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1719 Battlefield Site Surveyed in Scotland

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Scotland Jacobite uprisingWEST HIGHLANDS, SCOTLAND—The Scotsman reports that a team of researchers from the National Trust for Scotland are surveying the well-preserved site of the Battle of Glen Shiel, the only conflict of the 1719 Jacobite uprising. On the day of the battle some 1,150 Highlanders were joined by soldiers sent by Spain, which was also at war with Britain at the time. The Spanish government had sent around 5,000 troops to Scotland, but a storm off England’s south coast prevented all but 300 from reaching the West Highlands. Archaeologist Derek Alexander said he and his colleagues are using documents created by British Army soldier John-Henri Bastide to guide their investigation. “Apart from some forestry, the landscape has really remained unchanged,” he said. “There have been changes to the road layout but you can still see pretty much the whole battlefield.” Alexander added that the battle was also noted as the first time the British Army used small, portable weapons known as coehorn mortars, which lobbed explosives high into the air, and made it possible to hit the hillside positions taken by the Jacobites and the Spanish. “After 1719, a recommendation was made that the government garrison forts should be equipped with a number of these guns,” he said. To read about a 1650 battle in Scotland, go to “After the Battle.”

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