The Jacobite rising of 1715 (Scottish Gaelic: Bliadhna Sheumais ) (also referred to as the Fifteen or Lord Mar's Revolt), was the attempt by James Francis Edward Stuart (also called the Old Pretender) to regain the thrones of England, Ireland and Scotland for the exiled House of Stuart.
The Glorious Revolution of 1688–89 resulted in the Roman Catholic Stuart king, James II of England and VII of Scotland, fleeing to exile in France under the protection of Louis XIV. James' daughter and her husband, who was also James's nephew, ascended to the British thrones as joint sovereigns William III and Mary II. In 1690 Presbyterianism was established as the state religion of Scotland. The Act of Settlement 1701 settled the succession of the English throne on the Protestant House of Hanover. The Act of Union 1707 applied the Act of Settlement to Scotland. With the death of Queen Anne in 1714, the Elector of Hanover, George I, succeeded to the British throne. The accession of George I ushered in the Whig supremacy, with the Tories deprived of all political power. The new Whig regime sought to prosecute members of the 1710–1714 Tory ministry for financial irregularities, with Robert Harley being imprisoned in the Tower of London and Lord Bolingbroke fleeing to France before arrest. Bolingbroke became the Pretender's Secretary of State and accepted an earldom from him.
On 14 March 1715, the Pretender appealed to Pope Clement XI for help for a Jacobite rising: "It is not so much a devoted son, oppressed by the injustices of his enemies, as a persecuted Church threatened with destruction, which appeals for the protection and help of its worthy pontiff". On 19 August Bolingbroke wrote to the Pretender: "Things are hastening to that point, that either you, Sir, at the head of the Tories, must save the Church and Constitution of England or both must be irretrievably lost for ever". The Pretender believed the Duke of Marlborough would join him when he landed in Scotland, writing to the Duke of Berwick on 23 August: "I think it is now more than ever Now or Never".
Despite receiving no commission from James to start the rising, the Earl of Mar sailed from London to Scotland and on 27 August at Braemar held the first council of war. On 6 September at Braemar Mar raised the standard of "James the 8th and 3rd", accompanied by 600 supporters.
In response, Parliament suspended habeas corpus by the Habeas Corpus Suspension Act 1715, and passed an Act that gave tenants who refused to support the Jacobites the land of their landlord if he was a Jacobite. Some of Mar's tenants travelled to Edinburgh to prove their loyalty and acquire title to their land.
In northern Scotland, the Jacobites were successful. They took Inverness, Gordon Castle, Aberdeen and further south, Dundee, although they were unable to capture Fort William. In Edinburgh Castle were arms for up to 10,000 men and £100,000 paid to Scotland when she entered the Union with England. Lord Drummond, with 80 Jacobites, tried under the cover of night to take the Castle, but the Governor of the Castle learnt of their plans and successfully defended it.