MHG6797 - Battle Site, Battle of Cromdale


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Type and Period (2)

  • BATTLEFIELD (17th Century - 1690 AD to 1690 AD)
  • BATTLE SITE (17th Century - 1690 AD to 1690 AD)

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Full Description

The Battle of Cromdale 1 May 1690

This battle marked the end of the first Jacobite revolt. The Jacobites (from Jacobus , Latin for James) believe king James VII and his heirs are the rightful kings of Britain.

Only five years after he came to the throne, king James VII (James II of England) was becoming increasingly unpopular with his Protestant subjects. He became a Roman Catholic wanted equal rights for Catholics, but the Protestants feared that he wished to force Catholicism onto them.

William of Orange, prince of Holland, invaded England in November 1688 on behalf of the Protestant cause. William was the son of James's sister and married to James's daughter Mary. He and Mary were jointly offered the throne on conditions set by the London Parliament, which they accepted. James was deposed on 4 April 1689, and a week later, William and Mary were crowned King and Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland.

John Graham of Claverhouse was a loyal supporter of King James, who in 1688 gave him the title of Viscount Dundee. When the Scottish lords went over to William, 'Bonnie Dundee' started the first Jacobite revolt with the support of many highlanders. He defeated the government forces under General Mackay at Killiecrankie on 27 July 1689, but died of his wounds.

The government forces finally defeated the Jacobites at the Battle of Cromdale on 1 May 1690. Bonnie Dundee's title, which had passed by now to his younger son, was forfeited.

The battle took place on the Haughs of Cromdale north of Claggersnich Wood. The 1500 Jacobite soldiers were surprised in their camp at dawn by Sir Thomas Livingston's government force of 17 troops of dragoons and 3 regiments of foot. About 400 Jacobites were killed. The rest escaped.

Over the following years there were several other Jacobite revolts, ending at Culloden, near Inverness, in 1745.

JW notes for possible interpretation panel supplied to R.Murchison

Site visited and photographed by John Halliday, 30/09/03. Highland Archaeology Challenge.
See assoc. docs. File.
J Aikten : 21/01/04.

NMRS notes

NJ12NW 1 103 277.

(Name: NJ 103277) Site of the Battle of Cromdale AD 1690 (NAT)
OS 6"map, Morayshire, 2nd ed., (1903)

The Battle of Cromdale took place at dawn on May 1st 1690. Jacobite forces under General Buchan, were surprised in camp on the Haughs of Cromdale, and at Lethendry Castle by a Royal army under Sir Thomas Livingstone. This was the decisive battle in the war between James VII and William of Orange.
T Livingston nd.; F H Groome 1901.

No further information.
Visited by OS (W D J) 6 September 1966.

Brander states that the Jacobite forces were under the command of Colonel Alexander Cannon of Galloway; they were 1,500 in number. Sir Thomas Livingstone's army consisted of seventeen troops of dragoons and three regiments of foot, aided by some 800 Grants. Some 400 of the Jacobites were killed, the remainder escaping.
M Brander 1975.

This site has been added to the Inventory of Historic Battlefields. See the link to Historic Scotland's website for full details. <1>

Metal detector surveys were carried out by Highland Archaeology Services in 2013 in advance of the proposed construction of a house and associated services on land ajoining The Old Inn and on land at Balnabodach, Haugh Road, Cromdale. Nothing related to the battle was found. <2>

Sources/Archives (5)



Grid reference Centred NJ 0888 2820 (4513m by 3288m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NJ02NE

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Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (2)

External Links (2)

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