Battle of Glenshiel, June, 1719.

This evening, I am focusing on the Battle of Glenshiel which took place on the afternoon of June 10th 1719 at a spot roughly equidistant between lochs Duich and Cluanie in the western highlands of Scotland.

The catalyst for this battle was declaration of war between Spain and Britain in 1718. The Spanish used the disaffected Jacobites to further their cause. Jacobites were supporters of the exiled Stuart Dynasty who had a valid claim to the British throne through descendants of the exiled James II (England) VII (Scotland). The Stuart claimant at the time was the ‘Old Pretender’ who was residing in Rome as a guest of the Vatican.

The Jacobites experienced bitter in-fighting between the two principal commanders, Tullibardine and Earl Marischal which culminated in Marischal sending away the fleet of support ships empty and thus preventing an evacuation of the Jacobite army.

The Jacobites left their base at Eilean Donan Castle to move east after which the British Navy converted the Castle to rubble through heavy bombardment.

As the Jacobites moved east a Government force under General Wightman was marching towards them via Glen Moriston. This army was supported by heavy weapons in the form of six mortars.  The Government forces may have totalled about 1250 men whilst the Jacobites army may have totalled about 1500 including a force of Spaniards and a contingent lead by Rob Roy MacGregor.

The two armies lined up against each other. The Jacobite forces were deployed with Lord George Murray on the right and Seaforth on the left with Spaniards and Rob Roy’s forces in between.

Assisted by the mortars, the Government forces progressively pushed the Jacobites back in a move culminating in victory for the Government. It is believed that casualties were light ( about 20 fatalities on each side). The Spaniards surrendered whilst the Highlanders melted away. This action ended the uprising, although another was to follow in 1745.

Below is a vdeo clip of the battle site.

Be Sociable, Share!