chapter  16
Pages 2

A Scottish Convention met on 14 March 1689 and its Presbyterian majority was instrumental in passing a Claim of Right and Articles of Grievances which were more sweeping than the English Declaration of Rights. They sought nothing less than an independent Scottish Parliament, the removal of the Lords of the Articles and the re-establishment of Presbyterian church government. Initially, the new king’s ministers blocked the legislative changes required to put this programme into effect, but it soon became clear that William III needed the support of the Presbyterians. Viscount Dundee, Commander-in-Chief in Scotland, declared his continued support for James and managed to win the volatile Highland clans over to what was the first stirring of the Jacobite cause. Dundee had served under William on the continent and was well-practised at dealing with conditions in Scotland through his ruthless suppression of illegal conventicles. He seems to have had an unusual degree of personal charisma and the ability to persuade the fiercely independent Highland chiefs to rally to his cause. The situation became so serious that the new king had to delay his intended campaign against Louis XIV in order to deal with Dundee. William conceded the main Presbyterian demands, so that the Scottish Parliament, ironically enough, was in the last 18 years of its existence more independent of the Crown than ever before. Ironically too, the military danger was short-lived. Dundee won a brilliant victory at Killiecrankie on 27 July 1689, but was killed in the closing stages of the battle. The unreliability of Highland troops then worked in William’s favour, as the clans, without anyone to unite them other than the distant figure of King James, abandoned the Jacobite cause for the time being. However, they left a powerful reputation for military might, and the possibility of their uniting again in the Jacobite cause was to exercise the minds of successive governments for many years to come.