Clan Maclean History: The Battle of Inverkeithing, 20th July, 1651
‘Many a white-headed champion fell into rank around your banner, and many a handsome youth was mangled under horses' hooves...' 'Song to Sir Hector', Eachan Bacach
The execution of King Charles I at Whitehall on 30th January 1649 changed the whole course of the Civil War. The Scots, who had been foremost in their opposition to the king were appalled at his judicial murder and recognised his successor. Cromwell hurried north to deal with his former allies and on the 3rd September 1650 destroyed Leslie's army at Dunbar.
The Scots still held Scotland north of the Forth. Charles II threw in his lot with the moderate covenanters, led by the marquess of Argyll, and on 1st January 1651 received the crown from Argyll's hand at Scone. Ten days later the Scots Parliament appointed the 27-year-old Sir Hector Maclean of Duart colonel of a regiment of foot.
Not all Macleans were eligible to serve in the regiment. Murdoch Maclean of Lochbuie, for instance, was still under sentence of excommunication for serving under the marquess of Montrose. Even in its hour of need the Scots government would not employ such men. Fortunately veterans such as Donald Maclean of Brolas, John Maclean of Kinlochaline and Allan Maequarrie, younger of Ulva had not been excommunicated and had made public repentance for serving with Montrose.
Cromwell was sick from February to June 1651 and there was a stalemate between the opposing armies. However it did not stop the naval campaign and gunboats bombarded royalist coastal fortifications in Fife. In April Inchgarvie was assaulted and its artillery silenced.