Scotland in Union
This is a two part article the content of which will expose the recently formed organization for what it is. A Westminster State supported attack on the right of Scots to be independent from England.
Part one provides information pertaining to events in Scotland that resulted in the annexation of Scotland by a hostile country followed with three hundred plus years of brutality and suppression of the human rights of Scots.
Readers should note instances of the “Cameron” name. It will feature greatly in part two.
17 Jan 1707: The Union with England
There were no doubt sound economic arguments to be made in favour of a Union between Scotland and England. There were military arguments too (The possibilities of permanent peace between the two countries was a big attraction for the English who were embroiled in continental wars.)
But these reasons did little to persuade the people of Scotland of the merits of a Union, particularly the idea of an incorporating Union (that is a single parliament).
There were riots in many parts of Scotland, particularly in Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Daniel Defoe, who was a tireless worker for the English cause, in one of his letters to the English government complained of a great noise, and looking out saw ” a terrible multitude come up the High Street with a drum at the head of them shouting and swearing and crying out ‘All Scotland would stand together. No Union, No Union. English dogs’ and the like.”
Addresses against the Union poured into Parliament from all over the country.
From the town council of Perth “We, after mature deliberation are fully convinced that such a Union as is proposed is contrary to the honour, interest and fundamental laws and conditions of this Kingdom and to the Claim of Right––” That from the General Convention of Royal Burghs encompassed many of the fears of the Scottish people.
They were “not against an honourable and safe Union with England consisting with the Being of the Kingdom and Parliament thereof,” what moved them to passionate opposition was the idea of an incorporating Union “by which our Monarchy is supprest, our Parliament is extinguished and in consequence our Religion, Church, Government, Claim of Right, Laws, Liberties, Trade and all that is dear to us daily in danger of being encroached upon, altered or wholly subverted by the English, in a British Parliament, wherein the mean representation allowed for Scotland can never signify in securing to us the Interest reserved by us, or granted to us by the English.”
In point of fact, the Scots with about a fifth of the population of England were allocated only 45 M.P.s against England’s 513.
These addresses were seized upon by the Duke of Atholl. “There is not one address from any part of the Kingdom in favour of this Union,” he claimed in Parliament and demanded a dissolution and the summoning of a new Parliament “to have the immediate sentiments of the Nation since these articles have been made public.”
His motion was defeated on January 7th 1707 and on January 17th the treaty was finally ratified by 110 votes to 67.
Whatever might be the advantages of a Union with England, the manner in which it was encompassed reflected little credit upon the Scottish Parliament.
Daniel Defoe. “The great men are posting to London for places and honours, every man full of his own merit and afraid of everyone near him; I never saw so much trick, sham, pride, jealousy and cutting of friend’s throats as there is among the noblemen.”
Sir Walter Scott. “It may be doubted whether the descendants of the noble lords and honourable gentlemen who accepted this gratification would be more shocked at the general fact of their ancestors being corrupted or scandalized at the paltry amount of the bribe”
Finally, from an anonymous pamphlet circulating at the time. “Can anything be more Treacherous and Mean than for men to degrade their own Country and has not the majority of the Scotch Parliament done this effectively?” (http://www.perthshirediary.com)
3 Sep 1707: Protesting the Militia Act
When the posters were put up explaining the provisions of the Militia Act at Dull, the immediate and decisive reaction by the large and boisterous crowd was for the posters to be torn down and the Duke of Atholl’s men driven away.
The same thing happened at Fortingall and Kenmore and all over Atholl and Breadalbane groups of men gathered.
There was a feeling of anger and excitement but it was not until the next day that the crowd began to exhibit a common purpose. Two thousand of them marched towards Castle Menzies where Sir John Menzies, a deputy lieutenant of the county,lived. The men had now found leaders, Angus Cameron from Weem and James Menzies.
When they reached the Castle they sent in the factor with a message that if Sir John wished to preserve his Castle he would be advised to come outside and sign a declaration promising not to execute the provisions of the Act.
Wisely he obeyed the summons and wrote at Angus Cameron’s dictation. “We hereby solemnly declare that we shall use no forcible means to apprehend, confine or imprison any person assistant whatever who has appeared at Castle Menzies or elsewhere, or in any part of Perth on prior days; further that we shall petition government for an abolition nullifying of the foresaid Act from the records of British parliament; that the members of parliament of this county shall present this petition, or any annexed thereto to the two Houses of Parliament, to the Privy Council during the prorogation of parliament. This we shall do of our own free will and accord, as we shall answer to God.”
Afterwards the declaration was signed by the Stewarts of Garth and the ministers of Weem and Dull.
The people left Castle Menzies led by Cameron and close by it was said that he did “most seditiously and wickedly administer an oath to the people thus riotously assembled, to stand by one another in their illegal endeavours to resist the authority of the established law of the country.”
More and more people were joining the crowd as they made their way across the Tay to Alexander Menzies of Bolfrocks. He also signed the declaration. The crowd now divided, with Cameron taking the north bank and James Menzies (“The east Indian” ) the south.
As they made their way eastwards the lairds and gentry were all forced to sign the declaration. By the time the two factions had met up again near Ballechin it was dark and the crowd had swelled to perhaps ten thousand people.
Hope Stewart of Ballechin refused but after he was seriously manhandled he wisely changed his mind. Later he was to ride to Perth where he wrote to the Duke of Atholl “I am not at liberty to take any concern in carrying the Militia Act into execution.” It was not an attitude reflected by many of the gentlemen who had signed the declaration.
The next day there was another march upon Blair Castle. The Duke had already signed the declaration, but fearing for his safety, had raised some 400 tenants and gentry to defend the Castle.
Although the crowd outnumbered the defenders by twenty to one there was no attempt to storm the Castle.
Already there was evidence that the people were in two minds as to what to do next. Many wished to return home believing that they had achieved their objects. Others, with Cameron, had more revolutionary aims in view, but as was to appear all to soon, they were not too sure what these aims actually were and in any case they lacked the expertise and discipline necessary to carry them out.
When Cameron told them that they should assemble in small parties so that they would not be dealt with as a mob under the Riot Act, the suggestion inspired fear and dismay.
They had but sticks and clubs with which to defend themselves and it was only the security they felt in their great numbers that gave them the courage to meet the expected threat of being attacked by English dragoons sent north from Perth.
There was talk of raiding the armoury at Taymouth Castle (Lord Breadalbane was in London as usual) but nothing came of it. Though the people still gathered in large numbers and still paraded with their burning torches at night, no one quite knew what they were expected to do next.
There was talk of the men from Rannoch and Glenlyon joining the demonstrations and even those from further afield, but for the moment all seemed content to wait. When the stalemate was finally broken it was the army that provided the means.
Very early on the morning of Thursday September 14th Captain Colberg of the Windsor Foresters with eighteen men arrived in Weem, broke down Cameron’s door and arrested James Menzies and himself without any resistance.
They were bundled into a coach and the party made their way towards Grantully. In his report Colberg states “We observed hundreds of people with forks, fowling pieces, pikes and scythes fixed on poles, pouring from the mountains and water side and the road covered with men women and children.” The crowds followed the coach but made no attempt to rescue the prisoners.
Their lack of revolutionary expertise and secondary leadership was all too clearly demonstrated. There was indeed an attempt to prevent the coach crossing the bridge at Grantully but it was unsuccessful and before evening the prisoners were lodged at Perth.
The lack of leadership now became even more apparent. There were threats to burn Castle Menzies and other grandiose projects but nothing happened and the revolt was to all intent and purposes over. Later, a detachment of Sutherland Fencibles came to the district and more alleged ringleaders were arrested.
It was commonly believed by those in authority that the revolt had been brought about by outside causes and to some extent this might be true, but no one thought to look to reasons closer to home.
The Highlander’s hatred of compulsory military service, of schoolmasters who forbade the speaking of Gaelic, of ministers appointed by the heritors rather than by the congregation and of lairds who thought more of increasing their rents and less and less of the well-being of their tenants.
The people sullenly accepted the Militia Act but their grievances and sense of betrayal remained.
It was January 15th 1798 before Cameron and Menzies were brought before the court in Edinburgh. Both pleaded Not Guilty to the charges of sedition, mobbing and rioting. The next day,
Cameron applied for bail and incredibly this was granted. He did not appear the next day and was in fact never seen again.
Menzies also received bail and also disappeared. The minor players in the drama, the eight men arrested by the Sutherland Fencibles, were a little less lucky. They were all sentenced to a year’s imprisonment. Later they were offered a remission of their sentences upon their willingness to join the army or navy. (http://www.perthshirediary.com)
1300 -1460: The Camerons (Sons of the Hound) and the Wars of Scottish Independence
The Camerons fought for King Robert the Bruce in the Wars for Scottish Independence.
Led by Chief VII John de Cameron against the English at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 and later by Chief VIII John de Cameron at the Battle of Halidon Hill in 1333.
The Camerons supported the Jackobite cause in 1745 and fought bravely at Culloden. (Extracts):
As the Hanoverian army advanced onto Culloden Moor they were greeted by Camerons in nearly every Jacobite regiment.
Progressing down the front line, past the aforementioned right wing, one would next come upon the 300 men of Clan Fraser.
The Camerons among this battalion were mostly tenants on Lord Lovat’s lands centered just east of nearby Beauly.
To their immediate left were the 500 men of Clan Chattan, a confederation of clans made up mostly of Mackintoshes.
Among these men, who had yet to see action in the uprising, were Camerons from Nairn and other towns near the battlefield.
Their leader, lieutenant-colonel Alexander MacGillivray of Dunmaglass, seems also to have commanded the next regiment on the front line, the Farquharsons; Camerons were among them as well.
Moving ahead one would encounter the numerous MacDonald regiments, under the command of Lord James Drummond, The Duke of Perth.
Among these 1,000 angry soldiers were Cameron farmers from Glen Urquhart.
Cameron men were also dispersed among the second line of the Jacobite army, providing, when considered along with the front line, that the clan would participate in every aspect of the upcoming battle.
At about 1 p.m., with the sky darkening and rain “driving” into the Highlander’s faces, the first shot was fired.
It came from one of the 12 “ill-manned” Jacobite four and six pounder cannons which were dispersed among the right, left and center of the front line, 500 yards from the enemy. “The Rebel ball passed over Lord Bury’s indifferent head…and came down somewhere in the rear, cutting a soldier in half.
The Jacobite guns were not to improve upon that.” The numerous field pieces of Cumberland’s Royal Artillery responded. “The high moor shuddered, the Highlanders lines were at once hidden by the smoke, and the gunners could see their black shot passing smoothly into the fog.” Less than ten minutes later, whether from lack of ammunition or skilled gunners, the ineffective Jacobite cannons fell silent.
The Hanoverian barrage continued. “Above the rolling, rumbling discharge, and the screams of those who had been hit, officers of the clans shouted desperately `Close up! Close up!…’ And the clansmen closed the gaps the round-shot made, but they looked over their shoulders to the rear, or cried back at their officers, demanding the order to charge.” The Highlanders endured this attack for twenty to twenty-five minutes, during which they lost an estimated one-third of their men.
The Cameron men threw down their firearms in disgust, grasped their trusted swords and Lochaber axes tightly, pulled their tartan kilts high to the groin and with the unearthly snarl of a Highland yell coming deep from within disappeared into the black gunpowder smoke. The sons of the hound had come to get meat.
The Hanoverian Royal Artillery heard the Highland charge and immediately changed from ball to grape-shot. “No powder was ladled into the barrels this time, but a paper case rammed home and containing charge, leaden balls, nails and old iron.” The charge was halted by the first murderous discharge of grape, the balls and the iron whispering and whistling their killing way.
Father stumbled over son, brother over brother in the sudden slaughter. Then the charge came on, but now the Cameron’s swung to the right like animals shying in alarm, and they drove for the left of the Royal line.”
The Hanoverian regiments held their fire until the bobbing, yelling faces of the Highlanders were within twenty yards of them, and then there was time for one volley only from each rank.”
One Hanoverian soldier later remarked “We had some hundreds of them breathless on the ground. They rallied, and before our left could load (they) came again like lions to the charge, sword in hand…” The furious “leaping, kilted” Highlanders were then upon them.
First and foremost the nearby artillery units were taken out of action.
“Sergeant Bristow, at his guns between these battalions, fired grape from both, one discharge and then he was chopped down by a Cameron sword, as were Bombardier Paterson and Gunner Edward Hust. All three crawled beneath the wheels of their guns, with terrible wounds from which they were not to die until two months later.”
Even their new bayonet training, a technique in which thrusts were directed not at the Highlander in front of them, rather at the one to the right, did not adequately prepare the Hanoverian soldiers for such an onslaught.
“They climbed over their dead, which soon lay four deep, and they hacked at the muskets with such maniacal fury that far down the line men could hear the iron clang of sword on barrel.”
“The fight was confused and bitter and the (Hanoverian) line swayed, Barrell’s lion standard of blue dipping at the center. Lord Robert Kerr, captain of the grenadiers, received the first charging Cameron on the point of his spontoon, but then a second cut him through the head to chin. Stewarts and Camerons flooded through the gap of the guns and cut at the grenadiers of Munro’s as well as Barrell’s. Some ran to the rear where Lieutenant-Colonel Rich of Barrell’s was standing on foot. He held out his slender sword to parry the swing of a broadsword and both hand and sword were cut from his wrist.”
Based upon reported casualties of the other clans on the Jacobite right wing it is conservatively estimated that out of the 700 Camerons who were on the field that day approximately 225 were killed and 150 wounded.
Prisoner records indicate that only 17 Camerons were taken from the field alive and as prisoners. The other 133 “estimated” wounded were bayoneted or shot where they lay, or would soon die in confinement.
From this, it may be surmised that at least 358 Cameron,s, over one-half of Lochiel’s regiment, perished on Culloden Moor.
Throughout the entire Jacobite right wing’s front line, the gentility of the Highlands, hardly a man survived the charge.
The highlanders were forced back under a heavy bombardment of grape shot and it was then that Campbell’s Argyll regiment struck their treacherous blow.
From their hiding place behind a dry stane wall they stood up and fired a volley into the flank of the exhausted, staggering retreating Highlanders. Then loaded calmly and fired three more volleys, and then drew their broadswords.
Yelling `Cruachan!’ they climbed over the wall and rushed upon the Cameron,s, but they did not have it all their own way.”
Citing extremely reduced numbers among Lochiel’s regiment and severity of their preceding action the Campbell,s thought it safe enough to risk direct confrontation with one of their immortal enemies.
In regard to the physical engagement with Clan Cameron it may be said with certainty that the Highlanders exchanged even amounts of casualties, ending with the Cameron’s demoralizing the “malicious” Campbell,s by killing their Commander, Colin Campbell of Ballimore.
But, as was their fate at Culloden, they would soon find that nowhere in Scotland was there a safe haven for true Highlanders.
Read the full description of the battle here: (http://www.clan-cameron.org/battles/1746_b.html)
1746-1800: Duke of Cumberland Rapes Scotland
Conceiving that the only effectual mode of suppressing the rebellion was to march into the Highlands with the whole army, the Duke of Cumberland began, about the middle of May, to make preparations for his journey.
He had in the beginning of that month issued a proclamation, ordering the insurgent clans to deliver up their arms; but little attention was paid to this mandate, and the continuance of considerable armed parties convinced him that the Highlands could never be reduced without the presence of a considerable army stationed in a central district.
Having pitched upon Fort Augustus for his new head-quarters, the duke left Inverness, on the 23d of May, with eleven battalions of foot and Kingston’s horse, and reached Fort Augustus next day.
Charles had intended to make this place a rallying point in case of a defeat; but his plan was rejected by the chiefs, and, that it might not be serviceable to the royal troops, the buildings had been blown up.
No accommodation being therefore found for the duke’s army, a camp was formed in the neighbourhood, and a turf hut with doors and windows, and covered with green sods and boughs, was erected by Lord Loudon’s Highlanders for the use of his royal highness.
Resolving to inflict a signal chastisement upon the rebels, the duke sent, from his camp at Fort Augustus, detachments of his troops in all directions, which devastated the country with fire and sword, and committed excesses scarcely paralleled in history.
Resembling, though perhaps on a lesser scale scale, those committed by Hitler’s “Sondecommando” in the 1942 invasion of Russia.
The seats of Lochiel, Glengarry, Kinlochmoidart, Keppoch, Cluny, Glengyle, and others, were plundered and burnt to the ground, and great numbers of the houses of the common people shared the same fate.
Major Lockhart, whose name, by his cruelties on this occasion, has obtained an infamous notoriety, marched with a detachment into the country of the Macdonalds of Barisdale, and laid waste and destroyed their dwellings.
Some of these poor people had obtained written protections from Lord Loudon; but the major disregarded them, and told the people who had them, that not even a warrant from heaven should prevent him from executing his orders.
Another corps, under Lord George Sackville, ravaged the country about the glens of Moidart, while others carried fire and desolation through other districts.
Not contented with destroying the country, these bloodhounds either shot the men upon the mountains, or murdered them in cold blood.
The women, after witnessing their husbands, fathers, and brothers murdered before their eyes, were subjected to brutal violence, and then turned out naked, with their children, to starve on the barren heaths.
So alert were these ministers of vengeance, that in a few days, according to the testimony of a volunteer who served in the expedition, neither house, cottage, man, nor beast, was to be seen with the compass of fifty miles: all was ruin, silence and desolation.
Deprived of their cattle and their small stock of provisions by the rapacious soldiery, the hoary-headed matron and sire, the widowed mother and her helpless offspring, were to be seen dying of hunger, stretched upon the bare ground, and within view of the smoking ruins of their dwellings.
It may seem surprising that the Highlanders did not avenge themselves upon their oppressors, by assassinating such stragglers as fell in their way.
It cannot be supposed that men in whose bosoms the spirit of revenge must have taken deep root, would have spared their relentless adversaries from any scruple as to the mode of dispatching them; nor can it be imagined that the Highlanders could not have selected fit occasions when they might have inflicted vengeance upon individuals.
The reason of their forbearance probably was, that such a system of warfare, if adopted, would lead to acts of retaliation on the part of the military, and thus increase their calamities.
Of the immense quantity of cattle carried off by Cumberland’s troops, some idea may be formed from the fact mentioned in a journal of the period, that there were sometimes 2,000 in one drove.
Intelligence of such a vast accumulation of live stock, reaching the ears of the graziers of the south, numbers of them went to Fort Augustus well provided with money, which they laid out to great advantage.
Some of the people, impelled by starvation, repaired to the camp to solicit from the spoilers some of their flocks, to preserve an existence; but their supplications were unheeded, and they were doomed to behold their cattle sold and driven away, while famine stared them in the face.
The enormities of the lawless soldiery were not confined to the Highlands, but extended to all the adjoining lowland districts where the spirit of disaffection was known to exist.
The houses of the low country Jacobite gentry were plundered and destroyed, and the chapels of the nonjurant episcopal clergy, as well as the more humble and secluded places of worship belonging to the Catholics, were either razed or burnt to the ground.
“Rebel-hunting” was the term adopted by the ruffians of the British army to designate their bloody occupation.
To complete the work of extermination, the duke issued a proclamation, denouncing the punishment of death, by hanging, against every person who should harbour the insurgents, and a similar fate was declared to await such as should conceal arms, ammunition, or any other thing belonging to them, or should not immediately deliver up to persons authorized by the duke to receive the same, any property or effects in their possession belonging to the rebels.
In compliance with a requisition made by the duke, the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, about the end of May, enjoined the ministers of the different parishes to read a proclamation from the pulpits, in which they themselves, and every well affected person, were ordered by his royal highness to use every exertion to discover and seize the unfortunate fugitives; and to facilitate their discovery and apprehension, the clergy were required to furnish lists of the names of all persons in their respective parishes who had had any share in the insurrection.
Many clergymen, including those of Edinburgh, with feelings of humanity and independence which did them honour, refused to head this proclamation, or to comply with the order requiring them to give in the names of such of their parishioners as had been engaged in the rebellion.
The government, equally intent with its sanguinary general upon the destruction of the unfortunate adherents of the house of Stuart, offered rewards for apprehending such of the fugitives as might land in Ireland, and instructions were sent to the British ministers at foreign courts in alliance with George II, to seize all who might seek refuge in the territories of such powers.
The guilt of all these acts of bloodshed and rapine has been laid to the charge of the Duke of Cumberland, and the single fact that he issued no orders to put an end to the enormities which were daily committed, often under his own eyes, and with his perfect knowledge, seems of itself sufficient to justify the charge.
The tyrannical Duke and his accomplices gloried in the miseries they inflicted upon the Scots and revelled amidst the ruin and desolation which they spread around; and when their occupation of “rebel-hunting” had been achieved by the destruction of their victims, they endeavored to relieve the boredom of inactivity by ludicrous and indecent diversions, including forcing young women to compete in “naked foot racing” as a betting spectacle for the English soldiers.
Vast quantities of livestock such as cattle, oxen, horses, sheep, and goats were stolen from the Scots, and sold for a pittance to farmers from Yorkshire. The money accrued was divided amongst the soldiers that brought the livestock in and many of these soldiers grew rich by their share of spoil.
When taken in connection with Cumberland’s sanguinary order not to take prisoners, the proofs of his criminality, or rather unconstitutional severity, are evident. Though the foul stain of wanton cruelty must ever attach to the British army on the present occasion, from the commander down to the private.
27 Jan 1793: Compulsory Service for the Scots
The fifty years after Culloden were not happy times in the Highlands.
The wearing of Highland dress was forbidden, the carrying of arms was proscribed and the Gaelic language was denigrated.
At the same time the population increased and this created new problems. One solution, and it was a popular one, was to enlist into the army.
In the last decade of the 18th Century nearly 40% of the British battalions of fencibles were raised in the Highlands.
This from an area with no more than 3% of the United Kingdom population.
In the beginning recruiting proved easy enough, but as time went on it became progressively more difficult to persuade young men to enlist.
18 Oct 1848: The Landowner privilege
Robert Somers was a journalist for the North British Daily Mail who, in 1848 visited Blair Atholl and in particular Glen Tilt.
He sent his observations, in the form of a series of weekly ‘letters’ to the paper.
The picture that he painted was of a land where landowners, in many cases absentee landlords, deliberately and systematically removed the indigenous population to make way for sheep farms and later sporting estates. An extract from his letter:
“An event occurred at this period which afforded a pretext to the Duke for the heartless extirpation of his people.
Highland chiefs were exhibiting their patriotism by raising regiments to serve in the American war; and the Duke of Atholl could not be indifferent to such a cause.
Great efforts were made to enlist the Glen Tilt people, who are still remembered in the district as a strong athletic race.
Perpetual possession of their lands, at the then existing rates, was promised them if they would only raise a contingent equal to a man from each family.
Some consented, but the majority with a praiseworthy resolution not to be dragged at the tail of a Chief into a war of which they knew neither the beginning nor the end, refused.
The Duke flew into a rage; and press gangs were sent up the glen to carry off the young men by force.
By impressment and violence the regiment was at last raised; and when peace was proclaimed, instead of restoring the soldiers to their friends and their homes, the Duke, as if he had been a trafficker in slaves, was only prevented from selling them to the East India Company by the rising mutiny of the regiment!
He afterwards pretended great offence at the Glen Tilt people for their obstinacy in refusing to enlist and – it may now be added – to be sold; and their conduct in this affair was given out as the reason why he cleared them from the Glen – an excuse which, in the present day, may increase our admiration of the people, but can never palliate the heartlessness of his conduct.
His ireful policy, however has taken full effect. The romantic Glen Tilt, with its fertile holms and verdant steeps is little better than a desert.
The very deer rarely visit it and the wasted grass is burned like heather at the beginning of the year to make room for new verdure.
In the meantime it serves no better purpose than the occasional playground of a Duke.”
Such criticisms of the Duke of Atholl were matched by similar censures of both the big landowners and the large tenant farmers, who having reduced the indigenous population to a state of pauperism grudged even paying the meagre poor rate . (http://www.perthshirediary.com)