The Jacobite Rising of 1715: A Clan Farquharson Perspective
by Stuart Farquharson
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of Celtic origin, derives from Farquhar, fourth son of
Alexander "Ciar" Mackintosh
of Rothiemurchus, 5th Chief of Clan Shaw.
A grant of arms made by Lord Lyon in 1697 stated that
John Farquharson of Invercauld was lawfully descended of
Shaw son of MacDuff, Thane of Fife whose successors had
the name Shaw until Farquhar Shaw, son to Shaw of Rothiemerchus,
Chief of the whole name came to be called Farquharson.
Thus the Farquharsons branched from Clan Shaw. Farquhar
settled in the Braes of Mar and was appointed baillie or
It was Donald Farquharson who married Isobel Stewart, heiress
of Invercauld and their son Finlay Mór, 1st of
the House of Farquharson of Invercauld, who gave to the
Farquharson Chiefs their style MacFionnlaidh (siol Fhionnlaidh
or descendents of Finlay).
At the age of 60, Finlay Mòr accompanied the Earl
of Huntly to the Battle of Pinkie in 1547 as the Royal
Standard Bearer. As the army descended toward the sea he
was killed by a cannon ball fired from one of the enemy
ships. His body lies interred in the church yard of Inveresk.
The place is known to this day as the "Lang Highlandman's
Grave." His widow, Beatrix Garden, also has a claim
to remembrance having been an outstanding performer on
the little harp or clársach. Queen Mary presented
one of these instruments to her and this instrument is
now preserved in the National Museum of Antiquities as
one of two surviving examples of the musical instrument
which Celtic Scotland shared with Ireland before the music
of the bagpipe had achieved its full popularity and sophistication.
The Farquharsons having moved onto their Deeside inheritance
became vassels of the Earldom of Mar. In the early 17th
century they were able to purchase feu charters to their
lands and after the attainder of the Earl of Mar, who
led the Jacobite rising of 1715, they held these directly
of the Crown.
Today the Castle of Braemar, which was built in 1628 by
James Erskin, Earl of Mar, is owned by Captain Alwyne A.
Clan Farquharson were among
the most loyal and faithful adherents to the House of
Stewart and throughout all the
struggles on its behalf constantly acted in accordance
with their motto, "Fide et Fortitudine".
They fought under Montrose in 1644 and formed part of
the Scottish army under Charles II at Worcester in 1651.
They joined forces under the Viscount of Dundee in 1689
for James VII. At the outbreak of rebellion in 1715 against
the Act of Union they were the first to muster at the summons
of the Earl of Mar in the cause of James VIII. At this
time John Farquharson of Invercauld with four officers
and one hundred and forty men joined the Clan Chattan regiment,
of which he was Lieutenant-Colonel, accompanying it to
When first threatened the Farquharsons marched out of
Preston to Ribble-bridge to attack the English army but
were ordered to rejoin the main body. The Scottish army
was defeated at Preston and John Farquharson was taken
prisoner and held for ten months in the Marchalsea prison
In 1745 the Farquharsons joined
Prince Charles and formed two battalions, one under Francis
Farquharson of Monaltrie, "the
Baron Ban", with 300 men and the other under Farquharson
of Balmoral. In the Battle of Culloden, April 16, 1746
they occupied the centre of the line of battle with Clan
Chattan along with the Camerons, Macleans and MacLachlans.
John Farquharson of Invercauld, 9th
Chief, died in 1750 and was succeeded by his son
James, 10th Chief, a Captain
of Foot in the Hanoverian Army, who died in 1805. His only
surviving child Catherine, by virtue of the Lyon Court
Decree, 1815, assigning the chief arms and supporters,
was head of the ventral or "stem" family of Farquharson
of Invercauld and so was Chief of the Clan. She married
captain James Ross, Royal Navy, who took the name Farquharson.
She was succeeded by her son, James, who was succeeded
by Alexander Haldane Farquharson of Invercauld, who died
in 1936. His daughter, Mrs. Myrtle Farquharson of Invercauld
was confirmed Chief by Lyon Court Decree on December 3,
1936. She, unfortunately, was killed in an air-raid in
The succession then passed to her
nephew the present and 16th Chief of Clan Farquharson.
Captain Alwyne Arthur Compton
Farquharson of Invercauld was by Lyon Court in 1949 confirmed
MacFionnlaidh. He served with distinction as a Captain
in the Royal Scots Greys during World War Two.
The Farquharson estate covers about 200,000 acres of forest
and moor in the Grampian region in Aberdeenshire.
To see a map of the clan lands in Scotland see this link, Clan Map of Scotland