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Battle of Falkirk


In the meantime Macleod reached Elgin, where he received intelligence that a party of 200 of the insurgents had taken possession of the boats on the Spey at Fochabers, and that they intended to dispute the passage with him. Macleod advanced to the banks of the Spey on the 15th; but the insurgents, instead of waiting for him, retired on his approach, and he passed the river without molestation. On the 16th and 17th he marched to Cullen and Banff.

Meanwhile Munro of Culcairn arrived with his detachment at Keith, where he was joined by Grant of Grant at the head of 500 of his clan, and on the 18th they proceeded, in conjunction, to Strathbogie. Next day it was agreed upon between Macleod and Culcairn, that whilst the former should march next morning from Banff to Old Meldrum, which is twelve miles from Aberdeen, the latter, with Grant and his men, should at the same time proceed to Inverury, which is about the same distance from Aberdeen; but Grant, apprehensive that his own country would be harassed in his absence, returned home.

When Lord Lewis Gordon heard of the arrival of Macleod at Inverury, he resolved to attack him. With his own regiment, the men whom Lord John Drummond had sent, and a battalion of 300 Farquharsons, commanded by Farquharson of Monaltry, he left Aberdeen on the 23rd, and arrived near Inverury with such expedition and secrecy, that he almost surprised Macleod in his quarters. It was late before Lord Lewis reached the place, and Macleod had barely time to put his men under arms, and to seize some advantageous posts in the town. Day-light had disappeared before the action commenced; but the light of the moon enabled the combatants to see one another.

Both sides continued to fire for some time; but Lord John Drummond's soldiers and the Farquharsons having advanced close upon the Macleods, the latter fled, and never halted till they had recrossed the Spey. Very few men were killed on either side; but the victors took forty-one prisoners, among whom were Mr. Gordon, younger of Ardoch; Forbes of Echt; Maitland of Petrichie; and John Chalmers, one of the regents of the university of Aberdeen.

Shortly after this skirmish, Lord Lewis Gordon marched his men to the general rendezvous at Perth, where, about the time of Prince Charles's return from England, about 4,000 men were collected. These consisted of the Macintoshes, the Frasers, the part of the Mackenzies attached to Charles, and the Farquharsons; of recruits sent from the Highlands to the clan regiments that had gone to England; of the forces raised by Lord Lewis Gordon, Sir James Kinloch, and other gentlemen in the low country of the north; and of the troops brought over from France by Lord John Drummond.

While this mixed body lay at Perth, a disagreement occurred between the Highlanders and the other troops, which might have led to serious consequences if the arrival of an order sent by the prince from Dumfries, requiring them to hold themselves in readiness to join him, had not put an end to the dispute. This disagreement was occasioned by the conduct of Lord Strathallan and his council of officers, on receiving the order which Charles had sent from Carlisle by Maclauchlan of Maclauchlan, to march with all their forces, and to follow the army into England.

This order, contrary to the opinion of Maclauchlan and all the Highland officers, they had considered it inexpedient to obey. The result was, that the Highland officers caballed together, and resolved to march; but as the Highlanders had no money, as many of those who had come last from the Highlands wanted arms, and as Lord Strathallan was in possession of the money, arms, ammunition, and stores, they could not proceed. In this dilemma they entered into a combination to seize the money and arms, and, persisting in their resolution to march, matters were proceeding to extremities when Rollo of Powhouse arrived to Perth with the order alluded to, which at once put an end to the dispute.

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