Talk:Battle of Culloden

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Government advance guard - Loudon's 64th Highlanders[edit]

At present the article shows that the Government's advance guard included 300 men from Loudon's Highlanders regiment and quotes Reid (2002) as the source. However, there is a more recent in depth book written by Tony Pollard in 2009, which I think more correctly describes this unit as the "Highland Brigade", which was made up of 8 companies of soldiers; 3 from Loudon's Highlanders, 4 from the Campbell of Argyll Militia and one from the 43rd (Black Watch) Regiment of Foot. I though I would discuss here first to make sure that no-one objected to me making any changes to this.QuintusPetillius (talk) 12:24, 13 August 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Good stuff - a most useful edit (at least in the opinion of this Oxford DPhil)! General public uderstanding of C18th Scotland would be very well served by a wider appreciation of the Highland Whig dynamic... :) (talk) 23:06, 23 August 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Religious Civil War[edit]

'Part of a religious Civil War' is very debatable.

Religion was not the issue at stake - the single most consistent factor was opposition to the Union (most of the clansmen didn't get the choice, they had to follow their chief) and nearly all were Protestants of one kind or another (Episcopalians). The references in the third paragraph are also misleading eg

Charles Stuart's Jacobite army consisted largely of Catholics and Episcopalians....The British Government (Hanoverian loyalist) forces were mostly Protestants...

I think these references should be removed because they're not relevant. Robinvp11 (talk) 10:03, 7 September 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The suggestion that Scottish separatism was the main driving force for the '45 may be 'verifiable' by reference to one or two modern interpretations, but it is far from being a matter of academic consensus, and is contradicted by the fact that those highlanders who joined the pretender's Son at Glenfinnan hailed him as 'Prince of Wales'... I'd urge extreme caution over editing within this sphere... :) (talk) 10:47, 10 September 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree with the IP editor. Also, the Jacobite cause overall was not necessarily against the union, as the Jacobite leader Charles Edward Stuart wanted the throne of the whole of the United Kingdom; England and not just Scotland.QuintusPetillius (talk) 13:35, 10 September 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree that the "religious civil war" is extremely debatable, and in the absence of a referenced source this text should be removed. Also, Episcopalianism is a Protestant denomination, and the majority of the English troops in the British Army would have been part of the Church of England, and thus also Episcopalians. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Velkyal (talkcontribs) 14:16, 13 March 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]


The article mentions (correctly) that many of the Government "wounded" would not have survived their wounds. It is worth pointing out that this is even more true of the Jacobite "wounded", most of whom would have died or been killed during the subsequent days. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:38, 5 October 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

'Religious civil war', again[edit]

This needs to be addressed, as it doesn't reflect modern scholarship. The 'civil war' thing is straight out of Prebble.

Although the IP editor above said there was no 'consensus' on the issue, it's more the case that modern academics interpret the participants as having a range of motives held in varying degrees of intensity, Catholicism, Stuart loyalism and opposition to the Union being just some of them. The most recent popular histories of the 45 (eg Riding, Duffy) certainly take this view. Even the main article here describes the conflict as part of the War of the Austrian Succession.Svejk74 (talk) 07:37, 6 February 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

These IP comments are not unfair and I suspect they will reoccur. Anyone who reads anything my, for instance, Professor Murray Pittock is going to look at this article and gasp at one or two things. But the article isn't terrible. If it needs better balance it's just a case of waiting for an editor more familiar with more recent scholarship to come along and make some changes. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 18:41, 2 May 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It must be very doubtful that many Jacobites were opposed to the Union. After all, the Jacobite army invaded England in the hope of gaining English supporters and seizing the British throne. If they'd wanted an independent Scotland, they'd have consolidated their position in Edinburgh and fought the subsequent campaign on ground of their own choosing. Moreover, it must be remembered that many Scots (possibly most?) were pretty unhappy about the prospects of (autocratic) Jacobite rule and willingly supported the (democratic) British government in suppressing the rebellion. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:01, 10 May 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The Scottish Jacobites made hostility to the Union one of the key propaganda points, saying they weren't hostile to it is like saying UKIP were pro-EU durings the 2000s and 2010s. Pittock argues that most Scots backed the Jacobites and saw it as a Scotland v. England struggle at the time of the conflict, but that afterwards Whig Scots tried to depict as a marginal Highland cause, which helped convince the English that Lowlanders at least had always been true reliable Brits. I don't know how all this stands up to scrutiny, but Pittock argues that the invasion of England was a military decision and that BPC wasn't all that fussed by the aims of the Scottish Jacobites. So it would be like all the Tory voters who hate immigrants and think the Tories with save them from globalization, while of course the real Tories though happy for the votes are a business party who like immigration and love wage competition at the pleb end of the economic system. :D Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 21:42, 15 January 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Opposition to the Union had been part of the Stuart 'manifesto' for thirty years before 1745; Jacobitism was a lot of things to many people (that's part of the movement's interest) but this is something that was fairly consistent.
Having said that I think people like Pittock and Stephen perhaps overplay the 'Scottish nationalists' card, bearing in mind we're talking about Early Modern people whose concept of 'nationality' was a bit different to ours. Scotland v England? Perhaps for some and it's an interpretation no doubt likely to grab headlines today but I think one of the main unifying factors amongst the gentry was people simply worried about loss of influence and access to lucrative official positions - or seeing an opportunity to get in at the start of a new regime. They supported the English invasion on the basis it offered guarantees for this.
As for Pittock's argument that most Scots backed the Jacobites, well...while I don't subscribe to the "more Scots in arms against Charles" / "civil war" narrative put out by the likes of Watkins' film, a lot of letters written at the time seemed to show that people were either hoping it would blow over or simply being nice to whoever was around at that particular moment. Recall as well that most of the rank and file actually doing the invading were either forced-out conscripts (eg the Atholl Brigade); clansmen who felt what was good for their chief was probably good for them; men who were hired out as substitutes (leading to some amusing court cases afterwards when the hirers refused to pay up on the grounds it was payment for an illegal action) and other people looking for excitement, plunder, etc.
There was certainly an extensive 'popular' grass roots Jacobitism in Britain but it was more a safety valve for popular resentments - the idea of a king over the water who could theoretically right all local wrongs - than a coherent statement of national identity or whatever. With the notable exception of Ireland post 1689, the working classes in the Three Kingdoms never displayed that degree of identification with the interests of dispossesed landlords. Talk about 'motivation' and you're really talking about a very narrow band of society. Svejk74 (talk) 11:44, 6 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You always have to understand movements like Jacobitism as media for resistance/opposition to the ruling order. In any given era there are usually no more than one plausible alliancegroup offering a pathway to change. That's the real reason Communism was so powerful throughout the 20th century. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 18:50, 3 May 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The majority of the Jacobite foot soldiers would have participated in the rebellion because their clan leaders (who effectively owned their lives, labour and possessions) had instructed them to take part. There would certainly have been some "clan loyalty" in their motives, and also, very probably, a desire to take revenge against old enemies; but I doubt if many would have felt much loyalty towards broader concepts of national identity. It needs to be remembered that, at the time, Scotland was still very much divided between the genetically Celtic, largely Catholic, Gaelic-speaking Highlanders, and the genetically Picto-Norman, largely Protestant, Scots speaking Lowlanders. As the many brutal Scottish Civil wars attest, for many, these issues were by far the most important divisions. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) (UTC)


Reading the article I note it still says that the Jacobites stood under a 20-30 minute bombardment taking casualties.

The most recent accounts (eg Pittock; Reid in Pollard etc) cite observers who estimated the total period of the cannonade as only about 6-9 minutes. Reid points out this would cause only a handful of casualties (rather than Prebble's 700-800 over 30 minutes) and concludes that much of the damage was instead done by the canister and mortars fired after the advance started with rifle fire doing the rest after the lead Jacobite regiments got boxed in against the government lines. In other words the 'standing under a barrage while the commanders faffed about' narrative is wrong. Some other details seem to confirm this, such as Lord John Drummond walking across the front of the Jacobite line trying to tempt the government 'hatmen' to fire - he wouldn't surely have done this if they were actually being cannonaded to pieces. Any thoughts? Svejk74 (talk) 11:58, 6 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Forces of exactly which government?[edit]

I know it’ll be bloomin’ obvious to anyone editing this page, but to the non-expert general reader (like me) it’s not entirely obvious which “government” Cumberland’s forces were under. I suspect it was GB and so what’s needed is simply the addition of the adjective, “British”, but as a layman I’m not absolutely sure. I’d suggest that I and others like me could be forgiven for assuming that the entity against which the Jacobites were rebelling was England, or Scotland (i.e. some other Scottish faction), or even the United Kingdom. I’ve added an {{explain}} tag to the relevant place. (talk) 19:43, 26 January 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It was the Kingdom of Great Britain, as noted in the infobox immediately to the right.Svejk74 (talk) 23:30, 26 January 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]