The animals and landscape play as important a role as the figures in this unusual history painting. It was commissioned by the distinguished geologist Sir Roderick Impey Murchison, President of the Royal Geographical Society. He modelled for the figure of his great-grandfather Colonel Donald Murchison, the rent collector who wears a breastplate under his jacket. Colonel Murchison was defying the law on behalf of the Jacobite Earl of Seaforth, exiled in Paris after the defeat of the Old Pretender's army at the Battle of Sheriffmuir in 1715. The Earl's tenants keep hidden from the group of redcoats across the loch.