UK, 18th Century - Domestic Policy

The Jacobite Rebellion, 1715

A.) Causes for the Rebellion

The House of Stuart, ever since having been ousted from the British Isles in 1688-1690, continued to claim the thrones of both England and Scotland. They took up residence in Paris, later Rome and were Catholics. Especially in Scotland they had symnpathizers.
In 1707 Scottish merchant interests - in the English colonial empire the Scottish merchants were treated as foireigners and thus at a disadvantage - were the decisive motive for the Scottish parliament passing the Act of Union, which resulted in the dissolution of the Scottish parliament and in the creation of the United Kingdom. It was not very popular among ordinary Scots.
In 1714, Queen Anne died, succeeded by King George I. of the House of Hannover. The new king did not speak English; he enjoyed little popularity in Scotland.

B.) The Rebellion

The central figure in the rebellion was the Earl of Mar, a Scottish nobleman disgruntled because he had been snubbed by King George I.; without contacting the House of Stewart on the continent, he began the rebellion in their name by raising their standard on Sept. 6th 1715. He took Perth, but hesitated to take action against the small force loyalist force commanded by the Duke of Argyll. A Jacobite force raised in southern Scotland, instead of turning on Argyll, moved into England, where they united with English Jacobites, raised by Thomas Forster. The united force surrendered to government forces at Preston, Nov. 14th 1715. On Nov. 13th, the Earl of Mar failed to defeat the forces of the Duke of Argyll, despite considerable numerical superiority (10,000 to 3,000), in the Battle of Sheriffmuir.
King James (the Old Pretender) arrived in Scotland Dec. 22nd; by that time the balance had tipped, as Argyll received reinforcements, among them experienced Dutch troops. In February 1716, King James and the Earl of Mar left Scotland for France.

The Jacobites, by Len Nicholson
Battle of Sheriffmuir 1715, from ScotClans; from McGonagall Online (poem)
1715 Jacobite Rebellion, from Histoty
John Erskine, Earl of Mar, from EB 1911
DOCUMENTS Declaration of the Earl of Mar, September 9, 1715, posted by The Jacobite Heritage
Documents Illustrating Jacobite History : The 1715 Rising, posted by The Jacobite Heritage

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on June 14th 2003, last revised on November 19th 2004

Click here to go Home
Click here to go to Information about KMLA, WHKMLA, the author and webmaster
Click here to go to Statistics

Impressum · Datenschutz