Friday, 1 April 2011

The Jacobites Capture Kirkwall - On this day in Scottish Military History – 1746

On the same day Lord Reay and the captured Jacobite gold took shelter in Stromness in Orkney, a small detachment of Jacobites landed nearby in Kirkwall to support the local Jacobite sympathisers.

After the Earl of Loudon’s rout from Dornoch the Duke of Perth returned to Inverness with 300 men leaving the Earl of Cromartie in charge of 1,500 men to secure the Far North of Scotland for the Jacobites.

Cromartie split his force into three. He kept 500 men at hand to pacify East Sutherland; Coll Ban MacDonald of Barrisdale took 400 men off to find Lord Reay. (This was more little more than a clan feud since no love was lost between the MacDonalds of Assynt and the Mackays of Reay); and Cromartie’s son Lord MacLeod took 300 men north to secure Caithness and Orkney.

When MacLeod reached Caithness he detached a company of about 100 men under Mackenzie of Ardloch to sail to Kirkwall at the invitation of local Jacobites. On this day 265 years ago Kirkwall became the northernmost town captured by the Jacobites.

P.S Ardloch and his men only stayed a week. The Orcadians didn’t flock to the Jacobite cause as hoped.

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