301 years ago today, a bloody battle was fought on a Perthshire moor – the Battle of Sheriffmuir. The battle was a turning point in the story of one of our own monuments. Kildrummy Castle was the place from which the rising was launched, and the outcome of the battle led to its ruin.
The Battle of Sheriffmuir was the final battle in the Jacobite Rising of 1715 – an attempt by supporters of James Francis Edward Stuart to regain the thrones of England and Scotland for the exiled House of Stuart. Though the battle was inconclusive, it prevented the Jacobite army marching further south, and effectively ended the campaign.
The rising is sometimes known as ‘Lord Mar’s Revolt’, because of the instrumental role of John Erskine, 6th Earl of Mar. Mar led the Jacobite troops, and decided their strategy. The rising began when Mar marched from his castle of Kildrummy to Corgarff Castle in Strathdon to muster and arm his forces. He then went onwards to Braemar, where he raised James’s royal standard.
Corgarff Castle, Strathdon, where Mar mustered troops during the 1715 Jacobite Rising.
The rising’s end came on a moor above Dunblane, on 13 November 1715. Mar’s forces met those led by the Duke of Argyll, who were fighting in support of the House of Hanover. The Jacobites had the advantage of numbers, and though they lost more men in the battle, eventually began to close in on the Hanoverian troops. But Mar did not give the order to advance, possibly believing that he had won the battle already. The battle, and the rising, ended in confusion.
After the battle, Mar was forced into exile, and Kildrummy Castle fell into ruin. Once witness to a pivotal moment in our nation’s history, today the castle walls withstand only the changing seasons – a peaceful end to a life of turmoil.
The Battle of Sherrifmuir is included in our Battlefield Inventory. Visit our website to find out more about the Inventory.