On the 16th of April, 1746, the last Jacobite uprising occurred. Men from Urquhart and Glenmorriston marched to battle with Bonnie Prince Charlie – as it turned out – for the last chance to return him, a Stewart, to Scotland’s throne. At this point Urquhart Castle had been laid waste for 54 years and the Urquhart clan had lost it’s clan chief 5 years earlier with no apparent Urquhart heir to the title and so on thus found. The Urquhart warriors, like many of the Scottish warriors, had grown weary of the Jacobite uprising, but the Urquharts marched off to the war after an impassioned plea from one of the Prince’s authorities. Many Scottish warriors chose not to go. In a sense, the Jacobite uprising had lost it’s spirit over the years of battling the English. This was the last roar of the great lion of the north, after a slow gathering death.
However, every descendant of the men who fought at that last Jacobite uprising, including those descendant from the Urquhart and Glenmorriston men that fought there, will, it is said, on the 16th of April every year, if they visit Culloden, Inverness – the last battleground for the Jacobites – will be thrown back into a ghostly past. For on that anniversary, all the descendents of those brave Scottish warriors will supposedly witness the battle, played out by the ghosts of those who fought there. As an Urquhart you will possibly see your Urquhart ancestors marching, fighting, dyeing, bleeding, laying wounded and, in the end, retreating. For those who fell wounded on the battlefield on that fateful day, there is first hand testimony of a ghost helping the wounded highland warriors back to a hotel, where a normal doctor then tended their wounds.
Although the Urquhart and Glenmorriston men and all the others put up a worthy fight, if the truth be known, Bonnie Prince Charlie was the cause of our brave highland warriors being massacred – he did not heed the words of the seasoned highland warriors as to how best to fight the battle in the mountainous terrain nearby, but, instead, in his arrogance, Bonnie Prince Charlie took to the field suited to the English soldiers and artillery, lost the battle and 1000 Scottish highland warriors – clansmen and others – died that day. For some time after the battle, the English authorities hunted down the highland warriors like dogs and imprisoned them or exiled them or both. Some of the exiled warriors returned to Scotland under a different name, to avoid being detected and put to death or imprisoned.