San Diego Scottish Highland Games

History of the Jacobite Rising

History of the Jacobite Rising

Songs and fables have done the true history of the Jacobite Rising a high injustice. This now, romanticized, time in history which was a gory, rebellious, bloody and rather bleak time in Scottish history. War ravaged through the country throughout the 17th and 18th centuries as the countries political powers struggled to restore power to the Stuarts to the throne and this was the rock that set the waves into motion that would eventually lead to the horrific Battle of Culloden which would change the entire organization of the Highlands forever. 

The Jacobite Rising started in 1689-1690 with James VII, who was the last Roman Catholic monarch who reigned over three countries: England, Scotland and Ireland. Viscount Dundee, who was one of James’ most avid supports and was able to rally the troops under a single flag and turned the military direction against William and Mary’ political forces. This was the first Jacobite rising was known for the Massacre of Glensoe in 1692, Battles of Killiecrankie and Dunkeld Siege in 1689.

In 1707, the two countries of Scotland and England were united under a single front of those who supported the Jacobite cause. By this time James Vlll who was trying to take his claim to the throne, twice actually! First in 1708 when the Jacobite pretender to the French throne, the presumed James VIII and his French allies, attempted to commandeer land in Scotland to incite a rising but instead were tricked and outflanked by the Royal Navy. 

Then in 1715, the Jacobites allied with Spain, led by Lord Tullibardine and the Earl of Mar. The Earl of Mar however showed himself to be a terrible military leader. He was not a strong fighter and proved to be a coward leader in the Battle at Sherriffmuir when the Jacobites were outnumbered by Hanoverian troops. Later in 1715 the Duke of Argyll, who was the Scottish government’s commander of the North boarder, believed that the Jacobitism as a major political problem that could be resolved by convincing the Jacobite nobles what the benefits would be if they sided with London. 

It was nearly thirty years before there was another invasion or mention of Jacobite Rebellion.  After being unable to persuade the French monarch to invade in 1744, Prince Charles nicknamed “the Young Pretender”, spent nearly a year working on raising the funding his own uprising. So, he sailed from France to Scotland, travelled across the Highlands and assembled a second Jacobite Army. The second Jacobite rising was known primarily for the Battle of Prestonpans and the Battle of Falkirk in 1745 and the Battle of Culloden in 1746. The failure of the 1745 rising was nothing less than the short-lived of a way of life. Jacobite Rising is now a romanticized and celebrated all over the world as the spirit of Scottish culture. Yet there are few people who recognize in this day and age that there were many people living in Scotland at the time who, for religious or economic reasons, wanted this passing.

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