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Claypotts Castle, Dundee, Scotland

Click on 'More information' for further guidance on using images from Art UK. On 30 March, despite a letter to the Convention stating that he was not in arms and that he was living peacefully at home awaiting the birth of his first child, he was publicly denounced as a traitor. He had offered to give a bond or parole to no avail and in the latter half of April attempts were made to apprehend him at Dudhope, and at his residence in Glen Ogilvy; but the secrecy and speed of his movements outwitted his pursuers, and he retreated to the north.

In , after the overthrow of King James VII, he continued to support the Stuart dynasty in his capacity as commander-in-chief of all Scottish forces. However, in spite of his subsequent association with the city of Dundee, he was to face what the historian of Jacobitism, Bruce Lenman, has described as a "stony faced" reception from its townsfolk. It is claimed that Dundee's association with the city was brief and unpopular as he was seen as the representative of an arbitrary authoritarian monarchy that was eroding the self-autonomy the burgh had enjoyed.

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Indeed, when he returned to Dundee with a small troop of horse Dundee Law at that time lay outside the burgh walls he was to find the walls guarded and the gates firmly shut. Later events show that cavalry based in Dundee at the time later attempted to defect and join his forces. For four months he rallied support in the hope that King James would return from Ireland, showing considerable skill in letter-writing and diplomacy and deploying successful skirmishing tactics to buy himself time.


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His greatest victory was won at the Battle of Killiecrankie later that year against much greater Williamite forces led by General Hugh Mackay. Scott believes that Dundee's death in victory as he led the Jacobite charge down the hill at sunset was the final desperate act of a man who was aware that he had been betrayed by Melfort, the King's adviser, and was trying to overcompensate for their lack of support.

Dundee reputedly asked a soldier "How goes the day? The battle, disastrous as it was to the government forces, was in reality the end of the insurrection, for the controlling and commanding genius of the rebellion was no more. The death of Dundee, in the midst of the confusion of a cavalry charge, became the subject of numerous legends, the best known of which was the long prevalent but of course entirely false tale that he was invulnerable to lead due to having made a pact with the Devil and was killed by being penetrated by a silver button from his own coat.

He died on the battlefield and was carried the few miles to the nearby parish church of St Bride, above Blair Castle , where he was buried. The stone which commemorates him at the crypt gives his age erroneously as 46, when he was actually Dundee's helmet and breastplate, removed from the vault below the church in the 19th century, are preserved in Blair Castle. The tune under the title of " Bonnie Dundee " or "Bonny Dundee" predated Claverhouse's appointment as Viscount Dundee, and several 18th century songs under that title refer to the city of Dundee and not Claverhouse.

With Walter Scott 's publication around of his poem adapting the old tune to praise Claverhouse, the phrase "bonnie Dundee" became generally associated with the Viscount rather than the town, though the older ballads were still published. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.


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Dundee, John Graham, 1st Viscount

He could only raise a small army, mainly Highlanders, but his Williamite opponent, the Highlander General Hugh Mackay of Scourie, had few seasoned troops and was routed at Killiecrankie in Strathtay. Dundee died in the battle.

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His army failed to break into the Lowlands and disintegrated after defeat. Bruce Philip Lenman. Cite this article Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography. July 9, Retrieved July 09, from Encyclopedia. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.


  • John Graham of Claverhouse, Viscount Dundee, 1648 - 1689. Jacobite leader.
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