Books / Character Development / Sullatober Dalton / Uncategorized

Up to Culloden

 I watched Neil Oliver again and while admitting he was talking of the clans at the time of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s rebellion, I notice the comment that Charlie lost about a third of his ‘army’ when the clansmen went off to secure their booty passed without comment on that booty; where it was got and what they did to acquire it. Well, I admit I have not studied the subject in detail but from the time of the Roman invasion, I am unaware of a single instance where the people of the Lowlands decided, without provocation, to invade the country of the clans, or to lay claim to any of it. What angers me is that the incursion of the clans into the lowlands is regarded by historians as ‘romantic’ and glorify it as a gallant attempt to restore the main line of the Stuarts to the throne, something the democratic areas of Britain had rejected, twice. Looking at the Stuart period, in the civil strife of the 1650’s, the Lowland Scots did indeed invade English soil to assist the government forces to try to bring Charles I to the negotiating table but that led the Highlanders, under Montrose and his savage Irish ally Colkitto Macdonald to invade the Lowlands while its protectors were away. In 1689 they swept down under Viscount Dundee and another Macdonald. In 1708 the Stuarts were trying to create civil war again. In 1715, the Earl of Mar was gathering in the north and James Stuart was calling for volunteers to give their lives for him. They were at it again in 1719. Then in 1745, Bonnie Prince Charlie brought the Highlanders down through the country, from Edinburgh to Carlyle, eating their way into England, then back again to Inverness in the far north. What the romantics think they ate, I’m not sure. What we do know is that they were so loaded with goods (which, presumably, the inhabitants of the Lowlands and north of England donated to a kind of charity shop in the Grampians.) that they needed to send a third of their number to carry it home. Those who remained faced the wrath of a hundred years of aggravation.

Is it really surprising that Neil Oliver could mention that it was the Scots in the Government army, who were the most diligent in dealing severely with the Highlanders after Culloden?