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Grounding for Research
on 8 January 2010
'No Quarter Given' is the muster roll of Charles Stuart's Jacobite army which attempted to overthrow the Hanoverian government for his father, James Stuart, to regain the British throne in the years 1745-46. This is a fully revised edition of the first muster roll which was created in the 1940's and first published in 1984, the year of the opening of (the previous) Culloden Battlefield visitor centre.
As a source of reference for those seeking ancestry who may have fought on the Jacobite side during 1745/46 this would be an invaluable book. Not only are individual names given within each of the listed regiments, the occupation, fate and town or area in which the individual resided are also included.
The introduction by Bruce Lenman, a leading historian on the subject gives an excellent, brief overview of 'The Jacobite Army and It's Achievements' and this is followed by the muster roll with accompanying prefatory notes from clan authorities. As always with Lenman, strong arguments are made to quash the myths of an army 'more written about than understood' and it's supposed lack of organisation and professionalism. As Lenman points out, there were indeed elements of luck attached to some of these remarkable achievements, but luck can only get an army so far. It could be argued that there were also extreme instances of bad luck such as the choice of field at Culloden- described by Lenman as 'a shooting range'- and the loss or misuse of large amounts of gold at Loch Arkaig and the Kyle of Tongue. Lenman believes that 'If the equivalent of the Loch Arkaig treasure had been run before Culloden, Cumberland's quite small army would have had to fight for it's life in the hills...' It is difficult to find fault with this point.
The notes attached to each of the clans/regiments give a concise insight into the role played by Charles's followers and their commanders/ chiefs. Some of the notes are in fact written by modern day descendants of clan chiefs who fought during this time.
Although the muster roll has been updated, it is clear that there are many names missing from the list judging by the number given. It is of course difficult in the extreme to account for every individual involved and the circumstances and also the nature of the Highlanders, who drifted in and out of the army by custom following a conflict, make this doubly so.
An absolutely crucial addition to Jacobite History in general and ideal for those interested in geneology or tracing a family tree which may yield pleasant (or unpleasant!) surprises.