James Browne.

The history of Scotland, its Highlands, regiments and clans (Volume 4) online

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Online LibraryJames BrowneThe history of Scotland, its Highlands, regiments and clans (Volume 4) → online text (page 1 of 27)
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Ferment in Edinburgh — Forces ordered to the west — Con-
centration of troops at Stirling — Advance of Mackay to
Perth, who cuts off a party of Athole men — March of
Cannan to the north, followed by Mackay, who enters
Aberdeen — Marches to Strathbogie — Cannan holds a
council of war — Return of Cannan to the south — Skirmish
at Brechin — Defeat of the Highlanders at Dunkeld by the
Cameronians — Capture of the Castles of Blair and Finlarig
by Mackay's forces — Plot to restore King James discovered

— Arrival of Major-General Buchan from Ireland, who
holds a council of war — Marches to the north — Skirmish
at Cromdale — March of Mackay to Inverlochy — Erection
of Fort William — Movements of Buchan and Cannan in
the Lowlands — A part of the Farquharsons cut off by Colo-
nel Cunningham — Return of Mackay to the north —
Arrives at Inverness — Retreat of Buchan — The Earl of
Seaforth imprisoned — Cessation of hostilities — Departure

of Dundee's officers for France 1


Dundee's officers in France
History of Dundee's officers after their retirement to France . 39

Massacre of Glenco 62



The Darien Company — Its progress and suppression —
Death of the young Duke of Gloucester — Hopes of the
Jacobites — Act of Succession passed — Death of James II

— His character — Death and character of King William —
Accession of the Princess Anne — Proceedings in the Scottish



Parliament — Conspiracy of Simon Fraser, Lord Lovat —
Struggles in the Scottish Parliament about the succession —
Nomination of Commissioners to treat about a Union with
England — Ferment in Scotland against the Union —
Hooke's negotiation — Preparations in France for invading
Scotland — Sailing of the French with the Chevalier de St.
George — Unsuccessful result of the expedition — State of
Scotland — Proceedings of the Jacobites — Death of Queen
Anne 83



Proceedings of the Whig ministry — Declaration of the Cheva-
lier de St. George — Meeting of the Parliament — Arrival
of George I in England — Conduct of the Earl of Mar —
New Parliament assembled — Intrigues of the Jacobites —
Character of the Earl of Mar — Departs from England to
erect the standard of revolt in Scotland — Summons a
meeting of the Jacobites under the pretence of a hunting-
match — Addresses the meeting, and informs them of his
designs — Principal Jacobite chiefs summoned to appear at
Edinburgh — The Chevalier de St. George proclaimed by
Mar, who raises the standard of revolt in Braemar — Sends
a circular letter to the gentlemen of Perthshire — Issues a
declaration — Letter by Mar to the bailie of Kildrummy —
Death of Louis XIV — Manifesto of the Jacobite chiefs . 125



Active measures of the government to suppress the insurrection
— Ineffectual attempt to surprise the castle of Edinburgh —
Duke of Argyle appointed to the command of the govern-
ment forces — Expeditions of General Gordon and Campbell
of Glenlyon into Argyle — Armistice between Glenlyon and
the Campbells — Chevalier proclaimed at Moulinearn by
Mar — Capture of Perth by the rebels — Seize a vessel
with arms of Burntisland — Insurrection in Northumber-
land — Capture of Holy Island — Preparations for the
defence of Newcastle — Affair at Keith — Insurrection in
the south of Scotland under Viscount Kenmure — Expedi-
tion of Brigadier Mackintosh — Crosses the Frith of Forth —
Lands at North Berwick and other places in the neighbour-
hood — March of Mackintosh towards Edinburgh — Enters
Leith — March of the Duke of Argyle to Leith — Retires —
Retreat of Mackintosh — Reaches Kelso and joins the
forces under Forster — Disputes among the Insurgents —
Secession of five hundred Highlanders — March of the rebels
through Cumberland and Westmoreland — Battle of
Preston 155






Mar issues an order of assessment — Detachment of his army
surprised at Caatle Campbell — Preparations for opening the
campaign — Departure from Perth — Junction of the
western clans — Advance of Argyle from Stirling — Enters
Dunblane — Preparations for battle — Battle of Sheriff-
muir — Return of Mar to Perth, and of Argyle to Stirling —
Capture of Inverness — Arrival of the Chevalier — Met by
Mar at Fetteresso — His reception by the non-jurant clergy
— Issues a variety of proclamations — Preparations of the
Duke of Argyle — Retreat of the Jacobite army from
Perth — Departure of the Chevalier for France — Con-
clusion of the Insurrection 217



Return of the Duke of Argyle to Edinburgh — Trial of Lord
Charles Murray and others — Execution of Major Nairne,
Captain Lockhart, and others — Impeachment and trial of
the Jacobite peers taken at Preston — Ineffectual applica-
tions for mercy — Proceedings in Parliament — Address
to the king in behalf of the condemned lords by the House
of peers — Dismissal from office of peers who supported
the petition of the Jacobite lords — Escape of the Earl of
Nithsdale — Execution of the Earl of Derwentwater and
Viscount Kenmure — Trial and condemnation of the Earl
of Wintoun — Escapes to France — Bills of high treason
against Brigadier Mackintosh and others — Escape of
Mackintosh, Forster, and others — Executions in London
and Lancashire — Reaction against the government —
Septennial act — Proceedings of General Cadogan in the
Highlands — Commission of Oyer and Terminer — Act of
grace — Dismissal of the Duke of Argyle from office —
Continental affairs — Plan of an invasion by Russia and
Sweden — Rupture with Spain — Intrigues of the Jacobites
at Madrid — Spanish invasion threatened — Sailing and
dispersion of the Spanish fleet — Landing and surrender
of a body of Spaniards in the western Highlands . . 264



Prudent conduct of the Jacobites in the south of Scotland —
The Pretender appoints trustees for managing his affairs
in Scotland — Letter from him on the subject — Discovery
of a new Jacobite conspiracy — Arrests — Preparations of
the Government — Committal of Atterbury, Bishop of
Rochester, on a charge of high treason — Meeting of a new




Parliament — Habeas-corpus act suspended — Declaration
of the Chevalier de St. George — Severe proceedings against
the Catholics — Trial and execution of Layer — Trial and
banishment of Atterbury — Return of Lord Bolingbroke to
England — Causes thereof — Act for preserving the peace
of the Highlands — Meeting of some Highland chiefs at
Paris — Resolution adopted by them — Preparations of
General Wade to disarm the Highlanders — : Camp formed at
Inverness — The Mackenzies and others submit — Pro-
posed alliance between the Jacobites and the Cameronians —
Disgrace of the Earl of Mar — Its consequences — Atter-
bury 's charges against Mar, who justifies himself — The
Consort of the Chevalier retires to a convent — Cause of
the separation — Death of George I — Arrival of the
Chevalier in Lorraine — His reasons for this step — Returns
to Italy 292

VI 11



Drummond Castle Frontispiece

Tartan of the Gordon 40

Tartan of the Macpherson 90

Loch Locht 140

Tartan of the Gunn 191

Armorial Bearings 240

Tartan of the Macdonald 290

Tartan of the Munro 330


Volume IV


The news of Mackay's defeat reached Edinburgh
on Sunday, the twenty-eighth of July, the day after the
battle, and threw the partisans of the government,
who were there assembled, into the greatest consterna-
tion. In the absence of official details, the most gloomy
accounts were given by a few terrified stragglers who
arrived in the capital, and who believed that, with the
exception of themselves, the whole of Mackay's army
had been destroyed. In the state of disorder and con-
fusion which prevailed, the Duke of Hamilton, the
Commissioner to the revolution Parliament, summoned
a meeting of the Privy Council in the evening, at which
orders were issued to raise all the fencible men in the
west, and to concentrate all the forces in the south at
Stirling, to which point it was supposed Dundee (of
whose death they were not aware) would be rapidly
hastening; and on the supposition that Mackay was
either killed or made prisoner, Sir John Lanier was
ordered west to take the command.

But these precautionary measures did not quiet the
alarms of the members of the Parliament, some of whom
were for retiring immediately into England, and others



into the western shires of Scotland. At their entreaty
the Duke of Hamilton agreed to adjourn the Parliament,
on the next or following day, till October; but as such
a step might tend to discourage the friends of the
government, the Parliament, on meeting, adjourned
its sittings for two days only. A proposal was made to
set at liberty all the state prisoners ; but it was negatived
after some discussion, and a resolution adopted to confine
them still closer than they had yet been, and to prevent
all communication between them and their friends.
But although they were cut off from the society of their
friends, they, as Lord Balcarras, himself a prisoner,
observes, had never before so many visits from their
enemies, who, anticipating another order of things,
made many excuses for their past conduct, protested
that they had always wished well to the prisoners, and
when an opportunity should occur, would give proofs of
such disposition.

During two entire days the ferment continued in the
capital, and every hour added to the fears of those who
had most to dread from a counter-revolution. At
length, when the minds of men were wrought up to the
highest pitch of terror and dismay, intelligence was
received of the death of Dundee, and shortly thereafter a
despatch from General Mackay to the Duke of Hamilton
arrived, giving an account of the battle, and of his safe
retreat to Stirling. An event, so unlooked for and so
important as the death of the only man in whom the
hopes of King James rested, and from the decision of
whose character the supporters of the revolution settle-
ment anticipated the most fearful consequences, was
hailed by the Duke of Hamilton and his friends with
transports of joy. They had indeed good reason
to rejoice, for although the battle had been disas-
trous to their forces, the loss which King James



had sustained in the person of Dundee was irrepar-

On arriving at Stirling Mackay met Sir John Lanier,
who communicated to him the orders that had been
issued by the government on receiving the news of his
defeat. So decisive had the battle of Killiecrankie
appeared to them that they had given up all idea of
maintaining a position on the north of the Forth, all
the country beyond which they meant to abandon to
the victorious arms of Dundee, and to confine their
operations to a defence of the fords of the Forth, and
the pass and bridge of Stirling. In pursuance of this
design orders had been sent to Berkeley's regiment, which
was quartered in the county of Aberdeen, to retire
upon Dundee, and Lanier had despatched an express to
his own regiment, which lay partly at Alnwick and
partly at Morpeth, to hasten down to Scotland. This
plan, however, was disapproved of by Mackay, and he
therefore, as he says, " resolved to alter these measures
(knowing how hard a pull we would have) of the Scots
war, if he left the north, which are absolutely the best
men of that kingdom for the war, to the discretion of
the enemy, where he would not only get great numbers
to join him, but also take possession of towns and
seize upon the public revenues, whereby they could form
a fashion of government, and so have more plausible
ways, not only to maintain but also to engross their party,
than ever they have had."

For these reasons Mackay determined to take the field
again without delay, and to give, as he observes, " some
eclat to the service, and hinder the disaffected of the
shires of Perth and Angus to rise in arms against the
government," he resolved to march direct to Perth
with the forces which were at hand, and place a garrison
there. Fortunately some of the troops which the



Privy Council had ordered to rendezvous at Stirling
were already there, and others were at hand. Pre-
paratory to his march he sent Sir John Lanier to Edin-
burgh to hasten the advance of his own regiment, con-
sisting of nine troops of horse, and also of Hayford's
dragoons, consisting of eight troops, and ordered eight
troops of horse, and four of dragoons, both of which had
been newly levied, and Lord Colchester's regiment of
horse, not above five hundred men in all, to join him at
Stirling on the morning of Wednesday, the thirty-first
of July. Many thousands of men in the western shires
were now assembling of their own accord in consequence
of Mackay's defeat; but disliking such auxiliaries,
" whose pretensions " (he says) " appeared already exorbi-
tant enough," and who, if employed, might think that
the government could not be maintained without their
assistance, he intimated that he would not require
their services, and ordered them to return to their

The horse and dragoons, having come to Stirling as
directed, were reviewed in the park in the morning by
Mackay. With these he departed for Perth at two
o'clock in the afternoon, giving orders to a newly raised
battalion of foot, consisting of Mar and Bargeny's
regiments, to follow him. He halted at a village halfway
between Stirling and Perth part of the night to avoid
the risk of an ambuscade, and at break of day pursued
his march towards Perth. On his way he could obtain
no intelligence respecting the motions of the enemy, as
he found the houses mostly deserted by their inhabitants,
who had taken up arms and had gone to join the stand-
ard of King James. On approaching the River Earn,
however, Mackay's scouts, who, to prevent too timeous
notice of his approach, kept only a musket shot in
advance, were saluted with a loud " qui vive " by two



horsemen. The scouts, four in number, answered this
challenge by a discharge from their carabines, which
brought down the two horsemen, one of whom was
shot dead. The other was mortally wounded, and
though he spoke a few words, was not able to answer
some questions put to him for eliciting information.
As Mackay conjectured from this occurrence, that the
main body of the enemy was not far off, he altered his
line of march, and, crossing a pretty steep hill to the north,
reached the field of Tippermoor, a few miles west from

Having been informed at Tippermoor, that the enemy
lay encamped at Dunkeld, and that a party of their
horse and foot was in Perth for the purpose of carrying
off some meal which had been sent thither by the
Council for the use of Mackay's army, the general drew
off his men to the left to throw himself between Dunkeld
and Perth, and thereby cut off the party. When he had
thus interposed himself he marched down upon Perth,
but on coming within sight of the town he was dis-
appointed to observe that about thirty of the enemy's
horse had already crossed the Tay, and were beyond his
reach. He proceeded on his march, and when within
half a mile of the town he observed the foot party,
which consisted of about three hundred Athole men,
approaching. The Highlanders, who had not the most
distant idea that there was a single enemy nearer than
Stirling, were almost petrified with horror when they
beheld such a large body of cavalry ready to pounce
upon them, and for a time they stood quite motionless,
not knowing what to do. Apprehensive that they might
attempt to escape by a ford near the place where they
stood, Mackay despatched four troops of dragoons at
full gallop to prevent their passage. The whole party
on the approach of the dragoons immediately fled back



in the direction of the town. As Mackay had no foot to
follow them into the town, he sent three troops of Col-
chester's horse to cut off their retreat, whilst he himself
followed close with the remainder of his horse in good
order; and as he had no certain information as to the
strength of the enemy in the neighbourhood, he left small
detachments upon the heights near the town to watch
lest any considerable force of the enemy might appear.
The Athole men seeing that their retreat would be cut
off, threw themselves into the Tay, whither they were
followed by the horse and dragoons who cut them down
in the water without mercy. Either from stupidity or
obstinacy they did not call for quarter. About 120
of the Athole men were killed and thirty made prisoners.
In this affair Mackay lost one man only, who had im-
prudently pursued to a distance a small party of the

This unfortunate rencounter, whilst it raised the
expectations of the Revolutionists, threw a damp over
King James's supporters, and augured ill for the success
of Colonel Cannan, who had assumed the command of
James's army on the death of Dundee. This officer,
though a faithful adherent of his royal master, was
altogether unfit for the command of such an army. He
had little military experience, and was totally unac-
quainted with the habits, the feelings, and dispositions
of the Highlanders. Had Dundee lived he would
probably have carried his victorious army across the
Forth, seized upon the capital and dispersed the govern-
ment; but his successor did not know how to take
advantage of the victory which had been obtained, and
instead of marching instantly south, he merely advanced
to Dunkeld, about sixteen miles from the field of the
recent battle, where he remained encamped for several
days, when the party he had sent to Perth was



attacked and almost destroyed by the indefatigable

At Dunkeld, Cannan was joined by the Stewarts of
Appin, the Macgregors and the Athole men under Lord
James Murray, of which circumstance Mackay was
informed soon after his arrival at Perth. In the mean-
time he took care to secure the town against attack by
erecting palisades, and sent out patroles during the
night to bring notice of the enemy should they approach
the town. Cannan, however, made no attempt to
disturb Mackay, and after passing several days at
Dunkeld in inactivity, he raised his camp and proceeded
northwards along the skirts of the Grampians with a
force of about three thousand men. It was the intention
of Mackay to have returned to Edinburgh to consult
with the Privy Council as to the best means of speedily
settling the peace of the kingdom, and to leave Mar and
Bargeny's regiments and six troops of cavalry in garrison
at Perth; but on hearing of Cannan's movement to
the north he abandoned his intention, and after des-
patching orders to Sir John Lanier to proceed to Perth
with all possible haste along with the horse and dragoons
which were expected from England, he crossed the Tay
with his whole cavalry force, consisting of nearly fifteen
hundred men, leaving two battalions of foot behind,
and advanced towards Cupar Angus. At Cupar he
received intelligence from some prisoners who had been
taken at Killiecrankie, and who had escaped on the
march north, that Cannan had marched as far as Glen
Isla, about eight miles from Forfar, where he had
encamped. Mackay in consequence continued his march
to Forfar, where he learned that Cannan had made
another movement to Clova. To prevent surprise, and
as his force was weak and consisted chiefly of new levies,
Mackay placed his men in the fields under arms during



the night, and allowed them to repose and refresh them-
selves during the day, taking care however to send out
some scouts in the morning and to place some sentinels
upon the neighbouring heights to watch the motions of
the enemy.

After passing two nights at Forfar in this manner, he
received notice that Cannan had crossed the mountains
and had entered Braemar. As Mackay considered that
these movements of Cannan were intended by him as a
ruse to draw him north, and that when Cannan had
accomplished his object he meant immediately to recross
the mountains and enter Angus, where he expected
some reinforcements to join him, Mackay sent orders
to Lanier to advance to Forfar, to serve as a check upon
Cannan should he again enter Angus, and proceeded
himself to Aberdeen, which he reached the second day,
to the great joy, he says, of most of the inhabitants
who were in dread of a visit from the Highlanders that
very night.

On arriving at the Braes of Mar, Cannan was joined
by the Farquharsons, the Frasers, the Gordons of Strath-
down and Glenlivet, and by two hundred of the Mac-
phersons. Keppoch and young Lochiel also met him.
At Aberdeen, Mackay received an express from the
master of Forbes, informing him that Cannan had taken
up a very strong position upon his father's lands, having
the Highlands at his back and a wood to cover him in
front, and so well chosen that he could keep up a free
communication with his friends in the lower parts of
the shires of Aberdeen and Banff. Judging that Cannan's
object in selecting such a position was to strengthen
himself in horse from the adjoining low country, of which
species of force he stood in most need, Mackay, with
the view of obstructing his levies, ordered Sir Thomas
Livingston to leave the command of the forces at Inver-



ness with Sir James Leslie, and to repair immediately
to Strathbogie with his regiment of dragoons, with
instructions, should the enemy appear in that quarter,
to march farther to the left across the low country, and
to send him despatches from time to time, announcing
the state of matters. At the same time he sent an express
to Sir John Lanier, ordering him to send Hayford's
regiment of dragoons to Aberdeen to strengthen him.

After remaining a day at Aberdeen, Mackay marched
up Dee side to beat up Cannan's quarters, but learning
on his march that the Highlanders had left Lord Forbes's
lands and had gone north in the direction of the Duke
of Gordon's territory, he drew off his men next morning
at break of day towards Strathbogie, for the purpose
of covering Livingston's march. At Kildrummy,
whither Cannan had taken his route, he was joined by
three hundred horse, a seasonable reinforcement, had
Mackay ventured upon an engagement, but neither of
the commanders was inclined to measure their strength
with each other. Mackay, having nothing but cavalry,
got the start of Cannan, and reached Strathbogie before

Online LibraryJames BrowneThe history of Scotland, its Highlands, regiments and clans (Volume 4) → online text (page 1 of 27)