The second major engagement of the 1745 Jacobite rebellion to restore the Stuart monarchy, Falkirk was yet another swift success for the rebel Highlanders against Hanoverian government forces under Lt Gen Henry Hawley.
Depicted above is a scene from the opening phase of the battle. The government forces, having marched uphill in wet and windy weather, took up position with three dragoon regiments (the 10th, 13th, and 14th) on their left flank. In the failing light of the late afternoon, these regiments were ordered to charge at the Jacobite right flank, but were repulsed and fled in disarray. Hawley’s infantry would now bear the brunt of a Jacobite front line charge, with only a handful of regiments holding their ground before withdrawing in good order. Hawley and his surviving troops regrouped and retreated to Edinburgh. The Jacobites’ quick victory, however, could not be exploited further due to the adverse conditions at Falkirk and the indiscipline of the Highlanders.
By Ibrahim Zamir