A Conversation for The Covenanters in 17th Century Scotland
Munchkin Started conversation Jul 13, 2000
I have since discovered that there was no actual fighting during the two Bishops Wars. On both occasions, the two sides raised an army (Charles had difficulty with this, due to his unpopularity with the English parliament) and marched to meet each other. When they met, the King and the High Heid Yins of the Covenanters would talk, and eventually Charles would agree to abide by whatever the people (in the guise of the Scottish Parliament and the General Assembly of the Kirk) decided. He never did abide by these decisions, but no actual battles were fought during these "wars".
Fragilis - h2g2 Cured My Tabular Obsession Posted Jul 13, 2000
More wars should perhaps be resolved this way. If one side is horrifically outmatched, why not choose diplomacy instead of war? On the other hand, we could wax poetic about the Light Brigade or 'Remember the Alamo.' Hmm.
Lentilla (Keeper of Non-Sequiturs) Posted Jul 14, 2000
Of course, war should be the last refuge of diplomacy. For two countries to have to go to war (or two opposing factions within a country) means that somebody, somewhere, hasn't done his job properly.
Rather like the Russian drinking game: two burly Cossacks take turns hitting each other in the head with their fists. Whoever falls down first, wins.
Ever notice that some of America's greatest defeats become legends (propaganda) to spur a nation to greater patriotism? Re: the Lusitania (an excuse to jump into a war and revive a flagging economy), the Alamo (a mismanaged bloodbath); Pearl Harbor (a planned bloodbath); und so weider.
Munchkin Posted Jul 14, 2000
The lack of fighting here was mostly due to the old "Sanctity of Kingship" chestnut. On both occasions they Covenanters would easily have won, but really did not want to fight their King. So long as he agreed to Presbyterianism they would be happy. If Charles had been more popular in England, or less popular in Scotland, it probably would have come to blows. It is pretty rare for opposing forces to get to the point of having armies in the field before coming to a diplomatic conclusion.
As to heroic defeats, Britain has oodles, including Gallipoli, Dunkirk and the Somme. We Scots get to have Flodden (in the sixteenth century) as our greatest cock-up.
Lentilla (Keeper of Non-Sequiturs) Posted Jul 15, 2000
What can you tell me about Culloden? Being an ugly American, my European history has been sadly neglected.
Munchkin Posted Jul 15, 2000
Well, what do you know already? Basically it was a bloody stupid place to fight a battle, and the Jacobites had no decent (possibly none at all) canon, whilst the Government had loads of grapeshot. Interestingly, the greatest number of people killed in the battle were Irish, on both sides!!! I can tell you more specific information if you want.
Munchkin Posted Jul 17, 2000
There was a programme on TV about the '45 yesterday, so here is what I learned.
'45 and Culloden
Clans only signed up on understanding that French would supply regular troops. Jacobites went south while Government troops went north, but pro-Government clans near Inverness said no. So the Government troops went to Aberdeen to get ships south. The Jacobites went to Edinburgh and James VIII of Scots was proclaimed. The Government troops finally arrived by ship at Dunbar. Jacobites won at Prestonpans, due to surprising move at night which allowed a charge across dry ground while the Government troops were still rearranging. Jacobites then went south.
By time they got to Derby, two Government armies were approaching and still no French troops arrived. London was in panic though, and the Scots might have made it to London before Cumberland. However, as French were still being iffy, it was only sensible to retreat to home ground.
Small battle at Falkirk was the first time the Highland charge was stood up to by the Government, but Jacobites still won, with help from French troops who had finally arrived, but not many. However, they were now very tired and short of ammunition. Thus still retreated north in panic to Inverness.
Government troops reached Nairn, not far from Culloden, and had days rest to celebrate Duke of Cumberlands birthday. So, Jacobites tried to sneak up on Government during the night. French troops were not used to crossing moorland at night and so were too slow. Thus the Government troops were ready when they turned up. Jacobites retreated back to Culloden. They were now knackered!.
Argyls and Royal Scots on Cumberlands side, Royal Ecosse on Jacobites.
Cumberland institued new drill for the Government troops, Bayonet man to the right rather than one in front, to avoid targe. This is claimed to be a major influence in the battle but modern thinking is not so sure.
The battle started with a exchange of 3 pound (small) canon fire. aocobite canons were manned by civilians, who quickly were put out of action, so the Highlanders charged. Jacobites charge was bogged down by watery ground, and only one Government battalion was engaged. Government troops quickly swarmed round the clansmen, vastly outnumbering them. Thus clans ran off. French and Lowland troops remained. Thus, for a small while French Royal Ecosse and British Royal Scots traded shots. There were, however just far too many government troops, so Jacobites were forced to surrender.
After French and Lowland troops surrendered, Government troops, mostly dragoons, chased the fleeing clans and massacred everyone they came upon.
Approx. losses Government; 50, Jacobites; 1500
Lentilla (Keeper of Non-Sequiturs) Posted Jul 17, 2000
Thanks. Now I'm going to have nightmares...
Munchkin Posted Jul 20, 2000
Nightmares? Then think on the fact that it was the last battle fought in Britain. Nothing like that has happened here for over two hundred and fifty years. That is the sort of that makes me happy to be here.
Lentilla (Keeper of Non-Sequiturs) Posted Jul 20, 2000
You've got a point there! I'm still flabbergasted by the capacity for violence that humanity demonstrates... but maybe we're getting more civilized.
Key: Complain about this post
- 1: Munchkin (Jul 13, 2000)
- 2: Fragilis - h2g2 Cured My Tabular Obsession (Jul 13, 2000)
- 3: Lentilla (Keeper of Non-Sequiturs) (Jul 14, 2000)
- 4: Munchkin (Jul 14, 2000)
- 5: Lentilla (Keeper of Non-Sequiturs) (Jul 15, 2000)
- 6: Munchkin (Jul 15, 2000)
- 7: Munchkin (Jul 17, 2000)
- 8: Lentilla (Keeper of Non-Sequiturs) (Jul 17, 2000)
- 9: Munchkin (Jul 20, 2000)
- 10: Lentilla (Keeper of Non-Sequiturs) (Jul 20, 2000)