Battle site of Auldearn *
Region: Inverness, Loch Ness & Nairn
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The Battle of Auldearn took place on 9 May 1645 near the village of Auldearn. It was one of the engagements of the Scottish Civil War between the Royalists (mostly Royalist Irish mercenaries and Highland Clansmen), under the Marquis of Montrose, and the Scots Covenanters, led by Major-General Baillie. Auldearn is significant as the first time that the Marquis of Montrose´s Royalist forces had faced an experienced Covenanter army. Due to brilliant military tactics he was able to inflict a heavy defeat on them despite being outnumbered. The battle is often viewed as Montrose´s greatest victory and is a significant Royalist success story at the point when their fortunes in England were less inspiring. Auldearn is also notable for being one of the last battles in Europe where there was significant use of the bow. Bows had become largely obsolete in England and in Europe by the 16th century, but some Highlanders still used them at this time. Currently no other 17th century battlefields in Europe have produced evidence for significant use of bows.
Although it was a victorious battle for the Royalists there were heavy casualties on both sides with an estimated loss of 1,500 for the Covenanters.
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