Little Rebellions – Never Going Back


Treasury Board Papers, Account of State Prisoners at Marshalsea
12 July, 1746

John Read at Arne near Port Glasgow prayed to may never be sent again to France being forced into that Service to save himself from a Lingring death for want of victuals
Private Man taken in the Soliel Privateer and Committed 25th Janry 1745

Amongst the thousands of Jacobite prisoners taken during the Forty-five, which reflect the diversity of the movement both internationally and pan-culturally, a significant portion of these were regular or professional soldiers in the service of other countries. In the middle of the eighteenth century, the nation that made the largest non-Scottish contribution to the Jacobite army, as could be expected, was France. Though it was already fighting a frustrating war on the Continent against its old enemy Great Britain, maintaining a good relationship with the Scots on the northern border of the ‘Atlantic Archipelago’ made sound strategic sense and was seemingly worth the questionable support and, at least, lip-service to the Stuart cause.

In addition to harboring elements of the exiled Stuart Court since the Revolution, Louis XIV and XV were de facto enablers of the Jacobite cause, maintaining l’Auld Alliance not only to suit their own needs. France was in on Jacobite designs since at least 1701 (a year which featured the double-catastrophe of the War of Spanish Succession and the death of James II and VII), and it lent a significant force soldiers and materiel to attempted Jacobite invasions of Britain in 1708, 1715, and 1744-6. The only French troops that ever really saw significant fighting on British soil in the eighteenth century, however, were those companies and regiments from Scotland and Ireland in service to the two Louis.

A prisoner’s life…

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Little Rebellions – Soothing the Savage


Treasury Board Papers, Evidence Against Rebels in Newgate Prison
Likely Spring/Summer 1746

He was with some Players at Manchester when the Rebells
came there and he was sent to by some of the Princes (Privt?) Rebells & asked
if the Company could play Gustavus Vasa and the Witness saying no &
going away from ‘em when Colo Grant who knew the Witness at
Dunkirk asked him to go with him and said his Compa was all
Frenchmen and he wod be an Interpreter to them but the Witness
refusing Collo Grant threatened to Shoot him if he did not go with him
and took him under a Guard of Highlanders to Derby and back to

According to the testimony of Joseph Buodeu, a musician in Manchester at the time of the Jacobite army’s arrival there in late November of 1745, he was bullied into joining the rebels at gunpoint. This was not an unpopular claim from those captured by the government during the final rising. When faced with the terminal charge of high treason in the London courts and its consequence, the dreaded gibbet, it only makes sense that terrified prisoners and witnesses would swear that they were compelled by force to pick up arms against the Hanoverian king. It was, in essence, a Hail Mary.

So many had claimed impressment, in fact, that most scholars marginalize the significance of its presence, holding to the traditional maxim that such claims exacerbate the perceived severity of the Jacobite army’s actual recruitment tactics. My own findings contradict this marginalization, instead revealing in no uncertain terms that not only was the last Jacobite effort wholly decentralized and hardly popular, but that the need for armed supporters was so great that coercion – by fire and sword, through financial or emotional manipulation, or simply at gunpoint – was markedly rampant at specific points during the affair.

Coercing you to read on…

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