Transcript for HoS 82

This episode, everyone, I would like to try an experiment. Obviously we have work to do – and important work it is; the immediate aftermath of the ’45. I thought though that I would start with a different approach with some lives, going back a bit for a couple of reasons. One is, frankly, that it will allow me to have a bit of fun and tell you the story of the outrageous Simon Fraser, 11th Lord of Lovat. I understand he appears in the freaky TV drama Outlander, which I haven’t seen but some of you may have done, and so you might like to know something about the real historical figure. My more worthy reason is to illustrate some of the jinks and shimmies some of Scotland’s elite families had to make, or chose to make, during an extraordinarily turbulent period in Scottish history.

So Simon Fraser then. I may say with complete confidence, that he will live a long and tolerably eventful life, from about 1667 to 1747. He was born into the clan Fraser, a junior offshoot of the Clan house Fraser of Lovat; they are right up at the North of the Great Glen, centred on Beauly, there by the sea. I think we have made the point that often Highland clans and chiefs were less concerned with national politics, whether that be Scottish or more latterly British, and Simon Fraser’s life demonstrates this. Much of his obsession and excesses will be to secure his inheritance from competitors – clan MacKenzie and the Athol Murrays.

He’ll go to some lengths, but his upbringing until 1695 seems quite standard; tutored at home, he does well, has a range of languages including Latin. Scotland was blessed with five universities, so he was able to go to university in Dundee. The Clan Fraser was essentially Jacobite by tradition, Protestant episcopalian, supporting the ancient house of Stuart – and his brother fought and died at Killiekrankee and his father was imprisoned; his father was try rebellion again in 1690, so there’s a strong tradition there.

This is when our Simon Fraser starts going off the rails. To make it easy, the head of the clan Lord Lovat was rather rubbish, and losing influence to the MacKenzies; also he and his wife Amelia Murray had but one daughter – also Amelia, let us call them Amelia senior and Amelia junior. Amelia Senior, by the way was an English Woman, the daughter of the Stanleys, earl of Derby; her mother was Christine de la Tremouille, a royalist hero of the English Civil war holding Lathom house against all comers. Interesting – we talk a lot about the integration of the Scottish and English nobility; a reminder that this was not new with the Union, it had been going on for a long time.

Anyway, the Head of Clan Lovat as I said was so rubbish and in hock to MacKenzie that the aggressive Simon saw the need to take action – and get the clan headship into his branch of the family in form of his father; so that when his Dad died he’d then inherit the role as head of the Clan. Nice idea. How to do that though?

Well influential allies and some kudos would help; so despite that Jacobite background, he signed up for service under William and Mary, and raised and trained 300 men in their service. Influence, a bit of military training and 300 strapping lads at his beck and call. So far so sensible, if hardly in his Jacobite tradition. He then persuaded the Clan chief to disinherit his own daughter Amelia, and make his dad the head. Absolutely no idea how he did that, poor Amelia Junior. Andy Clan head and Simon’s dad promptly and conveniently, died leaving him the Head of the Fraser clan, the 11th Lord Lovat. There could have been no nut sweeter. So that’s what we are going to call Simon Fraser now – Lovat. OK?



Lovat was too clever by half though, and things get nasty. The Junior Amelia was of course a Murray. The head of the Murray family, the future Duke of Athol, took agin this arbitrary change of ownership, and fought Amelia Junior’s cause in the courts. This didn’t suit Lovat so to strengthen his legal claim against challenge, Lovat seized the widow Amelia Senior and forced her to marry him against her will. Unsurprisingly this called down the fury of Athol, the most powerful man in Scotland and not a man to irritate.

This was then war; Atholl brought the force of the law and government to his aid; he gained a Commission of Fire and Sword. We have heard about these – ways for central government to essentially licence private providers to impose law and order on the highlands, a feature of the attitude of the government in Edinburgh to Highland politics. Athol mounted a rescue and brought Amelia Senior home; and had Lovat declared an outlaw. I am cutting a lot out here – Because along the way there are various battles, Lovat wanders the northern Highlands, ambushes two of Atholl’s brothers and forces them to kiss the tip of his sword in symbolic submission. Which doesn’t improve the Duke’s mood one little bit.

Lovat needed allies. And he recruited the best –  the Duke of Argyll, the head Campbell honcho. Plus he even charms Kin William III into giving hm a pardon. It’s extraordinary, must have had a silver tongue. But Athol was relentless, and he loses at the game of politics, and ends up in 1702 as an outlaw. This is bad. Thwarted at the Williamite court. He decides maybe it’s time to change sides, and play the Jacobite card. Off to France and the court of James VII he goes. Back at home the Fraser clan is now split – Amelia Junior marries joins the MacKenzie enemy by marrying Alexander MacKenzie of Fraserdale. Fraserdale then uses this marriage to claim the headship of the clan Lovat. And hurrah they think the MacKenzies have won, and taken over the Fraser lands. Clan loyalties being what they are though, half the clansmen refuse to follow their new chief, and stick with the swashbuckling Lovat even though he’s in France now. Chaos in Clan Fraser.

So Lovat is a Jacobite for a while, but given all his dealings with William and his general shiftiness, he’s not trusted there for a moment; although he comes on a secret Jacobite mission to England to try to raise a force of rebels, he’s recalled by James, attracts the attention and falls foul of Louis XV even – this guy has the charm and balls to get himself everywhere and uses every trick to further his cause; including converting to Catholicism to help his profile. There’s a copy of a Hogarth painting which I’m told is nowhere like as good as an original; but does rather get the message across – this is not a man to trust, not a man of any principle other than his own interests.  Anyway, Louis XV gets his measure, throws him out of court, and Lovat is in the doldrums, and spends years in semi exile within France. His cause seems lost.

And it gets worse – because back in Britain his competitor Chief Fraserdale raises a court case to have the title of Lord Lovat formally transferred to him. Lovat goes back to fight the case but is arrested for debt in Soho Square in London, and detained in a sponging house. A Sponging house I am told is where debtors were kept while creditors try to squeeze as much money as possible from the victim. Like a sponge. Just in case that information is useful to you.

But aha – at last politics gives Lovat an opportunity. We are now at the time of the Hanoverian Succession and the threat of the 1715 Rebellion. Hanover is in a panic. And Lovat uses that to win a pardon in return for his loyalty. So he’s back, and he travels north, escaping capture in Dumfries and back home he  calls out his clan, in challenge to Fraserdale.

Ah, say the Fraser clansmen. 2 chiefs. That’s awkward. The Faserdale chief is calling us out for James the Old Pretender in the Jacobite cause. Th Old chief is calling us out for Hanover. Wasshall we do? Well some go one way, others go t’other, the rebellion is weakened, Lovat fights for Hanover, has chosen the right side, is re-instated, after an audience with the man George himself, the MacKenzies are dished and he lives happily ever after.

I mean not; though still in favour as a Whig and Hanoverian, he’s in constant trouble in the 1720s and 30s marrying a couple of times, separating from at least one of them; there are court cases all over the place; the Jacobites are livid – the Jacobite agent John Menzies denounced him as

‘the veriest rogue alive’

and thunders that Lovat attended mass only to seduce women. I couldn’t possibly comment if that’s a standard route. In 1726 he has a son whom he calls Simon of course, but at home at Castle Downie he has acquired a vast celebrity, or notoriety and he loves it, holding court, with several public feasting tables, does all the clan chief thing of enthusiastically encouraging common kinship between all his followers. His biographer described Fraser’s management style as ‘individual’, nice word, which, and I quote

combined sentimental kinship with savage punishments, and formal ceremony with lewd jokes and orgies

He spends a fortune of course doing all this lavish grandosity; and here may I connect you with the thread about the growing debt of Highland nobility and their constant need to exploit their lands more effectively and raise more income.  Money troubles are also a temptation to pay politics, and by 1737 he’s flirting once more with Jacobites, the government gets to hear, and he’s stripped of some of his official positions, such his sheriffdom. That of course offends his dignity and his pocket, so by 1740 he has made a promise to Charles Edward Stuart that he will support his bid for power as and when it comes. He’s going Jacobite again. But at the age of 78, Lovat seems to have acquired some caution; so when Charles lands on in 1745, he throws a sickie and doesn’t turn up. But then he hears about the Jacobite Victory at Preston Pans in September 1745. Well, Bonie Prince Charlie is marching on London, what if he has chosen wrong?

At which point we have, I suspect the most outrageous of all the betrayals and double dealings. Let me bring his son, Simon Fraser, the heir, known as the Master of the Lovat, into the story. Lovat senior thinks he has a way to play both ends – he’ll stay in bed and notionally loyal to Hanover, his son can lead the clan on the Jacobite side. And bets will be most appropriately hedged. Voila! His son thinks the whole Jacobite rebellion thing is daft and doomed to failure and refuses. His dad roars that he’ll strip him of his inheritance and make him a cowherd in Strathfarrar. I’ve looked to see where that is; it’s thoroughly beautiful, but admittedly a little out of the way. So, Simon Junior grumpily leads the clan to war for the Jacobites.

But he’s not happy. He drags his feet as much as he can. He’s going to get anywhere he’s told to go fashionably late; he fashionably fails to turn up at Culloden in time with most of the clan, and then retreats to hold a bridge at Inverness…for someone, To this day, we are not sure who. Probably he didn’t either.

Well, as we heard last time things turn bad for Bonnie Prince Charlie, and in April 1746 he is running from Culloden. On the way, he meets Lovat Senior who entertains him, plies him with drink and advice. Let your inspiration be The Bruce he roars – hide in the hills, fight and fight again, never surrender, I will give you my sword. Charlie says, Hmm, not going to do that and famously legs it, or swims for it, as we’ll come to in a while.

Lovat then sees Cumberland the Butcher burning his home at Castle Downie and realises all his subterfuges are in vain and also lifts his skirts. The old villain flees for 70 miles westwards, is pursued, hides in a hollow tree – but his flappy trousers give him away. He is put on a litter, and so begins his long journey to Fort William and then on to London where he will face trial for treason. He reaches London in August 1746, which is where he meets Hogarth again and Hogarth makes his famous sketch.

Well, Lovat is tried for Treason before the bar at the House of Lords. I suspect Lovat had made the acquaintance of various types of bar over his life, here was another one. He liked a bit of a show did Lovat, and was not short of wit, challenged everything and rolled over not one bit. When it all was done and he was asked if he had anything further to say he said

‘Nothing except to thank your lordship for your goodness to me. God bless you all, and I wish you an eternal farewell. We shall not meet again in the same place; I am sure of that’

Someone who knows the story better than I should judge – what did he mean? Which place did he think he’d be in, and which the ultimate destination for the judges? It’s postcard time.

Anywho, you will not be surprised to learn that he was found not guilty. Just kidding you, he was found as guilty as all his various sins. So, bang to rights and sentenced to be hanged drawn and quartered, except we’ve almost moved beyond that so it was commuted to beheading. Interestingly, he will be the last person apparently to be killed by beheading, though I wonder about that; hanging drawing and quartering wasn’t actually formally abolished until 1870 would you believe, and although I don’t think it actually happened after 1781, there were a couple of times when they went part of the way.

Anyway Lord Lovat was something of a celebrity. So he drew a big crown – there was scaffolding and benches put up and people piled in to see the show. Under the weight of interest, one of the stands collapsed there was a tangle of wood and bodies and 9 people who went to see a villain die, themselves died first. Lovat watched all of this and laughed, happily. It is said that this is the origin of the phrase to laugh your head off, but I hae ma doots. But he liked a bit of a show did Simon Fraser, 11th Lord Lovat.

At the finish, Lovat got all preachy and started quoting – dolce et decorum est pro patria mori. As if. More like dolce et decorum est pro your own greater good mori. As you can tell. My Latin ain’t great. Maybe this was where Samuel Johnson got the idea from for his famous dictum that patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel. Never liked that phrase, I am myself rather patriotic, does that make me a scoundrel? Postcards not required on that one.

So that’s our Simon Fraser, Lord Lovat. I have left so much out, and probably mixed up my Atholls and Tullibardines; there’s a book by Sarah Fraser called ‘The Last Highlander’ if you want to know more, and the Oxford Database of National Biography entry by Edward Furgol is good and what I relied on. It’s a bit of fun, but as we turn to the aftermath of Culloden, I hope it fills in some colour too about the sort of conflicting loyalties and political winds that blew families around.




For the moment, then, let’s get serious, and return to the killing fields of Culloden. We should see Bonnie Prince Charlie off I guess, though really, do I need to? I mean over the seas to Skye and all that, quite a well known story. Let’s do it in brief then. Ranald MacDonald urged him, as Lovat had, to take the example of the Bruce, but Bonnie’s nerves were shot. His flight is a tale where women play the major part; Flora MacDonald of course, who I understand had serious reservations, not about the politics but about the propriety since she was unmarried so heading off with Charlie didn’t seem appropriate. Charlie followed a family tradition of dressing up in women’s clothing on the way too, as Flora’s Bety Burke. Chip off the old block that lad, just like James VII.  Another female conspirator was Lady Margaret MacDonald of Sleat, who harboured him for a while, got him help and sent him on his way.

By the time he managed to get away, he must have wished he’d brought that canoe after all. The last crisis was a near miss with a Royal Naval squadron near Britanny, and then on 30th September 1746 the Prince, presumably looking less Bonnie than when he’d arrived with the seven men of Moidart and a spring in his step. It’s easy to diss Charles given the final outcome and the increasingly sad, desperate and disreputable path his life will take, but he was a charming, brave and charismatic adventurer, the stuff of legends and by ‘eck he got painfully close to bringing down the whole paraphernalia of a modern state, so why not sing those songs about him and have a good time? Now that we are safe from the chaos civil war would have brought.

Flora MacDonald who was 25 at the time, and was pulled in by the long arm of the beak as a desperate traitor with the tacksman of Kingsburgh and taken to the Tower of London. Duncan Forbes of Culloden interceded at the behest of aforesaid Lady Margaret of Sleat, and she was allowed to live outside the Tower under supervision. She became something of a celeb, in a small way, and sympathisers collected over £1,500 for her, a hill of beans in those days, one of the funders being the heir to the throne, Frederick, Prince of Wales. It’s said she told him she helped Charles out of charity, and would have done the same for him. Which information hopefully Frederick kept in his back pocket should it be needed. I’ll come back to Flora after we’ve done the meat in todays sandwich if you didn’t mind. Or at least the filling, since if it was one of my brood, the filling would of course be plant based only. They are so much better than I, and the human race progresses.






The aftermath of the Battle of Culloden and the ’45 is equally the stuff of myth, legend and outrage. The savagery started on the battlefield.

Cumberland had been spooked by the revival of the rebellion after he’d arrived in Edinburgh. He was full of the racial contempt of the Scottish lowlander for the Highlanders as wild, lawless and barbarous, and was resolved to be harsh, and make sure this rebellion could not happen again.

‘Don’t imagine that threatening military execution and many other things are pleasing to me But nothing will go down without it in this part of the world’

The worst of the killing in the battle itself came as the Jacobite army disintegrated, as is always the way – 2,000 may have died in their flight. News arrived that survivors had mustered again at Ruthven; Orkney remained a refuge for Jacobite rebels until the end of May too; and Cumberland was spooked again that this was not over; he set out, as he wrote,

to pursue and hunt out these vermin amongst their lurking holes

His army spread out and started a scorched earth policy; farms and homes were burned and pillaged in demonstration

that it is as much in his Majesty’s power to march his forces into that country which they have hitherto boasted as inaccessible as into any other part of his dominions

Cattle were driven off and sold, leaving communities unable to buy the grain they needed, raids were still being carried out on terrorised clans for up to a year later. About 3,500 Jacobites were captured alive. About 120 of those were executed, 222 were banished, and 1300 were liberated. Most controversially, 936 were sent to the West Indies or the Americas as indentured servants. This has given rise to one of those modern myths of nationalist history, of the White Slaves, the Scottish slaves. Indentured servitude was indeed harsh, but it was not the dystopian inhumanity of the Chattel slavery being run in English Caribbean plantations. Indentured servants would be free after 7 years, and their children would be born free.  Transportation was seen at the time by both English and Scots and indeed Europeans as suitable punishment; some of those have been documented as returning to Scotland, or setting up in the colonies.[1]

One response from Scotland was frank jubilation; addresses were sent from towns to Cumberland praising his victory; a Cumberland club was started in Inverness. The Duke was presented with a degree from the University of Glasgow and elected Chancellor of St Andrews. His Whig supporters christened him Sweet William and he came home to London to a massive celebration. The flower is not named after him by the way, nor the Stinking Billy.

There is no doubt Cumberland was a brutal man though, and the other tradition of horror has of course survived much better. He had considered mass transportation, though went instead for the scorched earth. There is evidence that he encouraged the murder of stragglers from Culloden by members of the public. In common with many Lowlanders and English,  his view of the Highlanders as a race was as backwards, barbarous and dangerous. It was in England that he acquired the nickname by which we now know him. When a newspaper reported that he was to be made a freeman of the Butchers’ Company in celebration for their deliverance, Horace Walpole claimed that when

‘it was lately proposed in the City to present him with the freedom of some company, one of the aldermen said aloud, “Then let it be of the Butchers”!

And thus the Butcher was born, and the Butcher of Culloden it has been ever since.

What follows was a sustained attack on clanship, based on the conviction that clanship was at the heart of the revolt.  I should point out that the programme at the time was fully supported by most Scottish MPs.

The PM Henry Pelham’s aim was to pacify the Jacobites, but ensure Scotland’s loyalty to the Crown. The resulting infamous programme was in places disreputable, with legislation was designed to destroy a way of life; in other places it seems rather sensible and in others positively forward looking – I doubt that’s going to make me popular, but anyway.

Let’s start with the first category of disreputable and an attack on culture of the highlands. The act for Disarming the Highlands in 1746 was mainly a restatement of the 1715 act, but harsher, forbidding carrying weapons of war, and an associated Dress Act against wearing highland clothing; the penalties were imprisonment and transportation for repeat offenders. Although if you joined the British Army, Tartan was positively encouraged.

Moving on to possibly sensible or unsurprising, there was of course an Act of Attainder for the rebel chiefs and the property of 40 individuals was attained. In the end, only 3 were executed and all but 13 of those attainted would get their land back after the payment of fines. That was sufficient for public opinion, and in 1747 there followed an Act of indemnity which protected anyone else on either side from prosecution – and allowed the likes of Flora MacDonald to go home. The role of the Episcopalians in the revolt was not ignored – action was taken against non-juring Episcopalian ministers – if you didn’t swear loyalty to the crown, your meeting house was closed, and the minister was out of a job.

On the cusp then, an Act abolishing the heritable jurisdictions which highland chiefs continued to operate. I think this is presented in the category of specifically destroying clanship, and usually accompanied by outrage these days; and maybe so – but can I make myself a bit unpopular. Surely, this was not before time? Nowhere else in Great Britain was the writ of the Crown not able to run, it’s positively medieval and extraordinary it had survived so long – isn’t it? Holders of these jurisdictions were compensated for their loss; it was applied to everyone even the most powerful, including our friend the earl of Islay, Duke of Argyll. Islay had argued against the abolition of heritable jurisdictions as it happens, claiming they were not medieval but a necessary defence against Stuart Absolutism. Pelham’s response was ‘the nice try but no cigar’ one.

Islay however also argued that there needed to more positive action to win the Highlands over to the new state of Britain. And Pelham agreed. When the Annexing Act was passed in 1752 13 of the estates as I say were permanently attainted. Between 1752 and 1784 they were managed directly by the crown, within the Commission for Annexed and Forfeited estates. That august body was designed to promote the economy and Protestantism, and did indeed invest in agriculture, industry and communications, as well as education. How effective it was is moot; Islay seems to have used such funds to make a lot of improvements at Inverary, while one commissioner, Lord Kames, claimed the money spent had been [2]

No better than water spilt on the ground

And I don’t think he was referring to irrigation projects. But without doubt the intention was there, and successful industry propagated.

There we go. There is a discussion to be had about the impact of this repression, and the longer term health of the clans, but I think I will leave that to a future episode, because it is a big subject. It is controversial.  For many, and often they drip with fury and outrage, Culloden was the start of a concerted campaign to eradicate the clans. For others, while not denying the intention of Cumberland and British government, Culloden and the following legislation was no such thing. That the reasons for the decline and death of clanship was already well underway, and lay elsewhere, in the commercialisation of the relationship between clan chiefs and their people. And that Culloden and the associated legislation was simply a marker on the way. But we’ll come back to it.






I said I’d talk a few lives, let us start with Flora Macdonald. She got married on Skye to Alan MacDonald, and he served in the British army. The aforesaid man of Lichfield, Samuel Johnson, visited her actually, and described Flora as  a

woman of soft features, gentle manners, kind soul and elegant presence

But at the age of 52, Flora and hub were part of that vibrant Highland emigration to the Carolinas to make a better life for themselves. In 1775 like most highlanders, they fought for the loyalists against the American rebels, had their land stolen, sorry confiscated, and were imprisoned, before being exchanged for prisoners and going to Novia Scotia in the land of the free; s did 50,000 others I believe, to be settled by the British government. But the weather in Halifax was hard, and I’m told it does get parky there, so they returned home, took up tenant farming, and she died at the age of 68.

Who next? Bonnie Prince Charlie? That’s not a fun story. When he returned to France, had a shower and put on a fresh wig he was feted as a hero by the French, and struck up a friendship with Montesquieu actually who was quite impressed by him. But he increasingly became an embarrassment to the French so they found a nice place for him in Switzerland and Charles hit the hysteria button and had to be chained and dragged instead to the Papal enclave at Avignon. There was a lot of disapproval from many French – but apparently his dad James rather saw Louis XV’s point.

I mean it’s not a great story. He’s a tragic figure in many ways, criss-crossing Europe looking for funds and support in France, Rome, Venice, Germany, Sweden, taking up Protestantism to improve his sales proposition back home and ejecting all his Catholic advisors at one stage.

In other ways it’s less tragic, without wanting  to be judgy. Increasingly drunk, he took up with Clementine Walkinshaw who had nursed him during the ’45 on his retreat, they had a child which was inconvenient and so Charles rejected the pair of them; he actually married a princess, Louisa of Stolberg-Gedern, but under the pressure of drink and disappointed hopes started abusing her and they separated. James the Old Pretender had died in 1766 in Rome. It all came to an end for Charles 20 years later in the same city in 1786. His brother Henry had become a Cardinal – a move which Charles saw as a personal betrayal. It meant there were no children, so there were no direct heirs. Still Jacobite zealots found a second cousin – probably a closer relation than George I was to Queen Anne to be fair – and carried on the line. The current Jacobite heir and claimant to the Throne of Great Britain is Franz, Duke of Bavaria, who does not seem on the point of launching a seaborne invasion anytime soon, but look, it never pays to be complacent.

Anne MacIntosh maybe? I did mention her; she was 32 in 1745 and her husband and the Clan Chattan were having none of the Jacobite thing, but Anne was – she personally raised 300 men for Prince and his cause, though the idea that she went to war herself is not true. On the way back in 1746 she received Charles and warned him of government soldiers in pursuit; and set some of her men to ambush them. Ann was put in command of her husband at that point and acquired the title Colonel Anne. She was imprisoned after Culloden for 6 weeks at Inverness, and she became demonised by the London press as a scary, social mores-busting Amazon, and lionised by the Jacobite press as a Highland Joan of Arc. It seems she was neither; her surviving correspondence is mainly about home life, within which she did what she could for a cause she believed, in without wanting to tear up the social rule book. She died at Leith in 1784.

I have a couple more, really to illustrate the point about the dying of the light, to foreshadow the next episode as Scotland within Britain begins to move on from the tough start of the first half century, and many find reasons to become reconciled at worst and enthusiastic at best.

So, George Kieth, the Scottish Earl Marischal we talked about as part of the 1719 rising.  After its failure he’d become part of the Jacobite team in Spain, but he became disenchanted with the Young Pretender and with the circle around him, so did not get involved in the intrigues of the 1740s. Instead he used his talents to forge his own career and entered the diplomatic service of Frederick the Great until 1759. He was a thoroughly international intellectual in the fine Scottish tradition, hobnobbing with Jean Jacques Rousseau and the like, and in 1759 he passed on a tip to George III that the Spanish were planning to declare war on Britain. George gratefully pardoned him, and restored his estates; he came home a couple of times and apparently scandalised local opinion since he had with him

a young ex-Mohammedan girl whom every one believed to be his mistress’.

It seems he found the weather in Scotland not to his taste anymore, sold up, responded to Frederick’s Great pleas of friendship and died at Potsdam in 1778. Essentially, Jacobitism gave Keith an international outlook and roving life by force of circumstance and became addicted to it. Many other Jacobites would take another international route, to the colonies, Like Flora and Alan indeed, and there, it is posited, often be overtly loyal to the crown, transferring the tradition of Stuart Absolutism to the house of Hanover.

Couple more, to illustrate the integrative power of the new British state. William Drummond, Viscount Strathallan came from a cadet branch of the Drummonds with a super long Jacobite tradition, relatives of the Duke of Perth Drummond side who had fled with James VII. William was first out to the ’15 with the Earl of Mar, but like most was not persecuted or troubled afterwards. For which kindness and consideration he rewarded the state by rebelling again in 1745, and at Culloden as things got sticky declared he’d

‘resolved to die in the field rather than by the hand of the executioner

Charged the opposite team was run through and died on the field of the battle a bally hero.

He’s not the Drummond I want to talk about really though, it’s one of his sons, knowledge of whom I owe to David Olusaga’s series called Union on the Beeb – beautifully done, very Olusaga-esque with all the good and bad of that – basically no one in a position of authority could ever be a good ’un. Anyway, despite its bias it is brilliant, he’s such a good communicator and choses his example perfectly, I heartily recommend it. Anyway, he notes that William and his wife Margaret Murray, were gloriously fecund – 13 kids. Henry was 15 when his Dad gave his life to the cause, but Henry gave his life to the cause of commerce in the great engine of the British state in London, where at the age of 19 Henry joined his Uncles’s banking business and became one of the London Scots whose commercial acumen and success scared the bejesus out of the English merchants. He won a series of government contracts for military uniforms and supplies, made a bundle, so much so that he bankrolled the British crown and military in the colonies. He acquired English estates in addition to his land in Perthshire, became an MP for Buckinghamshire and became a thoroughly British gent, the family Jacobitism and father’s cries ‘No Union!’ consigned to the dustbin of family history.




Last one and then you can all go! And for my last trick, I’ll return to where I started, with Lovat. Remember the son, the Master of Lovat, forced cruelly by his Dad into rebellion, basically a sacrificial lamb to try to take the knife of state rather than his dear, dear, loving father? Well, Simon Junior was charged with Treason under the Act of Attainder just like Dad, even though, frankly, Simon Junior thought the rebellion was silly, as was a thorough going Whig, and well up for the Britain thing.

But Simon played his cards well; he voluntarily surrendered, threw the support of the clan behind a government candidate for local MP, was released to carry on his life studying law at Glasgow and was officially pardoned in 1750. He acquired the earl of Islay as his patron and worked assiduously for the British cause during the seven years’ war, and fought in Canada with James Wolfe. Not sure he was necessarily a nice guy, possibly a chip off the old block – a contemporary, Mrs Grant of Laggan, described him as being ‘hard and rapacious under a polished exterior’. He later raised a Highland Regiment to fight the American Rebels which got their arses kicked by said rebels at Yorktown as it happens. Simon wasn’t there though; he’d been rewarded for his reconciliation to the British state by having his estates returned too; he was got married to one Katherine Bristow, a citizen of brave Norfolk, became an MP, did government service in Portugal and died in Downing Street as it happens, in his bed in 1782. The son of the ultimate rebel, charlatan, adventurer, died in his bed after a life of service to the British state. There’s a metaphor there. Is it a metaphor? Whatever it is, it’s a something.

Right, that’s all folks it’s been another long ‘un, I hope you have enjoyed it. If not dead in everyone’s hearts, Jacobitism was passing and becoming a safe bit of romanticism. If not caused by Culloden or the following repression, the Highlands were changing; although we have studiously ignored them, the lowlands of Scotland had also been changing. We’ll talk about all of that over the next few episodes, about the changing religious texture of Scotland, about how Scots enthusiastically adopt Empire as their route to commerce and opportunity – and exploitation it has to be said – and Scottish intellectuals bestride the world of western thought, in what has been called the Scottish Enlightenment.


[2][2] Devine, T: ‘The Scottish Clearances’, pp58-60

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