Aberdeen Jacobite Trail

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The Jacobites and Bonnie Prince Charlie are amongst some of the most romantic figures in Scottish history, on the backdrop of one of the most bloody times.

Bonnie Prince Charlie’s lost fight at the Battle of Culloden in 1746 and subsequent flight across the wild moors, just tantalising out of reach of the government forces and then dressing up as Flora Macdonald’s maid in a boat to the Isle of Skye, is one of the most well-known of Scotland’s stories.

The history of the Jacobite Rebellion stems mostly from religion, when Catholics were being deposed and outlawed in favour of Protesdants. The 1707 Union of Scotland’s and England’s Parliaments aggravated the situation and, in 1715, Queen Anne died without any children and the succession went to the protesdant, George, Elector of Hanover in Germany, who became George I of Great Britain.

The major Jacobite rebellions were played out against George I in 1715, by James Francis Edward Stuart (the Old Pretender son of the former James VII of Scotland) against George II in 1745, and by his son Prince Charles Edward Stuart (the Young Pretender, Bonnie Prince Charlie).

The Battle of Culloden on 16 April 1746 was the final confrontation of the Rebellion with the Jacobite forces being decisively defeated by the government forces. The Jacobite casualties are estimated at 1,500–2,000 killed or wounded compared to the government losses of 50 dead and 259 wounded. After the Battle, lords and clan chiefs who had supported the Rebellion were stripped off their estates, and wearing tartan was outlawed except as a uniform for the British Army.

But what many people don’t realise is that the rise of the Jacobites didn’t take place just in Inverness and the Highlands – it was all over Scotland. Aberdeen had an important role to play in both of the major Jacobite rebellions of 1715 and 1745 and a role in the general struggle of the Jacobites against the government of the day.

Have fun roaming around our beautiful city and discovering our connections to the Jacobites! Click here to view the Aberdeen Jacobite Trail (including map).

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