Damn Rebel Bitches: Women of the ’45

On the 30 September Maggie Craig will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of her classic book Damn Rebel Bitches: Women of the ’45. drb20

Damn Rebel Bitches takes a closer look at the roles women played in the Jacobite Rising of 1745 and the consequences it had on their lives.

Most people visiting Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre have heard the name Flora MacDonald, normally mentioning she helped Bonnie Prince Charlie when he dressed up as a woman, right…? Not necessarily knowing much else about her.

Many other women involved in the ’45 are virtually unheard of to some of our visitors. Here are just a couple which Maggie Craig looks at in her writing.

Barbara Campbell, red haired, age 19, and from Perthshire. She was described as tall and clever, she was arrested with seven other women on the Carlisle road in November 1745. On the 8 May 1747 Barbara was on the Veteran, a ship with 149 people destined for indentured service in Antigua. However, in a strange twist of fate Barbara and her fellow prisoners were rescued by a French ship.

Anne Stewart of Burray from Orkney was arrested for treason at her home in August 1746. Anne was transported to London by ship, she was then imprisoned on a prison hulk by Tilbury in Essex. She was imprisoned in a cabin on the ship (not the hold where common folk were kept) she slept on the floor and had the basic rate of subsistence, 4pence per day. She was transferred with the help of Colonel James Stuart, a government officer, to a house in Derby Court. After a trial, where her tenants testified against her, she was released under the general amnesty in July 1747 and went to live in Quality St in Leith.

Charlotte Robertson, Lady Lude was a young widow in her early 30’s and daughter of Jacobite supporter Lady Nairne, her cousin was the Jacobite Duke of Atholl, William. She threatened her tenants into joining the Jacobite army. Charlotte was described as a “…light gigelet…” and presented Prince Charles Edward Stuart with his first Pineapple! Her home was later plundered and vandalised by government soldiers and she was arrested. She was later released without charge.

Isabel Haldane of Ardsheal came to the attention of Captain Caroline Fredrick Scott of the government army. Scott, a notoriously nasty man,  arrived at her home in August 1746 and ransacked her entire house and cut down the trees in the orchard. The doors and wood panelling were removed and the contents were taken to Fort William to be sold. At the time Isobel was pregnant and had her children with her.

Hopefully the stories of these ladies has inspired you to join us at Maggie Craig’s celebration of Damn Rebel Bitches or pick up a copy of the book and be inspired by the stories of women caught up in the turbulent events of 1745/6. #DRB20

maggie craig

As always please like, share, comment, tweet and share your love of Maggie Craigs amazing works.

All the best, K & D



A Few Facts about Scotland

Here at Culloden we like to think we are a fairly well known piece of Scottish history and love to share the history of Culloden, and indeed Scotland, with our visitors but we’re sure there’s a few things about Scotland that you might not know.

For example, did you know that the Bank of Scotland was founded in 1695 and is the oldest surviving bank in Scotland and post-dates the Bank of England by just one year. In 1696, it became the first commercial bank in Europe to successfully issue paper currency, a function it still performs today. During the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745, the Bank of Scotland was forced to close its doors when Bonnie Prince Charlie’s army occupied the City of Edinburgh. All the Bank’s papers and valuables were transferred to Edinburgh Castle for safe-keeping. There they remained for two months, until the rebel army finally departed.

Or if you want a bit of architecture, why not try Marischal College? At 400ft long and 80ft high Marischal College in Aberdeen is the second largest granite building in the world after the royal residence and monastery of El Escorial near Madrid. Construction of the current Marischal College building began in the 1830s and a second phase was completed in 1906 which made it the second largest granite building in the world.

Marischal College in Aberdeen


We also have a few inventors in our history. In 1823 the Scottish chemist Charles Macintosh (1766- 1843) patented the waterproof cloth he used to make raincoats, after experimenting with waste rubber products from Glasgow’s new gas works. He was anxious to protect the secret of his new waterproof cloth so he chose Highland workers to work in his Glasgow factory as they only spoke Gaelic. His novel Mackintoshes immediately proved to be a hit, though at first the rubbery substance became brittle and stiff in extremely cold weather, luckily this problem was resolved.

The Macintosh Coat


Not only that but Scotland is home to quite a few ‘firsts’!

  • In 1772 Scotland became the first country to make lefthand travel a national law, applying to all city traffic. Offenders were fined 20 shillings.
  • In 1794 Scottish engineer William Murdoch built the first-ever house to be lit by gas.
  • In 1862 St Andrews welcomed Britains first female student.

And we also have quite a few claims to fame when it comes to sport:

  • The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers in Muirfield is the oldest organised golf club in the world. The club’s records date continuously back to 1744. Muirfield Village in Columbus, Ohio, was founded by golf champion Jack Nicklaus, and named after Muirfield, East Lothian.
  • The world’s first international rugby match was played at Raeburn Place, Edinburgh on 27 March 1871, with Scotland playing England and the world’s first international football match, again Scotland v England, took place on 30 November 1872 at Hamilton Crescent in Glasgow.
  • The town of Sanquhar has the world’s oldest curling society, formed in 1774 with sixty members. And as an added bonus the post office at Sanquhar, established in 1712, claims to be the oldest working post office in the world.

We hope you enjoyed these fun facts about Scotland. As always please like, share, tweet, comment and we’ll keep hunting for more interesting facts to tempt you with.

All the best, K & D