A Message from London
Following the Battle of Culloden, the government army, under the Duke of Cumberland, marched on to Inverness to continue the slaughter. They raided properties looking for Jacobites and their supporters. All found were swiftly and brutally executed by musket, bayonet or rope. Some were burned alive in their homes.
The morning following the battle, Cumberland issued a written order reminding his men that "the public orders of the rebels yesterday was to give us no quarter". He stated that these orders had been found upon the bodies of fallen Jacobites. In the days and weeks that followed, versions of these alleged orders were published in various journals. Today only one copy of the alleged order to "give no quarter" exists but is considered to be merely a clumsy forgery.
Culloden Moor was subsequently searched and all wounded Jacobites discovered put to death. The slaughter did not end on that day, unfortunately. For months Cumberland’s army moved around the Highlands extinguishing any and every threat of rebellion. Women and children, the old and the young, none were spared. The orders were "No Quarter Given" - and none was.
The Highland culture was subsequently demolished. Gaelic - the native language - was banned, the wearing of tartan was made a hanging offence and even the Bible was not allowed to be learned in their own tongue, never mind written. This was the final nail in the coffin of the clan system and the Highlanders’ way of life
It is impossible to accurately tally how many Highlanders were burned out of their homes, raped and massacred by British government sanctions in the period following the Jacobite defeat at Culloden but over 20,000 head of livestock, sheep, and goats are known to have been driven off and sold at Fort Augustus, where the soldiers split the profits. William, the Duke of Cumberland, became the government’s “pin up boy” for his crushing of the rebellion.
An oft-quoted response from the parliament in London indicates the extremely low level of regard it had for the citizens it demanded to rule over. In reply to Cumberlands gloating reports of his own atrocities in extinguishing the rebellion, they reply:
"It will be no great mischief if all should fall".