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

Before the Battle of Culloden in 1746, what Highland men wore could be divided into two categories: Highland dress and non-Highland dress. When not in Highland dress, their clothing was similar to that being worn in the rest of western Europe, apart from the occasional addition of tartan here and there. Richer men could afford a greater variety of clothing, as well as better fabrics and cuts.

Highland dress, on the other hand, was very distinct. First, the man would have put on a loose-fitting thigh-length white linen shirt, which was also considered underwear and was often used as a nightshirt. Next, he would have put on belted plaid (known as the great kilt), a kilt or trews. Belted plaid consists of between four and six yards of sixty inch fabric. The pleats in the plaid were hand folded, and it was secured either by tying or belting it, or by the use of pins. A kilt was generally half the length of the great kilt, and the trews (the word originates from the Gaelic for trousers) were short tartan trousers, made of wool and worn with thigh-high socks.

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A couple of our volunteers dressed as Jacobite soldiers


On his top half, the man would have worn a waistcoat and a woollen coat or jacket. The waistcoats were usually cut a little longer than the jackets, and both were shorter than average so that they could be easily worn with the kilts. The waistcoat and Highland jacket were usually of different tartans. A neckerchief was also worn, which offered a little protection against blades.

The Highland bonnet was made of wool and was usually blue, green or red. It was at least twelve inches in width and was worn flat across the head. On the bonnet a white cockade (fabric fashioned in the shape of a rose) was attached to show that the wearer was a Jacobite. A sprig of the man’s clan plant would have been worn at the front of the bonnet so that he could be identified, and the chiefs, sub-chiefs and other senior clan officials would also wear feathers on their bonnets.

Highland men wore brogues, worn with woollen bag socks. The brogues tied, and if he had enough money, a man could buy better-quality brogues that came with a buckle. Riding boots were worn with trews, but not kilts; men wearing kilts either went barefoot or wore gillies (open sandal-like shoes that tied up the calf). Along with the chosen weapons, a man would have also worn a belt and a sporran. The sporran was necessary for carrying money and other small important objects, as the kilt had no pockets.

The Royal Dress Act of 1746, which was introduced several months after the Battle of Culloden, greatly restricted the wearing of Highland dress. Certain groups of people, such as the gentry, men serving in the Highland regiments and women, were exempt from the ban; for others, however, harsh punishment was promised to those caught wearing Highland dress; for example, if a man was caught wearing Highland dress twice, he ran the risk of being sent to a plantation for seven years.

We hope your enjoyed this little foray into clothing. As always please like, share, tweet and comment.

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.

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

‘Gentle Lochiel’ – Chief of Clan Cameron

One of the more well known characters of the ’45 Rising was Donald Cameron of Lochiel who was the 19th clan chief of Clan Cameron.

Donald Cameron of Lochiel


The Cameron clan were traditionally loyal to the Stuarts and fought in both the 1715 and 1719 Risings so, when Prince Charles Edward Stuart landed in Scotland in 1745, he quickly sent word to Lochiel in order to gain his support and his influence.

However, Lochiel, like many men at the time, had misgivings and initially sent his brother Archibald Cameron to meet with the Prince. On 19th August though Prince Charles was waiting at Glenfinnan when he saw Lochiel approaching with some 800 Cameron men forming the largest support of the Jacobite army.

Lochiel was considered a loyal and fair man and became known as ‘Gentle Lochiel’. After the Battle of Prestonpans he ordered that all the Government men should be taken care of and receive adequate medical attention. Similarly, when the Jacobite army marched through Glasgow, he ensured there were no reprisals for not supporting Prince Charles. Indeed to this day city bells are rung when the present Cameron of Lochiel enters the city.

Lochiel took part in all the major battles of the ’45 Rising. The Camerons were instrumentally in the seizing of Edinburgh and fought in the successful attack at the Battle of Prestonpans. Late in 1745 Lochiel was even made Governor of Edinburgh. It is reported that having secured Edinburgh Lochiel counselled Prince Charles to stop and strengthen his hold on Scotland. However, Prince Charles was determined to continue and Lochiel continued on the campaign down to Derby and back.

At Culloden the Camerons were positioned on the front line and struck the front line of the Government men. After the battle the Lochiel home of Achnacarry was burned to the ground and Lochiel was forced to go on the run. He eventually met up with Prince Charles in the hiding place of Clunys cave before both men managed to flee to France.

We hope you enjoyed this short insight into Lochiel. As always please like, share, tweet, comment and definitely read more about the Camerons of Lochiel who are a fascinating family.

All the best, D



A Fight for Freedom…

The story of John Wedderburn of Ballindean and Joseph Knight is wonderfully intriguing and was begging to be shared here.

In 1745 Johns father joined the Jacobite army to fight with Prince Charles Edward Stuart. He served as a colonel but after the Battle of Culloden was captured and held prisoner. Eventually he was taken south to London where he awaited trial. On 4th November 1746 he was tried for treason and found guilty. John followed his father south and is said to have pled for his fathers life amongst his fathers friends. Unfortunately, he was unsuccessful and his father was hung, drawn and quartered on 28th November.

Following his fathers death John made his way back north to Scotland where he found himself with little inheritance and no prospects in his home country. Whilst in Glasgow he managed to convince the captain of a ship to let him work for passage to the Caribbean where hopefully he would find better chances for himself.

Eventually John landed in Jamaica and it was here he based himself for the next few years. The island, which had previously been seized by the Spanish, was quickly emerging as a centre for exportation and sugar production. John apparently tried his hand at a number of jobs including working as a doctor despite having no qualification for this. Finally though he managed to get some land and entered the profitable world of sugar production.

Over time his business prospered and he acquired more land becoming, at one time,  Jamaicas largest landowner, owning some 10% of the island. He soon had other members of his family joining him and owned vast estates on the island as Britain became one of the largest consumers of sugar.

In 1762 John purchased a young African boy called Joseph Knight. John decided that rather than working the fields like many slaves Joseph would be a house boy and saw that he was taught to read and write. Some years later in 1769 John returned to Scotland and brought Joseph with him.

For a while everything went well. John met and married Margaret Ogilvy and Joseph met a servant girl from Dundee named Annie Thompson and John gave the pair permission to marry as well. However, in 1778 Joseph became aware of a ruling that had occurred in England which held that slavery did not exist under English law. Assuming this would be the same in Scotland Joseph demanded his freedom and asked for backdated wages from John who refused his claim.

John felt he had treated Joseph well, he had given him an education and taken care of him, and was apparently not impressed at Josephs actions against him. When Annie fell pregnant John dismissed her and refused to allow Joseph to go with her. Joseph packed his bags to leave but John had him arrested and thrown in jail. Joseph then brought a claim before the Justice of Peace court against John. Initially things moved in Johns favour and the Justice of the Peace found against Joseph but he appealed to the Sherriff Court who found in Josephs favour. It was then taken to the Court of Session in Edinburgh who again found in Josephs favours. Finally Joseph succeeded in arguing that he should be allowed to leave domestic service and provide a home for his wife and child.

John Wedderburn was the first time a man was taken to court by another to claim their freedom. We hope you enjoyed reading the story of John and Joseph. As always please keep sharing, tweet, commenting and joining us for more intriguing stories.

All the best, K & D





Touch Pieces and the ‘Royal Touch’

Our recent visit to the National Museums of Scotland in Edinburgh was a fantastic trip and the collections of objects on show was brilliant. Amongst the artefacts were some unique touch pieces that were used during the Jacobites Risings.

Touch pieces were typically a coin or a medal that was believed to cure diseases or bring good luck. During the Jacobites Risings the Stuarts were believed to have the ‘royal touch’ and they were able to help cure people simply by touching them.

An example of a touch piece


Most Jacobite touch pieces were used to help cure people of scrofula, a form of tuberculosis. The disease was also known as the ‘King’s or Queen’s Evil’ and many people “found” themselves cured after being touched by a monarch. This was seen to be proof that the monarch had the divine right to rule directly from God. However, scrofula was not generally fatal and could cure itself but that didn’t stop the idea of the ‘royal touch’ from growing.

When James VII & II was deposed and William and Mary took the throne they refused to participate in the ‘royal touch’. This furthered the idea for some Jacobites that Mary and William were not the rightful heirs to the thrones. When Mary’s sister, Anne took the throne she apparently shared William and Mary’s views and did not wish to touch people but her advisers convinced her to restart the practice.

Prince Charles Edward Stuart


All the Jacobite Stuarts, including Charles Edward Stuart and his brother Henry Benedict Stuart, were known to have carried out the ceremony to help cure their followers. There are lots of records of Jacobite touch pieces being made, it is believed the majority were made from silver, although there were gold versions produced.

The Stuart royal family were one of the last main users of touch pieces in British history as the practice eventually stopped, many believe this is because it was seen as too Catholic.

We hope you enjoyed finding out a wee bit more about touch pieces as always please like, tweet, comment, share and be sure to check out the Jacobite exhibition at the NMS in Edinburgh for yourselves.

All the best, K & D






Jacobite Jaunt

This week was time for our annual Jacobite Jaunt, where we head off with our volunteers to explore more sites that tackle Jacobite history. This year there was really only one choice for our destination and that was the National Museum of Scotland, which is running a special Jacobite exhibition, from 23rd June to 12th November, this year.

The National Museum of Scotland (NMS), which can be found in Edinburgh, is a beautiful building and worth a visit any time you head to the capital, but this year it is extra special as it hosts one of the largest exhibitions of Jacobite history for at least 70 years.

Following on from their very successful exhibition around Mary, Queen of Scots the NMS have now formed a fantastic display of artefacts including weapons, letters, portraits and unique trinkets that take the visitor on a dramatic journey through the whole of Jacobite history.

When we arrived at the museum we were lucky enough to have a short talk with one of the curators before being shown around by one of their excellent volunteer guides. Needless to say we were all very keen and excited to be visiting and we were not disappointed.

Ticket for the exhibtion


The exhibition covers the whole of the Stuart dynasty breaking down the action into sections so that the highly complex story is taken in nice manageable stages. The objects on display are fascinating and we all spent hours in the exhibit trying to take in every bit of detail. The collection is comprised of pieces from the NMS as well as many other collections throughout Britain and Europe.

One of our highlights was seeing our own sword, known as the ‘Brodie Sword’ on display in the exhibition. It was lovely to see it on display in the capital and taking part in such an iconic exhibition alongside other incredible displays. Also on display are stunning letters and articles that, if you have the time, are wonderful to read. There are some great portraits and images that carry through subtle messages of power and monarchy. We also spotted a beautiful pin cushion embroidered with the names of men who fell at Culloden which was a lovely personal and sentimental item to see.  The exhibition covers the history very well and it was great to follow the journey right from 1688 all the way through to Culloden and beyond.

The Brodie Sword in the exhibtion


If you are in Edinburgh we strongly recommend visiting the exhibition. We were all very reluctant to leave and it would have been easy to spend a day in the beautiful museum. The NMS has done a fantastic job and it is a great spot to begin your introduction to Jacobites before you head north to see us!

As always please like, share, comment, tweet and let us know if you have been to the exhibition.

All the best,

K & D





The Incredible Rout of Moy

The Rout of Moy is a fantastic story in the Jacobite Rising of ’45 and one that we had to share with you.

In the early months of 1746 Prince Charles Edward Stuart was making his way north on his long retreat from Derby. The Jacobite army had split into two parties who were to regroup in the neighbourhood of Inverness. Lord George Murray led one faction along the coast road whilst Prince Charles heading straight through the mountains up the centre of the country.

By 16th February 1746 Prince Charles had reached the town of Moy where he and a few of his men were entertained at Moy Hall. The seat of the chief of the MacKintosh clan he was entertained by none other than Lady Anne MacKintosh who had helped raise the clan for the Jacobite army. Meanwhile in Inverness Lord Loudon, one of the Government leaders, had caught wind that Prince Charles was in Moy and planned a surprise attack to capture the Prince.

Lady Anne MacKintosh


As evening came in Lord Loudon set off with 1,500 men to enact his plan for capture. As they left though it is believed that the daughter of an innkeeper heard of the plan and set off to reach Moy Hall before the Government troops. She managed to reach the Hall and warn the Prince but the Government were not far behind and unprepared for an attack he had very few men with him to provide assistance. The Prince fled into the countryside whilst the dozen or so men that had been found set about forming their own counter attack.

As Lord Loudon and his men approached the Jacobite men positioned themselves around the road and began to make a great noise, shouting out to fictional regiments, banging their targes and running about to make it appear there was  an entire army waiting. Their are suggestions that when they fired on the Government men they did so one at a time to help create the illusion of more men. As Loudons men approached they feared the worst and believing the lie that their were many men waiting retreated in panic. Thus, 1,500 soldiers were defeated by just a dozen men. (Some say it was even less with suggestions it was as few as just four men who saw the Government off)

Illustration of the Rout of Moy (Victorian Web)


The next day a Government council of war decided the Lord Loudon should retreat away from Inverness and  move north over the Black Isle. This meant that Prince Charles was able to formally enter Inverness on 18th February where he regrouped with Lord Murray and the rest of his men two days later.

We hope you enjoyed this incredible story and as always please share, comment, like, tweet and keep coming back for more.

All the best, K & D