Scottish Battles & conflicts Timeline

Scottish Battles and Conflicts Timeline

This timeline is undergoing rennovation and not all of the links are yet connected. By late winter, 2009 the many of the links will be active. My special thanks to [i]Tam Anderson[/i], otherwise known as 'Tam the Celt', for compiling this list of Scottish battles. Any battles not included will be added at a later date as I update the list. - RM Gunn, editor.

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Scottish Battles & Conflicts:

c. AD 84 Mons Graupius

The Celtic tribes unite under 'Calgacus the Swordsman', but he is killed (along with 10,000 men) when he meets the Roman army at the battle of Mons Graupius, the earliest recorded battle in Scottish history. The Romans under Agricola defeated the semi-united tribes of Caledonia. It has been suggested that the actual battle took place at one of several locations: a site near Inverurie, Bennachie Hill, northwest of Aberdeen; a flat plain known as the Muir of Blair, Stonehaven, and the Hill of Moncrieffe.

AD 603 Battle of Degsastan

King Aedan of Dalriada attempted to extend the boundaries of his realm to the East across central Scotland but the Northumbrian King Aethelfrith defeated him at this battle at Degsastan (Addinston). The Scots fought with Irish allies and sustained heavy losses on the English, despite the defeat. Addinston is north of Lauder.

685 Battle of Nechtansmere (now called Dunnichen)

The Picts under king Brude defeat the Angles and establish Scotland's southern border. Nechtansmere, Forfarshire - On 20 May, the Angle King Ecgfrith was defeated by the Picts. Later, the Pictish King rejects the Celtic Church in favour of the Roman church.

AD 841 Kenneth MacAlpin unites the Picts and Scots, sometimes called McAlpin's Treason

Already King of the Scots in the western territory of Dalriada, Kenneth McAlpin was one of several contenders for the throne of the Picts in the North. Legend has it that after a series of victories by his army, McAlpin invited the heads of seven Pictish Royal houses to Scone to discuss his claim-and slaughtered them as they dined. One account, suggests the Scots had booby trapped the benches occupied by Picts, who were dropped into pits sown with deadly blades. McAlpin's Treason resulted in a united Scotia. Scone is a half mile outside Perth.

AD 937 Battle of Brunanburh

Amid growing resentment, Constantine III, King of the Scots, mustered a huge army and marched into England with the intention of permanent conquest. The great Athelstan, undeterred, gathered his army together and marched forward to send the invaders home and around 18,000 men were deployed on each side. Little is known of the actual battle, apart from the fact the English army finally broke the enemy.

AD 980 Battle of Luncarty

During the Danish invasion of Scotland in 980, the decisive Battle of Luncarty took place in Perthshire. The origin of the Hay family, Earls of Errol, is said to date from this time. Luncarty is four miles north of Perth.

1010 Battle of Mortlach

This was fought by King Malcolm 11 against the Danes. The Vikings approached four miles west of Dufftown and camped at little Conval, while King Malcolm's army come from the east via Glenfiddich. The battle took place near the giant's chair, an outcrop of rock. From there the Scots pursued the Vikings up toward Balvenie Castle and were Victorious. Mortlach is four miles west of Dufftown.

1018 Battle of Carham

Malcolm 11, with Owen of Strathclyde supporting him, fought this important battle against Earl Uhtred of Bamburgh and his Northumbrian army at Carham, near Roxburgh. The outcome was victory for Malcolm and the restoration of Lothian to Scotland and established the River Tweed as the border between Scotland and England.

1057 Battle of Lumphanan

Shakespeare's inspiration, this is where King Macbeth fought his last battle. Malcolm, son of Duncan (whom Macbeth had killed to claim the throne) sought revenge and, with the support of the Earl Siward, Macbeth was killed and soon (Lulach in between) Malcolm became king. Three miles north west of Torphins and 27 miles west of Aberdeen.

1093 Battle of Alnwick

King Malcolm 111 of Scotland invaded England and pillaged the border country. His huge army encamped just north of the town and Robert de Mowbray, governor of Bamburgh Castle, managed a surprise attack on the Scots which threw them into complete confusion and King Malcolm was slain in the battle.

1094 Battle of Mondynes

The son of King Malcolm 111, Duncan was sent to the English court of William the conqueror as a guarantee that Malcolm would not attack England. When Malcolm died his brother Donald Bain seized the throne, but with English support Duncan deposed his uncle. However only six months later Duncan was killed at the Battle of Mondynes by an army led by his own half brother Edmund and Donald. He was buried at Dunfermline Abbey. Mondynes is 20 miles south of Aberdeen.

1138 Battle of the Standard

This battle occurred during a period in England known as the anarchy. There were a number of vicious rebellions and civil wars which raged throughout the rule of the unfortunate King Stephen. An army of 12,000 Scots led by King David 1 marched on Northallerton, and it was estimated 10,000 men were killed. Click, to read a fully detailed account of The Battle of the Standard.

1263 Battle of Largs

Haakon 1V of Norway responded to King Alexander's proposed buy-back of western parts of Scotland by sending a massive fleet to defend his territory. The battle was fought partly on sea and then on land after a storm drove Haakon's galley ashore-and was won by the Scots after two days of hard fighting. The victory meant that control of the Hebrides and the Isle of Man was eventually ceded from Norway to Scotland. It is said that the thistle became a symbol for Scots when one Norseman-possibly Haakon stood on one as they tried a surprise night attack. (The legend also states that at the Battle of Luncarty in Perthshire against the Danish had something similar happened). His cries warned the natives. You can visit the Battle of Largs on Greenock Road Largs.

1296 1st Battle of Dunbar

This was the first of the Wars of Independence conflicts. King Edward 1 (Longshanks) sent his army north to invade Scotland. After sacking Berwick upon Tweed they were met by 40,000 Scots, but the English repulsed the charge. As the Scots fled they suffered heavy losses.

1297 Battle of Kinclaven

This one is straight across from my house, the Castle wall still stands. William Wallace ambushed an English force moving from Perth to reinforce Kinclaven Castle. He pursued the force inside the castle that surrendered. The garrison were killed and the castle burned. Ten miles North of Perth on the river Tay.

1297 Battle of Stirling Bridge

Here, William Wallace and Andrew Murray unexpectedly defeated a well armed Edward 1 force. After trapping the English on the bridge, the Scots attacked. English losses were huge and many more drowned in the river below. Moray later died of injuries received in Battle, while Wallace was knighted and became Guardian of Scotland. The original bridge no longer exists, but you can visit the National Wallace Monument in Stirling, which was the site of the Scots camp.

1298 Battle of Falkirk (I)

Edward 1 returned with a larger army in retaliation for Wallace's victory at Stirling Bridge and raids into north England-shire. The defeat signalled the end of Wallace's time as Guardian. He was captured and murdered in London in 1305. A monument to commemorate a local nobleman who died in the battle was erected in Victoria Park. There are additional memorials in the old Parish Churchyard.

1300 Siege of Caerlaverock Castle

Caerlaverock Castle, near Glencaple, underwent its first siege at the hands of Edward 1 in July 1300. His triumph proved short-lived, as by 1312 the Maxwell's were back in residence. The castle stands near the mouth of the River Nith seven miles south of Dumfries.

1303 Battle of Roslin

Scotland's bloodiest battle and one of the greatest victories in the Wars of Independence, Eight thousand Scots led by Sinclair Fraser and Red Comyn defeated 30,000 invading English. The Scots used their knowledge of the surrounding landscape to pull off the remarkable victory. Roslin is a couple of miles south of Edinburgh.

1304 Siege Of Stirling Castle

Edward arrived in April with 12 siege engines. The garrison put up a strong resistance and Edward himself was nearly killed twice. Yet, on July 20, the garrison finally surrendered after Edward filled the moat with earth, which prevented the occupants getting food supplies.

1306 Murder of Red Comyn

A plaque marks the spot on Greyfriars Monastery where Robert the Bruce stabbed Sir John Comyn of Dalswinton, his rival claimant to the Scottish throne. Bruce rushed out, saying to his waiting friends, Kirkpatrick and Lindsay, "I doubt I have slain the Red Comyn!" Kirkpatrick replied, "You doubt? Then I'll mak siccar! (sure)". He and Lindsay rushed into the sanctuary and dispatched the dying man. Bruce and Comyn had been at odds since 1296. The plaque is in Castle Street, Dumfries.

1306 Battle of Methven

Shortly after his crowning on March 27 at Scone, King Robert Bruce was defeated at the Battle of Methven by the Earl of Pembroke. Bruce sought refuge in the Perthshire hills and it was years before he returned to Perth. Four miles west of Perth.

1307 Loudon Hill

After Robert the Bruce crowned himself King at Scone, Edward 1 was outraged and headed to Scotland to topple Rab. At Louden Hill, Rab met his first defeat. He was now an outlaw and forced to seek shelter wherever he could. He was only saved after Edward 1 died later that year. Lies 10 miles east of Kilmarnock.

1307 Battle of Glentrool

Bruce, with fewer than 200 followers, surprised and ambushed a 2,000 strong force of foot soldiers led by Almer de Valence. Bruce had learned of the enemy's intention to pass along a narrow pathway a few feet above Loch Trool, and ordered his men to send boulders hurtling down on the English. Some were crushed to death, others swept into the loch to drown, and the remainder fell to the swords of the Scots. Bruce's stone can be seen at Glentrool, 10 miles north of Newton Stewart in the heart of Galloway Forest Park.

1307 Battle of the pass of Brander

Robert the Bruce led an army against the McDougall's, and found them on a brae at the head of Loch Awe. It was a bitter and desperate battle, and when the men of Lorn finally broke and ran they were drowned and slaughtered as they fought with each other to cross a bridge over the Awe. A pass links the head of Loch Awe with Loch Etive to the North West.

1308 Battle of Barra

Fought in the fields north of Inverurie Castle, when Robert the Bruce defeated his arch rival Comyn, Earl of Buchan, during the wars of Independence. Bruce's forces then waged a campaign of distruction throughout Buchan. The battle site is half a mile from Oldmeldrum, a small town 17 miles north west of Aberdeen.

1314 Battle of Bannockburn

The most famous battle in the wars of Independence in which Robert the Bruce defeated the English army of Edward 11. The victory proved decisive in the fight for Scottish Independence, although it was another 14 years before this was formally recognised by England. Bannockburn Visitor Centre is two miles south of Stirling town.

1327 The Weardale Campaign

Bruce and Douglas frustrated attempts by a young Edward III to force the Scots into a pitched battle.The young English king was outmanuevered by the Scots under Bruce and Douglas, and had to return to England in disgrace. This forced the treaty of Northhampton in which England formally recognised Robert Bruce and King of Scots and Scotland as a free country.

1332 Battle of Dupplin Moor

The death of Robert 1 in 1329 left Scotland with a four year old king, Robert 11. Edward Balliol, son of king John, challenged the throne, and with an army of 3,500 he routed an army of 30,000 under Regent Mar. (how the hell did he manage to do that?) He was crowned King of Scots at Scone. Five miles south west of Perth.

1333 Battle of Halidon Hill

Sir Archibald Douglas and Edward 111 joined forces and lay siege to Berwick from all directions. The Scots were caught clambering up a hillside by English archers and lost 500 men and six Earls. Berwick was lost to the English. Lies about two miles west of the centre of Berwick-upon-Tweed.

1335 Battle of Culblean

Fought on St Andrew's day, this battle in muir of Dinnet was instrumental in the second War of Succession and Independence. The battle came about after the death of Robert the Bruce in 1329, when his son David 11, aged five, was crowned king. These were dangerous uncertain times in Scotland, with divided loyalties among the gentry. Culblean is on Deeside, near Dinnet. 1346 Battle of Neville's Cross

In response to a request from the French King, Phillip V1, who had been defeated by the English at Crecy. David 11 of Scotland launched a raid into England. The northern shires quickly raised an army of around 15,000 men and intercepted the Scots army, 20,000 strong at Durham. Neville's Cross is in Durham near the River Wear.

1349 Back Death

The plague, previously limited to England, came to Scotland. Scots had assumed they were immune and this was the work of "the revenging hand of God" so sent an army to conquer the south. The force gathered in the forest of Selkirk but was swiftly hit by plague. Henry Knighton wrote. The sudden cruelty of a monstrous death winnowed the Scots. Within in a short space of time, around 5,000 of them had died, and the rest, weak and strong alike, decided to retreat to their own country. They took the desease with them, and it wiped out 200,000 of one million Scots within two years.

1388 Battle of Otterburn

In the Borders, the war between the Scots and English turned into a personal feud between the Douglas (Scots) and Percy (English) families. The Douglas leader was mortally wounded in the battle of Otterburn and worried that his death would encourage the English, he told his men to hide his body beneath a bush so nobody could see it and they were victorious. Otterburn is in the Borders.

1390 Sacking of Elgin

Alexander Stewart, the youngest son of King Robert 11 and brother of King Robert 111, controlled much of northern Scotland. Known as the Wolf of Badenoch, his deeds were considered evil even by the standards of a barbaric time. He looted the wealth of those on his land and burned the homes of those that stood in his way. When the Bishop of Moray ruled in favour of the Wolf's wife, Countess of Ross, after she deseted him, he ransacked and burned Forres and Elgin, the ecclesiastical center of the Bishopric of Moray, in revenge.

1396 Battle of the Clans

Tired of the many Highland clan feuds, King Robert 111 tried to teach them a lesson in September on the outskirts of Perth. There, at the North Inch, he arranged a fight to the death between 60 warriors of the Kay and Chattan Clans. In front of the Royal Court each man fired three bolts from his crossbow. Did Scots have crossbows?? The survivors then fought with axes and daggers. After several hours, 11 Chattans emerged alive and one Kay, who escaped by swimming the River Tay. The location of the Battle of the Inch is today overlooked by Rose Terrace.

1402 Rothesay's Death

The death of David, Duke of Rothesay, was officially ascribed to the visitation of Providence but others believed he was murdered. A possible heir to the Scottish throne, David was captured by his uncle Robert and imprisoned in a dungeon at the home of the Albany family, Falkland Castle in Fife. He died in march. David's son, James I took his revenge 23 years later by executing four Albanys for treason and virtually wiping out the family. James himself would be assassinated at Royal lodgings in Perth.

1402 Battle of Homildon Hill

The armies of the Percy and Douglas families met again at Homildon Hill near Wooler in Northumberland. The Scots were defeated and the Earl of Douglas captured. Henry 1V wanted Douglas handed over but Hotspur refused. Hotspur was angry with the English King who had refused to pay a ransom for Edmund Mortimer, who had been captured by Owen Glendower and was a friend of Hotspur's. Near Humbleton in Northumberland

1411 Battle of Harlaw

A vital conflict between Highlanders and Lowlanders which blocked the expantion of Gaelic, this is also one of the most brutal in Scottish history. Donald, Lord of the Isles, attempted to secure the Earldom of Ross but was met at Harlaw by a force of Keiths, Forbes, and Leslies and Irvines led by the Earl of Mar. It was a long and drawn out battle, ending only when Donald's men withdrew. Harlaw is two miles north of Inverurie.

1431 1ST Battle of Inverlochy

In an on going battle between the MacDonalds and James1 the first battle of Inverlochy claimed more than 1,000 men including the Earl of Caithness. The King's army was routed and fled south. Near Fort William in the foothills of Ben Nevis.

1440 The Black Dinner

In the midst of noble feuding to gain influence over the boy king James 11, this took place in the Great Hall at Edinburgh Castle on Nov 24. James was only 10 when the 6th Earl of Douglas and his brother were invited to a feast by Lord Chancellor Crichton, keeper of the castle, and Lord Livingstone, keeper of Stirling Castle. When a black bull's head was carried to the table it was the signal for the two guests to be seized and beheaded, despite pleas for mercy from James.This took place in Edinburgh.

1452 Murder of Earl Douglas

James 11 moved to assert his power by having two members of the Livingston family executed in 1450. Then on February 22, 1452, he invited William, the 8th Earl of Douglas, to Stirling Castle where he ordered him to denounce two other nobles, the 4th Earl of Crawford (the tiger Earl) and the Earl of Ross (4th Lord of the Isles). When he refused, James flew into a rage and stabbed William to death. The Earl was one of the most powerful nobles of the day, and his followers sacked the town of Stirling in revenge.

1455 Battle of Arkinholm

George, 4th Earl of Angus, led the King's army against his kinsman, James, 9th Earl of Douglas. The result was the end of the black Douglas's. After the battle, an act of parliament gave Angus the Lordship of Douglas with the original possessions of his ancestors in Douglasdale. Arkinholm is near Langholm, which is 32 miles east of Dumfries.

1460 Siege of Roxburgh

A large army led by James 11 laid siege to the castle after demolishing the town of Roxburgh. On Sunday, August 3, not long into the siege, a Flemish gun, known as the Lion, burst on firing, killing the king and severely wounding the Earl of Angus, George Douglas. Above the river Teviot, about a mile west of Kelso.

1480 Battle of Bloody Bay

This fierce battle was fought just north of Tobermory, between Angus, Lord of the Isles, and the Earl of Huntly, and Crawford, and the site is known as Bloody Bay. It was a hundred years later that Florenica a ship from the Spanish Armada, was blown up while moored in Tobermory Bay. It was said to have Gold worth £300,000 on board.

1488 Battle of Sauchieburn

James 111 alienated a number of his nobles who supported his son, James 1V. James 111 led his forces, mainly from the North, to confront the rebels and they met at Sauchieburn. King James escaped the battle but was murdered shortly afterwards. His son wore an iron chain round his waist for the rest of his life to atone for his part in his father's death. Near Bannockburn.

1513 Battle of Flodden

One of Scotland's greatest defeats, this saw the death of a King, James 1V declared war against England and gathered 20,000 men. The English had far superior artillery and opened with cannon fire. The dead Scots numbered between 5,000 and 10,000 and it is said the slaughter struck every farm and household throughout lowland Scotland. Two miles south east of Coldstream.

1514 Battle of Hornshole

This was more of a skirmish when, according to local tradition, a group of English marauders were put to flight by a group of young men from Hawick. The Hawick Cornet, who leads the annual Riding of the Marches, proudly carries a replica of the flag that was captured on that occasion. Beside Hornshole Bridge, just off the Hawick to Kelso road, close to Trowmill.

1528 Protestant Martyr

A distant relative of the Catholic King James V, Patrick Hamilton, was introduced to Protestantism while studying in Paris, and met Martin Luther in Germany. When he acquired a following on his return to Scotland he was summoned by Archbishop James Beaton to a meeting of Catholic leaders at St Andrew's. He was accused of heresy, quickly found guilty and burned at the stake in the town on February 29. He was the first of Scotland's 11 Protestant martyrs and inspired the Reform movement len by John Knox.

1537 Witch Burning

Janet Douglas, Countess of Glamis, was the sister in law of James Vs exiled stepfather, the Earl of Angus, but her Royal connection could not save her when she was accused of trying to poison the king. She was tried on a charge of witchcraft and burned at the stake on July 17 at Castle hill outside Edinburgh Castle. It is said her ghost is The White Lady which haunts Glamis Castle.

1542 Battle of Solway Moss

In November, a Scottish army entered the border marches of Scotland and England. They were met by an English force led by Sir Thomas Wharton, and routed. James V was ill at Falkland Palace, and news of the defeat, coupled with the birth of a daughter, Mary, rather than a son he longed for, is said to have led him to turn his face to the wall and die. Solway Moss is next to Longtown, a village on the south bank of the river Esk.

1545 Ancrum Moor

A massive victory for a small number of Scots pursuing a large English force under the orders of Sir Archibald Douglas. The fight followed the burning of Melrose and the Abbey, at the heart of Douglas's territory. Two miles north of the village of Ancrum, a couple of miles northwest of Jedburgh.

1547 Battle of Pinkie

The Duke of Somerset brought his army north to find a bride for King Edward V1. His men faced 36,000 Scots led by the 2nd Earl of Arran. A misunderstanding led to the Scots being attacked. Somerset's army slew 15,000 Scots. This forced Queen Mary further away from the King as she was spirited away to France. The armies gathered at Edmonston Edge, on the River Esk, between Musselburgh and Inveresk

Circa 1550 Scotland's Romeo and Juliet

Newton Castle in Blairgowrie was a Drummond stronghold, while Ardblair Castle was the Blair stronghold and a serious feud brewed between the families. In the mid 16th century, two Drummond men, father and son, where murdered by Blairs. However, Lady Jean Drummond fell in love with Patrick Blair, who was beheaded for his part in the murder. Heartbroken Lady Jean wandered into the marshes and never returned.

1562 Battle of Corrichie

Chief Donald Cameron led his clansmen in support of Mary Queen of Scots against her first cousin, George, the 4th Earl of Huntly at the battle of Corrichie. The Earl's army was easily defeated, and Huntly was found dead on the field, reportedly smothered in his armour. Eighteen miles west of Aberdeen and five miles north of Banchory.

1566 Rizzio's Murder

Mary Queen of Scots had become disenchanted with marriage to her Catholic English cousin Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley. She had married him in the hope that he would add to her claim to the English throne, but grew tired of his debauched lifestyle. Mary became close to David Rizzio, an Italian musician who had become her adviser and friend, and some say lover. Darnley, the Earl of Morton and a gang of Protestant nobles decided to get rid of Razzio, and on March 9, broke into Mary's apartment at the Palace of Holyroodhouse and murdered him in front of the pregnant Queen. Mary escaped by sweet talking Darnley and fleeing to Dunbar, to later defeat the coup.

1567 Darnley's Murder

Less than a year after helping kill Razzio, Lord Darnley was himself murdered while staying at the Provost's house, at the Kirk o' Fields on the edge of Edinburgh. Explosives had been packed in the cellar of the building, but it appears that Darnley, although desperately ill with either syphilis or smallpox, escaped the explosion, either jumping or being thrown naked into the yard. However, he was later found strangled, on February 10. Mary suspected the Earl of Bothwell, and Mary herself and he was tried but found not guilty. Bothwell later kidnapped, and some say raped, Mary when she refused to marry him, though she later agreed to become his wife.

1568 Battle of Langside

Having escaped from Loch Leven Castle in Fife, Mary Queen of Scots attempted to reach Dumbarton Castle. The Earl of Moray quickly assembled an army and attempted to cut her off. Moray held the high ground at Langside and, after an exchange of cannon fire, this became an advantage in the ensuing hand to hand fighting. Mary's army was routed and she fled to England where, after 19 years of imprisonment, she was beheaded at Fotheringay Castle by her cousin, Queen Elizabeth 1. Langside is two miles south of Glasgow.

1570 Moray's Murder

When Mary Queen of Scots abdicated in 1567, her infant son James became king and the Earl of Moray was named regent. He brought a degree of order to a land riven by disputes between Catholic and Protestants, but that also made him a target, and he was assassinated at Linlithgow by James Hamilton of Bothwellhaugh,who hid in the home of the Catholic Archbishop of St Andrew's, Linlithgow, and fired four pellets from a carbine at the Earl as he returned from Edinburgh on January 23. There is a memorial to him in Linlithgow High Street.

1575 Redeswire Raid

More of a stramash, though there were hundreds involved, this was the last battle between Scotland and England before the union of the crowns and almost led to the last Anglo-Scottish war.

1577 Eigg Massacre

The entire population of MacDonalds (about 400) on the Isle of Eigg were killed by MacLeods from Skye following a conflict between the two clans. When a large raiding party of MacLeods arrived on Eigg, the Islanders hid in a cave concealed by a waterfall. Two days later the Macleods discovered the cave and, after rerouting the source of the waterfall, they built bonfires at the cave entrance, suffocating the occupants. This brutal attack was in response to the MacLeod's being initially attacked by the MacDonalds.

1578 Blar Nan Leine

Ewen Cameron, Chief of Clan Cameron, along with with his followers, fought with John Moydartach of Clanranald in the summer of 1544 against the Frasers at the battle of Kin Loch Lochy, better known as the Battle of the Shirts when translated from the Gaelic. Many discarded their plaids, fighting only in their shirts due to the warm weather. Took place at Loch Lochy, 30 miles from from Fort William.

1578 Blar Milleadh Garaidh

Gaelic for the Battle of the Spoiling of the Dyke. The MacDonalds of Uist entered the bay of Ardmore in a fleet of eight ships under the cover of darkness. While most of the inhabitants were worshipping in church, the MacDonalds set fire to it. Only one girl escaped to raise the alarm. In retalliation the MacLeods killed the MacDonalds and buried them under a turf dyke

1594 Battle of Glenlivet

A force of about 2,000 local men in support of the Catholic Earls of Errol and Huntly routed 10,000 Highlanders under the Protestant Earl of Argyll. The last stand of the Roman Catholics led to their leaders being forced to flee the country. Glenlivet is near Ballindalloch, 14 miles north of Grantown on Spey.

1597 Fife Adventurers

Tension between Lowland Scots and their countrymen in the Highlands were epitomised by James V1, who leased the Isle of Lewis to a group of businessmen called the Fife Adventurers. There was tales of gold on the island and the group was given permission to root out the 'barbarian inhabitants' and effectively colonise the island. The Adventurers were repeatedly attacked by the Macleods. They made three efforts to take the island but give up in 1608.

1603 Battle of Glenfruin

Four hundred MacGregors ambushed a larger number of Colquhouns in the glen. They took no prisoners and 140 Colquhouns were killed. A large number of sheep and cattle were stolen. King James V1 held a judicial review of the incident and banned the name MacGregor. The battle site and a memorial are a short drive up from Arden, north east of Helensburgh.

1620 Loch Earn Raid

Cattle raiding between Clans was a way of life in highland Perthshire. A Macdonald of Glencoe raiding party was successfully repulsed by the Stewart's of Ardvorlich House on the south side of Loch Earn.Seven MacDonald's died and are buried near the house. A large stone marks the site on the south side of Loch Earn, 18 miles west of Crieff.

1639 Battle of Megray Hill

This indecisive engagment was fought just north of Stonehaven, where the Royalist troops under Aboyne, facing stiff Covenanter opposition, declined to advance and retired to nearby Aberdeen in confusion. On June 18 and 19 royalist forces defended the Brig o' Dee, the main entrance to the city from the south, for two days against Montrose, who at that time was fighting for the Covenanters. Both sides were unaware that a peace treaty had been signed on June 18. Just north of Stonehaven on the coast.

1640 Battle of Newburn Ford

A 22,500 strong Scottish army, under Alexander Leslie, Earl of Leven, headed for Newcastle. A much smaller English force, 3,000 strong was commanded by Lord Conway and the two sides came to face each other across the Tyne at Newburn. A small number of Scottish cavalry risked an attack on the English, who then abandoned their position. Conway was forced to retreat to Durham, leaving the Scots free to move on to Newcastle. Newburn is four miles from Newcastle.

1644 Battle of Aberdeen

The Marquis of Montrose's forces defeated Covenanters garrison and plundered Aberdeen. Montrose then took to the Highlands to avoid the pursuing Covenanters army of the Marquis of Argyll.

1644 Battle of Tippermore

James Graham, Marquis of Montrose, with 2,000 Highlanders and Irish defeated a Covenanter force of 6,000 under Lord Elcho at Tippermore and occupied Perth. Three miles south west of Perth.

1645 Battle of Alford

King Charles sent James Graham, Marquis of Montrose in attempt to raise the West Highland Clans. The Covenanters tried to stop them at Alford but it was a disaster. Caught between the river Don and high ground, they suffered heavy losses. After many more victories, Montrose was appointed Captain General and Lieutenant Governor of Scotland. Twenty seven miles north west of Aberdeen.

1645 Battle of Inverlochy

The second Battle of Inverlochy was between the royalist army of Charles 1, led by the Marquis of Montrose, and the Covenanting army headed by the Marquis of Argyll. This was a bitter feud between Montrose's mainly Macdonald support and their Campbell enemies. The royalists had attacked the Campbell stronghold of Inveraray, burning the town. Near Fort William in the foothills of Ben Nevis.

1645 Battle of Kilsyth

The Marquis of Montrose achieved his greatest victory when he defeated Baillie and the Covenanter's Committee of war, which left him for a short time master of Scotland. There is a memorial to the Battle in the Colzium Estate in Kilsyth. From Glasgow follow the A803 to Kilsyth.

1645 Battle of Philiphaugh

On one side was the Covenanter's army led by Major-General Sir david Leslie, and on the other by Montrose, Captain-General and Lieutenant Governor of Scotland. When the attack came it took Montrose completely by surprise. His army asleep in their tents, had no chance. It all happened very quickly and those who could fled for their lives or were killed. The battle took place near Selkirk on the banks of the Tweed.

1648 Battle of Auldearn

The Marquis of Montrose and his Royalists camped at Auldearn near Nairn, en route to attack Inverness. The Covenanters, reinforced by troops withdrawn from England because of the threat from Montrose, gathered at Inverness before marching overnight in an attempt to surprise Montrose at Auldearn. The royalists won a fierce fight, killing 2,000 Covenanters for the loss of 200 of their own men. Auldearn is about three miles east of Nairn.

1650 Battle of Invercharron

The Marquis of Montrose landed a small army in Caithness in an attempt to overthrow the Covenanters and the parliamentary rule of Oliver Cromwell. The Clan Mackenzie were expected to support him, but did not. He was routed at Carbisdale and tried to escape but was captured by the men of Neil Macleod, the 11 Chief. Montrose was hanged in the Grassmarket in Edinburgh.

1650 Battle of Dunbar

Oliver Cromwell advanced into Scotland, initially with 16,000 men, supported by ships along the east coast, in pursuit of King Charles 1. The Scots army, led by David Leslie, thwarted his attempts to take the port of Leith and Cromwell retired to Dunbar. The pursuing Scottish army was badly organised for the battle and Cromwell not only won the battle but was able to hold sway over most of Lowland Scotland.

1650 Beaton's Murder

Cardinal David Beaton, Archbishop of St Andrew's played a major role in dissuading James V from following the urgings of his uncle, the English King Henry V111, to follow him in detaching the church in his country from the bishops of Rome. When he had the Protestant George Wishart executed by strangulation and burning in March 1546, it sealed his fate. On May 29, a group of Protestants broke into St Andrew's Castle and murdered the Cardinal and took over the castle. A year later the French navy supporting Mary Queen of Scots attacked the castle and took the Protestant rebels captive, including John Knox, who was made a galley slave.

1651 Battle of Pitreavie

In this clash between the forces of Charles and Cromwell, nearly 2,000 royalists were killed, many wounded and 500 prisoners taken. For three days the the Pinkerton Burn ran red with blood. This was the last Covenanting struggle on Scottish soil, and the end of 600 years of residence by Scottish Kings in Dunfermline Palace.

1651 Battle of Dundee (city)

A Royalist stronghold during the English Civil War. Dundee paid a heavy price at the hands of Cromwell's man General Monck. His 7,000 troops laid siege to the walled city and, on September 1, gained entry when a spy reported that the guards would be drunk. Monck gave his army 24 hours freedom to rape and pillage. Some 500 were killed and as much as £2.5bn in modern terms was looted before Moncks fleet sank in the River Tay. They are still trying to find Moncks ships that sunk in the Tay with all that money.

1651 Battle of Inverkeithing

A Royalist force supporting Charles 11 failed to halt the advancing army of Oliver Cromwell heading for Perth. The Scots army under Major General Holbourne suffered a crushing defeat. Scots casualties were high with 2,000 killed, many of them clan Maclean and Buchanan.

1654 Battle of Strone Nevis

After opposing the Cromwellian garrison of Inverlochy at the battle of Achintore, Ewen Cameron, Chief of Clan Cameron, returned to the army of General Middleton. He heard that the Governor of Inverlochy was taking advantage of his absence by cutting down large quantities of his wood at Lochaber. He marched all night through the mountains and in guerrilla style attack sought his revenge near Fort William in the shadow of Ben Nevis.

1666 Battle of Rullion Green

The simmering resentment of Covenanter's blew up after a dispute on November 13 at St John's Dalry, in Kirkcudbrightshire, in which a soldier was shot. Those involved marched on Dumfries, then Ayr, Lanark and towards Edinburgh, by which point they were 1,200 strong. Hearing they had no support in Edinburgh, the protesters turned back from the heavily armed city gates, only to be caught at Rullion Green by 3,000 government troops on November 25. Fifty Covenanter's were killed. A headstone marks the battle, eight miles south of Edinburgh on the slopes of the Pentland Hills.

1666 Execution of Covenanter's

Covenanter's who survived the Battle of Rullion Green were tried and it was decided to hang eight in Ayr, two in Irvine and two in Dumfries as a warning to others. Local hangmen refused the task, but one of the eight in Ayr, Cornelius Anderson, agreed to do it to save his own life. On December 27, after drinking heavily, he hanged the other seven, who were dismembered and their bodies put on show. Anderson also executed the two held in Irvine before being freed. He moved to Ireland and went mad. A headstone to the seven Ayr martyrs can still be seen in Auld Kirk graveyard.

1679 The Killing Time

The bloody Covenanter period reached a peak during what became known as the Killing time, sparked by the May 3 murder of Archbishop James Sharp. He was disliked as a self centred man and changed sides to suit his own ends, working with George Monck in his attempt to restore the monarchy after the English Civil War. After the Restoration he was appointed Archbishop of St Andrew's and Primate of Scotland, and repressed the Covenanters. Two attempts were made on his life. The first in 1668, led to the execution of James Mitchell, but the second was successful, when a group of Covenanters killed him in front of his daughter on Magus Moor while travelling through Fife.

1679 Battle of Drumclog

This was fought in Avondale Parish, Lanarkshire, between government troops under Lord Graham of Claverhouse and the Covenanter's, (him again) who easily routed the government forces. But their victory was short lived as a Covenanter force was defeated at Bothwell Bridge three weeks later. Drumclog lies in the valley of the Avon Water, five miles east of Darvel.

1679 Battle of Bothwell Bridge

The Covenanter movement, after their success at the Battle of Drumclog, gathered to establish their next move. While here they were attacked by government forces led by Graham of Claverhouse and the Earl of Linlithgow. Located one mile south-east of Bothwell.

1689 Battle of Airds Moss

Troops led by David Bruce of Earlshall spotted some Covenanter's led by David Hackston on the moor. Nine were killed, five taken prisoner and others managed to escape during a thunderstorm. The prisoners were taken to Edinburgh where David Hackston was hung, drawn and quartered and the others hanged. In the Muirkirk Uplands, north of Cumnock.

1689 Battle of Killiecrankie

When the Scottish parliament announced James V11 and 11 had forfeited throne to his daughter Mary and her husband William of Orange, the Jacobite's went to war and won a rare victory at the pass of Killiecrankie near Pitlochry, under Viscount Bonnie Dundee, John Graham of Claverhouse. Graham heard General Hugh Mackay was moving his force from Stirling to Blair Castle and took his 2,500 to trap them at the gorge on July 26. After hours of barrage from Mackay's cannons, Graham's men attacked. Both sides suffered heavy losses but the Jacobite's claimed victory. The charismatic Graham was lost, however- a serious blow to the cause. Three miles north of Pitlochry

1689 Battle of Dunkeld

After the battle of Killiecrankie the Jacobite's attacked Dunkeld, which was in Government hands and held by the Covenanting Cameronians. The battle destroyed most of Dunkeld and the houses seen today were built immediately after this event. Dunkeld is about 10 miles north of Perth?

1 May 1690 Cromdale

Throughout the winter of 1689-90, the highland army, gradually diminishing in number, roamed about the north of Scotland. No serious attempt was made to bring it to battle until the late spring, when a column was despatched from Inverness under Colonel Livingstone, the commander of the garrison there. The Highlanders, encamped at Cromdale, about three miles north of Grantown, were surprised by a night attack. Before they had time to rally, about three hundred of them had been slain by Livingstone’s troopers, and a hundred taken prisoner. The others escaped to the hills, but they were broken as an effective force and soon afterwards dispersed.

1692 Glencoe Massacre

This infamous massacre was of a branch of the Clan MacDonald by government troops raised from the Clan Campbell. The MacDonalds had failed to swear allegiance to William of Orange and the Campbells acted under government orders to bring pro-Jacobite clans to heel. Some 38 people were killed and many more died fleeing in the depths of winter. Glencoe Visitor Centre in Ballachulish is 17 miles south of Fort William. [Editor's note: this is not so much of a battle as a massacre. It's purpose, actions, those responsible and repercussions are still hotly debate today.]

1715 Battle of Sheriffmuir

The Duke of Argyll's forces met the Jacobite army of the Earl of Mar on the Ochill hills above Dunblane. In a particularly bloody battle the left flanks of both armies were destroyed. Both sides claimed victory, but since Mar's 10, 000 had failed to overwhelm Argyll's 4,000, it was a sever blow to the credibility of the Jacobite cause. The battle site is in the Ochil hills , eight miles north of Dunblane.

1719 Battle of Glenshiel

After the abortive Jacobite Uprising of 1715, James Francis Edward Stuart, the old Pretender, became involved in an armada from Spain which was to invade England. The main fleet was wrecked by storms and only a small force arrived at Eilean Donan Castle at Loch Duich on the west coast of Scotland. The mixed force of Spaniards and Clansmen marched to Glenshiel and were met by government forces and defeated.The site is just over a mile east of Shiel Bridge.

1725 Glasgow Malt-Tax Riots

Nine people died when rioting broke out on June23 in Glasgow in protest at taxes imposed by Westminster on Scottish malt. The Shawfield Rabble stoned soldiers brought in to enforce the levy, who retaliated by shooting into their midst but were eventually chased back out of the city and forced to take refuge in Dumbarton castle until massive reinforcements came from Edinburgh, led by General Wade.

1736 Porteous Riots

When smuggler Andrew Wilson helped a friend escape from Tolbooth Prison in Edinburgh, his efforts made him popular among the city's citizens, so when he was sentenced to hang a riot broke out at the gallows. Nine died when they were fired on by the City Guard and the deaths were blamed on the captain, John Porteous. Found guilty of murder, he was himself sentenced to death but was reprieved. Learning of this, on September 7, an armed mob broke into Tolbooth Prison, took Porteous and hanged him in the street. The incident was used in Sir Walter Scott's novel, The Heart of Midlothian.

1746 Battle of Culloden

The last Battle fought on British soil, (I prefer to say Scottish soil) and the beginning of the end of traditional Highland way of life. Here in 1746, the hopes of Prince Charles Edward Stuart were crushed by the forces of his cousin, the Duke of Cumberland. Generations later no name in Scottish history evokes more emotion than that of Culloden's bleak moor.

1752 Appin Murder

In one of Scotland's most infamous murders, Colin Campbell, the Red Fox, was killed at Ballachulish, Argyll, on May 14. Jacobite Estates had been forfeited to the crown after the 45. Campbell was a factor on the Ardsheal estate and was shot dead in the Woods of Lettermore while evicting farmer tenants. James Stewart, brother of the estate's former owner Charles Stewart, was hanged after being found guilty of being an accessory to the murder, and his body was left hanging for four years near today's Ballachulish bridge. The identity of the killer was kept secret by the Stewart family. The incident was used by Robert Louis Stevenson in his novel Kidnapped

1882 Battle of the Braes

The Highland Clearances were almost over when crofters on Skye decided to fight the government, sparking the last battle fought in Britain, on April 17, 1882. The crofters refused to pay their rents and fought 50 police who tried to serve eviction notices. The violent battle eventually resulted in the crofters Act. A cairn was erected near the scene on behalf of all the crofters of Gaeldom, six miles from Portree.

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