John Graham of Claverhouse

John Graham of Claverhouse, Viscount Dundee. Jacobite leader
PG 2183 © National Galleries of Scotland

Bonnie Dundee

In July 1689, Graham of Claverhouse's highlanders inflicted a heavy defeat in a brief, but decisive, battle against a government force supporting William of Orange in the Pass of Killiecrankie. The leader of his opponents was General Hugh Mackay of Scourie and his much larger force suffered many casualties.

It was a vital battle in one sense, but achieved only a moral victory because it achieved no outcome, for Claverhouse himself was killed by a stray bullet. It is unlikely that he was struck by the silver bullet by which legend suggests he could only be killed, but his death did confer on him something of a martyr's status in the Royalist camp, and his name became coupled with that of his elder kinsman, the Marquess of Montrose, as one of the most romantic leaders of the seventeenth century.

Bonnie Dundee's pierced armour, helmet, sword and pistols from the Battle of Killiecrankie.

Born: 21 July 1648
Died: 27 July 1689

Father: Sir William Graham
Mother: Lady Madeline Carnegie

Also known as:
• Viscount Dundee
• Bonnie Dundee
• Bloody Clavers

John Graham of Claverhouse (1648-1689), 1st Viscount Dundee,
'Bonnie Dundee' by Peter Lely - © National Trust

After Killiecrankie - The Death of Claverhouse by George Ogilvy Reid (1897)
© Royal Scottish Academy of Art & Architecture