The 300th anniversary of the 1715 Jacobite Rising might not have enjoyed high national profile, but there were nevertheless a number of activities held to commemorate this important occasion. There were special exhibitions, including at the National Library of Scotland at the beginning of 2015, and there have been a number of small living history events, including at Preston in England and Dunblane in Scotland. In Alloa in October, a re-enactor portrayed the 6th Earl of Mar, proclaiming from the balcony of his historic home the reasons why he was taking up arms, and a torch-lit procession from Alloa Tower saw King James proclaimed once more at the town’s cross. On the anniversary of the Battle of Sheriffmuir itself, fitting tribute was done to the men of both sides when more than a hundred people gathered on the muir in wild November weather. There was a moving atmosphere as those gathered sang solemn hymns and laid their wreaths whilst the wild wind blew about them and lashed them with stinging sleet. Trustees Arran Johnston and Jenn Scott were present at the commemorations, and Jenn has prepared an article on the battle for next season's Battlefield Magazine.
As the anniversary year draws to a close (although there are still events going on into 2016, including at Blackford which was torched by the retreating Jacobites 300 years ago in January), it is worth reflecting how much all these disparate events might have benefitted from coordinated marketing and cross-promotion. If this Trust had been formed a year earlier, we might well have tried to facilitate that, but it is certainly a lesson we will bear in mind for the future.
In the meantime, if you have any battlefield related events planned for 2016, please let us know!