Battle of Culloden
Posted on January 14 2020
The Battle of Culloden (/kəˈlɒdən/; Scottish Gaelic: Blàr Chùil Lodair) was the final confrontation of the Jacobite rising of 1745. On 16 April 1746, the Jacobite forces of Charles Edward Stuart were decisively defeated by Hanoverian forces commanded by William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, near Inverness in the Scottish Highlands.
Queen Anne, the last monarch of the House of Stuart, died in 1714, with no living children. Under the terms of the Act of Settlement 1701, she was succeeded by her second cousin George I of the House of Hanover, who was a descendant of the Stuarts through his maternal grandmother, Elizabeth, a daughter of James VI and I.
Raising an army consisting mostly of Scottish clansmen along with smaller units of Irish and Englishmen from the Manchester Regiment, Charles' efforts initially met with success and at one point began to threaten London. However, a series of events forced the army's return to Scotland, where they were soon pursued by an army raised by the Duke of Cumberland. The two forces eventually met at Culloden, on terrain that made the highland charge difficult and gave the larger and well-armed British forces the advantage. The battle lasted only an hour, with the Jacobites suffering a bloody defeat. Between 1,500 and 2,000 Jacobites were killed or wounded in the brief battle. In contrast, only about 300 government soldiers were killed or wounded.
The Hanoverian victory at Culloden halted the Jacobite intent to overthrow the House of Hanover and restore the House of Stuart to the British throne; Charles Stuart never again tried to challenge Hanoverian power in Great Britain. The conflict was the last pitched battle fought on British soil.
The battle and its aftermath continue to arouse strong feelings: the University of Glasgow awarded the Duke of Cumberland an honorary doctorate, but many modern commentators allege that the aftermath of the battle and subsequent crackdown on Jacobitism were brutal, and earned Cumberland the sobriquet "Butcher". Efforts were subsequently made to further integrate the comparatively wild Scottish Highlands into the Kingdom of Great Britain; civil penalties were introduced to weaken Gaelic culture and undermine the Scottish clan system.