Culloden (i)

Drummossie Moor, site of the Battle of Culloden, where Bonnie Prince Charlie suffered his first and only defeat at the end of the ’45, otherwise known as the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745-6 (an event which signalled the end of the old Highland way of life,) is one of the more dispiriting places I have visited. It seems a godforsaken area for men to have died over. I went there again this year when the good lady’s blog friend Peggy was over from the US in May. For some strange reason, though, it wasn’t as depressing this time as last. Maybe it was the presence of a Visitor Centre (built in the interim) which made it seem not so bleak and remote.

This is a close-up view of the government (Hanoverian) line – marked by the red flag.

Culloden battlefield

Thios one was taken from the centre of the battlefield. Away in the distance (blue flags) is the Jacobite start line.

Culloden

This is looking back to the Governent lines (red flags) from the battlefield’s centre.

Culloden Battlefield

A cairn lies at the battlefield centre:-

Culloden Memorial Cairn

The cairn’s wording is slightly inaccurate. Yes, they fought for Prince Charlie, but in the main they fought for their clan chief (feudally) and not for Scotland per se.

Wording on Culloden Memorial Cairn

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2 comments

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  1. Denis Cullinan

    Hello Jack—

    I read all of the Waverley novels (hooray for me!), some more than once, and I still don’t know the difference between 1715 and 1745. I would have made a lousy history student, so at university I decided to become a lousy chemistry student instead. I remember reading somewhere that the English at Culloden were later taken to task for killing the defeated wounded and giving no quarter when they could have taken prisoners. Any truth to this, or is it just a bitter pseudo-memory?
    There’s an obscure street about five miles from where I live named “Culloden Place.” Odd, because there’s not the least hint of Scottishness within 3,000 miles of here, excepting my Scottish son-in-law, who lives a half mile from me and Wifey.

  2. jackdeighton

    Denis,
    The 1715 rebellion was pretty low key with only one (inconclusive) battle, at Sheriffmuir, after which the Jacobites failed to press any advantage.
    In 1745/6 Bonnie Prince Charlie effectively won Scotland by defeating Johnnie Cope at Prestonpans (see my post http://jackdeighton.co.uk/2015/04/26/battlefield-of-prestonpans/) and got as far south as Derby, 60 or so miles from London, before retreating.
    And yes, Cumberland’s soldiers did kill the defeated wounded and carried out what would now be considered atrocities/war crimes on local non-combatants in the battle’s aftermath. A fair number of captured rebels were also executed for treason later, but that was the custom at the time.

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