Battle of Maol Ruadh

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Battle of Maol Ruadh
Part of the Scottish clan wars
Cairn - - 652004.jpg
Cairn at roadside near Maol Ruadh, site of the Battle of Mulroy
Date August 1688
Location Maol Ruadh, east of Spean Bridge, Scotland
grid reference NN271826[1]
Coordinates: 56°54′11″N 4°50′19″W / 56.90306°N 4.83861°W / 56.90306; -4.83861
Result Decisive Rebel victory
Clan MacDonald of Keppoch
Clan Cameron
Government backed troops:
Chattan Confederation led by Clan Mackintosh
Highland Independent Company:
Clan Mackenzie
Commanders and leaders
Coll Macdonald, 16th of Keppoch Lachlan MacKintosh of Torcastle
Kenneth Mackenzie of Suddie (killed in action)[2]
800 1,600
Casualties and losses
Unknown Unknown

The Battle of Maol Ruadh (Mulroy or Maoile Ruaidh) was fought in August 1688 in the Lochaber district of Scotland between the Chattan Confederation led by the Clan Mackintosh against the Clan MacDonald of Keppoch and the Clan Cameron.[3] The battlefield has been inventoried and protected by Historic Scotland under the Scottish Historical Environment Policy of 2009.[4]

Because the rebel clans were victorious despite the government's superior numbers, it was the prototype for Dundee's victory at Killiecrankie the following summer.

The last clan battle[edit]

The Battle of Maol Ruadh (or Mulroy in English) is sometimes described as being the last of the private clan battles fought between Scottish clans. However, this is perhaps inaccurate as the Mackintoshes had official government support for their actions against the Macdonalds and their army was in part made up of government troops from an Independent Highland Company under Mackenzie of Suddie. This would therefore leave the Battle of Altimarlach, fought in 1680 between the Campbells and Sinclairs, as the last true clan battle.


  1. ^ Site Record for Maol Ruadh, Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland 
  2. ^ Simpson, Peter. (1996). The Independent Highland Companies, 1603 - 1760. p 79. ISBN 0-85976-432-X
  3. ^ The Battle of Mulroy
  4. ^ "Inventory battlefields". Historic Scotland. Retrieved 2012-04-12. 


  • Barron, E. M., Inverness and the Macdonalds, 1930.
  • Fountainhall Historical Notices, 1661-1683, 1848.
  • Hopkins, P., Glencoe and the End of the Highland War, 1986.
  • McBane, D. The Expert Sword-Mans Companion, 1728.
  • The Register of the Privy Council of Scotland, variously edited, 1877-1933.