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Siege of Blair Castle

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Siege of Blair Castle

Siege of Blair Castle
Part of the Jacobite Rising of 1745

Blair Castle
Date 17th March 1746 to 2nd April 1746
Location Blair Atholl, Perthshire, Scotland
Result Jacobite forces withdrew, government garrison relieved.
Belligerents
Scottish Hanoverians:
Royal Scots Fusiliers
Jacobites:
Clan Murray
Clan Macpherson
Commanders and leaders
Sir Andrew Agnew, 5th Baronet[1] Lord George Murray
Strength
300 1000
Casualties and losses
Unknown unknown

The Siege of Blair Castle was a conflict that took place in Blair Castle near to the village of Blair Atholl in Perthshire against Scottish Jacobite forces loyal to the House of Stuart.[2]

Background

In February 1746 Prince William, Duke of Cumberland arrived at Perth, in command of the king’s army. The Duke sent two detachments from several regiments of infantry to secure the area of Atholl. One detachment of 200 men, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Webster was sent to occupy Castle Menzies, home of the chief of the Clan Menzies, Sir Robert Menzies of Weem.[2] This was in order to secure passage of the Tay bridge.[2] A second detachment of 300 men commanded by Sir Andrew Agnew, 5th Baronet who was Lieutenant Colonel of the Royal Scots Fusiliers (and chief of Clan Agnew) was sent to take up post at Blair Castle.[2]

Blair Castle was the seat of [2]

The siege

On the morning of the 17th of March all of the detached outposts surrounding the castle had been taken by surprise and were captured by the Jacobites and the government soldiers of the outposts were made prisoners.[2] The rebel Jacobites then proceeded to fire at the castle from close range.[2] The government garrison now reduced to about 270 was ordered to different parts of the castle with orders not to fire unless they were attacked.[2]

In the afternoon of the 17th Lord George Murray and Macpherson of Clunie (chief of [2] The terms of surrender were refused by Agnew.[2]

On the 19th of March, Agnew sent out a man on horse in an attempt to reach the Earl of Crawford who was the general officer commanding some British cavalry and Hessian troops, supposedly at Perth or Dunkeld. However this was assumed to have failed when a short time later a Jacobite was seen riding the horse he had been sent out on.[2]

On the 1st of April news reached the garrison that Lord George Murray and his men had left Blair. This is believed to have been because Murray had received an order to join the forces of the young pretender Charles Edward Stuart near Inverness.[2]

On the 2nd of April, George Lindsay-Crawford, 21st Earl of Crawford arrived with cavalry to relieve the garrison. It turned out that the man sent out by Agnew had fell from his horse when being fired at by the Jacobites, as the horse was so scared but he had escaped on foot and was able to make contact with Crawford.[2] Agnew's men had been close to starvation when the siege was lifted.[1]

Aftermarth

Battle of Culloden. The Royal Scots Fusiliers also fought at Culloden but on the British Government side.

References

  1. ^ a b Way, George and Squire, Romily. Collins Scottish Clan & Family Encyclopedia. (Foreword by The Rt Hon. The Earl of Elgin KT, Convenor, The Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs). Published in 1994. Pages 64 - 65.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n The Scots magazine and Edinburgh literary miscellany, Volume 70, Part 1 (1808)
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