Battle of Philiphaugh

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plaque The Covenanters Monument at Philiphaugh 

 

Philiphaugh is significant as it is the final battle of the Marquis of Montrose's Royalist campaign in 1644 and 1645, and was the only defeat he suffered during it. Philiphaugh effectively destroys Montrose's army and essentially ends any organised Royalist ambitions north of the border.

Philiphaugh was a major defeat for the Scottish Royalist army in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms and signalled the end of the Marquis of Montrose's campaign in Scotland. Montrose had raised the royal standard in Scotland in 1644, in an attempt to secure the country for the king by force of arms. He had won a string of six victories and had crippled the ability of the Covenanters (Scottish Presbyterians opposed to interference by the Stuart Kings in the affairs of the Church of Scotland) to counter him. However, by September his attempts to raise sufficient Lowland forces, or maintain the numbers of his existing troops to sustain his campaign, had failed.

After the crushing defeat at Kilsyth (15 August 1645) no effective Covenanter army remained in Scotland. Consequently, thousands of experienced troops were recalled by the Scottish Government from England and marched north to meet Montrose's depleted Royalists troops positioned in the Borders. The ill-prepared and out numbered Royalists were quickly defeated by the Government troops at Philiphaugh and the captured soldiers, their families and servants were swiftly executed within a short distance of the battlefield. The Royalist defeat signalled the end of Montrose's campaign in Scotland and effectively marked the end of the Civil War in Scotland. The victory of the Covenanters was secured the following year with the surrender of King Charles to a Covenanter army in England.

Amongst 'the List of Prisoners of Quality taken at Philiphaugh om 13 September 1645' was Sir James Douglas, son of the Earl of Morton.

After the battle, Sir Robert Douglas of Blackerstoun was fined £1000. He was held prisoner in the 'castles of Dumbarton Castle and Glasgow' 'for three-quarters of a year'.

Source

 

Sources for this article include:
  • Historic Scotland


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    Last modified: Tuesday, 01 February 2022