken at conferences about the realities of teaching at Culloden. Our talks are normally titled War Atrocities and other Bedtime Stories: Learning at Culloden.

Our learning team has seen over 80 000 people through their programming and events so far: 4,500 of those individuals were here on school trips.

Schools have visited us from all across the British Isles and even Europe and North America. We have had a great year and thought we would share some of the brilliant programming the learning team develops.

The Big Picture (upper primary)

This is our most popular programme with primary schools! Its a great day where the pupils find out about five people who were alive at the time of the Jacobite Rising.

The kids find out about five people and their experiences in the Jacobite Rising through sessions involving a team quiz and exploring objects. They also have the opportunity to head out on to the battlefield and look at the amazing items in the exhibition.

The feedback we get from pupils is great! Here some feedback we received from some P6 visitors:

It was very funny when I dressed up as Francis Townley an English man… I was in the middle and not poor and I was a Jacobite!”

I liked when we did the quiz. The best bit outside was when we all lined up and shoot BANG! next line BANG! next line BANG!!”

I really enjoyed the battlefield I learnt a lot. It was fun learning about the battle and prince Charlie and the sneck attack at night. unfortunate they lost each because it was dark, thy probably got about 4 or 5 hours sleep before the battle started at Culloden. Some girls watched the battle with a picnic! !

 

Bring on Burns (upper primary)

The kids arrive at 10:00 and spend a full school day exploring the battlefield and playing with Scots words until in the afternoon they create their very own poem.

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Pupils in the workshop bringing their poem to life!

Then the feicht began and the beautiful landscape became a stramash!

The guns were shot and the cannon was fired.

The brithers were lost to the grund.”

“About ta fecht, in a gruesome war,

Yin gaun taw steading for yin time more,

I’m laithe taw fecht but I know I must”

Interpreting Culloden (lower secondary school)

This is a great programme which let students get hands on with objects and start thinking about the bigger questions at the site.

Pupils get hands on with the objects thinking about what they are, why they would be on the battlefield and who might have used/owned them. They then head out onto the battlefield to think why objects are found on specific locations on the battlefield and the considerations of managing a site that is also the location of mass graves.

The idea of speaking to a group of teenagers and young people about mass graves, child soldiering and other consequences of conflict  sounds challenging and slightly scary – however this session is incredibly rewarding and can provoke interesting debate and conversations which continue back in the classroom.

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Some of the objects used in Interpreting Culloden (S1-3 workshop)

 

If you would like more information on our schools programme check out our website or email culloden@nts.org.uk

All the best, The Culloden Team

Top 10 FAQs in the last 10 years

The current Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre first opened its doors 10 years ago this month. To mark the 10 years we thought we would share the top 10 most common FAQs.

  1. Who were the Jacobites? The Jacobites are followers of the exiled King James VII & II, and subsequently his son and grandson. They take their name from the Latin for James, Jacobus.
  2. What is the ’45? The conflict has many different names, the ’45 refers to the year 1745 when the rising began. You will see the conflict called a rebellion, uprising or rising. Here at Culloden we tend to call it the ’45.
  3. Was this Scotland v England? No. This was a conflict over the throne of Great Britain. King James VII & II had been exiled from the British throne and that’s what his grandson Charles Edward Stuart was trying to get back. (Scotland and England at the time of James’ exile had their own parliaments but one royal family who ruled over the British Isles. It wasn’t until the Act of Union 1707, which was passed by his daughter Queen Anne, that created the British parliament in London).
  4. Are there people buried here? Yes. It is estimated that between 1200-1600 people are buried in mass graves on the moor. If you take a walk around the moor you will see headstones marking some of the graves, while others are unmarked. These headstones were paid for by Duncan Forbes of Culloden in 1881 and represent some of the clans that fought here. The thing to remember is that these headstones were put in after the battle and do not represent all the individuals who will be buried onsite.25613 Culloden 259
  5. Did my family fight here? This is a question we are asked at least once a day and it’s hard to answer. On our Facebook page we put up information from Families of the ’45 which talks about certain clans and their roles on both sides. This is a really complicated conflict and the thing to remember is some families had split loyalties or were staunchly pro-Government or pro-Jacobite.
  6. Did they film Outlander here? No. The Culloden moor scenes were not filmed on site. But they have filmed at some of our other beautiful National Trust for Scotland sites including Falkland Palace and Culross in Fife,  for a full list of all filming locations across Scotland check out VisitScotland’s  list.callanish
  7. Were the Jacobites always going to lose the battle of Culloden? The Jacobites were undefeated on the field until the battle of Culloden.  There are so many other events and decisions that contributed to the Jacobite loss at Culloden; from the impact of the cold and wet conditions during the infamous Night March on the 15 April to arguments amongst the commanders over where to place men on the day, the loss was no forgone conclusion.
  8. Are the Jacobites all Highlanders?No. Jacobites came from across the British Isles. Men like English Jacobite and Captain of the Manchester Regiment Francis Townley, to Charles Edward Stuart’s secretary, Irishman George Kelly, there were many non Highlanders who supported the Stuarts in exile. Participating in the ’45 there were Highlanders, Lowlanders (like William Home), Englishmen, Irishmen and members of the Royal Ecossaise and Irish Piquets which were Royal French Regiments .
  9. What happened to Prince Charles and the Duke of Cumberland? Prince Charles disbanded the Jacobite forces and attempted to get back to mainland Europe. The aftermath of Culloden saw over 3000 men, women and children arrested for treason and people living in the Highland brought under the Act of Proscription 1746. In September 1746, Prince Charles met up with a French rescue ship and sailed to France. On 5 November 1746 he wrote to his cousin King Louis XV to ask for 12,000 regular soldiers, money and provisions to go back to Britain to try again. This did not happen. William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland wanted to deal with the Jacobite threat quickly and go back to the ‘real war’ in Europe, the Wars of Austrian Succession. His brother and other contemporaries nicknamed him ‘the Butcher’ for his backing of the legal measures and severe treatment of the Highlands post Culloden. He was described by a contemporary as “proud and unforgiving, fond of war for its own sake”. In 1747 he returned to active service, he did not have another military victory after Culloden.  For more information check out other blog posts.
  10. Where is the battlefield? This seems like an odd one but a lot of people who visit the site for the first time aren’t quite sure how to get to the battlefield luckily we are always happy to point the way. Other frequent questions are where are the bathrooms/café/film show.

We have had a brilliant 10 years in the centre and met 100,000s of wonderful people from all over the world. Thank you for coming to visit us and if you haven’t made it yet 2018 is a fantastic year to come to Scotland!

All the best, The Culloden Team