Books / Character Development / Fergus Findlay: Drover / Sullatober Dalton

Jacobite Risings – Lenman

I was enthusing over the reopening of libraries when I found among my own books The Jacobite Risings in Britain by Bruce Lenman with much detail even about the 1719 expedition from Spain. The first thing I found was that the 1689 uprising led by Grahn of Claverhouse, Viscount Dundee, met defeat at Dunkeld, where Bonnie Prince Charlie’s grandson is buried. Closing the loop as it were.
What I like about Lenman’s book is it shows both sides On the one hand – One significant segment of support was derived from groups that were at best marginal and at worst positively criminal within the context of the society of the Gaelic-speaking Highlands. Here the prize example is Coll Macdonald of Keppoch, known all too accurately as Coll of the cows. … Coll Macdonald tried to plunder Inverness on his way to join Claverhouse. … Bought off with 4000 merks (a merk was 13s 4d Scots) after mediation by Claverhouse, the Macdonalds of Keppoch then embarked on an orgy of cattle thieving which acutely embarrassed the Jacobite general.
But again – The Jacobite army also contained men of upright life and proven honour attracted to the standard by a loyalty rooted in firm conviction.
The book also contains some interesting background – The merchant class of Glasgow, the most rapidly expanding burgh in late seventeenth-century Scotland, was very often recruited from the younger sons of local lairds. Provost walter Gibson was the son of a laird who apprenticed him to maltmaking. From that base Walter Gibson expanded his activities until he was the richest merchant in Glasgow in the 1680s … Much of Gibson’s wealth was based on the systematic violation of the English Navigation Acts, which aimed at excluding, in so far as was practical, the ships of third countries like Scotland from the direct trade between England and her colonies. Gibson brazenly disguised his ships as English vessels and brought St Nevis sugar across the Atlantic to refineries on the Clyde.
What more could a story teller wish for? Thieves, smugglers and a bit of fighting thrown in! I must finish the 1820 novel first thought before I get down to research of that 1719 story. It’s just one damn thing after another!Tales in old books

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