The Battle of Auldearn

by Ellen Castelow

Fought between a Scottish Covenanter army allied with the English Parliament, and the Royalist forces of Charles I under the command of the Marquis of Montrose, the Battle of Auldearn was fought on 9th May 1645.

With limited resources at his disposal Montrose had already secured a series of victories over Covenanter forces across the Highlands of Scotland. His latest assault on Dundee however was not so successful, and so Montrose retreated northwards, closely pursued by a Covenanter detachment commanded by Sir John Hurry.

Having joined forces with local militia loyal to the Covenanter cause, Hurry led a surprise attack on Montrose’s position close to the village of Auldearn, early in the morning of the 9th May.

The intense fighting that followed continued for much of the day, with attack and counter attack until the Covenanter army finally broke and fled. Greatly outnumber and against the odds, the Earl of Montrose had secured yet another victory.

Click here for a Battlefield Map

Key Facts:

Date: 9th May, 1645

War: Wars of the Three Kingdoms

Location: Auldearn, near Nairn

Belligerents: Royalists, Scottish Covenanters

Victors: Royalists

Numbers: Royalists around 1,500, Scottish Covenanters around 4,000

Casualties: Royalists negligible, Scottish Covenanters around 1,500

Commanders: Lord Montrose (Royalists – pictured at the top of this article), Sir John Hurry (Scottish Covenanters)


The Battle of Auldearn

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