Battle of Culloden

This week, I visited Culloden, the site of the last pitched battle on British soil. Our countryside is awash with battle sites- known and unknown- and wars continued to be fought even after its date of 1746. Yet there is something heartening in the knowledge that the days when armed men would form lines and face each other, run forward and hack until one side fell or fled- that those days are over.

I’m glad the government won the battle. Largely Catholic highlanders were wishing to replace our parliamentary-approved, limited monarchy with that accursed House of Stuart. Although dewy-eyed American visitors with their Scottish names and enthusiastic clan associations like to think it was an English vs Scottish battle, it was really one of parliamentary government vs absolutist monarchy. Historians will bicker over this till kingdom come. Yet as we walked the site, seeing coloured flags flutter to demark the various positions, as well as large stones to locate the mass grave pits, the glorious sunshine and skylarks’ warble could not belie the overarching tragedy. Most of those casualties died for nothing, in Great Britain’s last pitched battle.

One day, the battle will be over, the war shall be won. For what are you currently fighting?

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

2 Timothy 4:7-8 (NKJV)