Battle of Falkirk II
17th January 1746
After their devastating victory at Prestonpans, the Jacobite army had marched into England. However, when the expected French invasion and English Jacobite uprising failed to materialise they retreated back into Scotland, fighting a rearguard action on Clifton Moor in Cumbria. At the same time the siege of the government forces in Stirling Castle continued. In response a government army under Lt General Hawley marched north. He assembled his forces at Edinburgh, then moving north west to relieve Stirling. Lord George Murray’s Jacobite army blocked Hawley’s path at Falkirk.
Falkirk II was the second of the Jacobite victories during the 1745-6 campaign. Unlike Prestonpans, where untested government troops had broken in the face of the Highland charge, here it was well trained veteran troops under an experienced commander. This was arguably the high point of the Jacobite campaign of 1746, but it was not the devastating victory that might have been achieved. It was a propaganda success but in reality it had revealed the great weaknesses of the Jacobite forces.
A REPORT ON THE BATTLE, PREPARED FOR HISTORIC SCOTLAND BY THE BATTLEFIELDS TRUST, IS AVAILABLE FROM THE DOWNLOAD AREA ON THE LEFT