01/08 – The ’45

Jacobites (in kilts, obviously) engage British troops during the ’45 Rebellion. (Wikimedia Commons)

On this day in 1745, Jacobites occupied Stirling, England, during the ’45 Rebellion (or, the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745). The Jacobites – from the latin Jacobus, or James – were a political movement that aimed to place the House of Stuart back on the English throne. They were sponsored by the French government and had waged a series of violent uprisings against the English monarchy beginning in the late 17th century. They were led by Bonnie Prince Charlie, a “pretender” to the throne, and had numerous supporters throughout the British Isles.

As the English armies were distracted by battles in Continental Europe during the Wars of Succession, Prince Charlie decided to act in the summer of 1745. His Jacobite army swept in from Scotland and began moving southwards to London; they made decent headway, but promised English Jacobite support failed to materialize. Distracted by their own local battles, the French neglected to provide sufficient funding to the Jacobites, and, as they reached Stirling in January of 1745, the Jacobites began to falter. Soon, their supplies were depleted; they were decisively beaten by government troops at Culloden and Bonnie Prince Charlie fled to France. Having finally stabilized the Isles, the English were free to focus their military efforts elsewhere.

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