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.

225 thoughts on “Culloden and our Stolen History

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        • Peter Beswick

          I just love history.

          Chilcot’s, ably assisted by his joke writers.

          Shakespeare’s because it was/is entertaining.

          Churchill’s because he wrote it himself.

          And John Rentoul’s because of his view ““I think if you want to influence history, you’ve got to get down there and write it yourself”

          “History” can be a powerful propaganda weapon, it can convey a factual account from the perspective of the writer(s), it can be revised or obliterated.

          Accounts of a football game (excluding the BBC’s) can vary enormously depending on which side is being supported and even between unbiased pundits.

          Lord Hutton went down an unwelcoming dark alley into the annals of weird history when he stated;

          “Those who try cases relating to a death or injury (whether caused by crime or accident) know that entirely honest witnesses often give evidence as to what they saw at the scene which differs as to details. In the evidence which I heard from those who saw Dr Kelly’s body in the wood there were differences as to points of detail, such as the number of police officers at the scene and whether they were all in uniform, the amount of blood at the scene, and whether the body was lying on the ground or slumped against the tree. I have seen a photograph of Dr Kelly’s body in the wood which shows that most of his body was lying on the ground but that his head was slumped against the base of the tree – therefore a witness could say either that the body was lying on the ground or slumped against the tree. These differences do not cause me to doubt that no third party was involved in Dr Kelly’s death.”

          I’m happy for Craig to believe what he does (although he has got it wrong on here a number of occasions) and I am happy to believe that during contented times observers take away different impressions of an event, during turbulent times those differences can become violently scattered and give life to irreconcilable testaments.

          • JOML

            I think I know where you’re coming from Peter, but amused when you say that Craig has “got it wrong”, as this suggests you have got it ‘right’. Perhaps we need to be Dr Who and travel back in time to see who is right. For me, Craig has got a very reasonable case in his article, whereas you haven’t directly mentioned the topic of his article.

          • JOML

            PS. Peter, forgot to mention that Shakespeare and history shouldn’t be mentioned in the same sentence – my opinion, rather than a statement of fact. ?

    • 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.

    • 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

  • Socrates MacSporran

    Craig – how did a 24 carat, platinum-plated, diamond-encrusted natural fertiliser agitator and distributor like you ever get through the Civil Service entrance system?

    Wonderful stuff, as you say, an awful lot hidden from us.

  • JOML

    The history of Culloden, as popularly portrayed, is patronising shite. Your article is spot on.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Trust is fundamental to all human relationships including financial transactions. Whilst my family history on my Mother’s side is undoubtedly and very well documented as Scottish, on my Father’s side the evidence is quite overwhelming, that my Father’s ancestors were from The North West of France.

    They were Fishermen (quite possibly Huguenots) and they decided to leave France – and they landed in North East Yorkshire at Staithes…and asked the Yorkshiremen…

    Do You Want any Fish?

    “Voulez-vous une cargaison de poissons de bateau – Very Fesh – Still alive”

    In reality not much has changed since then.

    A few years ago, I put my car up on sale for ebay. I described it as honestly as I could. The highest bidder was a bloke from Lithuania.

    He flew from Lithuania, landed at Stansted and bought my car for £475. He then drove it back to Lithuania.

    My son has just agreed a swap with a German man, and he is now driving several hundred miles to do an exchange – no money involved. They are simply going to swap cars. This transaction is based purely on trust. My son has got another baby on the way, and he realises his boy racer days are over – or just confined to the track.

    I reckon it will work out. He should be back in the morning in a tank (7 seater).

    I did ask – how many kids are you planning?

    He’s a nice lad.


      • Tony_0pmoc

        JOML, nah, that was my car..I still got £475 for it. I did explain that it would not pass its MOT – unless you can be bothered to fit the new exhaust pipe that comes with it – in the boot. It was a very nice car, my mate was going to scrap it for £100 – in fact he nearly did..i said I’ll give you £200 for it (there was nowt wrong with it – except the battery and we bought one of them for £60 from Halfords on the way to collect it)

        He let me use his computer to switch the insurance..and then we got followed nearly all the way home by a cop (it was in the depths of South London)…they must have thought what the hell is this guy doing driving such a nice German car.

        The MOT had not expired. The car was completely Legal and Insured. It even had a current tax disc -well it looked current but he told us he had just SORNed it a few weeks before and asked the scrapyard to take it away.

        Nothing wrong with the car except it needed a new exhaust circa £1200

        I drove it for well over 1,000 miles before I put it up for sale.

        I’ve bought British since then. More reliable and refined than German and the parts are one tenth the price.

        There is also an Enormous Fan Club of old British Cars and Bikes. Keep them clean, Tart them up and they are worth a fortune.

        Mine are both taxed and insured and legal and on the road outside our house.

        “Madness – Our House (Official Video) ”


  • fred

    I do hope you will devote a few pages to the Jacobite Tory alliance it’s a subject so often overlooked.

    • JOML

      Craig’s a busy man, Fred. Perhaps you could help him out and provide the few pages you mention.

        • JOML

          Really, Fred? Perhaps you could “devote a few pages” to enlighten us all. We can always hope! ?

          • fred

            The Torys were Anglican not Protestant, their differences with Rome were political not theological. The Tories were Jacobite.

          • JOML

            So, Fred, why were you asking Craig to “devote a few pages” on a matter you cleared up in two brief sentences – or are things not a simple as you presume?

    • Cynicus

      “the Jacobite Tory alliance”

      Scottish Jacobites and Scottish Tories were one and the same. Let anyone who disputes this name one Whig who was “out” for the Prince.

      English Toryism also harboured some Jacobites, the most eminent being Dr Johnson, At high table in Oxford when the loyal toast was drunk to “the King!”, Johnson would append the word REVENIAT-“may he return.”

  • Hector

    “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).”

    How do you know?
    In every case: for Scots in 1745, for Scots in 2014 and for Scottish residents in 2014?

    • craig Post author

      Hector – these are fair questions. The simple answer is that in 1745 there were not a significant number of non-Scots living in Scotland so the question did not really arise.
      On the referendum, perhaps someone will give you a link but it is well documented from polls that a majority of those born in Scotland voted for Independence, and a very large majority of those born outside Scotland voted against Independence. That s not to say that all residents should not have been allowed to vote – they certainly should have. But it is nonetheless a fact.

        • Muscleguy

          There are reputed to be just under 200,000 EU citizens living in Scotland. The gap last time in straight numbers was 250,000. If an EU citizen in the next IndyRef does not vote Yes they are likely to be deported. So your last figure could get us damned close to the winning line. Anyone born outside of Europe looking at how Xenophobic much of England has become post Brexit and realising they need separating from it will vote Yes too.

          All the Nigerians I met during the last one were Yes. They know what it is to need independence from the UK.

  • Sora Lochiel

    Oh god, you are writing a biography of Lord George Murray?! That is so amazing! He’s my hero, and if BPC had just listened to him instead of throwing tantrums, everything might have gone very differently.

    I’m enjoying your Sikander Burns book very much, but that’s never been a period or place I’ve been very interested in (and I can’t review it because I’m basically just ignorant).

    That won’t be so with Lord George Murray and I look forward to leaving a glowing review!

    Write more quickly, will you? 😉 I can’t wait!

  • Linsay Stevenson

    Thank you for this, Craig. I thought I knew my Scottish history, but this is an eye opener and helps to dispel the schizophrenic split induced by the standard version of the ’45 versus my gut reaction to wholeheartedly support the Jacobites. Sometimes the instinctive, response is the right one.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    There is an interview of CM on Consortium News about what he claims was a US domestic leak, and not a Russian hack, making other absurd claims like the USndoesn’t want to breakup Russia.

    Craig should be prepared for an MI5 intrusion to check his information and contacts for the Mueller Inquiry.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Mark DC, when you chose your handle “Mark DC” when you were logging on to wherever for the first time…did you think about what you were going to type for more than 10 seconds?..

    I didn’t – I’m still using the same handle – slightly reconfigured cos I keep getting banned.

    So what? Mark DC….(and I understand your point)

    “But you’re not even Scottish?”

    that would be rather funny after an hours debate at Dundee University students union when you turned up in your first year and spoke Craig (had been there for about 6 years) but its a bit dour now…Try again with a few more words. You are not posting from Washington DC are you?

    Where were you born? and what is Your Date of Birth?

    How else can we sing happy birthday to you unless you tell us the truth.


    • Tony_0pmoc

      Mark DC, That was so intense it was ver$£”43y heavy…but the thing is – despite all that, you do rather like Craig Murray don’t you? So far as I am aware I heve never met him, he is a nice bloke. We are both posting on his blog – on his ink. Do you work for info wars? If not ask the bloke from Sheffield to give you are job for when he’s on holiday. I like a bit of passion. Can you speak as fast as you write?

      “Paul Joseph Watson: I won’t be around much longer”


  • Finlay Macleoid

    Not even one mention of the Gaelic language and culture. Just the usual thoughts from an English viewpoint in Scotland. So nothing new there then.

    • JOML

      Finlay, the consequences for Gaelic following Culloden were catastrophic, but I don’t see how this detracts from the other aspects of Craig’s article. I’d understand if you wanted to add to these cultural aspects to the article but can’t understand why you want to undermine it, solely because it wasn’t comprehensive.

  • m boyd


    I made the point about Pittock’s book on wee ginger dug a couple of days ago. The really interesting point I found he made was the lie of Cumberland’s tactic of “parry to the left”. This is complete and utter Unionist invention which predisposed that the Jacobites carried swords rather than muskets and pistols. Tony Pollard’s work which I read independent of Pittock disproved the lack of Jacobite firearms and found evidence of greater Jaconite musketry at Culloden than British. I can’t help but feel the Cumberland myth was to demonstrate the atavistic primitive nature of the Jacobites ( who actually followed the French quick firing highly mobile military doctrine adopted in the 19th century by the Prussian to evolve into the Blitzkrieg doctrine) . The English of course showed their primitiveness by the methods of punishment meted out to Jacobites in contradiction to the Independence of the Scottish legal system. We never learn!

  • Alan Webster

    The first book I was given was Kidnapped and it started me on a road that led me to a History Degree and a PhD. I am glad articles like this are now made public and Scots can learn their actual true history.
    Murray is also a hero of mine and I keep rereading the Winifred Duke book which brings him to life and I look forward to learning more from another source.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    And I have long thought that the insurrections in Scotland in the 18th century were because the English refused to go along with implementing the terms of the Ac\t of Union, creating a Great Britain without any Scots or Englishmen.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    I am BREXIT for I think very similar reasons that The English Craig Murray is For Scottish Independence.

    We both can’t stand the idiots in control in London…

    But I can’t stand the idiots in control of the EU and The USA…

    Apart from that we are both English and I think largely on the same side.

    I like The English. I also like the Scots (especially their musicians).

    My Norwegian Dentist is very nice..and I keep going back to her…but I still can’t think of the name of a Norwegian Musician..and she has asked me. So I got home and asked my wife…She instantly said “a-ha”. Clever girl.

    “a-ha – Take On Me (Official Video)”


  • Hugh O'Donnell

    It’s about time someone wrote a decent book about Lord George Murray . I do hope you are going to discuss the discrepancies between Murray’s “complaint” letter of 6th January 1746 and Charles’ reply ? If Lord George did indeed offer to stay an extra day at Lancaster and then to command a garrison of Athollmen to hold Carlisle (which he considered a suicide mission) would that not suggest that he had abandoned all hope of a Jacobite victory following the retreat from Derby ? Which then begs the question : Why did he argue so strongly for retreat in the first place ?
    I look forward to your book !

    • craig Post author


      Interesting questions; Pittock thinks also he should have tried to hold the south of Scotland after Falkirk. Murray had never believed victory was possible in the sense of capturing control of England; but more than that, he had always viewed the entire venture as a doomed mission to which he was morally obliged. Some of his personal front line intervention in skirmishes (and he was by the standards of the day already an old man) would suggest he was possibly seeking martyrdom from an early stage.

      More interesting to me is why Murray – a younger son of the not quite Highland Atholl dukedom – was viewed by the soldiers as the undisputed leader of the clans, for whom at Carlisle the rank and file were prepared pretty unanimously to defy Charlie.

      It will be an interesting book.

      • MBC

        Craig, I have a doctorate in Scottish history. Scottish historians do not rate Pittock or his romantic fascination with the Jacobites. No doubt as in any movement there were Scots who rallied to his cause for a variety of reasons including dissatisfaction with and detestation of the union. Most of this was however sentimental. As by 1745 the Scottish economy was beginning to emerge from the recession caused by the economic shock of the customs union. Benefits of the union were beginning to appear; support for Scottish manufacturing and access to the British empire and its ill gotten gains. But Charles had no interest in Scotland, he just used the remnants of loyalty to the Stuart cause and anti-union feeling in order to gain the British throne. That was the prize he was set on, not Scottish independence. He was a phoney, just like Corbyn and the Labour Party who only used Scotland as a launch pad for British power. If he had been interested in Scottish independence why did he bother marching on England? He could have and should have stayed in Scotland and re-established the Scottish Parliament and Scottish sovereignty. Instead he embarked on a disastrous attempt at taking England which failure brought catastrophe for the Highlands. He was a tube.

        • craig Post author

          You are indeed correct that Charles had a very different agenda to the Scottish Jacobites. I nowhere argue that we should revere Charles.
          You are strangely wrong about the attitude to Pittock. It was Chris Whatley, widely regarded as the senior unionist historian of the period and a man who admires much in the Hanoverian settlement, who commended Pittock’s Culloden to me, And nobody now doubts the Scottish Jacobites were motivated by a desire to repeal the Union – a basic fact which has been deliberately hidden by historians for centuries.

          • MBC

            There were umpteen Jacobite rebellions. The first was in 1708 and it did indeed draw on the opposition to the union. It gained little support and was limited to a small area of the country because badly planned and resourced. In 1706 there had even been a foiled joint Jacobite-Covenanter plot to stop the union happening in the first place (the Covenanters also opposed the union with Erastian England) that was strangely betrayed by the leader of the Country Party opposition, the Duke of Hamilton. Apparently he took cold feet at the last minute as he feared a massacre by an invading English army of his countrymen. But the truth is he was a tube. Even his mother (the redoubtable Anna, who had once fired a cannon at Cromwell) said so. It was the Moderate Party of the Church of Scotland which supported the union – at the radical fringes the extremists were opposed. Orangeism is foreign to Scotland and was imported from Ulster by Irish Protestant immigrants in the 19th century. There were also other anti-union rebellions which were not Jacobite such as various malt tax riots. A major one in 1725 in Glasgow. Then there was the Porteous Riot in Edinburgh in the 1730s, which was ostensibly about support for a hanged popular smuggler, but drew on the anger felt by the crowd about the import tariffs placed by the union on traditional patterns of trade with France and the Low Countries which affected the economy in many parts of the country, principally Fife and the Lothians. Even Adam Smith noted that the union had been ruinous to trade ‘at first’, and remembered the ships rotting in the harbour at Kirkcaldy when he was a boy. He wrote the Wealth of Nations to prove that free trade was more beneficial than the English system of mercantilism that the union brought in. The union increased taxation in Scotland six-fold but it was many decades – well into the 19th century – before the excise could be enforced, such was the degree of popular opposition to the imposition of these import tariffs. Even ministers joined in with the rest of the community in assisting local importers avoid the excisemen, because of the severe economic impact it was having on the local economy. Though taxation increased six fold by the union, in the years that followed the tax yield in Scotland was half what it had been in low-tax, pre-union Scotland. That was the scale of fiscal non-cooperation.In 1712 a vote to dissolve the union at Westminster narrowly failed by three PROXY votes. In 1715 there was the first Jacobite rebellion, and this had the best chance of any of them to succeed. Then there was another minor attempt in 1719. In short, there has never been a time in Scotland when the union wasn’t opposed. What has prevented its dissolution is that Scotland was often divided politically, and the Crown and its ministers were clever enough to avoid pushing it too far. Like any clever parasite they were careful not to exhaust their host but just draw off the maximum amount of blood without inflicting impairment of health. The union brought stability and eventually opportunity as the British Empire expanded. It was grudgingly accepted but seldom loved (except by a few at the top). The management of Scotland has deep roots and those who manage us now have had three centuries of practice. Dissent was carefully managed by the Unionists to prevent outright rebellion. Only the desperate joined with the Jacobites in 1745. Many Highland chiefs told Charlie to go home. They had no love of the Hanoverians or the union. But they had learned to live with it. In short, the union was not loved but on the other hand, it was not that bad either. This is the dilemma we have faced ever since. Mediocrity and under-development is the measure of the union. Not oppression.

      • m boyd

        My German girlfriend’s father had a yacht in Medemblik, Netherlands and I would go sailing each year until fairly recently. He then moved it and I then discovered Murray lies in the graveyard next to Medembli harbour. I keep trying g to see his grave. Pittock disputes his ability though.

      • Hugh O'Donnell

        Thanks for the reply Craig . If you allow me just one more reflection . I am no fan of royalty however even on the Jacobite side there is a plethora of literature which follows the Chevalier de Johnstone’s reasoning that if Murray had simply been left in charge then the campaign would have been victorious and that Charles was something of a fool . This smacks of of the rewriting of history as much as the examples you gave in the above article (but I’m sure you are already aware of this ) . Lastly , beware the lattant anti-Irish undercurrent of Fitzroy McLean’s book on Charles … an otherwise interesting book (though rife with many of the suppositions you describe above ) .. Good luck with the book .. Can’t wait !

  • Carolyn Seggie

    EXCELLENT! I write as someone with a very strong long term interest in Jacobite History and as a member of several Jacobite societies/groups. We are consistently fighting to have the truth told in the face of massive distortion of facts in both fiction and non-fiction. For example though I am aware Outlander is fiction it gave a very bad portrayal of the Prince which has done a great deal of damage.

  • Alexander McMillan

    Thank you for this article. I have studied the history of the period and read different accounts and opinions of the events. I am from north Argyll and a Cameron, I’m sure some of my ancestors are forever on that moor.
    Culloden should not have been the end of the struggle for independence, it should have sparked the beginning of a wider national movement.

    The greatest tragedy is the post Culloden ethnic cleansing of the Highlands and the divisive programme designed by the English to create the disdain with which Highlanders were regarded by fellow countrymen for generations

    • JOML

      Thank you, Alexander, for using the term “ethic cleansing”, as this clearly states what British Government policy was for decades, if not longer, afterwards. When I use the term, some think I’m exaggerating.

  • sheena godley

    I am a descendent of Cameron of Locheil,it is my family’s history and the stories from that I remember.My father was exceptionally proud of his family’s history,yet he was a Unionist and I am a Scottish Nationalist,he voted Tory,I have always voted SNP.
    We had more in common than he thought,we both think Scotland is more or less God’s country…I just see it as being free and Independent,and that those who live and work here have a right to form the country we want.

  • Dave

    Except exchanging London rule for Brussels rule isn’t independence and pretending it is, is intended to avoid the charge of “racism”, which is a bit short-sighted if Scots become outnumbered in their own country. Honesty about that rather than Culloden would be more helpful to the cause of independence.

    • JOML

      So, Dave, given ‘Brexit’ has yet to happen, are you suggesting the U.K. is currently under “Brussels rule”, given you think Scotland would be if they left the U.K. umbrella? If not, your position is confusing.

    • kathy

      The EU is vastly more democratic than the UK within which Scotand is virtually a colony.

    • Muscleguy

      The amount of sovereignty we have to share to be an EU member (remember sovereignty is pooled in Europe) vs the amount we have to cede, not share with Westminster is of the order of 10 fold less.

      That you do not realise that suggests me that you are either uninformed or more likely given that your words are verbatim leave propaganda misinformed about the EU. Don’t feel bad, there is an awful lot of it about. Just inform yourself better.

      We get an extraordinary amount of sovereignty back through Independence.

      The English are far more obsessed with the EU because they take other peoples’ sovereignty and hold it from them rather than share theirs willingly. EEC accession was economic necessity in the aftermath of the loss of Empire.

      It is not well known but the UK received just as much Marshall Plan money as Germany. Except while the Germans spent theirs on machine tools and rebuilt and modernised their industry the UK spent theirs on arms and armies to hang onto parts of the Empire that little bit longer. It paid for the Malaya Emergency, the Kenyan Independence struggle you probably know as the Mau Mau Rebellion. The Kenyan government gives Mau Mau veterans a war pension. The Indian govt gives the INLA who fought against the British with the Japanese war pensions too.

  • MBC

    Craig, if the Jacobites wanted independence for Scotland, why did Charles Edward Stuart march on England? Charles was never interested in Scotland. He wanted the British throne. Just like Labour. Scotland was just a stepping stone to be stood on.

    • craig Post author

      MBC you claim to be a historian. You cannot be a very good one if you can’t differentiate between Charles and the Scottish Jacobites. The Edinburgh Council of War agreed to march on England by one vote. The large majority were against it but enough were swayed by Charles’ insistence he would march on London alone if need be. The nutter would have too. Whatever you say about Charles, he had all the courage of the Sobieski warriors he was descended from.

      • Martin Odoni

        Beware confusing recklessness and naivety with courage. Charles had almost no concept of what a full-scale battle was really like. When things started going up the wall at Culloden, he was the first to run from the field in terror, leaving the soldiers who had fought for him to be slaughtered in his stead.

      • MBC

        It’s not in dispute that Charles wanted different things from his followers, but you can’t separate them in the way you do. There were plenty of others who would have liked to see the end of the union and the Hanoverians who would not follow Charles because they did not trust his leadership skills, his chances of success, or his wider agenda. Rebellion (if unsuccessful) meant the loss of everything you had including your life. That means damning your children and any other of your dependents to dispossession as well. Those who followed him were by and large desperadoes. There were some notable exceptions like Murray. The problem we have faced for three centuries is a competent leader who could inspire and unite the entire country enough to overthrow the union.

        What are you trying to prove? That the union was universally loved? It was not. Even today most of those who voted No weren’t anti-Scottish or pro-Union. They just didn’t think the risks were worth it and in part that’s because for them the union (though unloved) isn’t that bad. It was the same in the 18th century.

      • Kempe

        You’ve quietly ignored the role of French king Louis XV who bankrolled Charles to take the British throne. Had he not done so the French would’ve withdrawn their support and wanted their money bank.

        A previous attempt by the French at regime change had failed. At the invitation of several Jacobite English aristocrats and MPs 10,000 French troops were to have landed in Essex but poor weather and the Royal Navy intervened. Sending Charles to Scotland with a mere two ships loaded with money and supplies (one of which didn’t make it) was a very much a Plan B and a half hearted one at that.

        In isolation the ’45 can be dressed up as a strike for Scottish independence but taken in context with the continuing war in Europe and the general unpopularity of the Hanoverian dynasty it looks very different.

        • MBC

          Exactly. You can’t really separate the Scottish Jacobites from the man whose restoration they fought for and those influential international figures who backed him. Maybe Craig is trying to do a history from below to show that the Jacobites actually wanted completely different things from the man they followed. If so, they were tragically misled.

  • Mark Anthony France

    Correction to first sentence on third paragraph which said “Ireland has a much smaller population than Scotland”
    Ireland’s population is today bigger than Scotland at around 6.6 Million – 4.77Million in the 26 Counties and 1.81Million in the 6 Counties… Scotland’s population is today about 5.5.
    Of Course if it wasn’t for the detrimental effects and affects of British Imperialism both Nations would have significantly larger populations today – In fact Ireland’s population in the 1831 Census was recorded at around 8 Million making it the only Nation in Europe with a lower population than it had 186 Years ago

  • giyane

    I am curious about Scottish Christianity. As an outsider it seems so understated compared with English or Welsh versions, also less prone to moral hypocrisy and less mixed with Politics. English tribalism was destroyed by the Normans so since then there have only been 2 tribes, Normans and everyone else. The tribalist rivalries of the Scottish would drive us nuts. Maybe it drives them nuts. We cannot continue to be ruled by the coloniser values they represent.

    Craig is making 3 main points here:
    1/ One thousand years of the Norman elite in the UK has got to stop. The world cannot continue to be ruled by the coloniser values they represent.

    2/ Norman fake news about Scotland has got to stop

    3/ As a part-Englishman, Scottish narrow-minded tribalism drives him nuts

    Like Siamese twins we seem to be joined at the hip.

    • jake

      Scottish tribalism is anything but narrow minded; there is no subject on earth, in this world or the next on which we Scots can’t fundamentally disagree.
      or, do you want to make something of it?

  • Roderick Russell

    I look forward to your biography of Lord George Murray whom I have often wondered about. This interesting Jacobite General seems to me like a fish out of water fighting for what he must have known was a lost cause. In the near two centuries after Culloden Scotland prospered greatly with its leadership in the enlightenment, in the industrial revolution, and in scientific achievement. There was no national inferiority complex then. What has gone wrong?

  • Alexander Sutherland

    It’s quite upsetting to know throughout my life that English history was more important at school than our own. The contempt i have for Waistmonster will stay with me for the rest of my life. And it really fills me with shame to hear Scottish politicians bolster this Union the lies and deceit all to maintain control of Scotland and it’s resources for the greedy establishment of London who seem to exploit the whole country for its own ends. Please forgive me i have just smashed another soap box.

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