Following success against the military at the recent Battle of Drumclog, the Conventiclers’ support had swollen to six thousand when they came together at Hamilton in June 1679.
Differences between Covenanters which had undermined them through the 1650s, again created factions among their numbers. While some argued that their direction should be decided by a General Assembly which acknowledged the established powers, others denounced the governing bodies and their ‘Indulgences’. Meanwhile, with ten thousand men and discipline, the Duke of Monmouth, the Earl of Linlithgow and the vengeful Graham of Claverhouse mustered by the Clyde Bridge at Bothwell.
On 22 June they attacked the disorganised Covenanters and won easily.
Although deaths on the field were few, two hundred were killed later. Of the fourteen hundred who were captured or surrendered, another two hundred and fifty eight were shipwrecked while being transported in The Crown of London.