Culloden and our Stolen History 225

Imagine that today’s Scottish Independence movement fades away to nothing – and then J K Rowling and Euan McColm get to write the history that defines what the Independence movement was, and what the Independence movement stood for. Then imagine the effect of 250 years of teaching the Rowling/McColm version in schools, universities and media narrative, until everybody absolutely “knew” that the 21st Century Scottish Nationalists were homophobic, racist, sexist, vicious xenophobes.

Well that is precisely analagous to what happened to the Scottish Jacobites. Almost everything you believe you know about the Jacobites is a deliberate lie. The effect has been to make us think of the Jacobites as on the wrong side of history, doomed, anachronistic and faintly ridiculous. This has succeeded in making Scottish nationalism ashamed of its historic roots, by comparison for example with the Irish, who revere their resistance fighters. It has thus helped blind Scotland to its colonial status, in a way the Irish were never blinded. The whole effect has contributed massively to the national inferiority complex.

Ireland has a much smaller population than Scotland and a fraction of the national resources. Yet yesterday it released economic statistics that showed its economy growing at 4.5%, when income per capita already exceeds Scotland’s by 25%. The national inferiority complex that leads so many Scots to believe that Ireland can be a very successful independent country but Scotland never could, is in many ways rooted to the lies that state propaganda told us about ourselves and our history. And the Jacobites are a key part of that.

What is more, everything you are about to read here is not under serious academic dispute. This is now the accepted truth as unearthed by modern scholarship. This has been the case for a couple of decades now in History departments of our best universities – but has had zero effect on popular opinion, formed by centuries of propaganda.

Let me recommend to you Prof. Murray Pittock’s brilliant Culloden, published last year, and Maggie Craig’s Bare-Assed Banditti, which is written with less historian’s jargon. The book you really need is my next book, a biography of George Murray, but I still have two years’ more research to do before I can write it.

Here is a short list of myth-busting facts about the Scottish Jacobites.

1) Scottish Jacobites were in large majority Protestant, a mix of Episcopalian and moderate Presbyterian; they wished to wrest the state religion back from the extreme Presbyterians. They supported religious toleration – in that important sense they were much more “modern” than their opponents
2) Scottish Jacobites overwhelmingly did not, in any sense, support increased monarchical power or a rollback of constitutional government.
3) Scottish Jacobites wanted above all an Independent Scotland. The first major act of the Jacobites on taking Edinburgh was to repeal the Act of Union. Prince Charles Stuart, acting as Regent for James VIII, on 9 October 1745 did formally repeal the Act of Union. That’s something they didn’t tell you in school.
4) That is why they fought under the Saltire. This was overwhelmingly their banner at Culloden. It did not mean anything different then than it does now. When they carried their saltires at Culloden, they meant precisely the same thing that we mean when we carry them through George Square today.
5) One of the most pernicious lies is that there were more Scots on the British than the Scottish side at Culloden. This is completely untrue – by a margin of four to one. The maximum fencible potential of Scotland at this time – the number of fighting men who could conceivably be put into the field given the population and other unavoidable economic activities – was 30,000. At its greatest extent the Jacobite army contained 12,000 Scots, and there was much turnover. A clear majority of the potential armed men Scotland could put into the field, at some stage turned out for the Jacobites.
6) The large majority of the Scottish Jacobites were not Highlanders.

The idea that it was the intellectually and emotionally stifling extreme Calvinism, the legacy of John Knox and the Covenanters and the begetter of the Orange Order and the Democratic Unionist Party, the most narrow-minded doctrine in all Western European history, which was the force for “modernity” and progress, is self-evidently risible. Yet we have all been taught to believe it and it is implicitly accepted in our received historical narrative.

Similarly we are taught that the defeat of the Jacobites was essential to bring in the Scottish Enlightenment, despite the fact that at least half of the key figures in the Enlightenment were demonstrably Jacobite in their sympathies.

Of course the Jacobites were not a “national” movement in that there was a sizeable minority of Scots who opposed them – just as there was in 2014 (in 2014 a minority of Scots as opposed to Scottish residents, a different question). And the pro-British minority of 1745 was founded in sectarian bigotry, the directly traceable ancestors of the fascist thugs who stormed George Square after the referendum. Those willing to come out on the British side naturally increased in 1746 after it became plain which side was going eventually to win. Just as Parisians turned out en masse to cheer Petain when he visited during Vichy. That does not make the Vichy French the main stream of French history.

By the time we get nine generations back to Culloden, we have 1024 direct ancestors. I can be reasonably certain from family history that some of of mine lie in mass graves with the Athollmen at Culloden. My parents used to live in Incheswood, close by the battlefield, in the days before it was fenced. I have probably visited the site over the years much more than most people. I have never done so without crying for those who died fighting for the cause which is the same cause I work for. We have very few monarchists in the Independence movement, and I am most certainly not one. But that is only one of the many psychological obstacles erected to alienate us from those who died in the very last battle of the Wars of Independence.

I have no shame in embracing this part of our history. Until we get comfortable with our history, our future will remain out of reach.

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225 thoughts on “Culloden and our Stolen History

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  • Patrick Wight

    Craig, great article.
    My ancestor (MacPherson) died at Culloden leaving his wife and wee son to walk from Kingussie to outside Huntly squatting there until the locals took her in and the family grew and did well in future years.
    I know that the government stole land from them but every time I enquire into this I’m told that there are no records and I’m met with a brick wall. How many other families were treated like this and how many families are no longer here to fight for what was truly theirs?
    The British have a blood stained history as we all know, maybe one-day karma will return and when it comes back to take them all out I want to be there just in case it needs some help.

    • MBC

      That would be the forfeited estates.

      The British government regarded the Jacobites as rebels, not opponents in war. Therefore forfeiture of property was the punishment as well as execution. There were no prisoners of war.

  • Mark

    I was surprised when my dad found a Culloden legacy in a name not traditionally thought of as Scots.
    But he traced 2 of Church of Scotland routes who fought at, and were deported after Culloden.
    We do not know our own history, and there’s a reason for it.

  • Marg Mitchell

    Interesting read, and thanks for recommending further reading. I often think about what our ancestors went through, not only on the battlefield but afterwards. The clearances also very sad and coming to this harsh beautiful land, Australia.
    I can’t imagine.
    An elderly neighbor had a painting of the battle and she used to tell me about it.

    • Brianfujisan

      It’s A Brilliant post.. some comments too.. I can confirm with those who say we were never taught ANY Scottish history in School NOR THE HIGHLAND DANCES… Youngsters from the Protestant Schools are showing me… Divide..Divide..And Laugh and HIDE


      There were No Fierce Bloody battles Against A naked Native people in Australia…… Few humans can fight Naked against Guns

      • Brianfujisan

        ” Youngsters from the Protestant Schools are showing me.” . The Highland Dances…. That should read

        • Sharp Ears

          At an all girls school in the 50s, in Bournemouth!, we were taught Scottish country dancing, I think it was called. The Head was a Miss Macpherson, a stern lady in her cap and gown, and woe betide you if called to her presence for any misdemeanour which could be as trivial as not wearing your panama hat (summer) or beret (winter).

  • yesindyref2

    Kind of fits my thoughts and reading, though I didn’t know about the repeal of the Acts of Union. Interesting. There could be some arguable legality to that in spite of the eventual outcome, depends on who signed the repeal. But whatever else is said, you have to come down to the fact that in 1745 the guy landed with just 7 men and raised the standard at Glenfinnan. Which is something “history” tries to smear by calling him a coward or a poor general, or a fop or …

    Yeah, right. Butcher Cunberland indeed, it wasn’t just people he butchered, men, women, children, it was history, language, dress and culture – and reputation. He started it, and it still hasn’t stopped.

    Don’t think Burns liked them all the same, both rewritten and original version:

    • yesindyref2

      Just an additional point about the “legality” of that. The Act of Union with England (never mind “acts plural, that’s a red herring, two totally different parliaments and acts even if the wording was the same), came into effect on 1st May 1707, but for that to come into effect, the Scottish Parliament had to be dissolved first. But it had adjourned and there was perhaps a little intimidation and gold in play to prevent the reconvening – it was said that some were going to repeal the act when it did reconvene. Catch-22 for the basically English monarchy and parliament.

      So Queensberry caused a proclamation through the streets of Edinburgh dissolving the parliament before the 1st May. But arguably the authority for doing that wouldn’t come into effect until – the 1st May 1707. So the proclamation itself was of dubious legality. Which means the Scottish Parliament was still adjourned, not dissolved, Hence why the signators could be important, as if the signators were ancestors of the original members, it could be argued they carried the authority through the generation(s), and formed a quorum, as they weren’t really elected in the first place. Messy thing, history, specially if it happened to be based on facts.

      Much easier if a majority of Scotland just votes YES next time, all the same.

      • yesindyref2

        Oh dear, that leads to another interesting conclusion involving the UN and the Special Committee on Decolonization, but I wont go into that one!

      • yesindyref2

        Seems to be more anti-war than anything else.

        My favourite Burns is Caledonia – A Ballad. Scotland in his eyes, and mine.

  • Sharp Ears

    Sunday papers in Scotland

    Scotland on Sunday leads with “Fringe star” Alex Salmond attacing the SNP’s handling of the Michelle Thomson affair.

    The Sunday Mail says Alex Salmond “lashed out” at Nicola Sturgeon over the treatment of fraud probe MP Michelle Thomson.

    The Sunday Herald also leads with the former SNP leader, but on the line that he believes Scotland will be independent in four years.

    The Sunday Post says there have been at least 79 knife crime incidents in Scottish schools since Aberdeen schoolboy Bailey Gwynne was stabbed to death in 2015.

  • Louraine Millington

    Well said, the History needs to be righted. Independence is every persons God given right.

  • Mark Rowantree

    Well done Craig on pointing out the latest scholarly interpretations of the political philosophy of Scottish Jacobitism.

  • william gordon nelson

    i also believe that even today media ,films etc tend to portray scots in the worst possible way we have a inferiority complex which the no movement prey on, little by little we are beginning to overcome thanks to the success of the SNP ,the yes movement and just as important social media are giving us the truth and at last people are beginning to realise our real potential as a country it is so important that you continue to debunk these unionist propaganda lies in everyway

  • Stu

    “A JACOBITE seems to be a TORY, who has no regard to the constitution, but is either a zealous partizan of absolute monarchy, or at least willing to sacrifice our liberties to the obtaining the succession in that family to which he is attached.”

    David Hume’s opinion of jacobites.

    • Cynicus

      ” David Hume’s opinion of jacobites.”

      The opinion of one of the (unintentional) founding fathers of the Whig interpretation of history which, although he does not name it, is what Craig is really attacking in this piece.

      • Trowbridge H. Ford

        But there is something to the Whig interpretation if properly applied rather than the current Tory one. It claims that high politcs, rather than the deep state and popular protest, should still be the driving focus on political history.

        That’s why a wrote my most detailed biography of Henry Brougham, maintaining that though be never became PM, he was still the most important British politician between Lords Liverpool and Palmerston.

        And David Hume could still be wrong.

        • Cynicus

          “David Hume could still be wrong.”
          In his opinion of Jacobites? I don’t think that is what you mean.

          I share your admiration for Brougham, renaissance man and reformer who built greatly on the legacy of Wilberforce in campaigning for the abolition of slavery.

          I regret that I have not read your book -so much so that I resolve to acquire a copy and read it.

          • Trowbridge H. Ford

            Thanks, Cynicus.

            Anyone can be wrong on anything or anybody if he doesn’t know the facts, like why Dr. Kelly was assassinated.

            There are two books on Brougham who tried to make the moribund Pact of Union work. The Scots should have built a statue of him, and second book is much bigger than the first when Brougham was Lord Chancellor, actually or de facto.


        • Trowbridge H. Ford

          You can just imagine British security services, especiallly MI6, going bonkers when Kelly planned to expose who killed Georgi Markov, making Christopher Andrew’s explanation in The Sword and The Shield,(pp .388-9) just UK propaganda, thanks to Oleg Kalugin’s lies rather than .Vasili Mitrokin’s Archive.

          Seems Sir John Scarlett had the plug on Kelly pulled.

  • fred

    “By the time we get nine generations back to Culloden, we have 1024 direct ancestors.”

    One thousand and twenty four souls all of whom played an equal part in who you are but only one of them carried your name.

  • David Selkirk

    All i hear during Scottish Indy debates is economy, economy, economy, little consideration is given to the fact we are also fighting for our identity, our culture, our heritage, our values. “The truth will set us free”

    • fred

      Take a look at a retail park anywhere in Scotland, it will look exactly like a retail park anywhere in Britain. It is that way because that is how people want it see how they flock there every Saturday and if you are fighting that you are fighting against the people of Scotland.

      • Node

        “Take a look at a retail park anywhere in Scotland, it will look exactly like a retail park anywhere in Britain.”
        …. because only chain stores can afford to sell there – small commercial units are not made available.

        “they flock there every Saturday”
        …. because parking restrictions make it inconvenient and expensive to visit town centres.

        “It is that way because that is how people want it”
        No – because town planners want it. People have little choice.

        “…. and if you are fighting that you are fighting against the people of Scotland.”
        This must rank as your weakest ever anti-nationalism ‘attack.’

        • fred

          “No – because town planners want it. People have little choice.”

          Which planet do you live on?

          We’ve not long had a retail park here and before we did people were traveling the hundred miles to Inverness every Saturday in droves. Children in Scotland want a McDonald’s just same as children anywhere in Britain. Identity isn’t being taken it’s being given freely.

          • Node

            Which planet do you live on?

            Which part of my comment does not apply to your planet? BTW, none of the retail parks in Inverness have a MacDonald’s.

          • Loony

            McDonald’s are a notoriously litigious enterprise.

            I do wonder whether they take kindly to your observation that “none of the retail parks in Inverness have a McDonald’s”

            McDonald’s themselves seem to believe that they have an outlet with an address of Inshes Retail Park, Sir Walter Scott Drive, Inverness IV2 3TW.

            From your perspective the relevant part of the address would be RETAIL PARK

          • Node

            Come and get me, McDonald’s, if your lawyers think they’re hard enough. Inshes isn’t a retail park, it’s a Tesco’s overspill carpark.

          • Loony

            So we now learn that in Scotland a retail park is not a retail park, but a Tesco over spill car park.

            This raises the question as to whether Scotland is being adversely discriminated against by the Royal Mail. In the UK postcodes and addresses are allocated by the Royal Mail Address Management Unit. For the McDonald’s in question they have allocated an address in Inshes Retail Park and not an address in a Tesco over spill car park.

            Perhaps you should raise this matter with the Royal Mail. Whilst you are at it you may want to contact the Inverness Environmental Health Office as I am confident that McDonald’s are not authorized to conduct its trade from a car park. The relevant Environmental Health Office is located at 38 Harbour Road Inverness IV1 1UF. (Unless of course the Royal Mail are lying about that as well)

            I look forward to hearing how you get on as only 2 alternatives seem to exist (i) the Royal Mail is operating an anti Scotland agenda and McDonald’s are in material breach of most of its many licences or (ii) You are making things up.

            Oh how I wonder what the answer may be.

          • Node

            My apologies, Loony, for not taking this as seriously as you. Please allow me to remedy that. I took your advice and tried to contact Inverness Environmental Health Office but he was down at Caley football stadium – not expected back soon. However I think I see the source of your confusion. You are unaware that ALL of inverness is a Tesco overspill carpark. I refer you to :

    • ian

      “The truth will set us free”and “our ass will follow”.A classic funkadelic track;Kind of sums up our whole movement towards independence;

  • Sharp Ears

    Neil Oliver
    Historian Neil Oliver has been walking through Scotland’s past in new documentary
    Tracing the story of Scottish emigrants to Canada has brought TV historian Neil Oliver to revealing the unlikely connection between the two nations.

    Zut. Alors!
    ‘This programme is not currently available on BBC iPlayer
    The Hector: From Scotland to Nova Scotia
    Neil Oliver recounts the story of the 1773 highland migrants who left Scotland to settle in Nova Scotia. He uncovers their terrifying journey on a filthy disease-ridden ship – the Hector. Neil describes how the migrants were deceived by speculators and goes on to meet their descendants. For some in Nova Scotia, the Hector has become little short of a Canadian ‘Mayflower’.’

    • Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh

      Comprehensive research into historical Gaelic-speaker emigration to Canada, including coverage of clearances, in Michael Newton’s fine recent book: ‘Seanchaidh na Coille/ Memory-Keeper of the Forest: Anthology of Scottish Gaelic Literature of Canada’, Edited by Michael Newton, Cape Breton University Press, Sydney, Nova Scotia, 2015.

      “[R]ecent research has revealed that Scottish Gaelic was the third-most spoken European language at the time of (Canadian) Confederation. And yet today, apart from scattered homesteads in Nova Scotia, not only has the language receded from the immigrant communities that once spoke it, but it has practically disappeared from public memory. The descendants of Gaels, who once described themselves as bitter enemies of English speakers, are now categorized as ‘English Canadians’ with only occasional nods to the many distinctions that once divided them.” (from Introduction)

      Review on Bella Caledonia here:

    • Brianfujisan

      Hi Sharp Ears

      Can’t believe I bought Oliver’s book for our Head coach at Jiu Jitsu.. Quite a stir he and the bbc has caused among Some real Scottish historians..
      And I was Totaly Bedazzled by this Stream.. And the comments..Like What is all this.. Maybe Craig will find some of the content / Comments Useful, or interesting..Scratches Head –

      Your telling of ‘ The Hector ‘ Reminded me me of the story of the ‘ Annie Jane ‘, that became Shipwrecked off One My Fave Beaches in the Outer Hebrides ( Vatersay West Beach ) Where over 300 perished, mostly Migrants headed to Canada.. There is a memorial on the sand dunes where the drowned where buried.. I have Visited the Memorial a few times, and put a mark of my own on said beach..these aint wee pebbles btw, And all were put away again –

      Some of this ties in with Your Tale of the Stern Highland dancing teacher.. It has been Damn Frustrating to go Every Christmas to Scotland’s Largest Ceilidh in Glasgow Barrowland… Where the Vatersay Boy take the roof off for a sold out crowd.. Tickets gone by September. These guys run Crofts, are postmen, bin men, on Isle of Vatersay..Amazing Phenomena.. had a lot of heart break recently the Barra, and Vatersay community.

      P.s Hope you are well.. and thanks for adding Links to one of my posts a few days ago… Cura Ut Valeas.

      pps Annie Jane –

      • Node

        Highland dancing lessons were compulsory in Dingwall academy when I was there. In the run up to the Christmas holidays, each class would be sent to the gym for a couple of hours of Jimmy Shand and excruciating embarrassment. Between tunes we had to line up against the wall bars, boys on one side and girls on the other, then choose a partner for the next dance. Hell hath no agony like that of a pubescent boy forced to publicly choose a girl – too fast and everyone knew you fancied her, too slow and get stuck with the dog (sorry, sorry, blame the times). I hated every minute of it until I left school, then never stopped being grateful for it.

        Nice to see our American cousins embracing the culture:

      • JOML

        I called into Bairds bar for a pint before going into the Barrowlands – and when we told the barman we were going to see the Vatersay Boys, he replied, “where are they from?”!
        Node – I’m very familiar with the scenario you describe, in that very same school too!

      • Sharp Ears

        Cheers Brian. I liked your poignant photo of your stones at Vatersay.

        It was very sad to read the litany of the names lost on the Annie Jane. Poor poor souls.

        My great grandfather was a master mariner on ships crossing the Atlantic out of Liverpool and on cable laying ships and then a pilot on the Mersey in his later years. I have a healthy respect for the sea and prefer dry land.

        Enjoy your time at Doune with the others.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Have a feeling that Brougham’s grandfather, Scottish historian William Robertson, played a big role in stopping Stuart heir Bonnie Prince Charlie from securing Edinburgh, and made it such a center against the Jacobites, helping explain why young Henry left for England and London.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Given the vagaries of human behaviour, I can be reasonably certain that while some of your ancestors fought for Charlie, an equal number fought for William, a majority died of other causes, many in the workhouse, a good number wound up in other countries, including, if you wish, England, several would still be assessed as criminals by current standards, and there’s probably a few aristoocrats’ unaknowledged bastards in there.

    No disrespect – go back nine generations in ‘my’ family, and it looks pretty similar. Got any Catholic bishops? I have.

    • Trowbridge H. Ford

      Well said, Ba’al, as I don’t approve of some of my forebearers, especiaally Pegrams and Johnsons who fought for the Confederacy which supported slavery during America’s Civil War.

      Can understand wanting too get rid of statues of leaders like Lee who fought for it. Would have supported those who supported getting rid of them at Charlottesville, not racist Trump who opposes them.

      History often ends up a dirty business.

      • Ba'al Zevul

        I’d differ politely with you there, Trowbridge. I can sympathise to some extent with the objection to removing Gen. Lee’s statue, as. like his politics or not, he was a notable general. and part of the history of the town. Did you know that the statue of ‘Butcher’ Cumberland was similarly removed from its London plinth in 1868? English public opinion, perhaps once the romantic tartan myth of Scotland had been invented by Scott and endorsed by Victoria, had swung against Cumberland in the succeeding century, and it was removed by popular demand. I’d have been against that move too: he served Britain faithfully – if not too competently (not just in repelling Charles) – and there are many worse rogues still commemorated in the city.

        The Lee statue isn’t an obvious focus for your local KKK. Its removal, on the other hand, is just that. And the pretty balanced Wiki entry on Lee makes me think he’s a much better candidate for a statue than Cumberland…

        Quite a guy, in fact.

        • Trowbridge H. Ford

          I’m totally opposed to statues for generals. Killing people is part of their job, and lots leave it at that.

          My father certainly deserves one, according to you, helping blunt the German attacks during the Battle of the Bulge for which he never even received medal.

          Love the City of Lexington. Kentucky being willing to move the statue of General John Morgan to just its Veterans Park. Morgan’s Rough Riders carried out guerrilla attacks on unprotected cities, particularlly in Indiana and Ohip.

          Morgan was a vicious bastard. and I shall leave the dubiety of the problem at that.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            Autres temps, autres moeurs. If we are to have a holocaust memorial* on Parliament Green, and it looks like we are, then I think we can leave a few equestrian statues to remind us of the horrors of war. And anything’s better than most of the public sculpture of tha last few decades.

            *celebrating one foreign culture immolated by another foreign culture, which we neither supported nor condoned

          • Ba'al Zevul

            I don’t think conflating Morgan with Lee helps your case. Lee, although a slaveowner, was not diametrically opposed to abolition, as far as I can gather, and didn’t join the confederates out of sympathy for secession, with which he is on record as having disagreed, but from loyalty to his native state of Virginia. By the standards of the time he seems to have been a pretty honourable and effective commander. And I hope, as a historian you’d join me in deploring the airbrushing of history. (Cf. the removal of Trotsky from pictures of the Soviet leadership in Stalin’s time.)

            As to Cumberland, as I said, there are worse bastards represented on horseback in noble poses up and down our fair country. One such being the Duke of Sutherland, whose phallic memorial at Golspie has so far survived informal attempts to topple it…our very own ethnic cleanser and a major contributor to the Highland diaspora in the US. I ‘d guess his actions killed more people than Cumberland did, and those were all civilians.

            Cumberland’s ‘no quarter’ order was enough to damn him completely, but again by the standards of the time it wasn’t completely unheard-of. In 1794, the French army was ordered to give no quarter to British and Hanoverian soldiers, and this provoked some serious sanctimoniousness on the part of the Crown, which had apparently forgotten all about Culloden. Here:


            under ‘Represailler’

            Lee’s part of your history. Cumberland’s part of mine. When their memorials go, so do the questions they raised. This is me asserting the inalienable right – and necessity – to remember the nasty people as well as the nice ones,

            Oh, and talking of the victors rewriting history, this one may appeal…


  • Al Ross

    Surely repealing the Act of Union should have been enacted by a parliament not a Prince acting on behalf of a King ?

  • Carnyx

    I think you’re in danger of creating an equally simplistic picture of Covenanters

    Some of my maternal family ancestors were hardcore Covenanters, noted ones, indeed one was suspected of involvement in the assasination of Archbishop Sharpe and had to flee to Leyden in Holland and didn’t return until the “Glorious Revolution”. A wing of this family, the one I’m descended from, then ended up in Ulster, presbyterian ministers in Belfast, but a whole load of them (several brothers and sisters) all migrated back to Glasgow in the first 5 years of the 1800s it seems as liberal Presbyterians they were involved in the United Irishmen’s rebellion against British rule and fled back to Scotland to avoid the reprecussions, like increasing Loyalism. It needs to be remembered that many Belfast Irish Presbyterians were involved with the United Irishmen and it was only after this that the Orange Order started accepting low church Presbyterian members, the British state promoted sectarianism and loyalism in order to get Presbyterians back on side.

    My father’s family were originally from the north east, the tale is his family is descended from someone who walked out of Glen Esk in the C17th and regestered in the parish of Laurencekirk. I once saw a record in Forfar museum of people in the Mearns executed for supporting the Jacobites, there were a number with my surname.

    I’ve always supposed that my family ancestors probably fought on both sides at Culloden, my mother’s family were more likely on the Hanoverian side, my father’s on the Jacobite, but my mother had the stronger Jacobite and SNP sympathies, not that my father opposed these, but lets say while being pro-Indy he didn’t trust the SNP and didn’t romantise the Jacobites.

    I subsequently see my support for independence as stemming from both a Covenanting and Jacobite heritage with no contradiction.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Still wonder if Henry Brougham’s criticism of Dugald Stewart’s book on Professor William Robertson is justified, claiming that he left out all the guidance and enlightenment that his greatuncle inspired.

    • Trowbridge H. Ford

      Don’t forget that Craig preferred to have dinner with Trump rather than alleged criminal Hillary.

      I would devour a shit burger by myself rather than dine with either of them on anything.

  • Bob Tateson

    There are some startling claims in this article. In the spirit of the Enlightenment I won’t decide whether I believe them till I read the evidence so I have ordered copies of both books you mention. But before I get down to studying them I’d like to make two points.
    1. How could the Jacobites repeal the Act of Union if the Scottish parliament wasn’t sitting – indeed it didn’t even exist any more. It doesn’t help to say that Charles did it as Reagent the trend of history was already moving away from autocratic sovereigns over ruling acts of parliament. In a way that was what it was all about.
    2. An Aunt Sally is the trick of setting up a preposterous idea and claiming victory by knocking it down. Very few people ever believed that “ there were more Scots on the British than the Scottish side”. ‘some’ Scots or a ‘fair number of Scots’ maybe.
    But with pro-independence morale a bit low at the moment a few stirring tales from the past will do no harm so long as your average SNP supporter in Glasgow can identify with those who fought at Culloden.
    Also the authors owe you a pint for every copy of their books you help sell.

  • Jacomo

    Interesting stuff Craig. I have also visited Culloden and felt a powerful emotional bond to ancestors who died there.

    But I do not get your distinction between Scots and Scottish residents in the 2014 referendum.

    Firstly, the voting rules for indyref is one of the most powerful pieces of evidence that Scottish independence is not a xenophobic movement. Your eligibility was a question of where you lived, not your ethnicity. A sharp and uncomfortable contrast with the EU referendum of course.

    Secondly – and this is purely anecdotal – I feel that a majority of the Scottish diaspora would have voted No if given the choice.

  • Lochside

    I managed to find on the internet, then unfortunately lose, a list of deportees to the Americas after Culloden. I was astonished to find most of them originated from the N.E mainly Aberdeenshire. Therefore, lowland Scots speakers, both presbyterian and Episcopalian. It also solved a conumdrum of the oft repeated story that Elvis Presley’s forebears came from Greenock circa 1745. Presley or more properly Pressley is an N.E. name and it would be more likely that ancient ‘King’s’ ancestor was a Buchan loon who was deported as a captured Jacobite.

    The part about the repeal of the Act of Union is amazing and certainly distressing that we were never taught this at school. I totally agree with Craig that the rubbishing of Jacobites and Bonnie Prince Charlie is a consistent propaganda exercise…romantic losers led by a drunk cross dresser etc. add in Mary Queen of Scots, in reality a beautiful and independent erudite woman but derided as weak, promiscuous and inferior to the ‘virgin’ Queen Elizabeth, cold and cursed with male pattern baldness, and a murderess to boot!

  • Ian McCubbin

    Thanks for sharing. For me it was lack of a history. I grew up in Girvan knew of Mote hill as a gathering place of clans. This was all I found out apart from Robert the Bruce did some recruiting there.
    In School no Scottish history but plenty English.
    Keep publicising.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Don’t you love how British arisoicrats are cashing in on the wind turbine business.

    The Duke of Beaufort, known for his contributions to the English countryside world couture, and now worth 120 million pounds, just died while involved in building 19 of them in Wales, near Swansea.

    The bloodsuckers never cease.

  • Ralph Liam

    “…in 2014 a minority of Scots as opposed to Scottish residents, a different question.” What is this based on? If it is true, should IndyRef 2 require anyone interested in voting to demonstrate their Scottish ancestry?

  • Frank Kemp

    The winners write history but if we are to rewrite it we have to stick to the facts.

    The Jacobites repealed the Act of Union after their victory at Prestonpans. Fine.

    A victory for Scottish Independence. But why did they throw it away by invading England?

    Why invade England to impose a Scottish king on the English?

    Napoleons march on Moscow was sensible by comparison.

    They can’t be called Wars of Independence.

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