Fort William is the second largest settlement in the Highlands. Only the city of Inverness is larger.


Northside Fort William

Old Fort of Fort William from the North[1]

The garrison fort was constructed by Oliver Cromwell's forces in 1654 to control the local population. It was originally known as the Garrison of Inverlochy. Its Gaelic name is An Gearasdan, meaning "The Garrison."

About 1690, the fort was improved with better defenses. This is when the garrison was named Fort William after William of Orange – and the small village nearby was called Maryburgh, named after William's wife.

In 1746, the 600 men in the Fort were sieged by the Jacobite Army along with other fortresses in a chain of fortification along the Great Glen. The Jacobites succeeded in capturing Fort Augustus and Fort George, but failed to capture Fort William.

Fort William is near Ben Nevis, which is the highest point on the British Isles.

Events of the NovelsEdit


Jack Randall was in command of the garrison for four years.

In 1740, Jamie Fraser is arrested at Lallybroch while trying to defend Jenny, taken to Fort William and brutally flogged by Jack Randall. Randall offers to cancel the second flogging if Jamie will give himself to him. Jamie refuses.

Jamie's father Brian Fraser dies a few days after watching Jamie receive his second flogging.

When Jamie recovers from his second flogging he is extracted from Fort William by some friends and during his escape the soldier who gave him the first flogging is killed by Jack Randall. Although it wasn't Jamie who killed him, he is blamed and a price of ten pounds sterling put on his head as a murderer, forcing him to live as an outlaw and unable to return home to Lallybroch.

Directly after his escape from Fort William Jamie is taken to Dougal's house to recover and Dougal tells him that Jenny is pregnant to Jack Randall and living with another English soldier.

In 1743, when attempting to escape to Craigh na Dun while Jamie goes to see Horrocks, Claire ends up in the hands of Jack Randall at Fort William where he tries to rape her but she is rescued by Jamie

Dragonfly in AmberEdit

Roger Wakefield visits the museum in Fort William in the course of his research on Claire Randall's list of Jacobites.

Written in My Own Heart's BloodEdit

Roger visits the fort in 1739, while searching for his son, Jem, whom he thinks may have been forced to travel to the past. He meets Captain Buncombe, the garrison commander, accompanied by Brian Fraser. Brian estimates that the garrison houses forty soldiers.

About two weeks later, Roger meets the new commander, a Captain Jonathan Randall, when he visits again to inquire after additional information pertaining to a "wee bawbee" found by a patrol – a set of RAF dog tags from World War II.



  1. UNDISCOVERED SCOTLAND: Old Fort – accessed 1 June 2016.

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