William G. A. Shaw of Easter Lair for this article.
On April 16th, we honour the Jacobites
who stood shoulder to shoulder at Culloden. Exhausted, hungry, out
manned and out gunned, these brave men of The '45 answered their
officers calls of 'Claymore' with the resoloute cock of firelocks
and the determined scrape of drawing blades.
The Jacobites fought for many reasons.
Some for the 'King over the Water'. Others at the behest of their
chief or laird. Some mustered alongside friends and family, or went
out to fight against the Union. And some fought just for the fun of
a good creach against the Sassenach.
The story of the Shaws of Crathienaird,
Glenisla and Glenshee in the 1745 Rising is only the tiniest
footnote in the history of 'An Bliadhna Tearlach'. However,
like many other families during The '45, their actions are a small
yet golden thread in the tapestry of the history of the Highlands.
The pillar of our sept was Donnachaidh 'Riem Aon' Shaw of Crathienaird,
the 'Man of Power'. A Jacobite at heart, Duncan of Crathienaird was
trusted by both the Williamite government and by his Jacobite
friends and relatives. Duncan was Chamberlain to the Earl of Mar,
and had a Captains commission to command a company of 20 men for the
local ‘Watch’. He was also Factor for Balmoral, Abergeldie, and
Invercauld. After Crathienaird's death in 1723, his sons Jacobite
proclivities began to bubble. By 1745, they reached the boiling
When Lord Lewis Gordon initiated the
Deeside Jacobite movement in 1745, he appointed Francis Farquharson
of Monaltrie as Colonel. Monaltrie, or the 'Baron Ban' was a very
close friend of the Crathienaird, Glenisla and Glenshee Shaws. When
Monaltrie mustered the Farquharsons, many Shaws joined him, or
joined the regiment of their neighbour, the Earl of Airlie. Risking
all with the Baron Ban and young Lord David (Ogilvy), the Shaws
fought at both Falkirk and Culloden*.
Captain James Shaw of Daldownie
was Crathienaird's eldest son. He was noted as 'Servitor to the
Laird of Invercauld', but happily joined the Regiment of his close
friend Monaltrie. After the '45, Daldownie was involved in the
(literal) cover up of the infamous Sargeant Arthur Davies murder,
recommending Davies's body be buried privately in the moss to avoid
bringing down even more Hanoverian trouble to the area.
Duncan Shaw, was Daldownie's
eldest son. He lived down at Cortachy, and was Factor to Lord
Airlie. Duncan acted as 'Depute Lord Lieutenant of Angus' for the
rebels under Airlie. He took to the heather after the regiment
John Shaw of Drumfork was
Daldownie's second son and was described as a 'Rebell Captain' in
the '45. John married Margaret, the eldest daughter of John Shaw of
Kinrara, Rothiemurchus. Kinrara fought with the Clan Chattan, and
was killed after Culloden.
Thier cousin, John Shaw of Riverney
was Crathienairds' second son. He joined the Farquharson
Company of Lord Ogilvy’s Regiment, serving as an Ensign. After
Culloden, John became a fugitive and took to the heather. When he
returned home, he was so changed that even his friends barely
Donald Shaw was Crathienaird’s
third son. He too was an Ensign in the Farquharson Company of
Airlie's Regiment. After the regiment stood down, he hid for a
while in the wild areas around Glenshee and Glenisla. Donald later
dodged his way at night to the coast and found a ship bound for
Holland, where he served as an officer in the Dutch army. He
eventually returned to Scotland and married a bonny lass from
'Cruiket' Duncan Shaw of the Balloch
was Crathienaird's fourth son. Unlike his father, this Duncan's
ethos as one of gentleness and peace. While his brothers and
cousins belted their plaids and gathered claymore, biodag, pistols,
firelocks and oatmeal and marched off with the Farquharsons and
Ogilvys, Duncan stayed at home, and took care of his brother’s
families and farms. As word of Culloden and as his brothers
filtered back to Glen Isla, Duncan's faith and fortitude was
paramount. He endangered his own life and loyally smuggled food,
clothing, goods and Intel on local movements of the Hanoverian
military to his brothers and cousins in hiding.
Alister Shaw of the Auchavan was
Crathienaird's fifth son, and was a Captain in the Ogilvy Regiment.
He was shot in the thigh by a carbine round at Falkirk. Undeterred,
he skewered the English dragoon with this claymore, killing him.
Auchavan also fought at Culloden. At his funeral, Lord Airlie
placed his foot on Alister’s grave and said: “Here lies one who
never turned his back on a friend or an enemy”. Alister's third
wife was a daughter of Donald Shaw of Dalnavert in Rothiemurchus.
Farquhar Shaw, Duncan 'Riem
Aon's' the sixth son, was also ‘out with the Farquharsons.
William Shaw of Broughdearg and
Little Forter was the youngest Captain in Ogilvy’s II Battalion.
After the collapse of the rising, William, too 'lurked' in the
heather around Glenshee and Glen Isla. He narrowly evaded capture a
number of times and had many adventures. The 1868 ‘Memorials of
the Clan Shaw’ tells how young William was hiding around
Dalruzion in when a troop of dragoons suddenly raided the farm. A
cousin, Ms. Rattray knew that William was nearby, and to give a
warning, coquettishly started a conversation in the kitchen with the
regimental drummer. She (probably with batting of eyelashes and a
beguiling decolletage) pretended not to know what a drum sounded
like. The drummer, puffed himself up and went out to the back court
and gave her a full demonstration. Out front, the English officer in
command of the raid dashed back to silence the drummer, but it was
too late. The tattoo alerted, William and his brothers nearby. At
one point William was living in a cave near the north side of Mount
Blair, where his brother 'Cruiket' Duncan regularly brought him
food. William survived his ordeals, and married a second daughter of
poor John Shaw of Kinrara. Little Forter in Glenisla is still owned
by the Shaw family today.
Cousin Alister Shaw of Inchrory
lived over the hill up in Strathavon. Inchrory cheerfully 'went
out' with the Farquharsons with his friend Monaltrie. Inchrory was
also involved in the heroic post-Culloden exploits of another
friend, the famous Jacobite warrior poet John Roy Stuart
(whose mother, by the way, was a Shaw of Guislich).
....As we remember the men of Culloden,
let us also remember the women, children and elders who after that
terrible battle, stood forlornly at the door, watching down the
glen....hoping for the return of their loved ones who never came
home. All these innocents suffered in poverty and worry, under
oppression and threat, as their tartan and cattle and bagpipes and
language and eventually their ery way of life was stripped from
them…yet still they held true to the motto 'Tandem Triumphans'.
*At Culloden, the Ogilvy regiment was ordered to the
second line's far right. As the battle impetus collapsed, they
wheeled off to the right flank, and about faced several times.
Withdrawing in formation, they provided covering fire to keep Lord
Mark Ker's dragoons in check. This enabled part of the remaining
Jacobite right wing precious time to flee. The regiment withdrew to
Glen Clova in Angus, where they disbanded on 21, April. While some
of the regiments units caused a bit of trouble in the area for a
while, many of the men soon disbursed throughout the wilder parts of
the Perthshire and Angus Highlands.