Andrew Bamford ed., Rebellious Scots to Crush (Helion, 2020)
In Rebellious Scots to Crush, Andrew Bamford has collated seven essays relating to the military reaction to the Jacobite uprising of 1745. They relate primarily to military responses in England, though Bamford highlights two essays on Scottish forces raised to fight the Jacobites to further his thesis that this was not a war between England and Scotland but a civil war. The result is an entertaining and thought-provoking read.
In his introduction, Bamford places the essays in their context. He begins with an overview of the British Army from the Foot Guards through the numbered Foot regiments and artillery to the new units that had to be raised to fight the Jacobites and the foreign mercenaries who remained on the side-lines. Jonathan Oates leads the essay charge with his dissection of the 13th and 14th Dragoons before narrating their ignominious conduct in battle against the Jacobites who saw more of the horses’ tails than their muzzles. Mark Price follows the 13th Regiment of Foot on its campaign with an analysis similar to Oates’. They too fought at Falkirk but also marched with Cumberland to Culloden; Price includes a first-hand account of the battle that is well worth reading. Andrew Cormack ponders the Noblemen’s Regiments, 11 of Foot and 2 Cavalry, raised to help provide security during the rebellion then happily disbanded. Arran Johnston examines the Edinburgh Units: the Trained Bands that were anything but; the City Guard that tried but couldn’t defend the City; the Edinburgh Regiment that struggled to recruit; and the Edinburgh Volunteers who at least had an adventure to relate when they joined in at the Battle of Falkirk. Jenn Scott discusses the Argyll Militia; the problems they had getting organised and maintaining them. They took part in the rout at Falkirk, but not the battle, and fought at Culloden, taking part in its bloody aftermath too. Jonathan Oates uncovers the Yorkshire Blues raised for the civil defence of that County. Forty-one infantry companies were raised, quite easily compared to the Argyll Militia apparently, and they performed well as an armed police force, argues Coates. Andrew and Lacy Bamford look at a similar organization in the Derbyshire Blues. Derby was the turning point of the Jacobite advance south, though the Blues had little to do with that, choosing to make themselves scarce. The Bamfords also discuss the Chatsworth Contingent from Devon who came to Derby to assist the Blues in their non-participation. Appendices on organisation and orders of battle and regimental colonelcies conclude the book.
The seven essays in Rebellious Scots to Crush are uniformly interesting and illuminate an aspect of the Jacobite Rebellion in 1745 that has so far gone under the radar – there was certainly much more to this war than a couple of armies marching around while everyone else got on with their day jobs. And while I disagree with Bamford’s interpretation of this war, that did not detract from my enjoyment of the essays. Students of the ’45 will find much to entertain and inform them in this book.