Protests in the 18th century

Jacobite Rebellions

Painting of English troops executing Jacobite rebels
Credit: Getty Images
  • James II was deposed in 1688, but his supporters, called the 'Jacobites', plotted to restore the Stuart kings to the throne. There was a small, unsuccessful Jacobite rebellion in 1715.
  • In August 1745 Charles Edward Stuart – James's grandson, the 'Young Pretender' – landed in the north of Scotland. Thousands of Highlanders joined him and his army marched triumphantly into England. Charles's army numbered about 5,000.
  • They reached Derby by December, but the Scottish soldiers refused to go any further. Charles began a long retreat which ended in April 1746, when his army was destroyed at the Battle of Culloden.
  • The English brutally repressed the Highlanders – all the wounded Scots were killed, about 1,000 prisoners were transported and 120 executed. All the Scottish nobles who had taken part in the rebellion were executed. The English destroyed the power of the 'clans', forbidding the Highlanders to wear tartan or play the bagpipes.

These rebellions were different to the rebellions of the Middle Ages because:

  • the rebels were motivated by religion, rather than by poverty
  • the rebels were trying to overthrow the queen/king
  • the uprisings were led by lords