Three more Jacobite Battalions

3 units

I have been a bit busy on other things recently, but have now completed three more battalions of Jacobite Highlanders, as can be seen above.   I originally started my Jacobite Army with the units which were at Prestonpans, then expanded it to add those at Culloden.  These three battalions were not at either of those battles, but were at Falkirk and several minor actions.   All three have a Regimental Commander, for reasons which I will explain below.

The first of these battalions is another battalion of the Lovat (Fraser) Regiment.  The Chief of the Clan was the wily and double dealing Simon Fraser, Lord Lovat, but he did not personally take to the field.  He did promise support to both sides, which led to his execution in 1747.

This Regiment actually had three battalions, but since there was only one at any one battle, then this fact is often overlooked.   I had previously modelled the 2nd Battalion, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Charles Fraser of Inverallochy, which fought at Culloden at a strength of 500 men, so I modelled it as 16 figures.

I have now modelled the 1st Battalion, commanded by Colonel Simon Fraser, Master of Lovat (the son of Lord Lovat).  This battalion fought at Falkirk at a strength of 300 men, so I have modelled it as 10 figures.

1st Bn Fraser (Lovat)

It was only relatively recently that I realised that there were three battalions in the Lovat Regiment, so I had to change my figure allocation to create this.  I took some figures from other battalions which I had not yet modelled, and used Airfix and Italeri Napoleonic Highlanders to top these up to their required strengths.   I also took some figures from those battalions to make additional Jacobite commanders, again replacing them with converted Napoleonic figures.

For the 1st Battalion Lovat Regiment I used three Strelets Jacobites,  one RedBox Militia piper, three converted Airfix Napoleonic Highlanders and three converted Italeri Napoleonic Highlanders.  The Airfix and Italeri figures have their packs welded into plaids and their feathered bonnets cut down and welded into Scots bonnets.  They are wearing various Fraser tartans, or others associated with that clan.  The flag is historically correct, blue with the Fraser arms.

The 1st Battalion was late arriving at Culloden, and ended up defending the bridge at Inverness, although some sources speculate about which side they were defending it for.

Simon Fraser - Master of Lovat

I have modelled a Strelets figure as Colonel Simon Fraser, Master of Lovat, so that I could play a “What if” of both 1st and 2nd Battalions being at Culloden, in which case he would be the Regimental Commander.

Simon Fraser spent some time in prison, but was then released and was sufficiently rehabilitated to raise the 78th Fraser Highlanders to fight in North America in the Seven Year’s War (French & Indian War).  He died as a British Major General.


The 3rd Battalion was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel James Fraser of Foyers.  It took part in the unsuccessful raid to try to kidnap Lord Forbes, the Lord President (effectively the governor of Scotland) at his home on 15th/16th October 1745.  It had a strength of 200 men then.  Shortly after that, it was incorporated into the 1st Battalion, so I have not modelled it separately, but would just take six figures from the 1st Battalion to represent it if I wanted to portray that minor raid, which was the only action it took part in

The next Regiment which I modelled was the MacPhersons, who took part in the Battle of Falkirk and several minor actions.  They were 300 strong at Falkirk, so I have modelled them as 10 figures.

MacPherson Regt

They comprise five Strelets Jacobites, one RedBox militia piper, two converted Airfix Napoleonic Highlanders and two converted Italeri Napoleonic Highlanders.  They are wearing various MacPherson tartans, or others associated with that clan.  Their flag was described as white, so I have modelled it as plain white with a MacPherson clan badge.

MacPherson of Cluny

I also modelled a Strelets figure as their Regimental Commander, Colonel Ewan MacPherson of Cluny.  He had been a Captain in the 64th Highlanders, but felt that he was slighted by Sir John Cope during the events leading up to Prestonpans.  On 28th/29th August 1745 he was captured, or allowed himself to be captured, by the Camerons, whereupon he changed sides, taking his company of 64th Highlanders with him.  I have shown him in two variants of MacPherson tartan, with no vestige of his 64th Foot uniform.


Between 9th and 19th October 1745, four French privateers arrived between Montrose and Petershead, carrying £5,000 in Gold, 2,500 muskets, six 4 pounder French “Swedish” cannons, plus a great quantity of ammunition.  Accompanying them were Lieutenant Colonel James Grante, who was appointed as the Jacobite Artillery Commander, and a number of French artillerymen.  Colonel MacPherson of Cluny was sent north to escort this valuable reinforcement to Edinburgh, taking with him his own battalion plus a battalion of the Atholl Brigade (I think Menzies of Shian’s Battalion).  They arrived back in Edinburgh just in time to accompany the Jacobite Army on its march into England.

At the Battle (or skirmish) of Clifton on 18th December 1745, MacPherson of Cluny commanded a Brigade comprising his own battalion and the Appin Stuart Regiment.  This Brigade was mainly responsible for the Jacobite success.

They then participated in the Battle of Falkirk, where they took part in the charge which routed Hawley’s centre.  MacPherson of Cluny then commanded a Brigade as part of Lord George Murray’s Atholl Raid, between 17th March and 5th April 1745, when Murray besieged Blair Atholl Castle.  MacPherson of Cluny’s Brigade initially comprised his own battalion plus some MacGregors, but was later reinforced with the MacIntoshes of Clan Chattan.  When Lord George Murray’s main force was withdrawn to rejoin the Jacobite Army at Inverness, MacPherson of Cluny was left with a Brigade of his own battalion, plus some MacGregors, to guard the southern approaches to Inverness.  It marched to rejoin the Army just before Culloden, but arrived too late to participate.

MacPherson of Cluny spent 9 years as a fugitive, spending some of that hiding in a cave.

The last of the three new Regiments which I modelled was Cromartie’s (or MacKenzies), who again took part in Falkirk and several minor actions.  At Falkirk they were 240 strong, so I have shown them as 8 figures.

Cromartie Regt

They have four Strelets Jacobites, three converted Airfix Highlanders (including the piper, who was not originally a piper, so the pipes are welded plastic sprue), and one converted Italeri Napoleonic Highlander.  They are wearing various MacKenzie tartans.  Their flag in conjectural, with a MacKenzie Clan badge.George MacKenzie - Lord Cromartie


I also modelled a Strelets figure as George MacKenzie, Lord Cromartie.  He apparently only agreed to join the Jacobites after a mammoth drinking session with the younger Simon Fraser.   From 8-11 January 1746, Lord Cromartie commanded a Brigade as part of the operation to ferry siege guns across the Firth of Forth at Alloa.  He and his Regiment then took part in the Battle of Falkirk.


On 19th March 1746, Lord Cromartie commanded a Brigade as part of the force which crossed the Dornoch Firth in a highly successful amphibious operation, driving Lord Loudoun’s force out of Eastern Scotland.

On 25th/26th March Lord Cromartie commanded a Brigade of his own battalion and the 2nd Battalion of MacDonnell of Glengarry’s Regiment (Barrisdale’s), plus some MacGregors, sent to collect £13,000 in gold and 1,000 pistols and broadswords, which was to have been landed by the French ship “Le Prince Charles” (the captured HMS Hazard).    Cromartie remained in reserve whilst the Glengarrys and MacGregors went to rendezvous with the French ship.  Le Prince Charles was however cornered by a superior Royal Naval force, and run aground in the Kyle of Tongue.   The much needed supplies were unloaded, but the Jacobites were ambushed by a party of 64th Highlanders and MacKay Militia.  Some of the gold was captured, but much disappeared, to be the subject of various novels (eg the Outlander series).

Lord Cromartie himself and his Regiment were ambushed and captured by MacKay Militia at Dunrobin on 15th April.  These lost Jacobite battalions would have helped at Culloden, but the gold, to pay the Army, would have helped much more.




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