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This Sceptred Isle

The Origin of the Jacobites and Killiecrankie
Towards the end of the 17th Century Scotland was ruled from London and by men who knew nothing of Scotland's needs and habits. There was a Privy Council in Scotland but it had limited power. James II was also VII of Scotland. His supporters were known as Jacobites. In 1689 John Graham of Claverhouse, Viscount Dundee led the Jacobites against William's men at the Pass of Killiecrankie. Dundee was victorious but was wounded and later died. Dundee's timing was wrong it was not until William III massacred the Jacobites that the Scots came out in support.

Meanwhile James II had escaped to France and with the aid of Louis XIV and French troops had invaded Ireland and was reigning in Dublin. In London Whigs and Tories quarreled amongst themselves and William III played one off against another.

John Graham of Culverhouse, Viscount Dundee
John Graham of Culverhouse, Viscount Dundee

  • (1649-1689)
  • Soldier and rebel
  • In 1677 the Duke of York (the future James II) used him to put down covenanters in Scotland
  • When William of Orange landed in 1688, Claverhouse supported James II at Salisbury and was made a viscount
  • After James escaped, Dundee (as then he was) was allowed to return to Scotland
  • Led the Highland clans loyal to James II to victory at Killiecrankie in July 1689
  • Died from a wound received in battle
  • Remembered in Scottish history and song as Bonnie Dundee

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"Their old houses are cased with boards and have oval windows (without casements or glass). Their new houses are made of stone, with good windows modishly framed and glazed, and so lofty that five or six stories is an ordinary height, and one row of buildings near the Parliament Close with no less than fourteen. The reason is their scantness of room, which not allowing them large foundations, they are forced to make it up in the superstructure.

"The houses of their quality are high and strong, and appear more like castles, made of thick stone, with iron bars before their windows. Yet now they begin to have better buildings, and to be very modish both in the fabric and furniture, though they want their gardens, which are the beauty and pride of our English seats.

"The vulgar houses, and what are seen in the villages are low and feeble. Their walls are made of a few stones jumbled together without mortar to cement them, on which they set up pieces of wood meeting at the top, ridge fashion, but so ordered that their is neither sightliness nor strength, and it does not cost much more time to erect such a cottage than to pull it down".

Select historical period

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1677 Princess Mary marries William of Orange
1685 Charles II dies
James II becomes king of England
Monmouth Rebellion put down
1687James II dissolves Parliament
1688Seven bishops imprisoned
Birth of James's son
William of Orange lands in England
James flees abroad
1689William III and Mary II become king and queen of England
1690 Irish Jacobites defeated at Boyne
1691Treaty of Limerick
1694 Death of Mary II
1701 Death of James II
Louis XIV of France recognizes the Old Pretender as king
1702 Anne becomes queen
1704Battle of Blenheim

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