Appin McLaurins at the Battle of Killiekrankie 1689

The Battle of Killiekrankie was fought between Highland clans led by John Graham of Claverhouse, 1st Viscount Dundee, ‘Dark John of the Battles’, who supported King James II and VII and King William of Orange army on 27 July 1689.

The Jacobite victory had little overall effect on the outcome of the war and left Viscount Dundee dead. Among the Clan chiefs who joined Dundee were MacDonald of Clanranald, MacDonald of Sleat, MacDonald of Glengarry, MacDonald of Keppoch, MacDonald of Glencoe, Maclean of Duart, Stewart of Appin, Ewan Cameron of Lochiel and Macneil of Barra. Of course the Appin McLaurins were among the Stewarts of Appin.

"Dundee hastily summoned all the clans who acknowledged his commission to prepare for an expedition into Athole. The fiery crosses were sent again in all haste through Appin and Ardnamurchan, up Glenmore, and along Loch Leven;"

“Lieut James Colt who deposed that he had been taken prisoner by Dundee and carried by him to Inverlochy and that he saw a young man who was said to be Stewart of Appin join Dundee between Lochaber and Badenoch with a hundred and thirty men of his own with him."

"James Malcolm became King's evidence and deponed that he saw Stewart of Appin join Dundee in Lochaber with a company of men who had colours (regimental flag). The helmet worn by Robert Stewart of Appin at Killiecrankie is still in possession of Dugald Stuart of Lochcarron one of the family of Ballachulish (where Carolina McLaurins came from who are buried in Stewartsville Cemetery, Scotland Co. NC)."

Stewart of Appin Colours 1746
"a letter written shortly after the battle by Alexander Stewart of Ballachelish to his kinsman of Invernahyle show clearly that a part of the Appin clan had joined Dundee before he encountered Mackay at Roinn Rhuari (Killiekrankie)."
The Stewarts of Appin, by J.H.J. and D. Stewart Pub. 1880 Pg 117.

The first detailed account of the battle in 1689 is from two years later in 1691, the passage we are interested in is on page 143 of "The Grameid"

"In bellum : primusque Stuartus Apinius acer
Arma parat, totaque instructa gente clientum 
Littora piscosae contermina linquit lernae, 
Caerula signa ferens croceis distincta figuris."

Alexander Murdochs original translation:
"brave Stewart of Appin
prepares his arms, and, with the whole body of his clansmen,
he leaves the shores bordering (Loch) Leven,
rich in fish, cariying blue banners, charged with yellow figures."
"The Grameid, by James Philip of Almerieclose 1691. Edited from the Original Manuscript with Translation, Introduction, and Notes by the Rev. Alexander Murdoch, F.S.A. Scot., 1888" page 143

There is no contemporaneous record of MacLarens from Balquhidder or Strathearn being at the Battle of Killiecrankie. Clan Stewart of Appin did not go to Loch Earn to gather the Balquhidder MacLarens and fish before marching to Lochaber to join Viscount Dundee as described by Margaret MacLaren in "The MacLarens". It makes no sense for Clan Stewart of Appin whom inhabited the shores of Loch Linnhe, Loch Leven and Loch Creran, to travel 60 miles southeast across the mountains to land locked Loch Earn, for fish and a small number of MacLarens. Then march over 80 miles north to Lochaber to Join Dundee's forces, within two days.

To accommodate Margaret MacLaren's tale that Balquhidder MacLarens fought at Killiecrankie in the Stewart of Appin contingent, Mrs. MacLaren on page 64 of her 'definitive' book, simply CHANGES Alexander Murdochs 1888 translation which she cites as a source, to the following.

Margaret MacLarens translation:
"And first bold Stewart of Appin
prepares his arms and having called up all his allies,
leaves the shores of well-stocked Loch Earn
bearing the blue standard with yellow charges."
"The MacLarens" page 64


This above is an example of the Clan MacLarens continuous untruthful claim that the Stewarts of Appin and the Balquhidder MacLarens were constant allies and companions in all things Jacobite, which there is no evidence of anywhere whatsoever. So remember the truth when the Clan MacLaren Society is flying the 'Appin Colors' at Scottish festivals.

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