Skirmish of Tongue

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Skirmish of Tongue
Part of the Jacobite rising of 1745
Ben Loyal and the Kyle of Tongue, Sutherland (3-06-2011, 19-25-02).jpg
The Kyle of Tongue
Date25 – 26 March 1746
Result British-Hanoverian Government victory
Union flag 1606 (Kings Colors).svg Scottish Hanoverians from:
Some from Loudon's 64 Highlanders Regiment and
Two Independent Highland Companies from:
Clan Mackay
Clan Sutherland. [1]
Jacobite Standard (1745).svg Jacobites
Scottish Jacobites
French soldiers
Spanish soldiers
Commanders and leaders
Union flag 1606 (Kings Colors).svg Sir Harry Munro, 7th Baronet (Loudon's regiment)
Captain George Mackay (Independent Company) [2]
Captain Hugh Mackay (Independent Company) [1]
Jacobite Standard (1745).svg
80 [2] 160 [2]
Casualties and losses
Unknown 4 or 5 killed. [2]
8 wounded [2]
156 captured [2]

The Skirmish of Tongue was a battle that took place in March 1746 near Tongue in the Scottish Highlands during the Jacobite Rising of 1745. [2]

Tongue, Highland human settlement in United Kingdom

Tongue is a coastal village in northwest Highland, Scotland, in the western part of the former county of Sutherland. It lies on the east shore above the base of the Kyle of Tongue and north of the mountains Ben Hope and Ben Loyal on the A836. To the north lies the area of Braetongue.



On 25 March 1746 a French ship named the Le Prince Charles, formerly HMS Hazard, which carried £13,000 in gold, arms and other supplies to Inverness for the Jacobite leader Charles Edward Stuart ran into the Kyle of Tongue while being pursued by the British frigate HMS Sheerness. [2] During the night the crew and soldiers disembarked carrying the money, however the following day Captain George Mackay, son of the chief of the Clan Mackay, who supported the British government confronted them at a place named Drum Nan Coup and after a short fight Mackay captured the men and the money. [2]

HMS Hazard was a 14-gun Merlin-class sloop launched in 1744. She was captured in November 1745 by Jacobite forces in Montrose harbour and was sailed to Dunkirk and was renamed Le Prince Charles.

Inverness City in the Scottish Highlands, Scotland, UK

Inverness is a city in the Scottish Highlands. It is the administrative centre for The Highland Council and is regarded as the capital of the Highlands. Inverness lies near two important battle sites: the 11th-century battle of Blàr nam Fèinne against Norway which took place on the Aird and the 18th century Battle of Culloden which took place on Culloden Moor. It is the northernmost city in the United Kingdom and lies within the Great Glen at its north-eastern extremity where the River Ness enters the Moray Firth. At the latest, a settlement was established by the 6th century with the first royal charter being granted by Dabíd mac Maíl Choluim in the 12th century. The Gaelic king Mac Bethad Mac Findláich (MacBeth) whose 11th-century killing of King Duncan was immortalised in Shakespeare's largely fictionalized play Macbeth, held a castle within the city where he ruled as Mormaer of Moray and Ross.

Charles Edward Stuart Jacobite pretender to the thrones of England, Scotland, Ireland, and France

Charles Edward Louis John Casimir Sylvester Severino Maria Stuart was the elder son of James Francis Edward Stuart, grandson of James II and VII, and the Stuart claimant to the throne of Great Britain after 1766. During his lifetime, he was also known as "the Young Pretender" and "the Young Chevalier"; in popular memory, he is "Bonnie Prince Charlie". He is best remembered for his role in the 1745 rising; his defeat at Culloden in April 1746 effectively ended the Stuart cause, and subsequent attempts failed to materialise, such as a planned French invasion in 1759. His escape from Scotland after the uprising led to his portrayal as a romantic figure of heroic failure.

The battle

An account of the fight was reported in the London Gazette of 15 April 1746:

Aberdeen, April 6. Captain Mackay, Lord Reay's son, and Sir Henry Munro, son of the late Sir Robert, both Captains in Lord Loudon's regiment, are just come hither with letters from Captain O'Brian of Sheerness man of war, now off this place giving an account that after chasing the Le Prince Charles above 56 leagues he drove her ashore and obliged the French and Spaniards who were in her to quit her and to land, which they did with five chests of money to the value of £12,000 and upwards, in order to join the rebels; but the Lord Reay (Mackay) in whose country they were landed and whose house Captain Mackay, Sir Henry Munro, Lord [?Captain] Charles Gordon, and Captain MacLeod with some others of Lord Loudon's regiment were, with about 80 men of said regiment, who had been driven thither by the rebels, marched out and attacked them, and after killing three or four, and dangerously wounding eight, took the remaining 156, officers, soldiers, and sailors prisoners, who were immediately embarked on board the Sheerness, and the prize with the Highland officers and men who made the capture are now here.....The money that was landed out of the Hazard sloop, was taken by Lord Reay's men [2]

Sir Harry Munro, 7th Baronet Scottish clan chief

Sir Harry Munro, 7th Baronet was 25th Baron and the 28th chief of the Clan Munro. He was a Scottish soldier and politician. He was loyal to the Hanoverian dynasty and served as a captain in Loudon's Highlanders Regiment 1745-48.

Sir Robert Munro, 6th Baronet British politician

Sir Robert Munro of Foulis, 6th Baronet was a soldier-politician whose life followed an 18th-century pattern. He fought in support of the Revolution Settlement and the House of Hanover, and their opposition to all attempts by the Jacobites to restore the House of Stuart either by force of arms or by political intrigue.

Loudon's Highlanders, or the 64th Highlanders, or Earl of Loudon's Regiment of Foot, was an infantry regiment of the British Army.

Aftermath and significance

Historian Ruairi MacLeod gives details of what was done with the money captured from the Jacobites. Captain George Mackay, Sir Harry Munro, Lord Charles Gordon, John MacLeod, Lieutenant Reid, and Ensign MacLaggan all received £700 each of the captured booty. Ensign Aneas Mackay received £200. Lieutenant Daniel Forbes received £100. The sergeants each received £50 and the privates each got £7 or £8 which was the equivalent to eight or nine months pay. [3]

Historian Angus Mackay in the Book of Mackay writes of the significance of the Skirmish of Tongue as having more to do with the overthrow of Charles Edward Stuart at Culloden than is generally realized. By the fact that money and supplies had been cut off that were destined for the Jacobites. [2] In the aftermath of the conflict at Tongue the Mackays continued to fight against the Jacobite rebels in the Highlands, defeating the Jacobite Mackenzie, Earl of Cromarty at the Battle of Littleferry. [2]

Battle of Littleferry

The Battle of Littleferry (also known as the Skirmish at Golspie took place during the Jacobite rising in 1746, just before the Battle of Culloden. Scottish forces loyal to the British-Hanoverian Government defeated a rebel Scottish Jacobite force.

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  1. 1 2 Simpson, Peter (1996). The Independent Highland Companies, 1603 - 1760. p. 135. ISBN   085976432X.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Mackay, Angus (1906). The Book of Mackay. Edinburgh: Norman MacLeod, 25 George IV Bridge. pp. 190–191.
  3. MacLeod, Ruairidh. H. F.S.A. Scot (1984). Transactions of the Gaelic Society of Inverness. LIII. p. 338.