The Battle of Culloden 16 April 1746


Map Code: Ax02012

The Battle of Culloden on 16 April 1746, the last pitched battle to be fought on British soil, signaled the end of the Jacobite era. The Jacobites wanted to remove the Hanoverian ‘usurper’ George II from the throne and replace him with a Roman Catholic, and Stuart descendant, Charles Edward Stuart, ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’. Culloden, the site chosen by Charles Stuart for the confrontation with Government forces, was a desolate moorland near Inverness (‘the worst place on earth’), where he had the support of the Gaelic-speaking Highland clans (wearing banned tartans) of Scotland. After just 20 minutes of intense hand-to-hand combat, a rain of musket balls and shells destroyed the Jacobite artillery. The Government forces held back the Jacobites, who were finally crushed by a British cavalry attack on the flanks, with 1,500–2,000 Jacobites killed or wounded, compared to 300 Government forces. Bonnie Prince Charlie left the field, finally escaping to France, and later died, drunk and ‘bitter’, of a stroke in Rome (d.1788).

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