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Coordinates: 56°07′23″N 3°56′46″W / 56.123°N 3.946°W / 56.123; -3.946

Scottish Civil War
Part of Scotland in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms
Stirling Castle
Date 12 September 1648
Location Stirling, Scotland
Result Engager Victory
Engager Covenanter forces under the Earl of Lanark Kirk Party Covenanter forces under Archibald Campbell, 1st Marquess of Argyll
George Munro, 1st of Newmore A MacKenzie commander.
unknown around 1000 soldiers
Casualties and losses
unknown 200 dead & 400 captured.

The second Battle of Stirling was fought on the 12th of September 1648 during the Scottish Civil War of the 17th century.



The Battle of Stirling in 1648 was part of the War of the Three Kingdoms. By this time, the Presbyterian Covenanter movement had defeated the Scottish Royalists, who favoured unconditional loyalty to King Charles I. However, the Covenanters then split apart over what conditions peace should be made with the King. The more moderate Engager faction favoured peace with the King and alliance against his enemies, the English Parliament, in the English Civil War. By 1648, this view was predominant in the Scottish Parliament. A more extreme faction, the "Kirk Party" favoured alliance with the Parliamentarians, with an eventual view to imposing Presbyterianism on the Three Kingdoms. Earl of Lanark, younger brother of the Duke of Hamilton, had been left to defend Scotland against Archibald Campbell, 1st Marquess of Argyll, a covenanter who was now in open rebellion against the Scottish parliament, over their royalist sympathies.

The Marquis of Argyll's nucleus force consisted of about 300 men. He was joined by another 400 men on his way to Stirling. He was also joined by another 300 militia when he arrived at Stirling on the morning of September 12, 1648. His men were assigned to guard various areas of the town and his main force joined him to dine with the Earl of Mar's residence in Deer Park (now called Kings Park).[1]

The battle

The Marquis of Argyll had barely begun his meal when the Earl of Lanark's advance forces, commanded by Sir George Munro, 1st of Newmore, a Highlander, came pouring through the gate and into the park. The Marquis of Argyll then mounted his horse, galloped over Stirling Bridge to Queensferry to find safety, while making his escape he received fire from Stirling Castle which had not yet surrendered to Argyll and was still flying the Kings colours.[1]

Sir George Munro had learned that the Marquis of Argyll was in Stirling and moved in on his own initiative to try and capture one of Argyll's commanders a MacKenzie, his hated enemy but had actually succeeded in entering Stirling before any of Argyll's commanders were aware of his presence.[1]

The battle surprised the Marquis of Argyll's men, who broke after some initial stubbon resistance, losing about 200 dead and a further 400 who were taken prisoner. Many more were killed trying to escape and some even drowned trying to swim across the River Forth to safety. Among the dead of the Marquis of Argyll's men was William Campbell of Glenfalloch and Sir Colin Campbell of Ardkinglas killed in action.

Outside of Stirling the Earl of Lanark had a force of 4000 horse and 6000 men on foot. The Marquis of Argyll's General David Leslie commanded 3000 horse and 8000 men on foot also out side of Stirling. It is often thought interesting to speculate what sort of battle would have taken place the next day was it not for Munro's initiative on the morning of 12 September 1648.[1]

Munro urged Lanark to continue after the Battle of Stirling and attack David Leslie's forces but he was over-ruled and negotiations for peace began on the 15th. Both sides agreed to disband their forces by the 29 September 1648.[1]


Shortly after this battle the army of the Earl of Lanark and the army of the Marquess of Argyll, which was commanded by David Leslie, made peace and joined forces. Men from both sides fought together on the same side at the Battle of Carbisdale in 1650 against the Royalist Montrose.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e "History of the Scottish Highlands, Highland Clans and Scottish Regiments. 1830. Edited by John S Keltie F.S.A. Scot.

External links



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