Am Baile: highland history and cultureHighland Council logo
Plan of the Battle of Culloden

Plan of the Battle of Culloden

Zoomable Image

Print this page

Email a friend

Make a Comment

Add to Scrapbook


LOCATION: Culloden
PERIOD: 1740s
DISTRICT: Inverness
CONTRIBUTOR: Highland Libraries
COLLECTION NAME: Fraser Mackintosh (maps)
location map

This plan was published in the Daily Gazetteer on the 5th May 1746.
The Battle of Culloden was the last pitched battle to be fought on British soil and also saw the end of the 1745 Jacobite Rising and of the Jacobite cause.

By April 1746, the Jacobite army was tired, hungry and demoralised after the long march north from Derby, a hostile stay in Glasgow and the lack of promised French reinforcements. As the army was pursued north by the Duke of Cumberland, many Highlanders began to desert in search of food and to return to their homes. Despite advice from Lord George Murray to take to the hills and fight, Bonnie Prince Charlie chose Culloden Moor as the place to stand against the government army.
Culloden Moor was totally unsuitable for the Highland battle tactics and was more suited to the government army.
On the night of 15 April 1746, the Jacobite army marched to Nairn from Culloden in the hope of attacking the Duke's army and taking them by surprise. However, when they reached Nairn just before dawn, they found the government army awake and celebrating the Duke's 25th birthday, so the Jacobites turned back and marched the ten miles back to Culloden.

Realising that the Jacobites had been marching all night, the Duke of Cumberland decided to face them at Culloden Moor on 16 April. The government artillery provoked the Highlanders into charging but the ground was unsuitable for the Highland charge. In many places the Highlanders were stopped by musket and cannon fire before they could reach the government line.

The battle was over in less than an hour. Approximately 1500 Jacobites were killed during and after the battle, including innocent bystanders, women and children. This action earned the Duke of Cumberland the nickname 'Butcher'. Bonnie Prince Charlie fled the battlefield before the end of the fighting and eventually escaped back through France to Rome.

This plan was taken from 'An Impartial History of the Late Rebellion in 1745', by S Boyse


If you would like to view the original item please see the library's website for opening hours. Inverness Library

Find out more about Charles Fraser MacKintosh

Some other items in this collection...

Ptolemy's Map of Britain

Ptolemy's Map of Britain

Craig Phadrig

Craig Phadrig

Map showing distribution of early Highland clan locations

Map showing distribution of early Highland clan locations

Plan of the Battle of Falkirk

Plan of the Battle of Falkirk

Copyright © 2003 - 2015 Am Baile/The Gaelic Village