Ruthven Barracks

I have decided to model the various forts which played a part in the Jacobite Rebellion.  The first of these is Ruthven Barracks, which is in the Cairngorms, strategically placed to control the road from Perth towards either towards Inverness or Fort Augustus.  Today the barracks looks like this:


I made a slightly simplified model as below:


The barrack blocks lift off their bases to reveal ruined versions below, and the walls also can be removed and replaced with ruined ones.


Ruthven Barracks featured at the very start of the Jacobite Rebellion.   On 30th August 1745, as the Jacobite Army marched south towards Edinburgh, Colonel O’Sullivan and a force of Camerons attempted to seize the barracks, which they thought was empty.  It was however occupied by a tiny garrison of only some 16 men of the 55th Foot under Sergeant Molloy.    Despite being massively outnumbered, Molloy refused to surrender.  The Jacobites had no artillery so tried to set fire to the barracks gate, but were driven off with two men killed.  One of the 55th was also killed.  The Jacobites gave up and marched away.  This is depicted below, as a party of Camerons approach the gate to try to set fire to it.


Molloy was promoted to Lieutenant for his heroic efforts but remained in charge of the barracks.  On 10th February 1746, after Falkirk, the Jacobites tried again,  this time under the command of Major General Gordon of Glenbucket, bringing with him his own Regiment plus some Camerons.  He was a committed Jacobite, having been a 16 year old in Bonnie Dundee’s Army at Killiecrankie in 1689 and commanded a battalion at Sherrifmuir in 1715.  Now aged 72, he was one of the first to join Prince Charles when he landed in Scotland in 1745, and was appointed as a Major General.  He raised a regiment, but did not personally command it, serving instead on Prince Charles’ staff.  He escaped after the rebellion and died in France in 1750.


I had not previously modelled him but did so now.  He is described as riding a grey pony and carrying a targe, so that is how I have modelled him.  He is a converted Italeri Napoleonic British Light Dragoon (Hussar).  I cut his busby down and welded it into a scots bonnet with feathers.  I welded his pelisse into a tartan plaid.  I also added the white drooping moustache which a print shows him with.  His horse is one from the Airfix Waggon Train set, because it was small and I had bought several second hand ones recently.


Glenbucket also had two or three four pounder guns under command of Colonel Grante, shown at the bottom left of the picture below.  Molloy realised that he could not hold out against artillery, so negotiated a surrender, provided he could march out and rejoin the British Army.  This was agreed, but the Jacobites were amazed when only a dozen or so men appeared.  Glenbucket was amused rather than angry, which says something for his character.  This is depicted below.


The Jacobites then made the barracks unusable by blowing up or setting fire to the barrack blocks.

Finally, after Culloden, the remnants of the Jacobite Army collected at Ruthven Barracks as shown below.


The barracks itself is shown as ruins.  On the slope in front of it are several Jacobite commanders, including Lord George Murray, the Duke of Perth and Gordon of Glenbucket.  Arriving from the north are three battalions which missed Culloden, MacPhersons, 2nd Glengarry (Barrisdale’s) and the MacGregors, all under the command of MacPherson of Cluny.  These battalions had all been in the North East trying to collect the gold landed by a French privateer.  A fourth battalion, Lord Cromartie’s MacKenzie’s, had been defeated at Littleferry a few days earlier, so did not accompany the others.  On the top right of the picture are the four lowland battalions which had held the Jacobite rear right flank at Culloden.  These comprised both battalions of Ogilvy’s Regiment and both battalions of Lewis Gordon’s Regiment.  All had managed to withdraw with minimal casualties.  Just below them is the equivalent of one battalion from the Atholl Brigade.  On the bottom right is a half battalion of the Royal Ecossais, led by Major Hale.  The three battalions in the centre comprise about half of the Camerons, and most of the Duke of Perth’s and Glenbucket’s Regiments, these latter two had surprisingly managed to extricate themselves without too many casualties from the left flank at Culloden.  Finally, on the left of the picture are the four Troops of Jacobite cavalry, Prince’s Life Guards, Fitzjames Horse , Bagot’s Hussars and Strathallen’s Horse, all commanded by Colonel MacDonald of Fitzjames Horse, which again had mostly managed to get away.  The senior Jacobite commanders thought that they could reconstitute their army and continue with the rebellion, but a message arrived from Prince Charles to say it was all over, and every man for himself.

So Ruthven Barracks, having been the scene of one of the first actions of the rebellion, also played a part at the end.




5 thoughts on “Ruthven Barracks

  1. Marvin January 25, 2018 / 9:59 pm

    Great post. I think Molloy did particularly well as his command was made up of invalids and old men incapable of normal duties, so far as I recall. Molloy was an experienced soldier and, were he an officer rather than an ordinary soldier, would have no doubt been more widely known or better rewarded.


  2. Peter January 28, 2018 / 12:40 pm

    Great job again!


  3. David Molony March 23, 2018 / 9:39 am

    Wonderful; interesting post and modelling


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