On 13th April 1689, Dundee raised the Royal Standard on Dundee Law and proclaimed his Majesty King James VII and II to be the true monarch of the three kingdoms.
King James VII and II
He had left the Convention of Estates in Edinburgh on 18 March once it became clear that those other Scottish nobles who had previously remained loyal to their monarch through difficult times had now forsaken him.
Despite the commitment of various prominent supporters to accompany him initially to Stirling to convene a Convention with the proper authorisation of King James, he had left the Capital accompanied only by his own small squadron of horse. Without his presence to oppose William’s interests, the Convention moved speedily to the business at hand.
On 20 March Dundee was declared an outlaw and six days later a party of Parliamentary heralds appeared outside his castle at Dudhope to publicly read out the outlaw declaration. With outstanding irony this document had, of necessity, been signed in the name of King James as William had not yet been proclaimed King of Scotland.
On 30 March his son was born and duly christened James, in honour of both his King and the Great Marquis. And a moment of personal pride and pleasure was afforded to him after all the troubling months. There would be no more such in the few months of life left.
Meanwhile the Convention still sat in Edinburgh with the Jacobite minority providing no opposition of any significance to the determined machinations of King William’s supporters. On 4 April, Sir John Dalrymple, the Master of Stair, who would go on to earn far greater ignominy in years to come with his involvement in the Massacre of Glencoe and the imposition of the Treaty of Union, moved the defining resolution that King James had ‘forefaulted’ his right to the crown. No Scottish Parliament had ever previously deposed the monarch but now the motion was passed with only 12 dissenting votes.
Then on 11 April the Convention passed a Claim of Right which confirmed James’ deposition and offered the crown of the ancient Kingdom of Scotland to William and Mary as joint sovereigns. Thus ‘thirty years of heedless misrule had brought inevitable catastrophe’.
Declared a rebel and an outlaw and with his commission as James’ Lieutenant-General having been intercepted, John Graham of Claverhouse, 1st Viscount Dundee led his handful of supporters to the top of Dundee law and unfurled the royal standard. His campaign to restore James to his throne had begun.
Dundee Law, as it is today