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Balfour Stone at Killiecrankie

The unlikely spot of Brigadier Barthold Balfour's demise

The Balfour Stone in the Pass of Killiecrankie supposedly marks the grave and the spot where Brigadier Barthold Balfour was killed while trying to rally Scottish government troops fleeing the battle of Killiecrankie on the 27 July 1689.

Balfour was however killed on the battlefield 1.5 miles away, most likely near the settlement of Aldclune. His body would have been buried on the battlefield along with the rest of the fallen.

A lowland Scot, Balfour was commissioned as a captain in the Scots-Dutch Brigade on 14 November 1676. He was promoted to lieutenant-colonel on 5 December 1678, and colonel on 16 February 1684.

He was Brigadier when the brigade was sent to Scotland to secure the country for William of Orange following the revolution of 1688.

Balfour was second-in-command of the Scottish government army under Major-General Hugh Mackay of Scourie that fought the Jacobites at the battle of Killiecrankie.

It is said that he fought off a group of Jacobite highlanders after he found himself alone on the battlefield following the rout of the government left wing which he commanded.

The Reverend Robert Stewart, minister of Balquhidder, attempted to save Balfour’s life but when he refused to surrender Stewart drew his broadsword and in one fell swoop sliced Balfour in half.

Neil Ritchie
Neil Ritchie
Neil Ritchie is the founder and editor of and is also the editor of other online publications covering military history, defence and security. Neil has a keen interest in the military history of Scotland and in particular the military history of the Jacobite risings.

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