The Stuart's were kings of Scotland, England
and Ireland from 1603 till Queen Anne Stuart
died in 1714 without leaving an heir.
Queen Anne was succeeded by her second
cousin, the protestant George I of the House of
Hanover in Germany, who was a descendant of the
Stuart's through his maternal grandmother,
Elizabeth, a daughter of James VI and I.
With George being a protestant German, many
nobles in the UK campaigned to have George
replaced with Anne's catholic half-brother,
James Francis Edward Stuart.
This led to a series of battles known as the
Jacobite rebellions, from 1715 to 1746.
The first rebellion saw the Jacobite's win a
series of battles, taking control of most of
1716 early, the government forces had
regained control of Scotland, leading to James
Francis Stuart leaving from Montrose to live in
Avignon in France.
1745, the last Jacobite rising began led by
Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie),
in an attempt to overthrow George II.
Charles Edward Stuart was backed by the
French who were at war with the English at that
1745 September, the Jacobite's defeat
Government troops at the Battle of Prestonpans
by Edinburgh, winning the first major battle of
the second rising.
The success at Prestonpans, led to Jacobite
forces moving south, taking control of Carlisle
and as far south as Derby in England.
By December 1745, the Jacobite army had
began retreating whilst being attacked by a
number of English forces.
23rd December, the Battle of Inverurie was a
victory for the Jacobite's.
Late December, the Jacobite's lost control
of Carlisle during a siege that lasted nine
17th January 1746, the Jacobite's won at the
Battle of Falkirk.
20th March to 3rd April, the Jacobite's
failed to take control of Fort William.
15th April, Jacobite's were defeated at the
Battle of Littleferry.
16th April, the final defeat of the
Jacobite's was at the Battle of Culloden.
Battle of Culloden
The Battle of Culloden saw about 6,000
Jacobite's engage about 8,000 government
The Jacobite's are said to have had 12
cannon, and the Government forces 10 cannon and
The bulk of the Jacobite forces were
Scottish catholic Highlanders, also with some
English, Irish and French troops.
The Jacobite's were mainly armed with 3 feet
long broad swords, shields and pistols.
The Government forces were mainly English
protestants, also with a number of Scottish
mainly protestant forces.
Most of the Government forces were armed
with Flintlock rifles with bayonets, about 7
feet in length together. They were used in
close combat to form a wall of bayonets,
similar to pikes in battles of the 1300s.
These were only effective if troops held
their nerve and stayed close together.
The Jacobite forces were being hit by
Government cannon for about 20 minutes before
they were given the order to charge.
The Jacobite highland charge saw about 6,000
highlanders running towards the Government
troops waving swords, shields and yelling.
The highland charge had been successful in
many earlier battles, creating so much fear in
the opposing troops, they could not load their
weapons, and broke their lines to run off.
The charge at Culloden may not have been as
affective as other battles, as boggy ground
slowed the charge in places, much reducing the
fear factor of fast approaching screaming
The Government lines held at Culloden with
each soldier managing to fire about three
rounds per minute. The Government cannon also
began firing grape-shot to cause mass
The many Highlanders that made it to the
Government line, ran into a wall of bayonets,
as the line held firm. The outer Government
troops then moved round to encircle the
Highlanders and inflict mass casualties.
It is thought around 700 Jacobite's were
killed in one small area. Up to 1,500
Jacobite's are said to have died during the
battle that lasted less than an hour.
50 Government troops are said to have died
in the battle, many more from their wounds in
the days after.
Thousands of Jacobite's were taken prisoner
at the end of the battle, or over the following
weeks as they were hunted down.
Many prisoners were executed, died in
prison, or were transported to the
survived the battle, travelling to the Isle of
Sky, then back to France. He died in Rome of a
stroke on the 30th January 1788, aged 67.
The closest Stuart descendants are the
Stuarts of Mount Stuart mansion on the
Isle of Bute, and the Stuarts of Traquair House / Castle by
Peebles in the Borders.
If Scotland became independant, and wanted a
king or queen, these two families would be top
of the list.
1970, the National Trust for Scotland built
a visitor centre and began work to restore the
battle site, as close as possible, to how it
was at the time of the battle.