For the third year running, the anniversary of the Battle of Falkirk (1746) has been marked with a well-attended conference featuring a series of fascinating presentations.
Hosted by the Battle of Falkirk Muir (1746) Trust, the conference was opened by Geoff Bailey, the former county archaeologist for the area, who gave a detailed analysis of the layout and appearance of mid-18th century Falkirk. The relationship between the community in the town and the landscape of the common muir/battlefield was particularly interesting. The second speaker was Alastair Moffat, who gave a passionate presentation about the fighting qualities of the Highland Jacobite, which evoked the spirit of Prebble more than it did some of the more recent studies. The third presentation, by Alastair Mann, provided a very engaging – and refreshingly balanced – appraisal of the last Stuart king to rule, James VII & II. After lunch, Peter Pininski delved deep into the difficulty documentary trail leading to Charles Edward Stuart’s grandchildren, concluding there may have been 4 rather than 3 as previously supposed. Hugh Cheape then provided a Gaelic perspective on the Battle of Falkirk, highlighting the experience of Gaels on both sides of the conflict. Finally, Edward Corp closed the day with insights into how the Duke of Perth’s famous gifts of Highland clothes and weapons to the teenage Charles Edward marked a turning point in the prince’s sense of identity.
The presentations themselves were accompanied by a chance to view a number of fine portraits from the Trust’s collection, to purchase books and meet a number of authors, and of course lots of opportunities for catching up with old friends and new.
Already, we are looking forward to the 2024 conference!
The latest edition of the Scottish Battlefields Trust magazine also carries an article about the Battle of Falkirk, so its members will have a chance to refresh their memories about the events of the battle when they receive it!
Separately to the conference, a wreath-laying service was held at the battlefield monument. All taken together, awareness and interest in this signficant engagement are clearly on the rise at last.
You can find out more about Battle of Falkirk Muir (1746) Trust here:
For details of the excellent battlefield trail:
Photo shows the Falkirk Battlefield monument under a dusting of snow, taken a couple of years ago.