The Jacobites Risings: a timeline

Clansmen ready to do battle during the Jacobite Rebellions
The Jacobites Risings spanned more than 50 years in the 17th and 18th centuries, as supporters of the deposed king, James II, fought to bring the thrones of England and Scotland back to the House of Stuart. 

This timeline highlights some of the key periods in the determined rebellion. 

Autumn, 1688: The Glorious Revolution begins when William of Orange is invited by Protestant leaders in England to take the throne from James II, a Catholic. The deposed king flees to France. 

27 July, 1689: James's supporters, led by Viscount Dundee ('Bonnie Dundee'), ambush and defeat an enemy force at the Battle of Killiekrankie, in a decisive victory that they hope will bolster support for a Jacobite rebellion.  However, Dundee is killed in the fight. 

21 Aug, 1689: Jacobites rebel again at Dunkeld, in Scotland, with a large Highland force taking on a Scottish regiment. Despite their numerical superiority, the Jacobites can't break through their enemy's defences and lose many more men, withdrawing when their supplies are exhausted. 

1 July, 1690: William of Orange defeats James II and his supporters at the Battle of the Boyne in Ireland. James flees to France and would never again return to the kingdom he hoped to rule. 

12 July, 1691: Jacobites are defeated again in Ireland, at the Battle of Aughrim. This marked the end of their uprising in Ireland. 

August, 1691: King William offers to pardon all Jacobites in the Scottish Highlands who swear their allegiance by the end of the year.

13 Feb, 1692: The MacDonald clan is massacred at Glencoe because their chief missed the deadline for giving allegiance to the king. Men, women and children are slaughtered by soldiers who had billeted with them for almost two weeks before. 

12 June, 1701: Parliament passes the Act of Settlement, which says that Catholics should not be allowed to sit on the throne and succession should pass to the Protestant Sophia of Hannover if King William and Princess Anne (later Queen Anne) should die without heirs. 

6 Sept, 1701: James II dies, and Louis XIV of France recognises his son as James III, later known as the ‘Old Pretender’.

23 March, 1708: The French navy makes an unsuccessful attempt to bring James III back to Scotland. 

6 Sept, 1715: When the Hannoverian king, George I, takes the throne, Jacobites rebel in Braemar, Scotland.

13 Nov, 1715: The Jacobites are beaten at the Battle of Sheriffmuir, when poor leadership meant they could not take advantage of their superior numbers. 

14 Nov, 1715: Another defeat for the Jacobites, when their force of Scottish and English supporters is beaten near Preston, in England. The defeats of the past two days see the latest Jacobite rebellion fizzle out. 

22 Dec, 1715: The Old Pretender lands at Peterhead in northeast Scotland to rally support. He returns to France on 4 February in 1716.

23 July, 1745: Prince Charles Edward, son of James III and known as the ‘Young Pretender’ and 'Bonnie Prince Charlie,' reaches the west coast of Scotland from his residence in Rome.

19 Aug, 1745: With the support of Catholic clansmen, Prince Charles raises his standard at Glenfinnan to mark the start of his rebellion, and proclaims his father King James III and VIII.

11 Sept, 1745: Led by the Young Pretender, the Jacobites capture Edinburgh.

21 Sept, 1745: The force of clansmen defeats a professional British army at the Battle of Prestonpans, and continues south into England, sending shockwaves across the country.

4 Dec, 1745: The Jacobites reach Derby, where they run out of support and turn back for Scotland to wait for French help. 

17 Jan, 1746: The Jacobites try and fail to capture Stirling Castle, but do defeat the relieving British force at the Battle of Falkirk Muir. However, the Highlanders' decision to pillage the British Army camp meant they missed the chance to make their victory more comprehensive. 

18 Feb, 1746: Pursued by the king’s son, the Duke of Cumberland, the Jacobites head north and capture Inverness. 

16 April, 1746: Bonnie Prince Charlie ignores the advice of his men and prepares to fight Cumberland’s army at Culloden. The British cannon rip through the Jacobite forces, destroying their military capabilities. Charles flees into hiding. 

20 Sept, 1746: After months of dodging his pursuers, the Young Pretender escapes on a boat back to France, and the threat of Jacobitism is finally extinguished. 

Find out more: Join historian Barry Hilton as he visits some of the most important locations across the Scottish Highlands, including the battlefields of Killicrankie and Culloden.