Scotlands History

The Battle of Killiecrankie

On 27 July 1689, the Battle of Killiecrankie was fought between Jacobites loyal to King James VII and II and troops supporting the Protestant King William.

The Jacobites, led by John Graham of Claverhouse, ‘Bonnie Dundee’, were mainly Highland Scots gathered by the clan chief Cameron of Lochiel.

The Government troops, loyal to King William, were under the command of the Highlander General Hugh Mackay of Scourie. Most of the Government troops were Lowland Scots.

The forces met at the Pass of Killiecrankie near Blair Castle. The Jacobites held a strong position on a hilltop and waited for the sun to set behind the Government troops before they charged. The Highland charge smashed into the centre of the Government lines and General Mackay’s troops faltered and fled. Within minutes the battle became a rout. 

The Jacobites won the battle, but at a terrible cost - a third of their number were killed including John Graham of Claverhouse ‘Bonnie Dundee’ who was fatally wounded during the Jacobite charge. Cameron of Lochiel fought barefoot alongside his men at Killiecrankie. He survived the battle and lived to be 89.

Ultimately the first Jacobite rising, ‘the Dundee Rising’, was unsuccessful. John Graham of Claverhouse was dead, and the Jacobites scattering after defeat at the hands of the Government forces at the Battle of Dunkeld on 21 August 1689.

  • Image of The Pass of Killiecrankie
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