Be an advice columnist!

A friend recently received a posting on her web site in response to this bit of history :

“Well presented but to a native Gaelic-speaking Highlander (one of whose ancestors served with the 77th Regiment) painful to read that:

In 1757, England (?) was at war with France and battles were raging in Europe and North America…… earning a glorious reputation in the King’s wars overseas, and these highlanders jumped at the chance to join a new Highland unit. In India the war was being waged on behalf of the East India Company.

No! Not England, surely !!!! The Union of the Crowns took place in 1603 (King James VI of Scotland became James 1 of England) The Union of the Parliaments in 1707.

Your spiel should read `In 1757, Great Britain (or at the very least, Britain!) ¿. You say that Highlanders “jumped at the chance” …..  Some may have done but most obeyed the orders of their Clan Chiefs or Lairds. So your statement is debatable.

On the other hand, many were forced into service by press-gangs paid by the military or had their sentences for serious crimes (murder etc.) commuted to continuous service in the army ¿ i.e. as `fodder for the guns¿!  I wish you well.”

How would YOU respond?


Bill is an American devotee of battles and battle sites, aside from his dayjob, of course and his question is directed to those from these isles, as to whose army it actually was which went over there.


Just a reminder to readers that comments will go to moderation at 10 p.m., through to early tomorrow evening.

2 comments for “Be an advice columnist!

  1. November 6, 2010 at 04:20

    The ‘Union of the Crowns’ is a bit of Scotch mist, about which I knew nothing until I moved to Berwick -upon-Tweed (where Scotch incomers behave as if they are in Scotland) and where this fictitious event was ‘celebrated’ in 2003, because James crossed the Tweed there. It exists in Scotch history books only, unless English history books were rewritten under McBlair and McBrown.

    What happened in 1603 was that the man who wore the Scotch hat was given the English one to wear as well. Wearing two hats at the same time does not unite them. The crowns were not united until the kingdoms they symbolised were joined in 1707, and you can forget all that specious Scotch nonsense about the Act of Union merely being the ‘union of the parliaments’. James I liked to think of himself as the king of Great Britain, and tried to style himself thus, but the English Parliament would have none of his Scotch presumption, and in the charters of his reign that I have seen, and transcribed, he was always described as James … of England, Ireland and ffrance the first and Scotland the sixth. he is only ‘correctly’ known as James VI and I, as Scots are wont to claim, in Scotland.

    The Jocks like to think of 1603 as ‘the biggest reverse take over in history’. It’s just another example of the self-serving guff they are famous for. They have a uniquely distorted view of the world and the past which is incomprehensible to anyone not wearing tartan tinted spectacles.

    Whether or not there were Highlanders in any expeditionary forces sent overseas after 1707 the troops were part of the British army, sadly.

  2. Bill of Churchtown
    November 7, 2010 at 20:25

    Thank you Mr. Gruff! History is always a matter of interpretation as to what the facts mean. In this case I thought the gentleman was being a bit prickly when there was no intent to give offense.

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