The Jacobite Rising was a favorite backdrop for Scott, and in particular Rob Roy is set with "The Fifteen"; the rising of 1715. This First Jacobite Rebellion moved into action during the summer of 1715. James Stuart, The Old Pretender as he came to be known, was in communication with John Erskine, the Earl of Mar. Stuart convinced Mar to raise the clans in rebellion to the English throne. Mar traveled to Braemar, in Aberdeenshire, for a clan "hunting match" in August of that year. On September 6th, Mar proclaimed James Stuart as lawful sovereign. Mar and the clans in attendance at the hunting match began taking the highlands by force.
Success was short lived, as the English soon reacted, and Highlanders found fewer recruits than necessary. Two of the larger battles during this uprising were the Battles of Preston and Sheriffmuir during November 1715. Finally, on December 22, 1715, James Francis Edward Stuart landed on Scottish soil, at Peterhead in Aberdeenshire. Stuart was feverish and apparently depressed over his prospects. He briefly set up a court at Scone, in Perthshire, but retreated to France on February 4, 1716, leaving the Highland Chieftans to fend for themselves.