The Battle of Culloden April 16, 1746

This year marks the 275th anniversary of Culloden.

On April 16, 1746, The Battle of Culloden, the final confrontation of the Jacobite Rising of 1745 will be commemorated this year, virtually.

Culloden was the last pitched battle to be fought on British soil. The forces loyal to Bonnie Prince Charlie, the Young Pretender, were defeated by the Duke of Cumberland’s government army, on Drummossie Moor, overlooking Inverness.

The 20-foot-high memorial cairn was erected by Duncan Forbes in 1881. Forbes was the owner of Culloden House, which had been in the hands of his family since the 17th century, and was the descendant of a key figure on the government side in 1746.

The Jacobite Rising was an attempt to overthrow the House of Hanover and restore the House of Stuart to the British throne.

The Battle of Culloden, oil on canvas, David Morier, 1746. (Public Domain)

To be a Jacobite meant that you were a supporter of the deposed James II and VII, king of England, Scotland and Ireland and his descendants in their claim to the British throne. The Revolution of 1688, marked the time James II was replaced by his daughter, Mary II and her husband, William III of Orange,

The Rising of 1745 was the last Jacobite attempt to regain the throne. Previous risings occurred in 1689–90, 1715 and 1719. After the final defeat at the Battle of Culloden, Jacobite supporters were executed and imprisoned and homes in the Highlands were burned.

Today, 275 years after the Battle of Culloden, we have seen a return to the wearing of tartan, the playing of bagpipes and the speaking of the Gaelic language.

Please join me on the fields of Culloden.

This week on Tea Toast & Trivia, Dr. Leith Davis will be joining me to discuss The Lyon in Mourning. This is an exciting discussion that will provide insight on the 1745 Jacobite Rising.

55 Thoughts

    1. Every time I visited Culloden, I felt a sense of reverence, of quietness. By the way, do listen in to Dr. Leith Davis on Tea Toast & Trivia, tomorrow. She will talk about Robert Forbes who wrote down stories of these brave men and women. I know that you will enjoy this discussion.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Hi Rebecca, you have said here just what I wanted to say. There is a sense of sadness and history at this site. The ghosts of the dead walk just beyond my line of vision, but I can feel them. I loved Dr Leith Davis’ talk.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. ‘Glencoe, Sheriffmuir, Culloden. These were spectres still to haunt us. We knew nothing of them then. Nothing but our grief for something that had already passed.’ Hope you don’t me sharing these words from a play I wrote and toured many years ago–the 300th of Killiecrankie, actually. Culloden. Quite a post. Quite a place. too. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Liked by 5 people

      1. xxxx Rebecca. Glad you didn’t mind. Graham of Claverhouse who led in 1689 first rising was Viscount Dundee (being a Dundee lass got to get that in) and lived for a time at Dudhope Castle. I got really interested in the Jacobies when I did them for 6th year history, where you got to specialise. And that play was about him. (Cos I always thought there was scope here!!) It was quite something to perform it in Blair Castle on the 300th because that is where his army marched from that day. Special meaning for that scene.

        Liked by 4 people

      2. It was. We were in the big baronial hall too. Just something else. We had toured it in all kinds of places–in fact by the end if I’d saud, we’re doing this in the local phone box tonight, the long-suffering cast would have got it!– but that one was a stand out. And it was such an exciting week, TV, radio interviews, being at other venues, being part of the procession afterwards up to Claverhouse’s grave at Old Blair,

        Liked by 3 people

    1. An interesting thought, Klausbernd. Looking back there have been many hinges in history that have changed the trajectory of human history. It is a reminder that we experience these hinges as well, in a personal way. One decision can lead to new directions. In out existence, there is no turning back the clock, so we are unable to see where the other alternatives would have taken us. I think of Robert Frost’s poem, The Road Not Travelled. https://vimeo.com/362146949

      Sending many hugs and much love to my dear friends, the Fab Four of Cley.

      Liked by 3 people

    1. I learned something new too. I think that is the best part about blogging – the exploration of history, of new ideas, of virtual travel! We never will have enough time to read all of the books we want to read, so hearing from others is a great way to expand our knowledge. I will never be able to travel to all the places that I would like to travel, so it is fun to tag along with a blogger friends. I am delighted that you joined me at Culloden.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Excellent, informative, sobering post, Rebecca — including the evocative video. As you might know, The Battle of Culloden and its aftermath/ramifications play an outsized role in Diana Gabaldon’s early “Outlander” novels — especially the first book. Gabaldon expertly got into why the battle happened and how it affected its participants and survivors.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I understand that my long-ago Scottish ancestors were on the side of the Jacobites and decided to make the move from Scotland to North America. But there is much more to the Scottish diaspora because voluntary immigration occurred over the centuries: “At the height of the industrial revolution in the late 18th and early 19th centuries immigration was a fact of life for many Scots. But while the infamous clearances led to many Highland and island communities being forcefully dispersed by landowners, there were thousands more who voluntarily chose to leave their homeland and were grateful for the opportunity to do so.” https://www.scotsman.com/whats-on/arts-and-entertainment/scottish-diaspora-how-scots-spread-across-globe-1484633. Consider that our first Prime Minister of Canada came from Glasgow. And then there was Tommy Douglas, named the greatest Canadian, who was born in 1904 in Camelon, Falkirk. But I digress – that is another amazing story for another post.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. Thus happy we are that Tommy Douglas, indeed rightly named the greatest Canadian, came on the scene to the exceptional benefit of all Canadians. As nothing is perfect I have a very different opinion about Canada’s first Prime Minister. Despite the saying that we can’t win them all, the Scottish mark and contribution to our Canada, is second to none from coast to coast to coast which remains forever in evidence, well nearly, save our once beloved railway once from end to end of this country no longer so, no thanks to a Brian Mulroney of different clan, non Scottish that is. As I said, can’t win them all!

        Liked by 2 people

    1. You are right, Martina. The battle lasted for 40 minutes, the cultural memory of this event has lasted for 275 years. I am glad that you joined me at Culloden, Martina. Thank you for your kind comments with regard to the video. The photos were taken in 2008. It was a lovely autumn day in September. The rain clouds had cleared and the sun came out just as we walked along the pathway.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree, of course, with you dear friend, that we have to speak about the wars ,which bring/brought us so much suffering, but sometimes I’m just fed up with us people, who never seem to learn from all these tragedies!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Several years ago I read The Art of War. I confess that I did not like the title, but I recognized immediately, as I started to read the book (actually listen as it came from an oral tradition), that it was about keeping peace in the land. Conflict has always been with us, and the consequences of how we respond, even in our everyday interactions, will live with us. This is the last words that I have kept close at hand:

        “No ruler should put troops into the field merely to gratify his own spleen; no general should fight a battle simply out of pique. Anger may in time change to gladness; vexation may be succeeded by content. But a kingdom that has once been destroyed can never come again into being; nor can the dead ever be brought back to life. Hence the enlightened ruler is heedful, and the good general full of caution. This is the way to keep a country at peace and an army intact.” Sun Tzu, The Art of War

        Liked by 2 people

      3. I absolutely love how you describe the consequences to conflicts and these words will certainly help me to sleep well!
        It seems that Mao took Sunzi’s or Sun Tzu’s book as an example, but was certainly completely unable to follow the teachers advice to possibly solve conflicts without violence!
        Thank you very much for having mentioned “The Art of War” from which we could certainly learn a lot, even though it was written approx. 5oo BC.

        Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you for joining me at Culloden. I think that you would be interested in a poem by Robert Burns: Lament for Culloden

      THE lovely lass o’ Inverness,
      Nae joy nor pleasure can she see;
      For e’en to morn she cries, “Alas!”
      And aye the saut tear blin’s her e’e:

      “Drumossie moor—Drumossie day—
      A waefu’ day it was for me!
      For there I lost my father dear,
      My father dear, and brethren three.

      “Their winding-sheet the bluidy clay,
      Their graves are growin’ green to see;
      And by them lies the dearest lad
      That ever blest a woman’s e’e!

      “Now wae to thee, thou cruel lord,
      A bluidy man I trow thou be;
      For mony a heart thou has made sair
      That ne’er did wrang to thine or thee!”

      Liked by 4 people

    1. Shivers – those are the exact words to define what I felt when I read Robert Burns poetry. I looked up the dates of his birth which was January 25, 1759, just 14 years after the 1745 Jacobite Rising. The stories were still freshly remembered. But was our dear Robert Burns, even though Culloden was before his birth, who was able to use poetry to keep the story alive for us today. Thank you for joining me at Culloden!!! Hugs!!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. This is a very interesting history/discussion/introduction to a very important time in this part of our world’s history. There us so much more to learn about this time and place and people. I am looking forward to your next podcast that will add to this important people and their time and experience. I was impressed with the photos of the messages on the rocks that you included! Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. There are pivotal times in history that change the trajectory of the world. We are experiencing such a time now, as the world faces the Covid19 challenge. You will enjoy Leith’s podcast discussion – I never heard of Robert Forbes or The Lyon in Mourning before. Thank you so much for stopping by and for your thought comments. Hugs!!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank you for this fascinating look back at history, it is sad, so much bloodshed and hardship. reminds me of my own roots , my ancestors from Wakes and Ireland having been forced by famine to the new world they were not greeted kindly and it seems that each immigrant that enters here must suffer the rite of passage. Have a wonderful day dear Rebecca.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. My dear Holly – I am delighted that you joined me at Culloden. My father, who was always trying to tempt me with a new book, suggested John Haywood’s “The Great Migrations, from the earliest Humans to the Age of Globalization.” I was interested in looking at past migrations, now that forecasts of climate migration suggest staggering outcomes. This from the book: “Human migration has been incessant, with the numbers of people on the move increasing constantly, keep step with the growth of human population. It is its ceaseless nature that makes migration one of the great driving forces of world history, spreading technology and ideas, and creating and destroying nations and empires.” The question that comes to me – how can we build and sustain compassionate communities? How do we share resources? How do we become a global family? I believe that poetry, books, art and all creative endeavours will be an essential element as we learn to adapt and embrace complexities. Sending many hugs your way, Holly. Thank you for your poetry….

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I adore history, and take from it both the good and bad. Klausbernd’s comment is more than interesting.
    I’ve already got your new podcast up. I’ll have to listen after dinner. It’s sure to be a fabulous one.
    You have really smart/intelligent followers. {{hugs}}

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree, Resa – history gives us the good and the bad. I believe that looking back at the past, allows us to explore and embrace the nature of empathy and compassion. History is an intensely personal journey for we meet up with people who have struggled and thrived within difficult circumstances. I love our conversations. I know you will enjoy listening to Leith on The Lyon in Mourning. Sending many hugs!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Very nicely put. And I thoroughly enjoyed your video. Battlefields can be, inevitably, such evocative places and Culloden is no exception. The battle was brutal and much of the aftermath would be considered a war crime today. But, really, it was all about Bonnie Prince Charlie – last time I was there, I got so angry. In the big picture, fortunately, he lost!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am delighted that you joined me at Culloden. Every time we visited this long-ago battlefield, I was amazed by the silence even when there were other visitors. When I looked across the moor to where the land had been reclaimed for farming, it was a reminder that the earth remains. Check our this link – Dr. Leith Davis speaks about The Lyon in Mourning. I think you will find it very interesting: https://anchor.fm/teatoasttrivia/episodes/Dr–Leith-Davis-on-The-Lyon-in-Mourning-euprav

      I am enjoying following your posts. We were to have been in England last August and will be heading over to your side when travel comes back. In the meantime, I love travelling virtually through your website.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. As others have mentioned, I’m not sure I’d want to be cutting and baling hay by myself towards the end of the day. I wonder about the ‘feel’ of a place where so many lost so much.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think you would find Culloden a place of reflection and tranquility. I felt that history was telling me that there was a better way to resolve conflict whether it be nations or in our personal interactions with others. Thank you for stopping by me for your insightful comments.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Cultural memory is embedded in every step taken along the path. Maybe it was my imagination, but there was a profound silence over the battlefield. I did not hear any birds – only the sounds of wind passing through the grass.

      Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply to Clanmother Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.