Remembering the fallen Scots at the Culloden Fields of Inverness.
If you have never heard of the Culloden Fields, prepare to be enlightened.
The Battle of Culloden; which occurred on the Culloden Fields of Scotland in 1746, was the final confrontation between the Jacobite Army and The Royal British Army, and is registered as one of the worst religious civil wars that ever occurred in Britain. Around 1,500 to 2,000 Jacobites; which consisted mostly of Scots, were killed or wounded in the brief battle. In stark contrast, only about 300 soldiers of The Royal British Army were killed or wounded.
How it started? I’ll try not to bore you will too many historical details. But basically, Queen Anne monarch of the House of Stuart; who was Catholic and ruled Britain under a Catholic Church, died in 1714, leaving no living children to ascend to the thrown. She was succeeded by her second cousin George I of the House of Hanover, who took the throne and ruled Britain under a Presbyterian Church. Even though, he was a descendant of the Stuarts through his maternal grandmother.
However, another of her descendants Charles Edward Stuart; Bonnie Prince Charles as otherwise known, who was living in France at the time and was a Catholic, believed he had the right to the throne and to rule Britain under a Catholic Church. Knowing full well, that many Scots were Catholic, and with many clans still battling the British Army in Scotland, fighting British rule, Charles used this to gain power in Scotland to form an uprising of the Jacobite Army, who would ultimately stand by him and fight for his right to rule over all Britain.
Of course, this ended really badly, as most of the soldiers recruited for the Jacobite army, had little no experience on a battlefield and after many months of fighting the British Army; with no food or water and very little rest, they were severely outnumbered and weary in comparison to the Royal British Army, by the time the conflict began at the Culloden Fields.
The Hanoverian victory of George I at Culloden halted the Jacobite intent to overthrow the House of Hanover, and Charles Stuart never again tried to challenge its power in Great Britain. The conflict was the last pitched battle fought on British soil. All clans associated with the Jacobite army were arrested, jailed or hung at the order of George I and henceforth all tartan representing clans was outlawed and forbidden to be worn, as part of the Dress Act of 1746. This of course was then repelled in 1782 and it was okay to wear tartan again for ceremonial purposes only. This was to ensure the breakdown of clans in Scotland, and prevent any further risings against the crown and church of England.
Despite the horrible history at the Culloden Fields, we spent a peaceful few hours walking through the fields and remembering the fallen Scots (and Brits of course) who fought for their beliefs here. It was sad though, to think, that many Scottish clans were annihilated that day, ending a family of historical traditions through Scotland, that died off at the result of this battle.
If you happen to travel to Inverness, in Scotland, do take the time to visit the battlefield, as for many us (like myself), this battle represents the future we are living today, and a part of history that many of ancestors were part of.