On this day 1715: 7,000 Jacobites fight at Battle of Sheriffmuir

It was a chaotic encounter on high ground near Stirling where the Jacobites managed to summon 7,000 men to fight.

Tuesday, 13th November 2018, 5:35 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th November 2018, 8:34 am

The outcome of the Battle of Sheriffmuir may not have delivered a clear victory for either side but the encounter was enough to bring to an end the 1715 Jacobite Rising.

The Earl of Mar, who raised the Stuart Standard in Deeside in defiance of Hanoverian rule in September 1715, sent a force into England as his rising gained momentum while those who remained in Scotland encountered a smaller government force of around 3,000 men east of Dunblane.

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The Battle of Sheriffmuir, fought on November 13 1715, offered up no clear victor with some considering the encounter to be a strategic Jacobite defeat. PIC: Creative Commons.

Sections of the government line broke up and fled after the Jacobites charged their opponents with a number of Redcoats fleeing the field.

Mar and his men pursued the soldiers with toe-to-toe fighting recorded on farmland around half -a-mile from the original position, according to the Inventory of Historic Battlefields.

It is estimated that 400 Jacobite fighters may have been killed, wounded or captured on November 13 with around 500 Government soldiers dead or injured.

Many have considered the encounter at Sheriffmuir to be a Jacobite defeat given their far bigger force had failed to cross the Forth and take control of the Central Belt.

A decision by not to re-engage government forces for a second time later in the day is considered by some to be a key factor in the failure of the 1715 rising.

The inconclusive victory at Sheriffmuir was further compounded by the surrender of the Jacobite forces in England the following day.

Not even the arrival in Scotland of the deposed James Stuart in December could turn the tide for Mar’s rising.

The 1715 ended with his exile and the execution of a number of key English Jacobites.

“Although the Jacobites were beaten, they were unbowed and the next rising happened just four years later,” the inventory said.