Few events changed Scottish history as thoroughly as did the Battle of Culloden. Fought on a desolate moor outside of Inverness on April 16, 1746 it was a battle that pitched the Jacobite supporters of Prince Charles Edward Stewart against the Hanoverian forces led by William, the Duke of Cumberland. This was the last battle fought as part of the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745 and it concluded the attempts by the House of Steward to regain the throne of the United Kingdom.
At Culloden the Farquharson regiment was let by Colonel Francis Farquharson of Monaltrie, known as the Baron Ban. He was previously the co-leader of the regiment with James Farquharson of Balmoral, known as Balmoral the Brave, but he was wounded previously and was a home convalescing.
The Chief of Clan Farquharson, John Farquharson of Invercauld, stayed neutral himself during this rebellion, having suffered as he had for the Jacobite cause in the 1715 rebellion. He spent most of the open warfare period outside of Invercauld thus allowing his near relations to take the Clan itself out for the Stewart family.
The son of the Chief, James Farquharson of Invercauld the younger, began the rebellion as a captain in the newly founded Black Watch. He was captured and paroled after the Battle of Falkirk, when he refused to rejoin the Hanoverian forces on the order of the Duke of Cumberland and had his commission revoked. He spent the remainder of the war with his father outside of Invercauld.
Many modern historians put the Farquharson Regiment at a relatively low number of men at the Battle of Culloden, between 150-300 men. Yet the contemporary account of the regimental strength as given by Duncan Forbes, Lord Culloden, and no friend of the Farquharsons, puts their strength at 500 men.
The higher number of men matches more of what we know of the Farquharson regiment. Eight known companies of men were present in the Farquharson regiment at Culloden. While there is no complete known roster of the regiment, it would not be inconceivable for each company to have contained 60 men, including officers and enlisted men.
Historians have never looked at what the Farquharson regiment did at Culloden, but what we know speaks volumes. Francis Farquharson of Monaltrie was captured, Sergeant Major of the regiment John Grant of Dubrach was captured, the Flag of the regiment was captured, 4 captains were killed, 1 was wounded, 1 captured, and 2 escaped.
We can hope that in the future a historian or two will be more apt to look at the Farquharson regiment and help explain the huge causality rate among the offer corps.
Following Culloden, Monaltrie House was burned to the ground and Braemar Castle was garrisoned by Hanoverian troops. The Farquharson Regimental flag was burned in Edinburgh by the hangman with other Jacobite banners. Monaltrie himself spent years in England in a form of house arrest before returning to Deeside and founding the town of Ballater.