Monthly Archives: November 2015

Falkirk or Paradise? Commemorating the Battle of Falkirk – January 16th 2016

Falkirk or Paradise? Commemorating the 270th anniversary of the Battle of Falkirk.

Callendar House, Falkirk, Saturday, January 16th 2016.

“Tonight we shall lie either in Falkirk or in Paradise”

– reported words of Lord George Murray, General of the Jacobite Army, January 17th 1746

Falkirk, the forgotten battle…..the penultimate battle fought on British soil…. the final Jacobite triumph, yet a pyrrhic victory which left Prince Charlie’s forces severely depleted…..

270 years after the battle was fought, The 1745 Association is organising a free event to remember what happened on that day.


Midday: Those who wish to enjoy The Prince’s Dinner before the Main Event will gather in the Green Room, Callendar House, where, on September 14th 1745, Prince Charles Edward Stuart dined with the Earl of Kilmarnock.

1:30 PM: Green Room: Welcome and Introduction to Callendar House and the Earl of Kilmarnock during the ‘45 (Michael Nevin).

2:00 PM: The group will depart for a guided tour of the Battle of Falkirk by Geoff Bailey, author of Falkirk or Paradise (1996), the authoritative account of the events leading up to the battle and the course of the battle itself.

3:45 PM: Return by way of Falkirk Parish Church, to pay our respects to the graves of Hanoverian and Jacobite officers who fell at Falkirk.

4:30 PM: Return to Callendar House for a warming cup of tea, coffee or mulled wine, with bannock / scones.

5:00 PM: Close.

Note that the Main Event from 1:30 PM to 5:00 PM is free, but places are limited by capacity and will be allocated on a “first-come, first-served” basis.   Bookings should be made through the Council Member organising the event, Michael Nevin, either by e-mail on:

or by phone on:

0782 4829 445

stating whether the booking is for The Main Event from 1:30 PM onwards, or whether you also like to book for The Prince’s Dinner at midday.

Sheriffmuir 300 Commemoration – Friday 13 November 2015

Many thanks to those members who turned out at Sheriffmuir in fairly dreadful weather on Friday 13 November to commemorate the Tercentenary of the Battle of Sheriffmuir at a joint event held in conjunction with the Association of Highland Clans & Societies (AHCS) and the Clan MacRae Society. Approximately 90 people attended from all three organisations with Jamie Erskine, the current Earl of Mar and Kellie and a direct descendant of the 6th Earl who lead the Jacobite army that day in 1715, as a principal guest. After a short ceremony and speech and a lament at the large Clan MacRae monument to remember those of that clan who fell in the battle, the focus shifted to the nearby 1745 Association cairn and plaque. The Rev Bob Harley then conducted a very moving service which included prayers, the singing of the 23rd Psalm, the reading of his poem “Allan Water” about the battle by James King and the laying of two wreaths by Council Member Mike Niven on behalf of The 1745 Association, and by John Nichols of the Northumbrian ’15 Society, followed by a lament entitled “Lament for the Children” by the Clan MacRae Piper, Jimi MacRae. Thereafter those able and willing trudged across the moor through mud, bogs and puddles to the Gathering Stone on the battlefield where a third commemorative event took place arranged by the ACHS at which our President, Brigadier John Macfarlane, read selected verses in both Gaelic and English from a moving poem of the time about the battle. Wreaths were then laid by the Earl of Mar and Kellie and several clan chiefs and representatives from a number of other clans and organisations, and the piper completed the proceedings with a third lament. Following the muddy trudge back to the road all were then ferried back by coach to the Sheriffmuir Inn to dry out and warm themselves through over afternoon tea and cakes. Although the weather was cold, windy and wet, in a strange way many present felt that it made them better appreciate the conditions endured by those who fought that day in 1715.  All in all a very successful, worthwhile and poignant commemorative event. I attach some photos of the day.

Glen MacDonald

DSCF2190 DSCF2209DSCF2200



On this moor on 13 November 1715, a Jacobite army composed largely of
Highlanders under the command of the Earl of Mar met a Hanoverian army
consisting mainly of regular British soldiers under the Duke of Argyll,
at what has become known as the Battle of Sheriffmuir.
The result was indecisive but Mar’s failure to take advantage of Argyll’s
weakened position in the closing stages of the conflict and subsequent withdrawal
from the field contributed to the failure of the Rising – known as “The Fifteen” –
in favour of the restoration of the exiled King James VIII (the “Old Chevalier ).



The Prisoners of the ’45 Volumes 1, 2, and 3

The Prisoners of the ’45 Volumes 1, 2, and 3. (1928)

Sir Bruce Gordon Seton and Jean Gordon Arnot

These have been transcribed (in Microsoft Word 2010 and zipped into one file) but not edited. Ready for digitising and adding to the database.

The Prisoners of the ’45 Volume 1,2,3

Transcribed from the Scottish History Society post (using ABBYY FineReader 11 ):

Digitised Volumes « Scottish History Society

A Jacobite Miscellany (1948) by Tayler, Henrietta, 1869-1951

We have been given permission by The Roxburghe Club to publish A Jacobite Miscellany as a PDF. Edited by Henrietta Taylor (Hetty) in 1948. This book was fully transcribed by me in 2010.

A Jacobite Miscellany download.

This book is, for me, a work of art. It is large and beautifully printed.


A Jacobite Miscellany

A Jacobite miscellany. Eight original papers on the rising of 1745-1746.

  1. Memoria Istorica per l’anno 1744.
  2. Two letters from Magdalen Pringle.
  3. Manuscript account of the expedition to Scotland, by Sir John Macdonald.
  4. Istoria di sua Altezza Reale, il Principe di Galles.
  5. The Prince’s own account of a part of his wanderings.
  6. A portion of the diary of David Lord Elcho, 1721-87.
  7. The loss of the Prince Charles. [By George A. Talbot.]
  8. Letters of Flora Macdonald.

Sheriffmuir 300 Commemoration Event Fri 13 Nov 15 – Arrangements For Those Attending

Dear All,

Arrangements are now all in place for the “tri venue” commemorative event at Sheriffmuir on Fri 13 Nov and I am emailing you all now to let you have the relevant details in advance.

 Firstly, although I am still awaiting confirmation of the final Nos in one group, I believe that there will be at least 20 people in our party comprising mostly 1745 Association members plus one or two guests including, most notably, John and Elizabeth Nichols from the Northumbrian ’15 Society. As far as I can work out I think that 15 of us are intending to repair to the Sheriffmuir Inn on completion for afternoon tea, so that should all be very convivial.

 As a reminder there will also be approximately 60 others attending from the various affiliated clans of the Association of Highland Clans and Societies (AHCS), as well as a separate, distinct group from the Clan MacRae. In all therefore there should be about 80 of us which will be a good turnout. It is also of note that James Erskine, the current Earl of Mar, will also be attending as a guest of the ACHS.

 Please remember that there is no parking at the battle site cairns, and everyone should meet and park their cars at the Sheriffmuir Inn, FK15 0LN, before 1.30 pm.  (Indeed any vehicles parked at the very small layby next to the cairns will prove very awkward and inconvenient as there will be limited space for the numbers present on foot). Toilet facilities will be available in the Inn for those who, as we say in the Royal Navy, may wish to take the “seamanlike precaution” of “easing springs” in advance of battle! The first shuttle bus will leave from the Inn at around 1320.  Buses will shuttle people the mile or so, down to the cairns ready to start the Commemoration at 1400.

There is some talk amongst ACHS members of marching down the road from the Inn to the cairns, although at the time of e mailing I am not entirely sure if this will take place or not, and I daresay will depend upon the weather. If this takes place I am sure that any of you who wished to join this march would be welcome to do so, but may wish to arrive slightly earlier for this.

As previously mentioned the intention will be to hold three commemorative events in succession commencing at the Clan MacRae cairn, followed by a second one at our 1745 Association cairn only a few meters along the road. Bob Harley has very kindly agreed to write and conduct a short service for our part of the proceedings which will include a few appropriate words, prayers and the reading of a poem about the battle, followed buy the laying of a wreath from the 1745 Association and the playing of a lament by a piper from the Clan MacRae. Bob will provide a printed Order of Service on the day. (Don’t forget your specs!)

For John Nichols – John, we are very pleased that you and Elizabeth will be with us and would of course be delighted to include provision in the proceedings for you to lay a wreath on behalf of the Northumbrian ’15 Society if you wish to. Alternatively you may prefer to lay a wreath at the Gathering Stone. You can let us know in due course, or on the day.

Thereafter, for those wishing and able to make the walk across the muir on the battlefield itself, the ACHS will conduct a third commemorative event at the Gathering Stone at which a number of representatives will lay wreaths from various clans and societies etc. This event will also include the reading of an appropriate poem in Gaelic by our own President, Brigadier John Macfarlane, as well as a further lament by the piper. Please remember to wear suitable footwear for the walk up onto the muir where the going, depending on the weather, may be wet and muddy or icy.

All in all this should be a very enjoyable and interesting event. Thereafter we will walk back to the roadside area where the shuttle bus will take us back in groups to the Sheriffmuir Inn for afternoon tea and/or to be reunited with our cars, as appropriate.

 For those partaking of afternoon tea this has been booked for you and the cost will be £6 per person, for which I understand we will (each!) be offered tea, a scone and a piece of cake! Please bring exact money for the numbers in your group as I will collect £6 per head from each of you in order to pass the correct amount of money to the ACHS who will then settle the bill on behalf of all three groups. Providing change in return for £10 or £20 notes may not be possible.

I am very keen that we capture this event in photographs so that we can then post them on our website and possibly also in a future 1745 Association E mail Newsletter. Whilst I will take some photos myself, it would therefore be appreciated if some of those present might also bring a camera and subsequently e mail any good digital images to me for these purposes.

Finally I note the following message from the ACHS e mail to their members which may be of interest:
“Nicholas Maclean-Bristol will be attending the Commemoration and there is a chapter on the Maclean involvement in the battle, along with the lead up to the battle and its aftermath, in his book ‘Castor and Pollux’.  If people have not got a copy, and contact him [], he will bring copies on 13th November. The cost of the book [a big reduction] is £15.

Nicholas also has copies of his ‘Inhabitants of the Inner Isles, Morvern and Ardnamurchan, 1716’, published by the Scottish Record Society, which lists all the people living on Mull and the area, by name, and whether or not they were involved in the 1715 Rising.  These are available at £10 each [again a good reduction].”

I hope that all of the above information is clear. However, if anyone has any particular queries or issues then please don’t hesitate to e mail me back. Meantime, thank you very much for your willingness to attend this event I very much look forward to seeing you all on the day. Many thanks.



 Glen MacDonald