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Battle of Culloden

Overview Map


Battle of Culloden

Overview Map of the Battle of Culloden, April 16, 1746.

Photograph © 2007 Patricia A. Hickman

The last major land battle to be fought in Great Britain, the Battle of Culloden was the climatic battle of the "Forty-Five" uprising. Beginning on August 19, 1745, the "Forty-Five" was the final of the Jacobite rebellions which began following the forced abdication of Catholic King James II in 1688. Following James' removal from the throne, he was replaced by his daughter Mary II and her husband William III. In Scotland, this change met with resistance, as James was from the Scottish Stuart line. Those who wished to see James return were known as Jacobites. In 1701, following James II's death in France, the Jacobites transferred their allegiance to his son, James Francis Edward Stuart, referring to him as James III. Among supporters of the government, he was known as the "Old Pretender."

Efforts to return the Stuarts to the throne began in 1689, when Viscount Dundee led a failed revolt against William and Mary. Subsequent attempts were made in 1708, 1715, and 1719. In the wake of these rebellions, the government worked to consolidate their control over Scotland. While military roads and forts were constructed, efforts were made to recruit Highlanders into companies (The Black Watch) to maintain order. On July 16, 1745, the Old Pretender's son, Prince Charles Edward Stuart, popularly known as "Bonnie Prince Charlie," departed France with goal of retaking Britain for his family.

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