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The Battle of Culloden

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The Battle of Culloden 1746 (Reprinted 1797)

Not on display

  • Scottish Art
At the Battle of Culloden, the Jacobite supporters were led by Prince Charles Edward Stuart and the government troops were led by the Duke of Cumberland. The government’s victory effectively brought the 1745 Jacobite Rising to an end and resulted in a repression of Highland culture as punishment. This print was published by Laurie and Whittle in 1797, fifty years from when the original etching was made, highlighting the continued strength of feeling about the Jacobites. It shows the scene from the British perspective, with the British army standing in rank and file – a stark contrast to the disarray of the Highlanders. The Duke is the figure on the white horse in the centre of the composition, a powerful focal point against the billowing smoke of the background.

Glossary Open

Battle of Culloden

A battle fought on Culloden Moor near Inverness in 1746 between supporters of the exiled House of Stuart - led by the Young Pretender, Prince Charles Edward Stuart - and government troops led by the Duke of Cumberland. The government victory effectively brought the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion to an end and resulted in a repression of Highland culture as punishment.


The arrangement of different elements in a work of art.


Jacobitism was a movement to restore the descendants of the Stuart King James VII and II to the British throne. The first claimant, Prince James Francis Edward (known as 'the Old Pretender') was exiled first in France, then Italy, from where he planned unsuccessful attempts to claim the throne. His son Prince Charles Edward (known as 'Bonnie Prince Charlie' or 'the Young Pretender') famously invaded Britain in 1745, but after some military successes was finally defeated at Culloden in 1746.

The Stuarts (The Stewarts)

The Stewarts / Stuarts were a Scottish royal dynasty that began with Robert II in the late fourteenth century. In 1603, with the Union of the Crowns of Scotland and England, James VI became James I of England. The Stuart reign saw a brief interruption with the republican Commonwealth due to the English Civil War, which followed Charles I’s execution in 1649, but it was restored in 1660 with Charles II as king. After the 1707 Acts of Union, the Stuarts became the heads of state of the newly created Great Britain. However, with childless Queen Anne’s death in 1714 the crown passed to the House of Hanover. The variant in spelling, from Stewart to Stuart, was due to Mary, Queen of Scots adopting the latter, French spelling, when she lived in France. This became the standard for future generations.

Battle of Culloden, Composition, Jacobite, The Stuarts (The Stewarts)


  • Acc. No. PGL 1648
  • Medium Engraving
  • Size
  • Credit Long loan in