The 17th century saw turmoil on a massive scale in the village.

On 9th May 1645 a battle of the ‘War of three kingdoms’ was fought at Auldearn. The fighting started near where the Covenanters Inn stands at present.
It lasted all day, and spread throughout the village.

The opposing sides were the Royalists, fighting for King Charles 1st, and a Scottish Covenanter army, allied with the English parliament.

The commander of the Royalist forces, James Graham, the Marquis of Montrose, with his forces made up of Irish Confederates and shifting numbers of Highland clansmen, had led a successful campaign against Covenanters across Scotland, with victories at Tippermuir, Aberdeen, Fyvie and Inverlochy.

Then his attack on Dundee resulted in his forces being pursued north by the Covenanters led by Sir John Hurry. Hurry’s forces advanced towards Inverness before uniting with more Covenanter troops.

The Royalists spent of the night of the 8th May quartered in and to the east of Auldearn. Hurry’s forces advanced on the village the next morning.

With his army of about 3,300 men, Hurry attempted a surprise attack on Montrose but it has been reported that the Covenanters, when still some distance away, fired their muskets to clear damp power, and alerted the Royalists to their presence…..and so the battle began.

If you would like to read more about this dark day in Auldearn’s history,there are well researched details of the battle itself , some examples can be found at :

BCW project.org Details of the Battle of Auldearn


Montrose Society – Battle of Auldearn

and an excellent short video from the BBC
Scotland’s greatest warrior- The Battle of Auldearn

You can still see reminders of the battle in some of the place names around the village : The Convenanters Inn, where the fighting started, and Battle Hill, Montrose’s Hollow and ‘Dead Man’s Wood’, where many Covenanters were buried.

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