INFORMATION SHEET No. 24


Munros at Culloden

 By Jean Munro


Visitors to the National Trust for Scotland Visitor Centre at Culloden may be surprised to be told that some two hundred Munros fought there for the Hanoverian King George II on 16 April 1746. This is completely untrue.

According to the fashion of the time regiments of the British army were known by the name of their commanding officer. Colonel Sir Robert Munro of Foulis was a professional soldier, and after 4 years serving on the Continent of Europe with the Black Watch, he was promoted in June 1745 to the command of the 37th Foot (later the Hampshire regiment), which then became known as Munro's regiment. He and his brother Duncan were killed at the battle of Falkirk in January 1746, nearly three months before Culloden. The regiment then became Dejean's from the name of his successor, but most of the contemporary plans of the battle still called it Munros. And that is where the confusion arises. There is no record of any of the clan serving in the 37th.

It is reported that 200 Munros were active with the Independent Company raised and commanded by Sir Robert's other brother George Munro of Culcairn. They were stationed in Skye and the West Highlands at the time of Culloden, where in Lochaber in August 1746 George was shot apparently by mistake for another officer.

Meanwhile Harry, Sir Robert's son and heir and already a professional soldier, had raised a company of Munros to serve in Loudon's Highlanders, another of the Independent Companies. He and many of his men were taken prisoner at the battle of Prestonpans. Released in late January 1746 after the deaths of his father and uncle, he rejoined his company in Loudon's and with it was sent north into Sutherland where they still remained at the time of Culloden.

Although not a regiment at Culloden, the clan took an active part in support of King George, loosing the chief, and his two brothers, while his heir was for a time a prisoner in Doune Castle.
 

The Clan Munro Association of Canada