ScotWars - Scottish Military History and Re-enactment
Major General John Gordon of Glenbucket
Described by his contemporaries as: A craggy old man of seventy or more, his body twisted by rheumatism, he was a man of little property, living in Strathbogie, he liked the highlanders and had married his many daughters amongst them. Described as an inveterate Jacobite, he had been out in '89 with Dundee, and in the '15 he commanded a battalion of Gordons at Sherriffmuir. In the '45 uprising he held the rank of Major General, but due to his age and infirmity he did not exercise his rank. Although he did lead his regiment at Culloden, where he is described as sitting at the head of his regiment on a grey highland pony. Despite his age he still had a considerable reputation with the government troops.

In Feb. '46 a raid on Corgarff castle by a government force of 300 foot and 100 dragoons was abandoned due to a rumour that Glenbucket and his men were in the area. He supposedly gave King George nightmares; during the march to Derby, King George is said to have exclaimed in alarm "De great Glenboggit is coming!"

In the '45, Glenbucket led 300 men for Charles. According to some sources, Glenbucket might just have made it to Prestonpans as he was a member of the official council consisting, amongst others, of the Duke of Perth, Lord George Murray, Lord Elcho, O'Sullivan etc. who met at Edinburgh after the battle and decided to stay there for the meantime. Yet other sources maintain that Glenbucket with 150 of his men was with the Prince shortly before he set out to raise the standard at Glenfinnan on the 19th August 45 and that Glenbucket even brought the Prince news of the first Jacobite victory. After the disastrous defeat at Culloden, Old Glenbucket actually survived and managed to escape from the battlefield and gathered with others like Lovat, Lochiel, the MacDonnel chieftains etc. at the head of Loch Arkaig, hoping to re-launch the 45. He finally escaped on a Swedish sloop on 25th November and was expressly exempted from the Act of Indemnity of June 1747. He died in Bolougne on 16th June 1750. In addition, it is recorded that his son, also named John Gordon, was amongst the captives taken at Inverness after the battle. He is described as being half blind with drink.

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