INS Public Seminar 'The End of the Highland War? - The Scots-Dutch Brigade and the Fort William Expedition, 1690' with Dr Graeme Millen

Explore the end of the Highland War or First Jacobite Rising

This paper will examine the Brigade’s central role in the penultimate campaign of the Highland War wherein they Williamite government sought to reinforce their stunning victory at the Battle of Cromdale, 1st May 1690, and establish a foothold in the heart of the ‘disaffected’ areas of the Highlands. This campaign would be directed by the Scots-Dutch commander, Major-General Hugh Mackay of Scourie, personally and the Brigade itself acted as the vanguard of the army. The scale of this operation cannot be understated as it would see Williamite forces, on land and sea, launch an assault on Jacobite strongholds in Lochaber and the Western Isles.

Despite its importance in ending the conflict in Scotland, the Fort William expedition has received only cursory attention from scholars. This paper will demonstrate that the successful implementation of this strategy would see the Scottish Williamites gain an upper hand and lead to the encirclement of the Scottish Jacobite army. It will argue that this forced the Scottish Jacobites to the negotiating table as they found themselves forced into a defensive footing by the Williamite forces use of punitive ‘fire and sword’ tactics.

Recorded on 27th October at 7pm 

Watch the recording on our YouTube channel