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11 Apr 2022

War Stories of Culloden: a series of short talks

Red flags stand in a line on a moorland. Heavy grey clouds hang in the sky.
Enjoy nine short talks from experts about the Battle of Culloden and its effects on Scotland’s social history.
The aftermath of Culloden


[Katey Boal]

Welcome to our short series of talks entitled War Stories. My name is Katey Boal and I'm the Engagement Manager here at Culloden Battlefield. I work for the National Trust for Scotland and I'm very pleased to welcome Professor Allan MacInnes as he explores the aftermath of Culloden.

[Allan MacInnes]

Thank you for inviting me to talk on behalf of the National Trust on the topic of the aftermath of Culloden, which I will now explore in relation to the brutality inflicted upon the losing Jacobite forces by the British government.

As successive British governments, usually dominated by the Whig party, were too well aware, the Highland clans remained the military bedrock of Scottish support for the House of Stuart in continental exile since 1690. An exile confirmed by the Hanoverian succession in 1714.

The clans bore the brunt of the fighting and dying in the Jacobite frontlines during the major Risings of 1689-91, 1715-16 and 1745-46.

Like other Scottish families and communities, the clans were divided by civil wars occasioned by the major Risings. Support for Jacobitism remained consistently higher than that for the Whigs, even though support within the clans espousing Jacobitism fluctuated, switched and declined in all three major Risings. Despite the dispiriting reality of civil war generated by Jacobitism, successive Risings had been launched by appeals for ethnic solidarity among the Gaels.

This ethnic dimension was compounded by the indiscriminate reprisals of government forces, perpetrated against the clans in the month following the Jacobite defeat at Culloden on 16 April 1746.

Its immediate aftermath was marked by systematic state terrorism, characterised by a genocidal intent that verged on ethnic cleansing.

Chiefs and leading clan gentry abandoned their traditional obligations as protectors and patrons in pursuit of their commercial aspirations as proprietors.

Banditry became a means of social protest.

At the same time, the triumphalist Whig government embarked upon a legislative as well as a military offensive which sought to eradicate all cultural vestiges of clanship by civilising, that is assimilating, the Gaels as serviceable, industrial and dutiful subjects of the House of Hanover within their imperial as well as their British dominion.

Now, given that the clans at the frontline of the Jacobite cause were perceived to pose a recurrent challenge to the Whig political establishment, the clear intent of the British higher command by Culloden was to inflict a crushing defeat that would be remembered for generations.

William, Duke of Cumberland as Commander-in-Chief of the British forces was especially convinced that the Jacobite rebellious principle was so rooted in the minds of the Scottish nation that a whole generation of clansmen must be pretty well worn out before the country would be quiet.

In making little effort to distinguish between rebellious Scots and Jacobite clansmen, Cumberland was prepared to go beyond terrorism and crass brutality in order to eradicate clanship.

Prolonged repression cannot be exonerated on the grounds that several thousand clansmen had assembled at Ruthven and Badenoch within days of Culloden.

Although they remained in armed readiness for a month, the faction-ridden Jacobite leadership had abandoned a cause which no longer presented a concerted threat. Cumberland in interim had moved from commending the selective harassment of Jacobite clans around Inverness, to the whole-scale destruction of the livelihood and lives not only of known Jacobites but those suspected of being their associates.

On 25 April he instructed John Campbell, Earl of Loudoun that on his troop manoeuvres in Glenelg and Ardnamurchan he would constantly endeavour to distress whatever rebel territory he passed through.

He was to seize and destroy all persons who had been in rebellion or their abettors.

The systematic policy of repression pursued after Culloden has become ingrained in the folk memory of the Gael.

Such a policy, which was marked by the language of extirpation, cleansing and purging, has a contemporary resonance that can be depicted as a campaign of genocidal intent, redolent of the Balkans in the late 20th century.

This intent verged on ethnic cleansing in three distinct phases:

the first was the whole-scale slaughter, not only at Culloden in the days after the battle but in the succeeding weeks prior to the departure of Cumberland at the outset of the summer of 1746, when he felt that Gaeldom had finally been subjugated.

The second was the selective terrorism directed against Jacobite districts by William Keppel, Earl of Albemarle, which followed on from the rumoured movements of Prince Charles Edward, the Jacobite leader, and slackened on his escape to France in September.

The third was the continuing and deliberate starvation of Jacobite and neighbouring districts through the wilful destruction of crops, livestock and property, including the holing of fishing boats, with the stated intention to effect either clearance or death.

This latter phase, though it was relaxed after the removal of Albemarle as Commander-in-Chief in Scotland during November, endured throughout the harvest season and restricted the remunerative droving of black cattle to areas of proven Whig loyalty.

Failure of the harvest and the loss of livestock in Jacobite districts had continuing repercussions well into 1747.

For the British political and military establishment, the Jacobite Risings were rebellious, which pitted irregular troops and guerrilla bands against regiments of the line.

Clansmen were rebels, not soldiers of a rival state or foreign power.

Accordingly, Cumberland and the high command of the British Army chose to disregard the rules and convention of early modern European warfare. They did not confine their reprisals to legitimate military targets; they made little effort to distinguish between combatants and civilians; their excessive reprisals were not proportionate with regard to civilians and their property.

The deployment of arms post-Culloden was calculated to cause unnecessary suffering. They had absolutely no respect for their opponents or any desire to treat those they deemed 'the enemy within the British state' with fairness.

The Gaels were neither wiped out nor cleared as the result of military reprisals by land and sea. But the genocidal intent, coupled to an impatience to effect a final solution through extirpation and starvation that permeated from Cumberland and his immediate subordinates, Albemarle and Lieutenant-Colonel Edward Cornwallis, affected most British officers, regardless of their English or Scottish origin.

Lowlanders like Captain Carlisle Scott and Major William Walker ran amok on land while Captain John Ferguson wreaked havoc by sea.

Even such Gaels as Captain George Munro of Culcairn in Easter Ross and Captain Alexander Grant of Knockando in Strathspey were willing terrorists. Few officers were concerned that Whig loyalists should suffer from contrived food shortages as well as Jacobite rebels.

Now, the public import of the hostile rhetoric directed against Jacobite clans can be traced through the pages of the Scots Magazine, which served as a monthly journal of record, drawing copy from diverse newsprint sources throughout the British Isles during the '45. Published in Edinburgh, it was closer than London newsprint to the theatre of war and was more apprehensive about the outcome.

The Scots Magazine did report the Jacobite perspective on the behaviour and achievements of their troops rather than rely on official reports that the Jacobites were dispirited, prone to depredations and other outrages against civilian populations, and much given to desertion and mutiny for want of pay.

Nonetheless, the Jacobites were clearly identified as the enemy within. Giving particular edge to the general thrust of this British polemic was the public conditioning for butchery after Culloden, under the guise of the punitive civilising of the Gael.

A month prior to Culloden, the Scots Magazine had carried reports of intended extirpation or whole-scale clearance of the clans, from the Highlands to America too.

Reports were also carried that the government forces were not averse to pillaging in the shires of Perth, Angus and Aberdeen. But these little outrages were excused on the grounds that they were not condoned by Cumberland and were punished by him when disclosed, his mission north being affirmed to civilise as well as subdue.

The Clan Campbell in the guise of the Argyll militia were identified as the main perpetrators of cruelty on the government side, with the publication of a letter of 20 March from Jacobite chiefs Donald Cameron of Lochiel and Alexander MacDonald of Keppoch.

They vowed unstinting vengeance against a clan that responded to an offer of clemency for past misdeeds from Prince Charles with inhumanity and barbarity, of which they had daily proof by the burning of houses, stripping of women and children, and exposing them in open fields to severe weather.

In order to take public attention away from the carnage that marked not just the Battle of Culloden but the immediate Jacobite dispersal towards Inverness on 16 April, accounts were cumulatively brought for circulation throughout Britain and the colonies. The first hurried account of the battle, which reached London on 23 April, emphasised the decisive nature of the Jacobite defeat.

The second account, which arrived the following day, maximised Jacobite and minimised government losses, a feature further developed in the fulsome accounts forwarded by Cumberland on 26 April.

Slipped into the London Magazine was an appendix of 25 April, claiming that the Jacobite orders issued on the eve of battle instructed both the foot and the horse to give no quarter to the troops of the Elective of Hanover, ie George II, on any account whatsoever.

This denial of quarter was a deliberate falsification by the British high command to justify the slaughter of wounded Jacobites, especially clansmen, either as they lay in the field or as they attempted to escape from Culloden.

The victims of genocide in the 16 months after Culloden greatly supplemented the number of Jacobites, around 3,000, slaughtered during and after the battle. As senior British officers tended to dismiss all reports of atrocities and military excess, junior officers glorified in clearing out Jacobite neighbourhoods around the garrisons at Inverness, Ruthven and Badenoch, Bernera and Glenelg, Fort Augustus and Fort William, where women offering succour to wounded or starving prisoners were in particular danger of being strip-searched and raped. In the process of clearing, those found in arms were peremptorily put to death. The houses of those who absconded in fear of draconian punishment were plundered and burned. Whole communities in districts for Jacobite recruitment were terrorised by force quartering of government troops and inquisitorial proceedings to determine which landowners, tenants, labourers and servants were out during the '45.

In such a climate of fear, informing became a growth industry. The optimistic expectation of male and female vernacular poets that the rightful cause of Jacobitism would ultimately triumph gave way first to abject horror by the incidence and extent of savage slaughter, rape and burning; and then to an unredeemed fatalism that defeat at Culloden had undermined the social fabric of clanship.

No less enduring was the cultural alienation caused by the repressive conduct of chiefs and leading clan gentry, for whom Culloden provided the excuse to throw over traditional obligation.

During the 1730s the House of Argyll had provided the model for the commercial reorientation of estate management at the expense of clanship, by introducing competitive bidding for leases on Mull, Tiree and Morvern, a process stayed by the Rising in 1745. But Archibald Campbell, 3rd Duke of Argyll celebrated Culloden by carrying out clearances in Morvern, an example soon followed by the Duchess of Gordon in Lochaber.

On the grounds that it was easier to conquer than to civilise barbarous people, Cumberland was encouraged to transport all Jacobite clans from Lochaber and surrounding districts by the Whig chief Donald MacKay, 3rd Lord Reay.

Commercial tensions between the clan elite and the followers were at the root of the defiance of chief, manifest in 1745-46 by the mobilisation of the MacKenzies in Ross, the MacLeods and MacDonalds in Skye and MacIntoshes and other members of Clan Chattan in Strathnairn and Badenoch for the Jacobite cause.

Their chiefs promptly distanced themselves from the errant clansmen after Culloden, as did such non-committed chiefs as the Stewart of Appin, Chisholm of Strathglass, MacDonald of Clanranald and MacDonald of Glengarry.

Immediately after Culloden, Ludovic Grant of Strathspey rounded up and handed over for imprisonment and eventual transportation clansmen in Glenorchy and Glenmoriston who had gone out for the Jacobite cause.

Due process of law was applied ostensibly to no more than 2,500 Jacobite prisoners, who were shipped to England to face show trials after prolonged incarceration in Carlisle, York and London.

The prime issue to be determined in these trials, where one prisoner was arraigned as the representative of the cellblock, was not of guilt but a final destination. The Jacobite rank and file sentenced to penal servitude faced transportation to the colonies in the American South and the West Indies. Jacobites of status sentenced to be forfeited and executed included the irredeemably reprobate Simon, Lord Fraser of Lovat, who enforced his estranged son Simon, Master of Lovat, to lead out the clan to join the Jacobite forces returning from England.

And George McKenzie, the aged 3rd Earl of Cromarty, who had led the diversionary Jacobite campaign in the northern Highlands.

Most Jacobite chiefs and leading clan gentry who survived Culloden escaped into exile on the continent, where they subsisted from pensions, military commissions and rents dispatched clandestinely from the forfeited estates.

The Gaels had not been entirely passive victims, however.

A few malevolent government officers, most notably Munro of Culcairn, was assassinated in Lochaber, where the long-established cattling tradition of the district was augmented by displaced and harried Jacobite clansmen led by such commissioned and non-commissioned officers as Captain John Roy Stewart and Sergeant Muir Cameron.

Indeed, the association of banditry with social protest led to the persistence of guerrilla warfare in and around Rannoch until the 1750s.

Conversely, the growth of banditry not only in such traditional haunts as Lochaber and Rannoch but in most mountainous districts of the Southern and Central Highlands enabled government to press home jaundiced aspersions that all Jacobite clans were tainted with banditry and punitive military pressure should continue. The rigorous enforcement of the Disarming Act from the summer of 1746 exposed Whigs as well as Jacobites to depredation by bandits.

At the same time, any refusal of clans to disarm was taken as confirmation of the bandit associations and further exposed them to reprisal.

The safeguarding of communications justified the expansion of the military roads and the erection of Fort George at Ardersier near Inverness, a tangible symbol of the Whig philosophy of progress through repression.

The genocidal campaign in the aftermath of Culloden was more noted for intent than achievement.

This can be attributed to several principal factors on either side of the political divide. Most of the regular government troops were unfamiliar with the varying Highland terrain.

The sustaining of an underpaid army of occupation was circumscribed by logistical difficulty. The pro-government Highland troops had a comparatively benevolent approach to the exaction of reprisals, most notably the clan contingent under Major-General John Campbell of Mamore, the future 4th Duke of Argyll and his son Captain John Campbell, the future 5th Duke, and more especially John Campbell, 4th Earl of Loudoun. These were the Whig commanders to whom the Jacobite clans were most inclined to surrender their arms.

Although Campbell of Mamore publicly supported the government's measures to destroy clans, he privately endorsed the protection offered by his son and Loudoun to families exposed to punitive reprisals as satellites of prominent Jacobite clans.

At the same time, the increased recourse to banditry in response to repression also acted as a check on the full rigours of state terrorism being inflicted upon the civilian population. Wanton destruction and targeted extirpation were partially offset by the willingness of most Highland officers to offer parole to prominent rebels, and by the covered relief provided for destitute women and children by quartermasters of garrisons in the late autumn of 1746.

Destitution was further mitigated and relieved by the distribution of at least half the sum equivalent to £40,000 sterling dispatched belatedly as military aid from France in the weeks before Culloden. Merchants and other Jacobite sympathisers smuggled essential supplies through Fort William and Inverness.

No less significantly, public messages that favoured a move away from repression towards leniency were gaining traction six months after Culloden. The Scots Magazine monitored pieces from other British newspapers and journals, arguing for and against leniency. At the same time, it afforded greater scope on the metropolitan press to voices calling for exemplary rather than punitive civilising, thereby paving the way for rebel clansmen to become true Britons.

This was to be accomplished by the promotion of productive improvements in Gaeldom, and by the harnessing of the purported militarism of the clans into the service of the British Empire.

English publications, particularly in the afterglow of Cumberland's return to London to be hailed as a conquering hero in June, tended to argue for continuing severity.

The General Evening Post, which was not inclined to view the Jacobites either as having been motivated by conscience but having been martyred for their cause, featured the claim of a rebel pennant that the '45 was a French design for the destruction of the Highland race in order to prevent the recruitment of clans into British imperial service.

The Westminster Journal, warming to the theme that inveterate rebels should be transported and their children bred up in loyal principle, gave prominence to the assertion of justice that England could have no security with the impotence of this rebellious generation.

The Daily Advertiser argued for the most severity. The Jacobites having demonstrated through the French backing that they were in league with the greatest enemies of mankind. Although total extirpation may not be practical, none should be spared that have ventured to infringe our laws.

Not all voices from the south of the border were genocidal or imperialistic, however. A contributor to the Whig-critical Craftsman questioned the extent to which British liberties were endangered by reprisals against the clans, chastising those who advise or wish to multiply slaughter and kill in cold blood. Kill them, for what?

A correspondent from Glasgow through Christianus Britannica pressed home the argument for moral rather than punitive force towards Jacobites: let us manfully treat them with as much lenity and shed as little Christian blood as can be consistent with public safety.

Now, exemplary civilising was heralded by a legislative offensive that was essentially a sop to English public opinion that conceived clanship as lacking in constitutional warrant. As clanship was based on personal authority and obligations, not on an institution, the abolition of both heritable jurisdictions and military tenure was projected as paving the way for the inculcation of civility within Gaeldom.

No meaningful security could prevail in north Britain until the rebellious generation was rendered impotent. Yet, the abolition of regality courts and the extensive modification of the criminal powers of barony courts did not exterminate the personal authority of chiefs and clan gentry.

The abolition of military tenures merely confirmed the practice had become anachronistic well before Culloden. Nonetheless, these institutional measures were supported by the Whig establishment within Scotland, not least an account of the scale of compensation offered to vested interests headed by the Duke of Argyll.

He was empowered to distribute a sum touching £493,000 sterling to 146 Scottish nobles and gentry, whose heritable jurisdictions were abolished or modified.

Their portioning of this sum to the landed elite who would remain loyal to the British state was the largest injection of political capital into Scotland since the Treaty of Union in 1707. Argyll received the largest sum of £25,000.

Eleven years after Culloden, the British establishment was prepared to countenance the whole-scale raising of Highland regiments, largely as a result of the shift from a continental to an imperial theatre of operations during the Seven Years War. Regardless of previous Jacobite affiliation, Highland troops were deployed as highly mobile and hardy light infantry in North America from 1757.

This recruitment was influenced not so much from humanitarian motive, as from a concern that disaffected clansmen going to Dutch and French service could become the equivalent of the Irish Brigade, which in the service of Spain and France had maintained the Irish dream of Jacobite restoration. Nevertheless, the raising of Highland regiments offered a militarist channel for the resumption of the cultural trappings of clanship.

The playing of bagpipes, though not specifically proscribed, had come to be associated with the legislation banning the Gaels' use of warlike instruments.

More important, the raising of regiments offered an imperial avenue for the political rehabilitation of the clan elite, who were eventually restored to their forfeited estates in 1784 when their estates were more committed to clearance than to productive land use.

[Katey Boal]

Thank you so much, Allan. That was really interesting, I really enjoyed it.

Please do come and join us for some more of our War Stories talks, where we explore different perspectives on the Battle of Culloden.

In the meantime, have a wonderful rest of your day.

Jacobitism and espionage


[Katey Boal]

Welcome to our series of talks entitled War Stories. My name is Katey Boal and I'm the Engagement Manager here at Culloden Battlefield. I work for the National Trust for Scotland and I'm very pleased to welcome Professor Daniel Szechi to speak to us about espionage and the Jacobites.

[Daniel Szechi]

Thank you, Katey. My subject today is Jacobitism and espionage, with a particular emphasis on the '45.

Spies and spying, or to use a more neutral term intelligence-gathering, has been a regular part of both warfare and interstate relations for time out of mind.

Governments and armies that can secretly find out what their enemies are doing, or what their plans are, have an enormous advantage over their opponents in both peace and war.

The British government and its enemy, the Jacobite government in exile, therefore spent a great deal of time, effort and money on trying to penetrate each other's security to get timely intelligence of what their enemy was about. And each of them had particular advantages arising from their own special circumstances.

The principal edge the British government enjoyed was its international recognition by the other great powers of Europe. This meant that it was formally entitled to place ambassadors in the capital cities of Europe. And as Sir James Melville of Halhill observed in the 17th century, at this time ambassadors were nothing more than 'great spies'.

As well as collecting what would nowadays be called open source intelligence, in other words picking up court gossip, local news and rumours, which they would regularly report back to London, British diplomats such as Horace Walpole and Earl Waldegrave in Paris and Benjamin Keene in Madrid were expected to recruit and run networks of spies who would provide them with what is known today as human intelligence ... or HUMINT.

And the chief target for these networks in the period 1688 to 1760 was the Jacobite refugee community on the Continent.

The other special advantage enjoyed by British intelligence operations is that they were well-funded. Britain was a wealthy nation and the Whig regime in London had no qualms about spending large amounts of money to get information on what the Jacobites were up to. Most of the spies employed by the British ambassadors were not British and they did not serve Britain for love of King George, like the famously greedy Francois de Bussy, Waldegrave's Agent 101, and Baron Philipp von Stosch, Agent Walton. They wanted to be paid and paid well, which they were when they produced suitably interesting HUMINT.

Ample funds also meant that the disgraced or disillusioned amongst the exiled Jacobite community could be bribed to inform on their former comrades and in some cases deliver valuable eavesdroppings from the Jacobite court in Rome.

By contrast, the Jacobites had no legally protected presence outside Rome, so the representatives of King James in Paris, Madrid and other European capitals had to be much more circumspect and law-abiding in their intelligence gathering. Which is to say, they could not be seen to be running networks of spies. In any event, they had very few financial resources and so could not compete with the British government's lavish expenditure on information-gathering.

What the Jacobite government in exile did have, however, was an underground organisation with adherents, sympathisers and friends in every part of the British Isles. What this meant in practice was that the British government and its officials and supporters, whose affiliation to the Whig regime was of course public knowledge, were under constant observation by the secret Jacobites among their kith and kin. In peacetime this produced a small but steady stream of OSINT for the Jacobite government in exile, which was as useful as the court gossip and rumours the British government agents were generally able to supply about the Jacobite court.

But in wartime, the Jacobite underground could and did supply very useful tidbits of military and strategic information. All of this intelligence was collected by official Jacobite agents, such as Colonel William Cecil and John Murray of Broughton who operated secretly out of major cities like London, Edinburgh and Dublin, and channelled by them to the Jacobite court in Rome. These Jacobite agents were for the most part self-selected and self-funded, though they sometimes got a contribution towards their expenses from King James and his ministers. They were certainly never going to get rich by serving 'the king over the water'.

What inspired them to undertake this highly dangerous task was their belief in the Jacobite cause. Ideology was indeed the mainspring of Jacobite commitment, and the reason individual Jacobites supplied intelligence either to official Jacobite agents or tried to contact the Jacobite court direct.

Of course, Whigs throughout the British Isles were also inspired by an ideology but in peacetime they rarely needed to be activists about it. The British government served their cause without any need for special effort on their part.

The upshot of this was the Jacobite court had a dynamic intelligence network built into society throughout the British Isles. And in some instances, this network could penetrate deep into the heart of the Whig regime. At the top level of society, secret friends of the Stuarts included men like John Fane, the formerly Whig Earl of Westmorland who was a Lieutenant General in the British Army, and Sir James Steuart of Coltness, an eminent and very well-connected economist from an old Whig family.

Perhaps even more useful from an intelligence-gathering point of view were relatively minor government officials who turned, or were always secretly, Jacobite. Jean Lefebure was the foreign language secretary at the Post Office, where he was able to smuggle Jacobite correspondence in and out of the country, and warned the Jacobite court of breaches of its security. John Mills was a clerk in the Army Paymasters Office who supplied intelligence on the location and strengths of British army regiments everywhere. None of these men, and sometimes women, did what they did for money. Though some of them occasionally received a small gratuity, the greatest reward for most was the knowledge that they were serving the Jacobite cause and, if they were lucky, personal thanks for their service from King James or a small portrait or keepsake from the exiled court.

But how did all this affect what happened in 1745?

From the very start, the course of events was profoundly influenced by intelligence operations on both sides. The British agent Bussy was able to deliver the entire French invasion plan to the government in London in 1744, wrecking one of the most promising pro-Jacobite initiatives in the history of the movement.

On the other side, Charles Edward demonstrated from early on he could be a very skilful clandestine operator in his own right. He raced in disguise to France in 1744, before the British government spies were even aware he had left Italy, and excelled himself organising the private expedition to Scotland that launched the '45. The government in London had no idea what he was doing and was taken completely by surprise when he landed on Eriskay on 23 July. The first good intelligence they had of his operation only reached London on 13 April 1745, nearly three weeks after Charles Edward landed. Their intelligence network had failed completely.

But it did rather better in Scotland, where the president of the Court of Session, Duncan Forbes of Culloden, used his knowledge of nefarious dealings by two major Jacobite leaders, Sir Alexander MacDonald of Sleat and Norman MacLeod of Dunvegan, to blackmail them into staying loyal to King George.

Nonetheless the Rising took off, at which point the intelligence war between the Jacobites and the British government for the most part turned away from the strategic level where the outcome depended on spies like Bussy or Mills, and towards the collection of more narrowly military, tactical and operational information that could help the commanders on each side win on the battlefield.

Robert Anderson, a local Jacobite, delivered the first decisive information in this new phase of the war on the eve of the Battle of Prestonpans, when he advised the Jacobite Council of officers that there was a path through the marshy Tranent meadows that would allow them to outflank Sir John Cope's defences. Lord George Murray duly led the army along that hidden path and surprised and routed Cope's army at dawn on 21 September. This was, though, only the first occasion of many during the '45 when crucial intelligence was supplied by supporters of both sides.

But it was not just Jacobites who stepped up to support the king and the cause they believed in. Ordinary Whigs shook off their previous assumption that they could leave the struggle against the Jacobites to the professionals, and mobilised to help King George and his armies.

Though we know the names of a few of the men and women who now sent in information to the commanders on both sides, for the most part they are anonymous. Sometimes this was in the nature of the way the information was elicited. Both armies routinely sent out scouts and patrols to find out what the enemy was doing. It was normal military practice. These scouting parties and patrols then tried to gather information by observing the movement of enemy troops, capturing individual enemy soldiers and interrogating them, and crucially talking to local people to see if they had picked up any clues or eavesdroppings as to what the other side was about.

Who talked to these Jacobite and British army patrols?

Sometimes it would be farmers, labourers, craftsmen or gentlemen who were in fear of their lives. Military reconnaissance can be a brutal business and sometimes involves beating and threatening potential sources of information. But it appears that more often during the '45 local sympathisers, many of them quite humble, provided much of the intelligence these scouting parties brought back. Their names are almost always lost because in a sense they did not matter. The intelligence was the thing. Moreover, a man or woman who supplied information in such circumstances might well be happy to do his or her bit for King George or King James, and yet still prefer to remain anonymous.

Thus the historical records are full of accounts of patrols collecting valuable information and returning with it, but not identifying its sources. On 12 November 1745 for example, Charles Edward ordered a cavalry patrol to proceed east from Carlisle towards Haltwhistle to get intelligence of where Marshal George Wade's army was and what it was doing. They duly reported that by all accounts Wade was still at Newcastle. However, a correspondence was settled at Haltwhistle to get early information of his motions and the party returned that night to Brampton, where a council was held and the Siege of Carlisle was resolved upon. What they meant by a correspondence being settled was that the patrol had arranged for Jacobite sympathisers in Haltwhistle to watch out for government troops. And if they saw any, count them and try to find out where they were going, then send the intelligence secretly to the Jacobite army.

In the same vein, an unnamed, unknown man sent to warn Charles Edward that a raiding party out of Inverness was going to try and capture him in the middle of the night at Moy Hall, crawled out of Inverness on his hands and knees to make sure he was not detected, and then ran to Moy in time to warn the prince and his escort of the danger.

Still more often, we just find a very elusive reference to 'intelligence' arriving from anonymous Jacobite sources living in government-held territory. As the Jacobite army marched towards the Corrieyairack Pass on 27 August 1745 for example, Charles Edward got intelligence of General Cope's coming to attack them. Likewise, on the eve of the Battle of Falkirk in January 1746, Lord George Murray had intelligence from Edinburgh that General Hawley was to march out next day. And in April 1746, when Adjutant General William Sullivan was planning a raid on Dornoch, aimed at capturing the Earl of Loudoun, he had such exact information of Loudoun's position that he knew every post he had and the distance one from another, where he, the president and MacLeod ordered.

The Jacobite army was clearly getting a stream of intelligence that was very useful in terms of organising and directing its military operations. This was moreover not just a haphazard or lucky occurrence. As in so many other respects during the Rising, the genius behind the utilisation of the Jacobite underground as a steady source of military information was Lord George Murray.

He regularly recruited and used spies, went on scouting patrols in order to get information from local Jacobites and enemy prisoners, and had a network of friends and others who sent him intelligence by letter. Charles Edward and other senior Jacobite officers also solicited and received military information from the Jacobite underground, but Murray was the master of this aspect of the Jacobite '45.

As Chevalier Johnstone, who briefly acted as Murray's aide-de-camp, observed when writing his memoirs:

Lord George Murray, who was always informed of whatever took place in the armies of the enemy and often by means of his emissaries even knew all the movements they intended to make, had a great advantage over them. For they were totally ignorant of everything that related to our army.

In the end, as we know, espionage by the Jacobite underground could not save the Rising or the Jacobite army. For all the excellent intelligence provided by a host of mostly anonymous Jacobites in England and Scotland, Charles Edward's army was overwhelmed at Culloden. There can be little doubt, however, that without that excellent intelligence, it would have been defeated a lot earlier.

But we also need to take into account the fact that intelligence, and particularly military intelligence, is (to use a modern term) only data. Analysis followed by effective action based on that analysis is key. And though we should never underestimate the role played by Charles Edward in all the operations of the Jacobite army, the man who organised and used the intelligence resources available to the Jacobites most effectively, then applied them to Jacobite military operations, was once again the military genius of the '45: Lord George Murray.

We already knew he was the best military commander on the Jacobite side. To that accolade, we must now add his role as a highly effective spy master and intelligence chief.

[Katey Boal]

Thank you, Daniel. I look forward to inviting everyone to listen to some more of our interesting and intriguing stories in our War Stories series and I hope everyone has a wonderful rest of their day.

The story of Isabel Haldane


[Katey Boal]

Welcome! My name is Katey Boal and this is our War Stories programme. I'm the Engagement Manager here at Culloden Battlefield and the National Trust for Scotland, and I am so happy to welcome Maggie Craig, author of Damn Rebel Bitches to come and chat to us about some personal stories associated with the battle. Maggie, please take it away.

[Maggie Craig]

I'm Maggie Craig and I'm the author of Damn Rebel Bitches: The women of the '45 and Bare-arsed Banditti: The men of the '45.

I'm going to tell a war story today about Isabel Haldane or Stewart, Stewart being her married name. But married women in Scotland often continued to be referred to by their maiden name, as Isabel was.

She was one of the Stewarts of Lanrick near Doune, not too far from Stirling, and she was born into a staunchly Jacobite family.

She married into a staunchly Jacobite clan: the Stewarts of Appin. Her husband was Charles Stewart of Ardsheal, in Appin in the West Highlands. If anyone doesn't know where that is, it's not too far south of Ballachulish.Back in those days, and indeed well into the 20th century as many of us will remember, the crossing there was made by the aid of a ferry.

In the summer of 1745, the call came for all those clans loyal to the House of Stuart to rally to the Standard of Charles Edward Stuart. Ardsheal was, as I'd said, a very staunchly Jacobite person but he was initially reluctant, not because of any lack of personal bravery -- he was known to be a very brave man and a very skilled swordsman -- but he could see only too clearly the consequences of failure.

It had happened before of course, after the '15, when houses were burned and people lost their estates and had to flee and had to go into exile. And after what some people call the Wee Rising as well, of 1719, which ended in the Battle of Glenshiel. There was a lot of burning of houses. So they knew that if things went wrong, things could get really bad.

There's a lovely old story that Isabel would have no truck with this caution, and she took off her apron and handed it to her husband and said:

Charles, if you will not command the Appin men, you stay here and look after the house and I will command the men and lead the men out.

Ardsheal led the men out.

There were more than just Stewarts in the Stewarts of Appin regiment; there were the other clans and septs of Appin. McCalls, McLarens, McCormicks, Livingstones -- the Appin Stewarts served throughout the whole of the campaign and took considerable losses at Culloden. They were a regiment about 300-strong and they lost 100 men there killed on the field and many more who were very badly wounded. Among those who were lost was the great-grandfather of Dr David Livingstone. There were Livingstones on Lismore of course, an old name from there. And also George Haldane of Lanrick, who was Isabel's nephew.

Ardsheal himself survived and came back to Appin and hid in a cave near his house, and sometimes managed to come back to Ardsheal. There were those who were in the know, who helped him and took food and drink to him, and made sure that the Redcoats out of Fort William, which was not too far north, didn't find him.

However, they kept looking because he would have been a prize prisoner because he was famous in his own time and he had been high up in the hierarchy of the Jacobite army and had been on the Prince's Council of War.

There's another story that he had left his cave and come to spend the night with his wife in a barn near Ardsheal, and they got a frantic warning from Ballachulish ferry that the soldiers were on their way. According to this story, Isabel threw some hay over Ardsheal from all the hay in the barn, spread a blanket over it and, by the time the soldiers got there, was calmly sitting on top of the blanket and her husband, which must have been uncomfortable but they seem to have got away with it, or at least so the story goes.

They didn't stop looking, and one of the most enthusiastic Jacobite hunters was Captain Caroline Frederick Scott, who was the commander of the fort at Fort William.

He was a member of Guise's, which later became the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. It was a regiment of engineers and he had been put in charge of defending Fort William from the Jacobites, who besieged it in the spring of 1746. And he wrote a diary of his defence of the Siege of Fort William, which was later published in the Scots Magazine and it's easily found if you want to Google it, and you'll find other libraries which have copies of this diary.

However, after the defeat at Culloden, he turned his attention to harrying the glens, to harrying Lochaber, Appin and beyond. And he was ruthless, completely ruthless, and he was known for his cruelty.

One of the things he did was when some men were coming to surrender their weapons and surrender themselves at Fort William, he took the weapons off them and hanged them, there and then. Doled out summary justice, which even then he shouldn't really have done. One of his officers remonstrated with him and said: you're going too far. And Scott said he knew very well what he was doing, which was not without orders. So it seems that his orders were probably coming direct from the Duke of Cumberland himself.

As an incidental, his first name Caroline was as unusual in the 18th century as it would be today. His father had been an ambassador to the Hanoverian court before the Hanoverians came to the British throne, and he was named for his godmother Caroline of Ansbach. So he was well in with the royal family in the House of Hanover.

Another man who was hunting for Jacobites was also a stern man, but of a different stamp to Scott -- and he was Major General John Campbell of Mamore. It's interesting to note that, despite the bad press that the Campbells have often got in Scottish history, several other Highland gentlemen said they would surrender but only to a Campbell, because they trusted a Campbell to treat them like fellow Highland gentlemen.

However, as I said, he was pretty stern on his own account and he obeyed a direct order from the Duke of Cumberland to drive off some of Ardsheal's livestock. However, the very next day he sent a letter to Isabel, saying that he was going to send some of the livestock back, along with some oatmeal for herself and her little ones, and he said that her situation made his heart ache. He felt really sorry for Isabel and what had happened.

Caroline Frederick Scott's heart did not ache for Isabel. He swooped down on Ardsheal House later in the summer and he ordered a plundering, a wholesale devastation of the house. He started with ordering his men to chop down the trees in the orchard, which was just wanton destruction because there was nothing really they could do with the trees. He then turned his attention to the house. Went in, ordered that the doors be taken off their hinges, the wood panelling be removed from the walls. He even removed the slates from the roof and added that the lid nails should be taken out of these slates so they could be straightened and everything could be taken to Fort William for sale. He even took the children's school books and arrested the children's tutor, who was a young man from Aberdeen called Willie Cumming.

Isabel later travelled to Fort William and secured Willie's release.

On that day when he'd completely gutted her house, he asked her for her household keys, and in a parody of gentlemanly behaviour, offered her his other hand. Keys in one hand, her hand in his, and led her to the door and said:

the house was no longer hers; Ardsheal House was no longer her home.

Isabel, who was made of stern stuff, didn't move. She sat down very shortly thereafter and wrote an impassioned and a furious letter to Campbell of Mamore, who later became 4th Duke of Argyll, and detailed everything that Scott did. That's why we know in such detail what he did and how he plundered the house. And she said also that she was shocked that a man who had been raised in a civilised country, she meant Scotland, and who had been raised in good company could have so little of the gentleman about him and had so much meanness that he had descended to this level of meanness. She apologised for the rough paper that she used and she actually said 'my good friend Captain Scott having left me none better'.

Now, that 'my good friend Captain Scott' might be understandable sarcasm given the circumstances, but it is possible that he and Isabel had met each other before. They were both in their early 30s at the time of the '45 and they could well have met in Edinburgh. As I wrote in Damn Rebel Bitches, the creative imagination might well think about a rejected suitor. There's no evidence for this, I have to emphasise, but it might seem to explain the gloating nature of how he dealt with Ardsheal House.

Ardsheal evaded the Redcoats and got away for France in September 1746. Scott came back and put Ardsheal House to the torch. Isabel was heavily pregnant but Scott drove her and her children out into the snow, and they had to take refuge in a hut. The next night Isabel gave birth to a daughter, Anne, in this shed outside. Scott and some of his officers came in to see her and Scott even went so far as to take the baby girl's hand in his finger. But he taunted Isabel. He said: I think your husband was a real fool to join the rebels and to leave you and your children without a home.

However, they had got away. Ardsheal had got away. And some days later, Isabel headed off to stay with relatives. Later, she and her children were able to join Ardsheal in France.

Scott was posted to India and died there of a fever -- he was only in about his mid-40s. And a short army biography of him says he seems to have had bad luck. Maybe all the curses that were called down on his head in the West Highlands had some sort of effect.

Isabel lived a much longer life. She lived with Charles; he died before her. In 1779 she came back to Britain for medical treatment, which sadly was not successful and she died at Northampton and is buried in All Saints Church there. And there's a plaque in the church which commemorates her, and I know that plaque is still there because I've just checked and it's still there. I'm going to read out to you what it says on the plaque which commemorates Isabel:

In a worse than civil war, her house plundered and overthrown by soldiers, innocent she was compelled to give birth to her babe in a poor and mean hut. And on the next night to flee through the snow accompanied by her young and tender children. In adversity therefore, o traveller, be not too much dismayed, piety may surmount a rugged road.

So that's in memory of Isabel Haldane, who was a loving wife and mother, a committed Jacobite, and a proud and brave woman.

[Katey Boal]

Thank you Maggie, that was so interesting. I really appreciated your perspectives. That was absolutely great. Thank you so much.

If you want to hear more of our stories, we've got even more of these sessions available online.

The Battle of Culloden


[Katey Boal]

Welcome to our series of talks entitled War Stories. My name is Katey Boal and I'm the Engagement Manager here at Culloden Battlefield. I'm very excited to welcome you to our series of talks.

Now, I have something special for you today: Professor Murray Pittock from Glasgow University is joining us to go through in more detail what happened at Culloden. Go ahead, Murray.

[Murray Pittock]

Well, thanks Katey for asking me along today to talk a little bit about the Battle of Culloden.

As anybody watching this can see, I've written quite recently on Culloden and that's a book I published in 2016, which is the first slide. And for any of you who might be interested in buying it, you might be able to read the price at the bottom of the back cover is £18.99 but in fact on Amazon I can tell you it's £13.65.

But what I'm going to tell you today is a sliver of what's in the book but it's also a reflection on what makes Culloden Battlefield important and what makes so much of what we think we know about the Battle of Culloden not accurate, because Culloden is arguably certainly the most misremembered battle in British history.

And it's misremembered for a particular reason: it's misremembered because the way it's remembered serves a particular purpose. It serves a very strong narrative and we'll get to that in a minute.

But first of all, I want to just take a look at the battlefield of Culloden itself -- such an important thing for us and for the National Trust for Scotland to continue to sustain and protect.

What we have here is one of the only two surviving maps, as far as I'm aware, made by Jacobite officers who were serving that day in the Jacobite army. This is by a Franco-Scottish or Franco-Irish officer, serving with the Royal Ecossais or with the Irish Picquets. And we know that because he's written in French and he's written 'l'armée anglois' against the British army, who are in red as you're looking at the picture and 'l'armée ecossoise' against the Jacobites, as the Scottish army who are in blue or green. And that's Culloden House, just above them.

And one of the interesting things there is that often these days the battle, which used to be conceived as an English-Scottish conflict, is now more often conceived of as a civil war. To this officer, it was an English-Scottish conflict. I'm going to explain later on why neither an English-Scottish conflict nor a civil war quite describe what Jacobitism was.

But one of the things we can see from this map which is unusual is the detailed nature of the second and third Jacobite lines which lie behind the front line, which suggests those are the units. And they were indeed the Franco-Scottish and Franco-Irish units. Those are the units in which this officer who did this map served on the day, because he's drawn them in a lot more detail than they usually appear in plans of the battle.

But the other thing to notice is the position of Culloden House. The Jacobites on the day of the battle gathered by Culloden House when they got back from (what I'll come to later) the night attack, which was unsuccessfully carried out against the British army at Nairn and didn't actually reach its objective or end in an attack at all, but in an ignominious retreat.

The Jacobites tended to cluster after the end of that retreat and they got back round Culloden House to shelter under its walls and also because the staff officers and such provisions as weren't in Inverness were there. But that meant when they lined up, when they were called to arms on the advance of the 235 noisy kettle drums of the British army being played by Cumberland to strike terror into the opposition and also because they were his kind of equivalent of the bagpipes, that meant that when they stood to arms in order of battle, with Culloden House on their left and the Nairn on their right, as they're shown here, they actually stood in a place where, as we'll see from the photographs later on, the right of the Jacobite army couldn't see its left. And that was a key factor in its encirclement and defeat.

The slide in front of you just now is not Culloden Battlefield; it's the first site that was initially scouted by the Jacobites' staff officers a couple of days before the battle itself. It's at a place called Dalcross Castle, which is about 5 miles (8 kilometres) closer to Nairn than Culloden Battlefield itself. It's very much at the forefront of ... not far away from where the British army would encamp. And it was rejected by Colonel John O'Sullivan as adjutant general, because of what you can see a little bit ahead of the tree: there's a dip in the land. And that dip in the land is a gap, a ravine, and that ravine was about 50 metres across. And O'Sullivan's view was that the British high command or the British army on the other side would be able to have effective musket fire on any group on the other side, on the Jacobite arm on the other side of the ravine. And that the ravine would also hinder any Jacobite charge. So in the end he put a lot of pressure on and this site wasn't chosen.

Now this, I have to say I don't think the trees were there, but this site was the second site chosen by Lord George Murray on the other side of the Nairn River, so the other side of Strathnairn. It was, however, low-lying and damp even if trees were not there. It was chosen with Irish staff officers in an attempt to circumvent O'Sullivan, because both Lord George Murray and O'Sullivan were now at loggerheads in the Jacobite's high command. However, it is (even before the trees were there) unfightable on, not least because it's overseen by high ground on the other side, on the side in which Culloden Battlefield was fought, and the Coehorn mortars of the British army would have an enormously powerful play on the whole Jacobite troops in front of them had the battle site taken place here. Moreover, the Jacobites would themselves have been at a serious disadvantage charging up hill and across water, and it's very unlikely that the British army would have advanced towards them over the water, which would of course have been ideal for them but was very unlikely to happen. So, this site was always, and certainly in the view of the Prince and O'Sullivan, a site where the Jacobite army would rather retreat south than actually fight. And that didn't improve trust for Lord George Murray.

So we come to the battlefield itself, and it's important to note that O'Sullivan's choice of the battlefield was not the place in which the battle was finally fought. The battle was finally fought, as you saw in the initial map, very close to a line leading from Culloden House, whereas O'Sullivan had placed the troops on the previous day about a mile further towards Nairn, roughly where the Cumberland Stone now is, on the battlefield, across there.

But one of the things when the final site was fought on, because it was fought on the next day, because the Jacobites were surprised and they just got back from an unsuccessful night attack. And they congregated around Culloden House where most of the supplies were, and most of the senior staff officers were. And they were surprised by the approach of the British army's kettle drums -- they had 235 kettle drums as a kind of match for the bagpipes. They were surprised by that approach and they had to stand to arms very quickly. And the place they stood to arms is the place in which the battle was finally fought.

But before we look at the battlefield, I think we need to ask a few questions about what do we understand about the battle and what kind of battle was it -- what was the Battle of Culloden about?

Well, there are a lot of misconceptions about the battle. You may not have heard, if you listen to this, all of these but you probably have heard some of them.

The first is that it was a dynastic conflict between the Stuarts and the Hanoverians. Well on one level it was, but on another level it was much more about the constitutional nature and outlook of Great Britain, and what kind of country it would be.

The Battle of Culloden was fought between a modern army and Highland clans. In fact, the Jacobite army were trained and presented largely as a regular or near-regular army, and only around about half of the Jacobite army came from what we now identify as the Highlands.

The Battle of Culloden was fought between Catholics and Protestants. Well, it wasn't. Those who were most likely to fight for the Jacobites were not Catholics but Scottish Episcopalians, who roughly speaking equate (though not culturally) in terms of belief and theology to modern Anglicans. So although there were very few Catholics on the British side, because they weren't allowed to serve in the British army at least in officer roles for one thing, and there were rather more on the Jacobite side, the overwhelming majority of the Jacobite army was Protestant.

The Battle of Culloden was a victory of muskets over swords. We will see that that isn't accurate either. I talked a little bit about the site and the fact the site was, although a bad site, the fault of nobody except the collapse of the night attack in general.

The Battle of Culloden was fought to end the British civil war. In a sense it was a British civil war, but in a sense also it was a war in which Scotland and to an extent, although not directly, very much indirectly involved in the '45, through the presence of the Irish Brigades in the Jacobite army at Culloden and elsewhere, a war between Scotland & Ireland and some (most in fact) of England about the nature of the British polity. It was also an extension of the war between France and Great Britain in the War of the Austrian Succession, and many of the troops who lined up on both sides, both in the front line of the British army at Culloden and also in the Jacobite army (though not mostly those troops, not most in the front line) had actually fought only 15 months earlier at the Battle of Fontenoy on the continent, where a last-minute attack by the Irish Brigades had carried the day for the French army. So in a sense, rather than talking about a British civil war, or rather than calling it a war of Scottish nationalism, it's an international war about the nature of Britain, but actually a proxy war, part of a larger conflict between Great Britain and France, for which the Jacobite cause often serves as a proxy war.

These are some of the weapons that the Jacobites themselves used.

Caddell of Doune's pistols. The predominant pistol-making town in Scotland, Doune still carries ... if you visited Doune Castle of course was used in Outlander ... Doune still carries the crossed pistols as the town badge. But these pistols were prized across Europe, from Peter the Great to the north of Scotland, both for their lightness of design and the exquisite quality of the workmanship on the guns, which certainly by the early 1740s included a range of what we now think of as Celtic designs.

This was, on the top here, a Land Pattern or British Brown Bess musket, which had ... we know how many musket rounds were fired by the Jacobites at Culloden, roughly speaking compared to those fired by the British army opposing them, and the Jacobites seemed to have fired more musket balls per head because the Jacobites used French and Spanish caliber muskets, which are slightly different. It's about 1mm difference, or 1-2mm difference with the barrel from Brown Bess or Land Pattern muskets, Which this is, this is the British army musket.

And here below it, on the left, is the Coehorn mortar: portable, firing at a trajectory many of its shells could explode in the air and litter the forces below them with shrapnel. And indeed Coehorn mortars were used on the day to fire on the Jacobites when they'd attacked and broken through Barrel's regiment on the British left at an early stage in the battle. And in doing so, they killed quite a number of their own soldiers with friendly fire.

The cavalry sword is an absolutely critical part of the Battle of Culloden, and I will come to that.

Here, there are two images. The first where you can see the fencing is where part of the Jacobite army, perhaps the hindmost part, were on beginning the night attack. And one of the reasons the night attack failed was many of the soldiers found the rough ground difficult. And there was obviously no light, because it was a surprise attack by night, and communications were bad -- that was a persistent risk in the campaign. But also because they set off late, and they set up late because that strip of blue you can see, the Moray Firth, was dotted by ships of the Royal Navy who could see them as long as it was daylight. And since you were significantly into April in northern Scotland, it was daylight until the midpoint of the evening. Therefore it was quite late when the Jacobite army set off.

And on the right-hand side, this is taken from roughly the far Jacobite right on the field of Culloden itself. You can see one of the huge problems the Jacobites faced on the day in the battlefield, the battle location they hadn't chosen and they had no desire to fight on, which is that they couldn't actually see ... we're sloping uphill here, as you can see ... they couldn't actually see the left of their own army. So the importance, the centrality of the Jacobite charge, the simultaneous attack on two flanks of the army opposing them, wasn't possible, because it wasn't possible to synchronize the actions of the two wings because of the lie of the land. Neither of them could see each other.

The battle itself was not quite as one-sided as we sometimes think. I don't have time to go into it in detail here (the book does that), but although it was fought far away from the great cities of the world, on a northern moor between two quite small armies, about 4,500 to 5,000 on the Jacobite side (many Jacobites were absent) and around about 7,500 to 8,500 on the British army side, it has always had and been seen to have a global impact. As Andrew Henderson, Cumberland's biographer and all-round fan, says:

victory at Culloden gave birth to an inexpressible joy throughout the extensive dominions of the British empire.

And of course he exaggerates: Not only Europe and Africa, but the two Indies joined in the shout and gave joyful acclimations.

He exaggerates. But although he exaggerates, the Jacobite defeat certainly was acclaimed throughout the British empire and some quite prominent colonial figures, like for example Benjamin Franklin, feared the forcible conversion of the American colonies to Catholicism in the event of a Jacobite restoration. That was a preposterous fear, but it shows you one of the reasons that the battle has been so remembered in a way which is so much at odds with the actual history of what took place that day. It's because so many fears and suspicions, so much propaganda and so much hysteria surrounded it and its outcome.

Its aftermath was of course very bloody. One of the interesting things though is despite our perpetual view of the Jacobites as carrying swords, when it came to ... and this is borne out with surrenders subsequently ... when it came to the weapons actually carried or taken off the battlefield by British forces after the battle had ended, 2,320 muskets and 190 broadswords were all that were recovered. Because fundamentally broadswords were, as they were, for British officers. They were a weapon for officers and for cavalrymen, and it was the envelopment or the near-envelopment of the British cavalry that day that ultimately did for the Jacobite army.

Nor was it the case that Cumberland's atrocities in the aftermath of the battle happened in hot blood. Cumberland had been planning something like this since at least his army was at Macclesfield four months earlier, because there are notes to that effect in the Cumberland Papers. And although he received initial plaudits for his victory, within a few weeks (and not just in Scotland but particularly in London) the fact that 40% of his prisoners were French regulars, and there was a serious lack of wounded among the Jacobite prisoners being held, was remarked on. For although a few hundred Jacobites, perhaps as many as a thousand, were killed on the day of the battle, an estimated 2,000 combatants and a significant number of non-combatants were killed after the end of the battle.

And as well as the suspicion that started to attend Cumberland almost immediately in London, a British officer in the Royal Scots who was disgusted by what he'd seen reported a list of the atrocities to the Scots Magazine. Some Jacobite soldiers, most famously John Fraser, survived and gave their narratives, which dwelt on the firing squads, the clubbing to death, the cannon fired into heaped prisoners and the dozens burned alive in the immediate aftermath of the battle.

So the initial response to Cumberland, the glorious success over rebellious savages, which York Corporation declared he had accomplished, and the victory over all enemies to civil society, as Ludlow Corporation suggested, soon gave way to a great deal of suspicion and disquiet. He was asked on 1 May, only two weeks after the battle, at a masquerade in London if it was true that he had given no quarter after the battle. And by the end of May, the joke was going around London that he should be made a freeman of the Butcher's Company because of his work at Culloden.

That didn't stop two things: the continued presence of Jacobite soldiers in the field, particularly from Lochiel's, Ardsheal's and Cromartie's regiments and indeed Ogilvy's also, for periods of months or (in one or two cases) years after 1746; and the mass transportation of those Jacobite prisoners who had been taken by Cumberland, including a significant number of women who were often transported with the regimental attachment of the man that they had been taken with, or indeed the group of prisoners they'd been taken alongside.

Morier's picture here, David Morier's picture, done for Cumberland, in all probability using Jacobite prisoners, is the foundation of a great deal of what we've come to think about the battle and what happened that day. And it shows the moment when the Jacobite right was about to break through, though the painting doesn't suggest they're going to break through, Barrel's regiment on the left of the British army in the early/mid-stage of the battle, which I mentioned earlier in the context of the Coehorn mortars.

And there are various things to note about it. One of them is the Lochaber axe which is being held aloft by one of the advancing Jacobites. Lochaber axes were not used and not recovered at Culloden as far as we are aware, or can discern from the archaeological or historical record. The last time they were ever recorded was among some badly armed troops at Prestonpans.

The Jacobites don't have any guns at all, and the guns are very much with the British army. Cumberland's famous bayonet drill -- which it's not clear worked at all; in fact, the deployment of cavalry by Major General Bland was probably far more effective -- Cumberland's bayonet drill is clearly being complemented by Morier in the painting because it's the bayonets of the British front line that are keeping off the Jacobite assault.

The Jacobites are presented as, not unreasonably, heavily clothed in tartan, a little bit excessively, one would have to say. They're shown as extremely hairy, hirsute and large. The man lying on the ground, who's apparently been bayonetted, has his large and muscular thigh raised with just the suggestion perhaps not only of his virility as a warrior but what is it that he was wearing under his kilt. So, the Jacobites are actually ... this is a moment when the Jacobites broke through. They look as if they're about to be repelled and all we see about them is a group of strangely dressed individuals, using primitive weapons, whose individual strength, hairiness and virility is no match ultimately for the disciplined ranks and bayonet drill of the forces opposing them.

This is how Cumberland perhaps would like to remember it but this is not how it was. However, out of that story, a compelling memory has developed over the years, whereby the Jacobites are seen as friends to an absolutist and an anachronistic government, as opposed to a constitutionalist and progressive one.

Catholics against Protestants; divisive and local as against stable and universal; foreign, Gaelic speakers, French rather than British; in love with a traditional kind of society -- an oral society not a modern, civilised, documentary and professional society. They were seen as clannish and tribal, as opposed to patriotic and linked to loyalty to the state; seen as swordsmen and individual warriors rather than having muskets and collective drill, that opposition very clear in Morier's painting. Savage amateurs against civilised professionals; hillmen and troglodytes against the profited interest of modern Britain; and rural and barbaric against urban and civilised.

These are very powerful dichotomies.

They were played out many times in the history of the British Empire. And the way in which the Jacobites were characterised in the Rising in 1745 was critical not only to some of the initial policies of the British Empire, for example the population removal of the Acadians in Canada in the 1750s was directly based on what Cumberland and his officers had wished to do, that was prevented by the politicians, in terms of exporting whole populations from northern Scotland in the aftermath of 1745.

And the opposition between stability, professionalism and collective drill, urban, civilised and state power as against lawless natives was very present throughout many of the exchanges of the British empire long after Culloden.

But Culloden helped to characterise those exchanges and how they would be seen. And the battle is remembered in terms of the legacy it generated, not in terms of how it was fought, why it was fought, who it was fought between, and what weapons were used.

It's an extraordinary significant battle in the history of the world. It's an immensely powerful and resonant battle for many Scots and members of the Scots diaspora throughout the world to this day, but it isn't what we think it is.

However, I'm suggesting to you today that it's even more interesting. Thank you very much for listening.

[Katey Boal]

Thanks Murray, that was really interesting. I always enjoy hearing you speak. Don't forget we've got more war stories that you can tune into, where we hear some incredible stories from some pretty amazing people.

Take care.

The French support for the Jacobite cause


[Katey Boal]

I'm very excited to welcome Dr Nathalie Genet-Rouffiac to speak to us about the Scottish and Irish involvement in the French army as part of our War Stories programme. So, welcome!

[Nathalie Genet-Rouffiac]

My name is Dr Nathalie Genet-Rouffiac and I'm really, really very grateful to Katey to have asked me to deliver this presentation on the French support to the Jacobite cause at Culloden and then during the '45 expedition. I'm going today to give this presentation both because I'm the Head of the Military Army Archives in France, and obviously the history of the Irish regiments and the Scottish regiments is written thanks to the archives I'm in charge of. And also because I've been working on Jacobite exile history for quite a while.

So, today my topic is to explain why you have Irish, French and Scottish from France people involved during the '45 and especially during Culloden.

There are three understanding of their presence during the battle. One with the short-term history of the '45 expedition itself. The second one with the history of Jacobite exile and Jacobitism as a whole but there's also a long-term history of the relation between France and Scotland, as well as the history of Irish soldiering in France.

That explains the things, but obviously today I intend to focus more on the '45 and only underline the two other reasons why the Irish and the Franco-Scottish were there. When Jacobite history starts, and Jacobitism history starts, with Louis XIV had been the main support of the Jacobite courts on the continent. But in the 1740s, France had ceased to be the support it had been to the Jacobites. But Louis XV, by 1743 or 44, was deeply influenced by Madame de Pompadour, who was personally involved in the support of Jacobitism. And also, exactly like James II with Louis XIV during the first generation of Jacobitism, he was quite aware that helping Bonnie Prince Charlie in the expedition in Scotland was a way to get the pressure out of his own troops in Flanders against England. So that's the reason why Louis XV intended to help the Jacobites in 1745 expedition and campaign with the help of a body of men, which was around 1,000 men, which is quite a lot. Among them, only 15% of normal were French. People like Alexandre de Boyer, who became a MP in parliament in Provence after that.

But the main support came from the Irish exiles in France. And there you have two different stories coming together: the story of the Scottish and the story of the Irish during the Jacobite exile.

The first and main body of the Scottish were involved, or were part of, the regiment called the Royal-Ecossais. The Royal-Ecossais was created in 1743 and given to Lord John Drummond, who was the grandson of the Duke of Perth, who had been one of the main courtiers at the court of James II at Saint Germain. So here we have a young man, because John Drummond by then was only less than 30, but he is involved in that long history of Jacobite exiles in France and the connection with the exiles and especially the Perth family and the Drummond family.

In 1744, in March, France declares war on Britain, and very, very quickly the first commissions are given for the Royal-Ecossais. And the Royal-Ecossais is created with 12 companies of 55 men, which is the usual way for French regiments at the time. 11 fusiliers and 1 grenadier and officers, so it was supposed to be a body of 66 men in a hall. They were first used under the command of the Marshal de Saxe, but it was quite clear that the main reason why the Royal-Ecossais had been created was that he had to be employed on a Scottish expedition.

This regiment was, even in the way it looked, very Scottish, since it had a special blue coat with a waistcoat that was called 'rouge a l'Ecossoise' with white breeches and a white cockade, which was one of the main elements to identify the Jacobite bodies on the field afterwards. This white cockade was also worn by the second regiment that was involved in the French support, which is what is called the Irish Piquets.

The Irish Piquets had been created by taking 50 men from the three Irish regiments of the French army -- Dillon, Rooth and Lally -- and all their own officers, but the Fitzjames regiment, the horse regiment, was also involved in the creation of the Irish Piquets. So, as a whole, it was supposed to be something like 350 men who were to be part of these Irish Piquets.

These regiments were created after the 1692 war in Ireland and were part of what is called the Irish Brigade in France. All of them volunteered for being a part of the Irish Piquets, because even if it was not in Ireland but in Scotland, it was another way to fight both for the Jacobite cause and against England, quite clearly. So, these Irish Piquets were involving something like 350 men, so that's the whole body that was supposed to be helping Bonnie Prince Charlie.

In July, when Bonnie Prince Charlie sailed to Scotland, he was accompanied by these Irish Piquets, 80/100 men from the Irish Piquets, but they were very quickly involved in a battle against the Lion and most of the Irish Piquets and the French boats had to sail back to Brest. So that's how it's quite famous in Scottish history, Bonnie Prince Charlie when he arrives in Scotland is only in company with seven companions. But among the seven companions you have four Irish people and you can't understand why Bonnie Prince Charlie is in such company if you don't understand both the fact that it's the way France helped Bonnie Prince Charlie and that the Irish are using the French help to fight their own war against England and for the Jacobite cause.

Among these four Irish, the main name is Colonel O'Sullivan because he's going very soon to be the adjutant general of all Bonnie Prince Charlie's forces in Scotland, while the Irish Piquets remain under the command of Walter Stapleton.

In late November, on the 26th, it's the turn of the Royal-Ecossais to take to sea and to arrive at Montrose on 7 December. And then you have O'Sullivan with the head of the whole forces, of Bonnie Prince Charlie's forces, while John Drummond had the head of the French body of troops. And his brother, who is not coming from France but he's from Scotland because the Perth family, some members of the family weren't in exile in France and some remained in Scotland. And the two brothers are an example of that because the eldest son John had been part of the Irish Brigade and came to Scotland with France and the French troops, while his eldest brother, the Duke of Perth, was in Scotland and got involved with Scottish troops from Scotland. So both brothers, with George Murray, became the three main commanders, all overviewed by O'Sullivan, which is the reason why, for the Highlanders mainly, it soon became very clear that the influence of France and the influence of the Irish was too overwhelming on Bonnie Prince Charlie.

And it's quite obvious that O'Sullivan's experience in the French service helped him organise the Jacobite troops at first with the kind of hierarchy that the French army was familiar with, and also with tactics that came from the war on the continent. But it's also quite obvious that it was not easy for O'Sullivan to understand the Highlanders' way of doing things, and the tensions grew more and more important until Bonnie Prince Charlie had to decide that he created a Council of War, so that it was obvious that he would listen to the Highlanders and the Scottish point of view and not only the French and Scottish or Irish-Franco French councillors.

So in 1746 the two bodies, both the Irish Piquets and the Royal-Ecossais, were involved during the Battle of Falkirk with Bonnie Prince Charlie. And they also were part of Culloden but by then the body of the two regiments had decreased to 60 men in spite of the fact that some of the Scottish soldiers from Scotland were by then recruited in the Royal-Ecossais.

So by the time of Culloden in the Royal-Ecossais you had Scottish people coming from France, Scottish people coming from Scotland, some Irish who could be part of the Royal-Ecossais, and you had deserters from the British army on the continent. So it was quite an uneven body of troops. Both the Irish Piquets and the Royal-Ecossais were involved during the Culloden battle, but none of them had a predominant influence on the battle except that they had a rather important role in covering the retreat of the Highlanders, and they really helped prevailing more casualties during the battle itself.

The question after the battle for the two bodies was mainly the question of the prisoners of war, because for the people who were coming from French regiments or who had the commission from France, it was quite obvious for British authorities that they had to be treated as prisoners of war, and so that they would be exchanged against other prisoners who had been taken on the continent field by that time.

But it was not the same for the deserters, and many of them were executed because they were only treated as deserters and not as commissioned by France.

On their way back to France, James Drummond, the Duke of Perth died so that John Drummond became the Duke of Perth, but John himself died the following year, still in command of the Royal-Ecossais, during the Siege of Bergen.

And the Royal-Ecossais lasted eventually until 1762 when it was eventually disbanded.

When it comes to the Irish Piquets, the men were put back in the Irish regiments in France but the evolution and the change of the Irish regiments from the French army made it less and less Irish, and the proportion of Irish actually involved in the Irish regiments went on falling, so that by the time of the French Revolution the Irish regiments were closer to what was to become the Légion étrangère which is a body of troops where you could use foreigners more than a Jacobite or an Irish troop.

But the story of this, both the Irish and the Scottish Jacobites in the French army, has been a main feature of the history of the French army during the Ancien Régime. So you can see that the story of these people coming from France -- Scottish, Irish or French -- and being involved in Culloden battle is both Scottish history, a British history, a French history and a European history as a whole.

And I think that will be my conclusion. Thank you.

[Katey Boal]

Thank you so much. That was so interesting. I really appreciate you giving us this new perspective on the Jacobite armies. It's been really, really interesting hearing about the Irish and the Scots' involvement in the French military.

Thank you again and I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did.

The Battle of Littleferry


[Katey Boal]

Hello! My name is Katey Boal and I'm the Engagement Manager here at Culloden Battlefield. And welcome to our War Stories programme of talks.

I'm really excited to welcome Patrick Marriott. He's going to talk to us a little bit about the Battle of Littleferry and its effect, well impact, on the Battle of Culloden. So please Patrick, I'm excited to hear what you have to say.

[Patrick Marriott]

Right, let's begin. And first of all thanks Katey for the introduction.

The Battle of Littleferry is fought on 15 April 1746. It's one of the pre-runner fights before Culloden and it's quite an important one, though only really a slight engagement. Let's start by setting the stage.

Clearly it's the '45 rebellion but I want to move immediately to February 1746 and Prince Charles has retreated north to Inverness after Falkirk. He takes Inverness -- there's barely a shot. And as he does so, he displaces government forces primarily to the north.

And at this stage, commanded really by the 4th Earl of Loudoun, they retreat to a line between Lairg in the centre of Sutherland and in the east to Dornoch. That's where they go. Pretty quickly, Prince Charles orders forces north and he orders the 3rd Duke of Perth, the 3rd Earl of Cromarty plus men from MacDonell of Barisdale and MacGregor of Glencarnaig, and they're sent north into Sutherland to fix any government forces up there to prevent them from interfering with his own operations, and most importantly to seize money, men and arms.

And they react remarkably quickly.

On 20 March we get the Battle of Meikle Ferry, pretty much a bloodless skirmish but an amazing amphibious assault by the Jacobite forces north crossing the Dornoch Firth. Dornoch is captured that same day and Loudoun retreats, and frankly never plays another part in Little Ferry itself. But he leaves behind six companies in the far north: two are independent companies, so they're in red, and four are militia companies. The independent are really reservists and the militia frankly get up in whatever clothes they can find that day and they're barely trained.

Dunrobin Castle, a bit further north, falls that day and the 17th Earl of Sutherland, who is on the government side, flees and heads off towards Aberdeen. He leaves behind his wife, the Countess, and the castle becomes the headquarters for the Earl of Cromarty who is the key protagonist for the Jacobite forces in the north. Cromarty billets his men around Dunrobin and in Golspie. And we know now, more or less, where they stayed.

And then on 22 March the Duke of Perth, who's been with the Earl of Cromarty, he departs and heads south and he leaves this little history. And that's really the start of the depletion of Jacobite forces in the extreme north.

The stage is now set for the Battle of Littleferry and we go into a little phony war, which lasts a month or two, and I'm going to cover that by firstly from the Jacobite side and then from the government side.

So let's start from the Jacobite side. From late March to mid-April, they are up harrying the north. They're fixing those six government companies up there, they're doing exactly what Prince Charles wanted, but they are not successful in getting money, men and arms, which is what Prince Charles really needs.

Between 24 and 26 March we get the Battle of Tongue, when the ship for Prince Charles is captured, but that fixes two of the independent companies in the north. So now there are only four companies really operating around Golspie and Littleferry and Strathbrora, and the area where this fight is going to take place.

Cromarty sends his son, Lord MacLeod --some sources reported him as a military freak -- he is dispatched north to Caithness to try and get some money, men and forces. It's a further depletion of Cromarty's force; his numbers are coming down.

And then, really importantly, about 13 April Prince Charles recalls all his dispersed regiments back to Inverness. He knows that Cumberland is coming. And MacLeod comes back from Caithness and joins his father Cromarty at Dunrobin.

On 14 April, the day before the Battle of Littleferry, MacDonald and MacGregor's men, if you remember who'd come up to Dornoch earlier on, they also leave. And Cromarty, for reasons that I don't think we'll ever truly understand, decides to leave Dunrobin and head to Inverness early on the morning of 15 April.

His forces now consist of only 300 to 500 men. That's it for the Jacobite side in the run-up to the battle.

For the government side, you've got these four militia companies now, barely trained, up in the hills. Only three of these will take part in the battle. One of them actually ends up near Helmsdale and is misplaced for the fight. They're an extraordinary force. They're dispersed everywhere in their various little cottages. It's a classic guerrilla war that's going on, but they have a number of advantages.

They've got an incredible network of spies, and we've uncovered primary sources about most of these spies. We have James Mackay, who's a customs man; Isabel Munro, the wife of Hugh Munro at Clayside, she's passing information; and we have the villagers around Golspie and Dunrobin Castle; all of them are passing incredible information out to the militia in the hills.

There's frequent skirmishing during this phony war and then we get some regrouping. A few officers and men from the two independent companies, who are right up in the north, come down and join the militia companies. And that stiffening is really important because it provides military experience and leadership.

And then we get 14 April.

Remember that Cromarty has given orders, probably around that day, that the following day they're going to move south. But all that information leaks out to the militia in the hills. Spies start to give reports and we get an extraordinary meeting at a place called Kilfinabeg up in Strathbrora. The weather is shocking. It's wet, they're sitting around a campfire, and we have vivid descriptions of them discussing what they're going to do. And they decide to attack, the following morning.

It's a simple and brilliant plan: one company will tuck in behind Cromarty's forces as they move south on the coast, and the other two will come down off the hills and attack them in the flank near Littleferry. It's remarkably simple but they are seriously outnumbered. The militia forces probably only number between 200-250, whereas Cromarty's forces are almost double that.

So, let's move to the early morning of 15 April and the battle itself. It's cold, wet and very windy. This is a fight that's going to take place over 4 miles running north to south, along the coast with Dunrobin Castle in the north and Littleferry in the south.

The first company, commanded by a man called MacAllister -- the Golspie Company as it was known -- moves off early, sends an advanced party towards Dunrobin and they meet up with spies en route. And they're told that most of Cromarty's men have already left, they're heading south through Goslpie, but that Cromarty and the officers have stayed behind for reasons that are never totally clear. They move as fast as they can, down Big Burn Glen, and they set up an ambush near where St Andrew's Kirk is in the north of Golspie. Most of Cromarty's forces spread out and, now without officers and in some disarray, are moving south towards Littleferry through Golspie.

The ambush is sprung as Cromarty and his officers, probably about 12 men, come close to St Andrew's Church. They are shot at; we know there's at least one casualty, and that group retreats back to Dunrobin Castle and holes up there. Meanwhile, the rest of this company starts to push through Golspie, pushing back, pushing further south the rest of Cromarty's men, who, confused, suddenly hear the shots and start to come towards them.

But they're pushed through Golspie. There's fighting at Fishertown on the beach, and a man called Hector Munro, a lieutenant in the militia forces, is involved with that scrap. And the villagers, we are told, come out with scythes to join their militia, pushing Cromarty's fractured regiment south towards Littleferry.

Meanwhile, up on the hill, we have two companies waiting, and they've come a different route through the night. Commanded by a man called Sutherland and a man called Grey, but reinforced with some of these redcoats from the two independent companies who've come down, who provide brilliant military knowledge and leadership, they do a recce forward. They come back and they decide they're hopelessly outnumbered, and they're very scared.

But they decide to attack, and the way they're going to do it is they'll spread out all of the men. And we're told they added an extra 20 paces between each rank to make them look larger. And then, with two companies in the front and one slightly back, or possibly the other way around (it's not totally clear), they sweep down out of the hills, across the moor and they hit Cromarty's forces who were dispersed in a thin line and straggling along Ferry Road in the flank.

There's a very brief fire fight, and somewhere around that time this other company moving south, MacAllister's company from Golspie, joins up with them, and all three companies now start the push down towards Littleferry, sweeping ahead of them really a broken regiment, Cromarty's regiment.

When they get to Littleferry, there's a final last stand. We're told that two volleys are fired by the Jacobites before they are overwhelmed and captured. And we have one extraordinary first-hand report by a man called John Mackay of Tordarroch, who's one of the independent company officers who comes down and provides the stiffening for this fight. This is what he says of this backs-to-the-wall fight at Littleferry, remember he's a government man:

We fell it all in their rear, came up with them near the Ferry and in the end got 160 prisoners, killed about 27 and about 8 of them drowned. They got 2 large boats and 3 ships there, yawls which were there. A great many stuck on the sides of the bodies which were all drowned. All of them found by our fire. Others lost their grip and perished. There was a great many of them wounded in the boats as we found since, for all the way twixt this and Ferryoons, many were lying ill of their wounds and kept to be brought prisoners when they recover. Some of them have died since. It was a total surrender.

It was indeed about 160 prisoners that just probably about half that number, about 80 or so, had taken. They're marched back through Fishertown back to Dunrobin. And as they go back, this officer, Lieutenant Hector Munro, we have this marvellous account of his mother not recognising him in the street because his face was so black with powder. She is one of the spies who's been informing the militia in the hills.

That night the prisoners are kept, and that evening Dunrobin Castle itself falls. Cromarty is taken with his officers by a ruse. There's another John Mackay, another militia officer, who manages to get into the castle quite cleverly, and the officers and Cromarty surrender without a shot.

On 16 April HMS Hawk, which has been summoned by the militia, comes up to Dunrobin, and on the shore in front of the castle prisoners are taken away. On 17 April HMS Hound arrives and further prisoners are taken away. And that ship brings back the Earl of Sutherland, the 17th Earl, and indeed it brings one of the spies back, who has been keeping Cumberland informed of what's going on up here. Important, because it is very likely that Cumberland knew that one regiment had surrendered before the Battle of Culloden.

And that was the end of the Battle of Littleferry.

One of the questions that follows Littleferry is how much effect did that really have on Culloden itself? And the answer probably is not a great deal, but it looks extremely likely now, given the position of the Royal Navy in the firth, given that all the messages that were going backwards and forwards, and one of the spies involved in this is a man called James Mackay and we know that he went to see Cumberland in the run-up to the battle itself, and he's brought back after the battle to the scene of Littleferry itself, so the chances are that the message that a regiment had surrendered so quickly would have been known by Cumberland.

And that would have given him and his men a great morale boost, and that's very important.

Similarly, Prince Charles knows that Cromarty has not turned up. He's not going to be there in time for the fight. He may not have known he had surrendered but that would have lowered the morale of the Jacobites.

So I think the effect that Littleferry has on Culloden is to do with morale, not fighting strength per se because I don't think Cromarty's regiment would ever have had the time to get from Littleferry, leaving as it did on the morning of the 15th, in time for Culloden. Not least of which is because the Royal Navy dominated the sea, so that option was out of the question, and to go around by land, they'd have arrived exhausted, had to be integrated very late and they almost certainly wouldn't have got there in time. So, I think the real effect that Littleferry has on Culloden is on morale, and there I think it would have made a tangible difference.

[Katey Boal]

Thank you so much, Patrick. That was really interesting, I really enjoyed your talk.

If you want to hear more stories of Culloden and the people surrounding us, please join us for more of our War Stories talks.

Have a wonderful day.

The Frasers and the Old Fox


[Katey Boal]

Hello and welcome! My name is Katey Boal and I'm the Engagement Manager here at Culloden Battlefield. And I'm really excited to present our War Stories programme.

We have Sarah Fraser with us today and she is going to talk to us about the Frasers and the Old Fox. So I'm really excited to hear her stories.

[Sarah Fraser]

Thanks Katey. I'm here to talk about the Frasers and Culloden. I'm going to split it roughly into three parts.

I'll begin in that period between the arrival of Prince Charles Edward Stuart in July 1745 and up to the start of the battle; then I'll concentrate on what the Frasers are doing in the battle itself; and then end up with a short few thoughts on the consequences of the battle for the Frasers.

When Prince Charles Edward arrived, there was a utter consternation in the Highlands. He ignored that and sent his men out to summon the chiefs of the great clan powers. And one of them turned up at Castle Downie, the seat of Clan Fraser of Lovat, and presented himself to this man: Simon Fraser, Lord Lovat of the '45.

What we're looking at is a man in his eighth decade, and I think you can feel the power of him. Although he's old, that face is strong, cunning, characterful and he is one of the chiefs of the greatest clans in the Highlands. He's also one of the original signatories to the articles of association for the restoration of the Stuarts, and that's why Charles Edward has sent a man to him. They have associated together to restore the Stuarts should one of them come home and attempt to reclaim their crowns. And if you look at his hands, what Lovat is doing (I think) is weighing the odds, that's what I think he's doing there -- the pros and cons of coming out and answering this call.

On the positive side, Lovat is a Jacobite to his core, as are the Frasers. In his DNA is Jacobitism; he's intrigued for the Jacobites for half his life. His father Thomas was out in the previous century, in the 1600s, for the Stuarts against the Cromwellians, Puritans and Covenanters. His own elder brother Alexander Fraser was killed in the first Jacobite uprising under Dundee at the Battle of Killiecrankie. And Lovat himself was intrigued to restore the Stuarts for a long time.

On the opposing side, and in favour of staying quiet and staying at home, is the fact that the associators made the terms of their support pretty clear. The Prince must come with the full support of France or Spain, or preferably both. Instead, what Lovat is being told is that the Prince has come naked, as they said, to the Highlands. He has no men, no swords, no muskets, no cannon, no mortar, no shot or cannonballs, no gun powder, no silver or gold to pay his own men and to pay for the chiefs to recruit theirs, no supplies -- and an army marches on its stomach. In short, this is a private expedition, and Lovat is utterly appalled. He calls Prince Charles, whom he regards as the son and heir of the throne of Great Britain, he calls him 'this mad and unaccountable gentleman' and decides to stay at home.

And he watches.

Of course, what happens is that Prince Charles makes an audacious and glamorous dash through Scotland, from the west coast, across, down through Perth, and within six weeks he's in Edinburgh: he has achieved his first goal. He's got the first throne of the Stuarts' most ancient kingdom: Scotland.

Within days he has to defend it because the British army has come out to meet him. The tone among the British army and the government and Hanoverian forces, generally speaking, is amused contempt and irritation. They have no sense that an irregular force, what they call 'bare-arsed banditti and rebel scum', will prove any match for regular British forces. And they are very well trained, the army forces. They've been fighting a war in mainland Europe for several years and they are a formidable fighting force.

Anyway, Prince Charles marches his army out and they meet the government force at a place called Gladsmuir, or Prestonpans we remember it as now. And within an hour, the Prince has won a stunning, extraordinary victory. The government forces are overrun, and a thousand of them die to a hundred Jacobites. This is a game changer in the Highlands.

When Lovat hears about this, he throws his hat into the ring and he raises his clan for the Stuarts. He raises two companies under a young man called Charles Fraser of Inverallochy. He commands one. The Inverallochys are the senior cadet branch of the Frasers. And if all the Lovat Frasers were wiped out tomorrow, the Inverallochys would have a good claim to the chieftainship of the clan. The other company is under young Simon Fraser, the Master of Lovat, Old Lovat's son and heir. The Master is 19 and Charles Fraser of Inverallochy is 20. And indeed the Duke of Cumberland and Bonnie Prince Charlie are in their early 20s, bearing out that truism that war is a young man's game.

So seven months later, on 16 April 1746, the two armies finally meet. Where are the Frasers in all of this?

Charles Fraser of Inverallochy has brought his company to fight for the Prince; the Master has not yet arrived with his company. The Frasers are put on the right flank.

If you look at this image, you can more or less see where they are. In the bottom left of your screen, there are a group of buildings and soldiers all around them. Now the Frasers of Lovat, plus the MacIntoshes and the Stewarts of Appin, are put on the right flank. To their right are the Camerons, the Lochiel Camerons, and beyond them is this walled enclosure called the Culwhiniac enclosure and Leanach cottage.

There are three things to know about where the Frasers are positioned in this battle.

First, that walled enclosure. On the one hand, it offers protection from enemy cannon and mortar; they can't get through it. On the other hand, if it protects them, it might also protect enemy soldiers. And in fact General Hawley has already noticed this and he has brought government snipers in -- a lot of them -- and they are using that wall to protect them.

Second, the wall juts out slightly in front of the Frasers, MacIntoshes and the rest. And as we know, the iconic manoeuvre of a Jacobite army is the Highland charge: it's maniacal, it's demonic, it's ferocious; it relies on speed, momentum, impetus to charge through horrified enemy lines. Now that wall slightly sticks out in front of them.

And the third problem is the terrain itself. For those who have not been to Drummossie Moor, it is a typical peat bog. Peat is fantastic at absorbing all the lashing rain we get in the Highlands, and it soaks it up all winter. By April 1746, the ground is saturated and more. On top of it there are standing pools of water over this sodden pudding of peat. That is also going to be a factor.

And when the battle commences, it all comes into play. The Frasers rush forward with the MacIntoshes, Stewarts and Camerons, and everybody bunches together -- it's like a football crowd leaving a stadium; you just can't move. And in fact the Camerons are sort of penned in against that wall, while everyone else tries to get round it and get a clear line so they can run at the enemy. And, of course, those hundreds and hundreds of stamping feet are churning up this mess underneath them until they are over their knees in bog. At the same time, they've slowed down and the snipers are beginning on the right, and the right flank is raked with enemy sniper fire and you'd think it was all in really.

Not so.

Amazingly enough, the impetus in that charge carries the Frasers and MacIntoshes through. They overrun the enemy cannon and then they hit the enemy's front line. And you can see in the middle right of that picture where Highlanders are attacking the Hanoverian forces, and they start to engage in quite bitter hand-to-hand fighting. And it's by no means clear who's going to win at that point.

So Cumberland summons some of his second line to reinforce his front line infantry, Bligh's, Sempill's and Wolfe's companies are brought up. On the Jacobite side, Lord George Murray sees what's going on and he brings Lord Gordon's troops in to reinforce the Frasers and MacIntoshes, and they have this bitter hand-to-hand fighting but the Jacobites are beaten back quite quickly in part because Cumberland has developed a tactic that is particularly effective against Highland troops and the way that they fight.

Soon the Frasers fall back and they have to drop their weapons, some of them. And when they do, they pick up stones and they start pelting the enemy with rocks. But we've all seen what happens on the television when an unarmed group just throws, hurls rocks at an armed, well-defended enemy -- that isn't going to last. And soon enough, they break and run, and this is happening all along the Jacobite lines. And of course, it's a rout.

As the Hanoverians pursue, they kill as they go. It has been reported that Cumberland issued a no-quarter order to his troops ie the enemy, the Jacobites, would be given no mercy and they would take no prisoners, basically. If they did, it is because they did not regard the Jacobite as proper enemy soldiers.

And that's borne out in what happens to Charles Fraser of Inverallochy. He, you remember, is leading the Fraser company. He's wounded and is lying on the battlefield. He fully expects to be taken up and ransomed. Officers were prizes; you could ransom them for their freedom and you'd get prize money, or you use them in a prisoner swap. This is not what's going to happen here. General Hawley approaches and asks him who he is, and when he finds out he tells one of his men to kill 'the rebel dog'.

And that is why this is such carnage. In that phrase 'rebel dog' is the attitude of the Hanoverians to the Jacobites. One, they are bestial. They are dehumanised and reduced to the level of dogs who can be kicked out of the way and killed at will. And second, they are rebels. Rebels are not enemy soldiers. Enemy soldiers are afforded the protection of the rules of war. Their wounds will be tended, and they will be taken prisoner, and eventually released. Rebels, of course, are traitors. They have betrayed us. They are the enemy within and they deserve no consideration at all. And that is what happens.

Charles Fraser of Inverallochy is slaughtered, and the slaughter becomes so intense that blood is running down the swords of the Hanoverians' arms until their hands can hardly get a good grip on their sword hilts and the infantrymen's bayonets are bent from overuse. And at one point, a Hanoverian soldier turns around and he says: I never saw a field so thick with dead. Those who get away, the Frasers who get away, flee for home as fast as they can.

We're missing a company of Frasers, that under the Master of Lovat. He now comes out from Inverness towards Culloden Battlefield, and meets his own kinsmen coming back to Inverness. He is roundly berated for not having been there when fighting might have been of help. And the Masters says: well, what I'll do is I'll go back to Inverness and I'll hold the bridge and then I can offer covering fire to Frasers who need to get away. There is only one bridge over the Ness and he can hold back the enemy while they escape. He gets to Inverness and his problem there is that ... well, Simon the Master and the Invernesians are as one. Inverness is a divided town: it's half Hanoverian and half Jacobite. But what all Invernesians can agree on is that nobody wants their town turned into a battlefield. We all know what happens when towns become war zones. They become rubble and the people are displaced and killed.


There has been a lot of debate about whether the Master of Lovat really held that bridge, and if he didn't, then why didn't he? Did he do it to prevent the town being reduced to rubble? Or did he do it because he turned his coat? Did he not hold the bridge because he turned his coat? There was certainly a skirmish, but nothing serious. And circumstantial evidence would lead you to suspect that he might have turned his coat because within a few years, the Master of Lovat ... he was captured (in fact he surrendered after Culloden) but he was pardoned a year later ... and within several years, he is a British army officer, rising through the ranks. And he will end up Sir Simon Fraser, General Sir Simon Fraser, fighting in Canada and America for George II and George I's armies.

So I'm going to finish by looking at the consequences of Culloden for the Frasers because hostilities don't just end on a battlefield. The battle is part of a larger strategic plan to make sure the Stuarts are never ever again able to launch any attempt to reclaim the British throne.

The ordinary people suffer the sort of abuse you expect. That abuse involves rape, murder and the destruction of anything that will allow them to keep body and soul together. Their fishing boats are holed; their nets are torn; their millstones are crushed to rubble; their roofs are torn down; their blankets and plaids are taken. Anything of any value is taken to Inverness to be sold. Their animals are driven off to feed the garrison; all their grain is taken. And they get to the sort of situation where, at one point, the soldiers on the green outside Inverness are slaughtering animals that they have taken from the rebel clans to feed their garrison. And the women, some of them Fraser women, are hovering on the sidelines in a very poor condition by this time. And when the soldiers take the carcasses off, the women rush in to try and scoop up the filthy entrails and take something away with them that they can feed their families with. Unknown to them, the Jacobite soldiers haven't gone very far because they know they're there. And they turn around and they start taking pot shots at them for target practice or sport or to scare them off so that they can't get any source of food, even some cow's guts.

The chief of the clan, Old Simon Fraser, Lord Lovat is taken up. He's captured on the west coast and taken to London, and he is held in the Tower for a year. He's then impeached before the whole House of Lords in Westminster Hall, every one of whom must pronounce him guilty, and does. And he is one of the Jacobite lords executed on Tower Hill; and for the Frasers, it's all over.

The traditional life of the clan, and the society and the economy which sustained it, goes with these old-style clan chiefs and with Culloden. It was in decline anyway before Culloden but I think it would be fair to say that the consequences of Culloden killed it.

[Katey Boal]

Thank you Sarah, that was really interesting. I really enjoyed your talk.

If you want to hear more in the War Stories series, please tune in. Otherwise, I hope you enjoy the rest of your day.

Battlefield archaeology


[Katey Boal]

Hello and welcome to our series of talks entitled War Stories. My name is Katey Boal and I'm the Engagement Manager here at Culloden Battlefield and Visitor Centre.

And I'm pleased to welcome Professor Tony Pollard from Glasgow University to explore in more detail the battlefield archaeology here at Culloden. Please Tony, go ahead.

[Tony Pollard]

Thanks Katey. It's nice to be talking about Culloden again.

Very briefly, what I want to do is to look at the engagement on the left flank, or end, of the British army line, which is marked on the field, on Culloden battlefield.

And I want to look at some of the artefacts that we recovered through the archaeological survey we did there in 2005, so before the building of the new visitor centre. In fact, the finds that we made helped to inform the National Trust for Scotland on how they wanted to set out the centre and the interpretation within it, and indeed the battlefield.

So what we have here, it doesn't look too exciting, but this is a very important map. And part of this actually is a graphic on the wall in the visitor centre, which I'm very proud of, but this is the plot of all of the artefacts that that metal detector survey uncovered, all of which are related to the battle.

And what we're looking at here, those little squares that you're seeing are 20m by 20m. So that big red square, which we're going to be looking at most closely, up at the top there, is around 100m by 100m. And what we're looking at is a snapshot of the battle as it happened, with the Jacobite right charging in to the government left. And within that red box we had Barrel's and Munro's regiments, red-coated regiments, standing side by side, and the Jacobites on foot with their swords, their targes (their round shields), and indeed, as you will see, their muskets, charged across a huge swathe of open ground to crash in to that part of the line. And what you get there is a really intensive, maybe 15-20 minutes of hand-to-hand combat, very fierce. And what we've got there is a debris field related to that combat.

And each one of those little coloured shapes relates to a different object. So, the little blue triangles are Brown Bess musket balls, so most of those were probably fired by the British army, so that's Barrel's and Munro's regiments. The red triangles are slightly smaller musket balls, 0.69 calibre, so they are fired by the Jacobites. So even though we're just looking at spheres of lead we can tell within reason who was firing what.

And there are various other artefacts represented in there. I'll point out here, because I don't think I have a photograph of them, the little brown circles that you can see, and you can really only see them within that red square, they are small musket balls. They're actually pistol balls. And at this time pistols were only fired at very close range, and so they represent again hand-to-hand fighting. You can see there's a concentration of them in there, so again showing how fierce and intense this fighting was in that area.

So, if you look at some of the finds, if I just forward this slide on, here we have a selection of the lead shot, and some of these are musket balls. But the one on the left, it's about the size of a golf ball. That's been fired by a cannon, and there would be nine of these fired by a three-pounder gun and these were fired by the Royal Artillery, so on the British army side. And each shot consisted of nine of these round shot, and these would cause dreadful carnage among the Jacobites charging toward the line, but it still didn't stop them.

Certainly not on the Jacobite right.

What you've got next door is a flat-topped Brown Bess musket ball. It's hit something and this lead is very soft, so it squashes out. We can tell that that's Brown Bess because of the size. Even though it's distorted, we can still measure it and work out that that's a 0.75 Brown Bess musket ball.

The one next to it, which has contained more of its shape, is a 0.69 Jacobite musket ball. And you can hopefully see there is a difference in size, that the one on the right is slightly smaller to that flat-topped Brown Bess.

Now, on the extreme right of this photo, we have a very distorted musket ball. We actually nicknamed these pancakes, because they were just squashed and flattened out. This has probably hit something like a wall or a stone, and it's just gone splat as the shot has hit. The point is that even if a musket ball hit bone inside the human body, it would distort but potentially not this much. But it would still distort and cause dreadful damage to both the bone and the internal parts of the human body, so these are very deadly pieces of ordnance.

We also found other objects, again within that red square, within that highly concentrated area of hand-to-hand combat.

As an archaeologist, people every now and again will ask me what's the favourite thing you found? Well, I sometimes tell them about this. It was found by one of our volunteer metal detectorists and it doesn't look much; it's just a curved bit of brass. But if you look more closely at it, and you know what you're looking at, it's pretty incredible. There's a photograph of me in an earlier age, doing a television programme. And this is a Brown Bess musket, and you can see there, this thing that we found is this strap that comes off the back of the trigger guard and holds the trigger guard in place into the wooden furniture of the musket.

The difference is that this thing here is straight, and the object that we found is curved. And the reason for that becomes apparent when we take a closer look at it. If you look on the surface of it, there is this crescentic scar in the edge and it just so happens that that perfectly matches, there on this photograph, a Jacobite musket ball, a .69 calibre musket ball. So what has happened here, almost like a crime scene analysis, we can work out what's happened. This musket ball has been fired by a Jacobite at pretty close range. It would have to be close range to have created the damage it did. That's not the musket ball that was fired; that's just there for demonstration. It's highly likely that this one was fairly mashed up by the impact, but that impact has been strong enough to blow this piece of metal off the musket and bend it at the same time.

So imagine being the soldier, probably in Barrel's regiment on the far left of the British army line, engaged in hand-to-hand combat, possibly with the bayonet on the end of the musket, and then being hit by this. You would certainly drop the musket, but the point is that this shot might have gone on and entered the body of the soldier carrying this weapon. It may even have killed that soldier.

And so, it's really quite a thought when you imagine that what you could be seeing here is the last moments of somebody's life. So the archaeology tells us what happened across the battlefield but it can also give us an insight into these intimate stories, and in some cases give us a portrait of potentially the last moments of a person's life.

And these are bits of the same part of the weapon. These are the ends; you see the end, it's got a little nodule at the end there, a little decorative piece. And you can see that here. That's the side view of the same piece, and then we've got another little bit here. This toggle that you're seeing with a little pin through it is what goes into the wood, so that's the kind of fastener that goes into the wood with a little pin through it to keep it in place. But these haven't been shot off; it looks very much as though these have been cut off. You see the straight edge here. And what we think has happened here is that the soldier holding the musket has held it above his head in that fight, to parry, to hold back a down stroke from a Jacobite broadsword. And that sword has cut right the way through the metal and probably through the wood, and again may have gone into the head of the soldier holding it up. So again it might have killed the soldier parrying that blow.

But, as you can see, we found a couple of these, so we get an insight into the intensity of that fight. And at this point, that line is starting to break down. We're not looking at soldiers at regular spaces, side by side here. The Jacobite charge has crashed into them, pushed soldiers aside, some have fallen dead, some are wounded. And by this time, this is a desperate fight for survival, on both sides.

And so, we've been looking at the intensive hand-to-hand fighting here, but, as you can see, the scatter goes out for a considerable distance across the field, all the way out towards where the Jacobite line was first positioned before they started the charge. And out there, we've got the cannon shot, we've got musket shot -- the muskets probably opened fire at around 100 yards, 75 yards. Beyond that, they're not very effective and it would be the cannon shot taking effect on the Jacobites.

But we've got other objects in here, so I just wanted to look at a couple of them, again to give you an idea of the variety.

I talked about the bayonet. When we talk about bayonets at Culloden with red-coated British army soldiers, we tend to think of them on the Brown Bess. We don't really think about the Jacobites using bayonets. This was a piece that was found during our survey. It's the socket that would go over the muzzle. So what you've got here, what you can't see, is 17 inches of sharpened steel, basically a spike. So, once you put this on the end of your musket, it turns it into basically a spear. And the one at the top is from a Brown Bess. You can see where the lug on the end of the barrel would go in, to lock into this key-shaped hole here. And you can see we've got a circular shank here, which curves around.

This, that we found, is different.

For instance, the shank is square in section not circular, and you can see a casting seam up the side here -- this is actually a French bayonet; it's not a British bayonet. That means that it was fitted to a Jacobite musket and not a British soldier's Brown Bess. So it gives us an idea of the variety. Some of the stereotypes of the Jacobite soldier, armed with the sword. They were using muskets; we've seen that through the number of the musket balls that we found. But also they're using bayonets, and this was an incredibly exciting find.

Another form of weapon -- this is a fragment from a Coehorn mortar shell. This was a form of artillery used again by the British army, by Cumberland's army. And what this does ... this device on the bottom left doesn't look much there, but basically it lobs or it fires an explosive shell into the air, which will then come down on the enemy and either explode above their heads or on the ground.

And it's basically a hollow, steel sphere with a fuse on it. When that fuse burns down, the gunpowder inside explodes and breaks that sphere into fragments. That's a dreadfully heavy big chunk of iron or steel there, and imagine that flying through the air. And again this gives us an insight into the battle. This is more like the Battle of the Somme in 1916, with shells going off. This isn't solid shot. This again is a dreadfully effective weapon, usually used against fortifications but here the artillery on Cumberland's side are using it to try and break up the mass of Jacobites that have attacked Barrel's and Munro's regiments, and in fact put the entire line in danger.

So this is quite a desperate measure, because there's no guarantee that when this thing explodes, it's being fired at such close range, that it won't hit friendly forces. We know this is friendly fire, so this would be indiscriminate but it's been lobbed into the melee, this mass of fighting men, to try and push the Jacobites back.

And ultimately they were. The Jacobites did incredibly well in this part of the battlefield to get across that long distance in their charge in the face of cannon shot and musket shot, and then to engage in this hand-to-hand fighting, but they were ultimately pushed back. Largely because the British army was arrayed in ranks, so there's a regiment behind Barrel's and Munro's to come around and give them cover and fill in the gaps.

This is a different object entirely. I've looked at weaponry thus far but this was found right the way at the end of that survey transect, very close to where the Jacobite line was before they charged. And this is pewter, known at the time as poor man's silver, and, as you can see, it's a cross and it has a suspension hole, so it's a medallion. It would have been suspended around the neck, but it's of a very particular style.

You can see you've got this round boss at the top, and then these nodules coming along both axes of the cross. And this is modelled on a Celtic stone cross, the sort of monument that you would find on the west coast or in the south-west of Scotland. And what they've done here is they've made a replica of that and turned it into this medallion. Now, it looks as though it's broken. The shaft down there would have been longer, you can see it's jagged where it's snapped, but it's highly likely that this was originally suspended around the neck of a Jacobite soldier, who at some point has lost it in the battle. Now it might be that he was killed by perhaps the cannon shot. And at that range, the distance away from Cumberland's line, it's likely it would have been cannon shot that hit this person. But this has fallen onto the ground and become buried over time and part of the archaeological record.

And I show this to my students because I think it's very thought-provoking. We've looked at the weaponry and the muskets, and we've talked about the fighting, but this tells us something about the belief systems that these people engaged with, their worldview and their spirituality.

It's highly likely that virtually every person on that battlefield would have believed in a higher power, in God and indeed an afterlife. And so, this medallion, it's not just an object. This is a connection to that spirituality. This would have meant a lot to that Jacobite solider. He may even have kissed it before he went into the charge. Unfortunately, it looks as though it might not have done him much good, but I think it's a really interesting insight into the social and spiritual aspect of life.

So even though I'm an archaeologist that concentrates on conflict, and I've looked at a lot of battlefields, I'm very interested in the impact that war and conflict has on human society. And I think this is a very good example of this.

I'd just like to say that all of these objects that you've seen in this very brief talk are on display in the visitor centre at Culloden. So you can see them for yourself.

And once you've done that, you can walk out onto the battlefield and see the ground upon which these objects fell and indeed along with them, in some cases, the men who carried them. Thank you very much for listening.

[Katey Boal]

Thank you Tony. That was really, really interesting. I always enjoy hearing you speak.

Now don't forget, we've got more of these stories, so do check out the other ones, where you hear some great stories from amazing people.

Cumberland’s army in North America



Hello and welcome to our War Stories programme. I'm so excited to have Dr Nicola Martin here to talk to us a little bit about the links between North America and Culloden.

Nicola, please: I'm really excited to hear what you have to say.


Thanks very much Katey. So the Jacobite uprising of 1745-46 prompted a significant and sustained military response and pacification effort from the British army. The general aspects of this campaign are fairly well known in terms of various battles, sieges and manoeuvres of the 45, as well as the violent and indiscriminate measures implemented in its aftermath, as the British sought to pacify Highlanders and prevent any future uprising. Yet the military response also had wider ramifications for the British army, as officers and soldiers took the lessons and experiences from the 45 with them to other parts of the British empire, where they were engaged in waging war and pacifying hostile, or potentially hostile, population groups.

In this talk I'll provide a brief outline of the British army in Scotland during the 45, before discussing some specific examples of the lessons the British army took with it from Scotland to North America. These examples help demonstrate the wide-ranging and long-term impact of the 45 on the British military establishment.

The initial British response to the Jacobite rising in August and September 1745 was slow and disjointed. Muddled intelligence about Charles Edward Stuart's landing, and the support he had managed to raise, led the British to underestimate the strength of the Jacobite threat.

At the same time the bulk of the British army was on the continent, fighting in the ongoing War of the Austrian Succession, leaving just a small and inexperienced force in Britain.

These factors, combined with the British state's failure to maintain independent companies in the Highlands, or to properly garrison or maintain the forts and posts that existed in the region, meant that the Jacobites were quickly able to outmanoeuvre Sir John Cope and his army of approximately 1300 or so men in the Highlands, and advance towards Edinburgh.

The Jacobite victory at Prestonpans left control of the Scottish capital in Charles's hands and raised the possibility of an invasion into England, leading the British army to recognise the need for immediate and serious action. Reinforcements were summoned back from the continent and organised into first two, later three, armies. Although rumours of a proposed French invasion prevented the full strength of the British forces being deployed against the Jacobites until early 1746.

Murray Pittock has estimated that the Jacobite army reached an effective strength of approximately 10,000 with the total number involved during the rising somewhere between 12,000 and 15,000. After its initial setbacks, the British were able to raise a formidable force to oppose that Jacobite army, with a total number of approximately 9,000 British regulars and up to 10,000 auxiliary troops, including 6,000 Hessians and up to 3,700 loyalist Highlanders.

Like the Jacobites, the British army's effect of strength was lower than the total numbers engaged, due to desertion, the need for some men to be kept in strategic locations, and because regiments were often not complete. This British army was also supported by a substantial number of hired Dutch and Swiss troops, English volunteer units, and approximately 3,000 Lowlanders.

So in terms of numbers alone then, the British response to the 45 was a significant military undertaking. Britain's army was most used to waging war in Europe, where campaigns occurred over a defined season, and where conflict was generally against a clearly defined foreign enemy. The 45 therefore presented new operational, logistical and geographical challenges, some of which the army was able to overcome and others which impeded the army's progress, and particularly that of the auxiliary forces.

In the decades following the 45 securing colonial possessions creatively became a key strand of Britain's foreign policy, with British regulars used to achieve this. From 1754, less than a decade after Culloden, unprecedented numbers were sent to North America during the French and Indian war, known in Europe as the Seven Years War, as the British altered its North American military strategy, away from a policy of colonial self-defence, and towards one of significant British intervention.

The army in North America included many veteran officers and soldiers who served in Scotland during the 45, including some who had served in the Jacobite army. The table demonstrates 12 British regiments of foot that had served during the 45 also served in North America, either during the French and Indian war, or in its aftermath in the years preceding the American Revolution. This includes some of the most well-known regiments from the 45, including Blakeney's and Barrell's, the latter of which was involved in the heaviest fighting at Culloden.

Regiments were often disbanded during peacetime, and soldiers would not necessarily join their old regiment if they were re-mobilized upon the outbreak of another war. Similarly, it was not uncommon for men to be drafted from one regiment to another during wartime, whilst officers might move regiment to seek advancement. As such the presence of regiments in both Scotland and North America does not directly correlate to the presence of the same soldiers, but it does demonstrate some crossover of men from one theatre to the other.

Similarly, several officers who would play an important role in North America were also present during the 45, and this enabled the British army to put the lessons it learned in Scotland into practice in North America, and to adapt them to the conditions they faced in that imperial theatre. Further, experiences, anecdotes and stories were shared informally between students whilst the lesson learnt in campaigns were reflected in training manuals and drilling techniques. Military campaigns were reported widely in the press whilst officers aspiring to top level positions, studied the art of warfare through the plentiful literature on the subject by both British and continental authors. Officers not only kept themselves updated but also recommended, and often insisted, that junior officers study the books that were thought to be the most authoritative.

And all of this ensured that even those who were not personally involved in the 45, shared in the indirect experiences of the army, and were part of a common understanding and ethos.

An important aspect of Britain's military strategy, first in the Highlands and later in North America, was the recruitment of local auxiliaries to undertake irregular or guerrilla-style warfare. The purpose of such troops was to weaken the enemy through surprise attacks or harassment, rather than to win a decisive battle.

During the 45, the Earl of Loudoun commanded independent companies raised in the Highlands. These Highland troops were thought best to oppose the Jacobites in that region, as they were familiar with the local climate and terrain. Loudoun's troops were tasked with securing routes of communication, garrisoning military posts, disrupting Jacobite supply lines, harassing Jacobites who remained in the region, and destroying the settlements of those who had marched south. And harassment tactics that destroyed houses and provisions, and drove away sheep and cattle, were employed right from the very beginning of the Rising, to try and dampen Jacobite morale and encourage desertion.

Loudoun's troops did undertake actions more reminiscent of regular warfare. A detachment of irregulars successfully relieved for Augustus in December 1745, whilst another was defeated in a skirmish at Inverurie that same month, and it was some of Loudoun's troops who defeated the Earl of Cromarty and approximately 800 Jacobites at the Battle of Littleferry the day before Culloden.

However the independent companies' primary role was one of harassment. This was confirmed by British commander William Augustus, the Duke of Cumberland, in March 1746 when he ordered Loudoun to remain in the Highlands and prevent men from rising to reinforce the Jacobite ranks, rather than joining forces with the main body of the army.

And in this role they were effective, and played an important role in British victory. Loudoun himself was directly responsible for directing the campaign of irregular warfare, often accompanying his troops on marches. The independent companies were expected to remain active throughout the winter, scouring the countryside for Jacobites. This was notably different from the regulars, who were generally sent into quarters over winter.

Loudoun gained significant experience of irregular warfare during the 45, particularly through developing his understanding of how auxiliary troops could best be utilized to support the main army. Working directly with Highlanders, left him convinced of the importance of utilizing local troops in specific roles, when the army was campaigning in unfamiliar territory.

Arriving in North America, the influence of Loudoun's Scottish experience was immediately clear, as he requested Indigenous allies and colonial rangers be used for scouting missions rather than British regulars, due to his belief that such troops understood the local terrain better than the regulars. Loudoun expected these auxiliaries to harass the enemy upon the march, and disrupt their supply lines, as his Highland troops had done during 45. And, as he had in Scotland, Loudoun kept the irregulars active during the winter, with scouting missions and even an attempted expedition against Crown Point and Ticonderoga.

After the fall of Fort Oswego in August 1756, Loudoun's irregulars defended the British retreat, preventing the advancing enemy from attempting a frontal assault on the British garrison at the German flats. Again Loudoun expressed his belief that Indigenous allies and rangers were best suited to such an undertaking, due to their superior knowledge of the terrain.

During the summer of 1757, when the British were restricted to a defensive campaign, Loudoun favoured irregular warfare rather than risking a full engagement against the French. In part this was to avoid further losses after a significant defeat at Fort William Henry, but Loudoun's irregulars also aimed to harass the French troops on their march through the interior, to isolate them from their supply train, and thereby delay or prevent an expected assault on the British headquarters at Albany. Loudoun argued that by, quote, 'Keeping a great body of the lightest and nimblest of your people in the rear to harass them [meaning the enemy] as much as possible, you will distress them more than by fighting their main body.'

Loudoun believed irregular warfare was vital for campaigning in North America, and he presided over a marked increase in the number of irregulars affiliated with the British army, from approximately 300 upon his arrival in 1756, to approximately 1,000 by early 1758. As well as employing rangers and encouraging recruitment of Indigenous allies, Loudoun also sought to ensure the regulars gained an understanding of irregular techniques.

He authorized Thomas Gage, another veteran of the 45, to raise a light infantry regiment in 1757, as he sought to create a reliable, disciplined core of troops trained in irregular techniques, that could eventually replace the colonial rangers at a lower cost. At the same time all officers were encouraged to train their soldiers to shoot whilst kneeling or lying down, to fire individually at specific targets rather than only in regimented lines, and to take cover from ambush in woodland.

Now as it had in Scotland, the army adapted strategy and tactics to overcome the challenges it faced, and gradually irregular tactics became a standard aspect of British operations in North America.

Another lesson that the British army took from Scotland to America was the use of punitive pacification: whether to end a conflict, or to threaten and intimidate.

During the 45, the Duke of Cumberland had issued a proclamation, issuing all those who had taken part in the Rising to deliver up their weapons and submit themselves entirely to the king's mercy. A warning was attached to the proclamation, that those who did not comply would face punishment, either through, quote: 'due process of law or military execution'.

This campaign of military execution involved the wide-scale destruction of houses and resources, and the general scorching of the countryside, in areas where civilians had refused to comply with the orders of the army, or were suspected of doing so. Soldiers were dispatched throughout the Highlands with orders to kill any they found in arms, and to burn the houses of those who were not at home, upon the presumption that they were therefore participating in the Rising. Little or no distinction was made between those who had been fighting for the Jacobites, and those who had not.

In 1759, Culloden veteran James Wolfe commanded the British attempt to conquer Quebec, and employed similarly violent tactics against the French-Canadian and Indigenous populations to achieve his imperial aims. Wolfe reintroduced monetary rewards for scalps, not only for Indigenous peoples as had been common in the past, but also for French-Canadians who were campaigning with them.

Wolfe further launched a campaign of destruction against Quebec, and the surrounding area, in an attempt to demoralize the civilian population, and lead them to pressure the French army into a surrender or a decisive military engagement. Wolfe's bombardment of Quebec caused little damage to French military capabilities, but destroyed hundreds of houses, whilst the wider campaign against settlements up the Saint Lawrence river saw British troops burn houses and crops, seize provisions and livestock, and even kill civilians.

Whilst there's no record of the numbers killed, all settlements and approximately 2,000 farms were destroyed in a 100-mile strip above and below Quebec, in addition to the damage caused to the city itself.

And although the British did adopt a more conciliatory approach after the victory at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, during which Wolfe himself was killed, the army did continue to rely on a punitive pacification in the short term, as they sought to prevent the civilian population of Canada from colluding with the French ahead of their 1760 campaign.

Similar tactics would again be utilized by the British army in 1758-61, and 1763-5, during the Anglo-Cherokee War and the pan-Indian uprisings, commonly known as Pontiac's War. British Commander-in-Chief Jeffery Amherst, who had been recalled from the war in Europe to defend England from the suspected French invasion during the 45, employed the same violent and indiscriminate tactics that had proven successful in Scotland and Canada.

The British army undertook a fire and sword campaign in both conflicts, burning whole villages, and giving monetary rewards for scalping - even extending this to those who brought in the skulls of Indigenous women or children.

During Pontiac's War, Amherst sought to make use of germ warfare, ordering his subordinate officer to try and spread smallpox through the Indigenous nations camped out near Fort Pitt.

The threat of a punitive pacification was also deployed against colonial settlers themselves, as opposition to British imperial measures increased in the late 1760s and 1770s.

Culloden veteran Thomas Gage commissioned a self-portrait painted by John Singleton Copley in 1768, at a time when he had sent several regiments to Boston, in anticipation of a possible rebellion there. So-called 'othering' of colonial settlers had begun with the army's increased role in North America, during the French and Indian war, and it continued to increase in its aftermath. By the time that Gage commissioned the portrait, he viewed those in Boston as potentially hostile, and he sought to warn them of the consequences, should they cross that line into rebellion.

He used his portrait as a warning, deliberately recalling the pacification of the Highlands. Christopher Bryant has highlighted the similarities in the portrait of Gage and in the widely-disseminated engraving of the Battle of Culloden by Luke Sullivan in 1746. You can see that both make use of the same hilly terrain, with civilian settlements placed upon a hill in the background representing the local population.

Similarly, the distinctive line of three regiments of infantry and the mounted dragoons facing the viewer in the foreground, are present in both, despite Britain's cavalry having never been deployed to North America. The lack of an enemy in the Copley portrait points towards the success of British arms in Scotland where the rebellion was crushed, the region occupied, and the population pacified. Gage points to the triumphant British arms, hinting at his readiness to crush the population and suppress rebellion in Massachusetts.

So the British army learned many lessons from its substantial involvement in campaigning and pacifying an armed uprising in Scotland during the 45. Army officers and ordinary soldiers took these lessons with them through both direct and indirect experience to all parts of the British empire.

These few examples from the army in North America, help to demonstrate the wide-ranging and long-term impact of the 45 on the British military establishment. Thank you very much.


Thank you so much for that talk Nicola, that was really interesting. We really appreciate you taking the time to join us. If you're interested in finding out more from our War Stories series, do have a look on the web and discover some other great speakers that we have.

Join us for a series of free events from Thursday 14–Sunday 17 April.

Book your tickets for the tours, online sessions and in-person tours and talks