JAMES VII.--THE BATTLE OF KILLIECRANKIE
If the Covenanters had suffered under Charles II., they
suffered yet more under James VII. ‘ There will never be
peace in Scotland until the whole country south of the
Forth is turned into a hunting field,’ he had said. And
this he seemed bent on doing. Lauderdale had long been
dead, but his place had been taken by James Graham of
Claverhouse—Bloody Clavers, the people called him. He
was a fine gentleman, he had a beautiful face and grand
manners, but he was as cruel as polished steel. His
time of power, however, ‘ the killing time,’ was drawing
to an end. For thirty years the terrible war of religions
had racked Scotland, but now it was almost over.
James VII. was a despot Despot is a Greek word for
master, but it has come to mean a cruel, hard master.
The English would not suffer a despot, and they hated
Roman Catholics, and when they saw that James was
bent on making the whole country Roman Catholic once
more, they rebelled.
Mary, the eldest daughter of King James, had married
William, Prince of Orange, who lived in Holland. He
was a Protestant Prince, and had given a refuge to many
Protestants who had fled from persecution. So now
the people of England sent to Prince William, and asked
him to come to take the throne of England. He came,
and James, finding himself deserted even by his own
368 SCOTLAND’S STORY
family, fled away to France. Never was revolution so
sudden and bloodless. Almost without a struggle, William
and Mary became King and Queen of Britain. This was
called the Glorious Revolution.
James had reigned only three years when he fled
in 1688 a.d.
In Scotland, however, the revolution was hardly so
bloodless as in England. In spite of all his cruelties, there
were some who still clung to James, and fought for him as
their King. These people came to be called Jacobites,
from Jacobus, which is Latin for James.
Chief among the leaders of the Jacobites was Claver-
house, who was now called Viscount Dundee. From
being a butcher of defenceless men and women, he turned
into the gallant leader of a lost cause. Men gathered
to his standard until he had an army of six thousand,
chiefly Highlanders. At a place called Killiecrankie a
battle between the Jacobites and the royal troops was
The two armies met, and lay opposite to each other all
day. Dundee and his Highlanders lay on a slope above
King William’s troops. Mackay, the leader of King
William’s army, dared not attack, and Dundee would
not, until the sun had gone down and no longer dazzled
his soldiers’ eyes. At last, about seven in the evening, he
rode along the lines giving orders. The Highlanders
threw away their plaids and their leathern socks, so that
they might charge more easily. Then, as Dundee gave
the order to advance, they cheered wildly.
From the King‘s army came an answering cheer, but
it was faint and spiritless. ‘ Courage,’ cried Locheil, one
of the Highland chieftains, ‘the day is ours. That is
not the cheer of men who are going to win.’ Then he too
threw off his shoes and charged barefoot with his clan.
THE BATTLE OF KILL1ECRANKIE 369
On they came to the skirl of the pipes. Slowly at
first they advanced, then faster and faster, till they broke
through the royal lines, scattering them to right and left.
Dundee rode at the head of his few horsemen. But
they did not follow him quickly enough. He stopped,
and rising in his stirrups took off his white plumed hat
to wave them onward. At that moment a ball struck
him. He swayed in his saddle, and was caught in the
arms of a soldier as he fell to the ground.
‘ How does the day go ? ’ he asked.
‘ Well for the King,’ replied the man, meaning King
James, ‘ but I am sorry for your lordship.’
‘ It is the less matter for me,’ said Dundee, ‘ seeing the
day goes well for my master.’ Then he died.
But the Highlanders swept on. Claymores flashed
and fell. Highland dirks did fearful work, and the
southron troops fled in utter confusion and dismay. In
vain did Mackay try to rally his men ; they could not
stand against the mad onslaught of the Highlanders.
The Jacobite victory was complete, but their leader
lay dead upon the field, and it was worse than a defeat for
them. When the news was told to William and he was
urged to send an army to the Highlands, ‘ There is no
need,’ he said, ‘the war ended with Dundee’s life.’ And
so it did. Some more fighting there was, but the cause
of James was lost. Leaderless, the Highlanders grew
dispirited, and returned homewards. But many of the
gentlemen carried their swords and their misfortunes to
France, to share the exile of their King.
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