Battle of Falkirk Muir

The 17th January 1746 saw this battle take place between the Jacobites, under the leadership of Bonnie Prince Charlie, and the Hanoverian army.

This was to be the last major victory for the Jacobites as they were defeated, some say massacred, at the Battle of Culloden, just three months later.

The Jacobites had fought their way south as far as Derby, the previous year.  They had found a lack of support and fresh troops that they had expected so had decided upon a retreat to Scotland.

They had planned to march on London and crown their leader, but the Scottish nobles advised Bonnie Prince Charlie that there was not enough support and they should go north and bolster their support there, then try again.

This proved to be a costly mistake.  London itself was weakened at that time, and could easily have been overpowered by the forces that the Jocobites already had.  History could have been so much different if Charlie had gone against their advice…….

The Hanoverian army lost almost 500 by some accounts with the Jacobites losing less than 100 men.

Another mistake followed, in that the Jacobites did not take the initiative and go after the remaining Hanoverians.  This gave the royal army the chance to recover and reorganise their ranks, ready to take on the Highlanders once more.

Partly this mistake was caused by the illness of Charlie shortly after Falkirk Muir, which kept him holed up in Bannockburn House, where he was nursed back to health.

The Jacobites needed a stronger leader, who had more experience and determination.  Bonnie Prince Charlie was a great figurehead, but did not trust his own judgement and took bad advice from his ministers.

Soon he would once again be exiled from his country, and travelling back to France, where he lived out his life.

To this day, there are still some who claim the Jacobite line of succession is the true one, not the Hanoverian line, to whom the Windsor family trace.

 

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