Throwback Thursday: The Battle of Culloden 1746

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The Battle of Culloden Image One
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Two-hundred, seventy-four years ago, today, the Battle of Culloden (east of Inverness), also referred to as the Battle Of Drummossie was the last confrontation of the 1745 Jacobite Rising (Forty-Five Rebellion).

The battle […] is significant as the last pitched battle fought on the British mainland. It was also the last battle of the final Jacobite Rising that commenced in 1745 when Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie), grandson of the exiled King James VII & II, arrived in Scotland from France in July and raised his standard at Glenfinnan [in August]. His aim was to put his father on the throne in place of the Hanoverian George II.

The battle was a total and bloody defeat for the Jacobites which effectively marked the end of almost sixty years of the Jacobite struggle, as never again would an armed uprising be used in the attempt to return the Stuarts to the throne. The government victory also paved the way for a sustained programme to destroy the power base of the rebel clans.

Culloden (pronounced culawden, with the emphasis on ‘oden‘) is one of the most important battles in the history of the British Isles and has international significance. It is the final battle fought on the British mainland and brings to an end more than half a century […] of Jacobite conflict, itself played out against a background of wider international wars. Its aftermath transforms the Highlands, bringing to an end the traditional way of life of the area and contributing to the subsequent clearances. The battle also holds a prominent place within the Scottish cultural legacy, frequently depicted, and commemorated, in art, music, literature and film. The battlefield, itself, is one of the most visited tourist sites in the Highlands […]. [T]he site holds a particularly high significance, and emotional connection, to many within Scotland and to the ancestors of the Scottish Diaspora.

The official return for British Army casualties (government troops) was 50 officers, and men, killed and 259 wounded [with] one missing (a proportion of the wounded later died of their wounds). Jacobite fatalities have been estimated at between 1,200-1,500 with between 400 and 500 prisoners taken in the immediate aftermath and many more in the days which followed. Only the Irish and Scottish troops in French service were treated as bona fide prisoners of war, the rest as rebels.

The Battle of Culloden Image Two
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The battle, which lasted only 40 minutes, resulted in bitter defeat for the heavily outnumbered Jacobites. Led by the Duke of Cumberland, son of King George II, [the] devastating slaughter of the Jacobites was the result of the opening British cannonade and, subsequent tactics of the Redcoats during the attack […] when each British soldier, instead of attacking the Highlander directly in front of him, bayoneted the exposed side of the man to his right. The Highlanders finally broke and fled […].

Hunted by troops and spies, Prince Charles wandered over Scotland for five months before escaping to France and final exile. The [battle] […] marked the end of any serious attempt by the Jacobites to restore the Stuart dynasty to the British throne.

A generation before, a previous Jacobite rebellion had been thwarted by the king’s officer, George Wade, who had “pacified” and “disarmed” the highland clans. So concerned was the English establishment, and relieved by Wade’s actions, that an additional verse to the National Anthem was penned:
God grant the Marshal Wade
May be thy Mighty aid,
Victory bring;
May he sedition hush,
And like a torrent rush,
Rebellious Scots to crush,
God save the king

Fallout (Late Add):
The high ranking “rebel lords” were executed on Tower Hill in London. Britain enacted punitive laws to prevent the clans rising, again:
(1) Episcopal clergy were required to swear allegiance to the House of Hanover.
(2) The Heritable Jurisdictions Act 1749 abolished judicial rights of heritors, stripping estates from lords and clan chiefs.
(3) The Act of Proscription 1746 was enacted to destroy the clan system.
(4) The Dress Act 1746 made wearing the Highland Dress illegal in Scotland, except for the military-based kilt wearing of the Black Watch

Addendum: “Culloden is viewed by the Scottish people as a war grave. To my fellow Americans, stepping onto the Culloden battlefield would be like visiting Gettysburg or Normandy. And, since Scotland views it as a grave, you could also liken it to Arlington Cemetery. You don’t simply walk onto any of these places with a light spirit.” ~Brit At Heart

Ascanius (Web Archive)
Battle of Culloden (Britannica)
Battle of Culloden (British Battles)
Battle of Culloden (Historic Environment Scotland)
Battle of Culloden (Wikipedia)
Battle of Culloden Moor (Web Archive)
Culloden (National Trust for Scotland)
Culloden 1745 Culloden 2010 (Bluestocking)
Culloden Ghosts (About Aberdeen)
Culloden Moor (Web Archive)
The Battle of Culloden (Historic UK)

2020 Anniversary Lament

Documentary From 1964

13 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday: The Battle of Culloden 1746

    Leyla said:
    April 17, 2020 at 11:12 AM

    A very interesting read!!

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      April 17, 2020 at 3:07 PM

      Thank you. I’m glad you enjoyed. I try to make concise posts without re-writing history and/or re-inventing the wheel. I have added a few extra data points…stuff I forgot to add in the wee hours of the morning.

    badfinger20 said:
    April 18, 2020 at 1:22 AM

    I never heard of this battle before. I think you have taught me more about different battles than I learned in school. The British were brutal.

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      April 18, 2020 at 1:49 AM

      I’d never heard of this final battle, either but, I knew about the Jacobite Rising. And, I can’t remember where I learned of how controlling of the Scots the Brits were. There is a reason why nearly half of Scotland want to be disconnected from Britain, even today.

      And, think about this…Hadrian’s Wall was built by the Romans to keep the barbarian Picts out of their territory (England). The Scots are descendants of the Picts…

        badfinger20 said:
        April 18, 2020 at 2:07 AM

        I can see their reason…and Ireland has a reason to be upset with them also.

        Johnny Jones said:
        January 28, 2021 at 6:20 PM

        Britain and the Brits relate to Great Britain, which consists of Scotland,England and Wales. The Scots fought with the English. Hadrians Wall was built in England by the Romans to keep the Scots out of the England that was conquered by the Roman Army.

          The Hinoeuma responded:
          January 28, 2021 at 11:15 PM

          “Great Britain” is another term for “United Kingdom”, yes, bringing together Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Ireland is still it’s own country. The Isle of Man(n) (Manx) is self governing but, is a UK/Liz II protectorate. The Isle of Wight is part of England.

          There are those in Scotland that wish to separate. Sean Connery was one of them. He funded the Scottish Nationalist movement until the UK government stopped him.

          We both agree on Hadrian’s Wall.

    bereavedandbeingasingleparent said:
    April 21, 2020 at 5:10 AM

    Been to the site. It’s one of those places with a slightly unsettling atmosphere.

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      April 21, 2020 at 11:46 PM

      I’ll bet. It’s probably why one blogger said it was a-kin to Gettysburg. I’ve never been to Gettysburg but, I’ve heard it’s haunted.

    charliecountryboy said:
    May 31, 2020 at 3:56 PM

    Particularly interesting as I have been watching Highlander lately if you haven’t seen it; oh well, 😉 Why am I reading an old post you scream? Possibly not! But anyway I’m not stalking 😂 I was scrolling around and the title caught my eye hence the revisit, probably wasn’t watching Highlander the first time 😉

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      May 31, 2020 at 5:41 PM

      Oh, I LOVED the Highlander movies and the Series. I think the only series I didn’t see was the last…the one with Amanda in it.

      I don’t mind if you read an old post…or two…or five. WP will list suggestions based upon keywords or what you are reading. I get notices either way. The only posts that probably won’t show up are my older ones from 2014. I didn’t use a lot of tags for those so WP wouldn’t see them as much.

      The majority of my historical pieces are new to me. TRUE history isn’t taught anymore. I learn as I go.

        charliecountryboy said:
        June 1, 2020 at 2:20 AM

        Oh, yes the films, I loved them too but I meant the Series where she goes back in time through the Stones lol. It’s quite entertaining if a bit raunchy 😀

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