Military Wiki
Glencairn's rising
Part of Wars of the Three Kingdoms
(Scottish Civil War)
LocationScottish Highlands
Result Protectorate victory
Scottish Royalists loyal to Charles II The Protectorate
Commanders and leaders
Earl of Glencairn
John Middleton
Robert Lilburne
George Monck
Sir Thomas Morgan
Marquess of Argyll
Unknown Unknown
Casualties and losses
Unknown Unknown

Glencairn's rising was a Royalist uprising in 1653 in Scotland against the Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell. It was led by William Cunningham, 9th Earl of Glencairn (1610–1664), who was given command of the Royalist forces in Scotland by Charles II. He convened a meeting of Scottish notables, such as Blackadder of Tullyallan, who then mustered their vassals and supporters to form a small army. The governor of Stirling Castle, Colonel Kidd, sallied out to suppress this force but was defeated by them at Aberfoyle.[1] Glencairn's forces also fought against Cromwell at the Battle of Tullich in 1652.

The Royalist army continued to grow but dissension developed when command was reassigned from Glencairn to John Middleton, 1st Earl of Middleton. This was largely due to petty disputes between Glencairn's and Middleton's respective forces. The former being mainly Scottish Lowlanders and the latter being mainly Scottish Highlanders. This eventually led to a duel between one of Middleton's officers, Sir George Munro and Glencairn himself. They duelled with swords and both were wounded.[2] Soon afterwards Glencairn was placed under arrest by the orders of Middleton and his sword was taken from him. The following day two junior officers from the two camps had a duel of their own in which one was killed and the other was later arrested and hanged. John Middleton, 1st Earl of Middleton was later defeated at the Battle of Dalnaspidal on 19 July 1654 and that ended the insurrection.


  1. Manganiello 2004, pp. 222–223.
  2. A letter from Col. Robert Lilburne to the Lord Protector, Dalkeith, 20 April 1654 (Firth 1899, pp. 88–89).


  • Firth, C. H., ed (1899). "Scotland and the protectorate : letters and papers relating to the military government of Scotland from January 1654 to June 1659". Edinburgh: Scottish history society. pp. 88–89. 
  • Manganiello, Stephen C. (2004). "The concise encyclopedia of the revolutions and wars of England, Scotland, and Ireland, 1639-1660". Scarecrow Press. pp. 222–223. ISBN 978-0-8108-5100-9. 

Further reading[]

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