Irish Brigade Montrose

LEFT One of at least two cornets taken from Sir Charles Arnott's Horse at Inverkeithing (Dunbar no.73). Red field with gold arm and sword - Major William Johnstone's Troop. The other (no.97) was badly torn but bore a yellow star in the canton, and a sword point uppermost next to the staff, identifying it as Lieutenant-Colonel Govan's. There was also an indecipherable gold inscription on three lines, and the remains of a white and red fringe.

LEFT One of at least two cornets taken from Sir Charles Arnott's Horse at Inverkeithing (Dunbar no.73). Red field with gold arm and sword - Major William Johnstone's Troop. The other (no.97) was badly torn but bore a yellow star in the canton, and a sword point uppermost next to the staff, identifying it as Lieutenant-Colonel Govan's. There was also an indecipherable gold inscription on three lines, and the remains of a white and red fringe.

RIGHT Colonel's colour, John Innes' Regiment, taken at Dunbar (no.45). White field, golden cockerell with red beak, crest and wattles, on a blue and white orle; black and red verge to the scroll. The captains' colours appear to have been red with white saltires, with red cadency marks and contradictory numerals by way of distinctions.

Plate A2. representing one of these militiamen, wears a form of cassock known as a mandilion, and the ubiquitous knitted blue bonnet; his equipment as described by Spalding comprises matchlock musket, staff or rest, a sword (in this case a very common Dutch pattern) and a 'collar of bandoliers' for his ammunition. While the latter were convenient in allowing the soldier to carry pre-measured charges of powder they were far from robust. When the burgh of Elgin kitted out a small draft for Robert Monro's regiment in the following year they were given collars with eight, nine, ten and eleven chargers; the others had presumably been lost, for only two or three men were lucky enough to be given 'full bandilieris'.

The ensign. A3, is one of the four serving with the Aberdeen Militia. This reconstruction is based on a 1651 reference to white colours with the town's arms, and an illustration of those arms in a 17th century heraldic register. After retreating from Megray Hill the Aberdeen Militia held the Brig (bridge) of Dee against the Earl of Montrose for two days before being overwhelmed when they ran out of ammunition. On this occasion they appear to have lost just one man; ironically, five years later they would lose 118 out of some 500

Scots Royalist Flags

officers and men in trying to defend the burgh against another attack by Montrose, this time at the head of a Royalist army...

B: ULSTER

On the outbreak of the Irish rebellion in November 1641 the Scots government agreed to provide ten infantry regiments to stiffen the loyalist forces in Ulster. This contingent included what were in effect three penal units: Lord Sinclair's, Robert Monro's and Robert Hume's, which had not been disbanded with the rest of the Scots army after the Treaty of Ripon in the previous year. One anonymous chronicler spared no adjectives in his condemnation of them: ' ...and thes was adulterers, furnicaters, thieves, murderers, drunkards, sabbath breakers, who were given up by the minister of every parish.' Not surprisingly, perhaps, when Sinclair's men eventually marched for Ireland their departure from Aberdeen was greeted with some relief: 'They did no good but meikie evil daily, debauching, drinking, whoring, night walking, combating, swearing and putting sundry honest women servants to great misery whose bodies they abused.' Once in Ireland their appearance soon grew as ragged as their morals, and Plate B1 is closely based on a contemporary woodcut bewailing the neglected condition of English troops there.

The hurried despatch of the three penal regiments was followed by the recruitment of the other seven which the government was pledged to provide. Unlike most Scots units these were not comprised of conscripts. On 2 May 1642 Spalding noted 'drums beating daily through Aberdeen, for soldiers to march for Ireland in the Earl of Lindsay's Regiment under Major Borthwick.' Alexander Leslie, recently ennobled as 1st Earl of Leven, was appointed General, and as such in addition to his own regiment of foot he was entitled to have a Lifeguard of Horse (which included a kettledrummer) and Foot. The latter comprised 10 officers and NCOs and 107 men at the end of June 1642, and by 14 September there were 122 of them. Unfortunately after that date no further pay musters took place, which was to cause some considerable embarrassment two years later. Plate B2 represents the ensign of Leven's Lifeguard of Foot with a colour copied from his arms. Interestingly enough, a Scottish regiment serving in Germany in 1635 was reported to have 'huge red flags in the corner of which there Is a white cross of St.Andrew on a blue field', and it is very tempting to link the two.

The Ulster army quickly became a law unto itself, which was perhaps a natural consequence of recruiting it from jails, officering it with mercenaries and then neglecting to pay it. As early as 1642 a Presbyterian minister named Patrick Adair had complained that the officers '...had no inclination towards religion except in so far as the times and State who employed them seemed to favour it.' When the Solemn League and Covenant was agreed with the English Parliamentarians in 1643 it was initially planned that the Ulster army should be shipped across to their assistance. However, this plan foundered on its flat refusal to go anywhere until its substantial arrears of pay were met. There for a time the matter rested; but early in 1644 three of the regiments returned to Scotland without orders and - worse still -two of them, including Sinclair's penal battalion, readily offered to change sides during a Royalist uprising, in the vain hope that the Rebels might pay them. In the event the rebellion collapsed without their assistance, but the mercenary spirit survived; both they and a large composite battalion brought over to Scotland by Colonel Robert Home (the titular commander of Leven's Lifeguard) consistently proved mutinous, as General Baillie discovered when he delivered an exhortation before the battle of Alford in 1645:

'...and when he looked for a cheerful answer the red regiment (Home's) commonly called the red cottes with two old regiments more on whose valour he most relyed, told him plainly that they saw no just quarrel; for Montrose and the Gordounes were the Kinges subjects als well als they, and the Irishes, altho they ware strangers, ware the Kinges subjects, professing too there obedience to his Majestie als well als they, and all of them professed no quarrell but the main-tainance of the Kinges Royall prerogative which he was no good subject that would refuse.'

Not surprisingly this nonsense 'did mightelie perplex there Generall', but it was money rather than fair words which returned them to obedience. This is one of a number of contemporary references to Home's men being redcoats, and one of his pikemen is reconstructed as Plate B3: the garments were presumably supplied from English stocks. The sword is Dutch, as is the broad-bladed pike, one of thousands purchased by Thomas Cunningham, the Scots government's agent at Campvheer. After the battle of Benburb in 1646 one of the defeated officers bitterly complained that a contributory factor in the disaster had been the fact that their pikes were broad-bladed, 'which are the worst in the world.'

C: THE ARMY OF THE SOLEMN LEAGUE AND COVENANT

C1: Captain, Earl Marischal's Regiment Captain George Keith of Aden commanded a company in the regiment raised in Aberdeen and the Mearns by his elder brother William Keith, the 7th Earl Marischal. Keith's company was evidently one of the three from this regiment which joined the army in time for the initial crossing of the border, for he signed for ammunition and swine-feathers on 8 February. The remaining companies did not arrive until the early summer, and consequently the regiment was not present at Marston Moor, but it subsequently took part in the sieges of Newcastle. Hereford and Newark. George Keith is reconstructed here largely from a mercer's bill presented to him on 27 May 1644: 2 ells mixt Spanish cloth at 25s ye ell. 02 10 00

11 drop of silk 00 01 10

2 demibeaver hatts and two bands 02 04 00

4 dison of silk buttons 00 10 00

13 drop more silk 00 02 02

1 pr pearle cullor silk stokings 01 10 00

1 pr buckskin gloves 00 10 00

9 yards silver and silk ribbon at 2s ye yard 00 18 00 6 yards of changing satin ribbon at 10d ye ell 00 05 00 4 ells of scarlit cloth at 20 shillings ye ell 04 00 00 4 disane and ane half of gold and silver long-tailed buttons at 14s ye dosan is 03 03 00

George Keith was something of a snappy dresser, with a particular predilection for fashionable hats. The four ells of scarlet material will have been sufficient for this coat and breeches, based on a near-contemporary portrait of a Dutch officer. (At only 37 inches a Scots ell very nearly equated to an English yard). There are in fact a number of references which suggest that scarlet coats were associated with professional soldiers at this time; for example, a contemporary ballad describes a Royalist officer. Nathaniel Gordon, putting on a 'scarlat coat which he wore being a Sergeant'.

C2: Ensign, Marquess of Argyle's Regiment One of the smallest regiments to cross the border was Argyle's, which formed the garrison of Berwick upon Tweed. Only three of the company commanders - Major Hugh Crawford and Captains

Royalist English Civil War
'Present and give Fire': cuirassier firing a pistol, held tilted with the lock uppermost - i.e. with the priming pan immediately above the touchhole - to increase the always dubious chances of a clean ignition of the main charge.
Col Thomas Laghtnan

Red and white cornet, Major-General Sir John Browne's Regiment (Dunbar no.93), taken at Inverkeithing. The cornet belonging to his lieutenant-colonel, William Bruce (no.47), had the field reversed and was countercharged with a silver and red fleur de lis surrounded by the inscription COVENANT FOR RELIGION KING AND KINGDOME arranged in a circle; the fringe was white and blue.

Red and white cornet, Major-General Sir John Browne's Regiment (Dunbar no.93), taken at Inverkeithing. The cornet belonging to his lieutenant-colonel, William Bruce (no.47), had the field reversed and was countercharged with a silver and red fleur de lis surrounded by the inscription COVENANT FOR RELIGION KING AND KINGDOME arranged in a circle; the fringe was white and blue.

Dunottar Castle; this nearly impregnable fortress did not surrender to Colonel Thomas Morgan until 26 May 1652, this event marking the end of the English Civil Wars.

George Hall and Ninlan Stewart - can be identified, and it seems likely that this was in fact the 'Levied Regiment' raised by the Estates in August 1643. Lord Sinclair was originally nominated as its colonel, but he then appears to have been given command of a larger regiment raised by the senators of the College of Justice in early 1644 - in addition to the penal regiment he had taken to Ireland. Just to confuse matters even further, Argyle also had a regiment serving with the Ulster army, and would go on to raise a third for counter-insurgency operations in Scotland. Unlike the regiment serving in Berwick, the latter were both Highland units. The marquess also had a Lifeguard of Horse, authorized on 6 January 1644. The Estates invited volunteers for the unit who could provide their own horses and equipment, promising not only to pay them at the customary rate but also to pay their footmen as well, providing that these were accoutred with 'snap gunnes and swordis'.

The colour illustrated here was described as carried by the regiment in 1644; another was surrendered at Preston in 1648, and a third was taken either at Dunbar or Inverkeithing. The black and yellow tinctures, taken from Argyle's arms, are repeated in the bunch of ribbons attached to the ensign's bonnet. It appears that this was a common practice; on 8 January 1644 Sir Thomas Hope recorded in his diary: 'item, this day gevin to the soiours of craighall, quho goes under Captain Moffat, ilk of them thair colters of blew and zellow silk ribbons, quhilk cost 4 merks.'

C3: Trooper, Colonel Hew Fraser's Dragoons Initially the Scots army had only a single regiment of dragoons or mounted infantry, commanded by Colonel Hew Fraser of Kynerries. While the regiment's recruiting area is not identified, the fact that a high proportion of the officers evidently came from Inverness-shire suggests that most of the rank and file did likewise. This was probably because there were

Dunottar Castle; this nearly impregnable fortress did not surrender to Colonel Thomas Morgan until 26 May 1652, this event marking the end of the English Civil Wars.

Charles Alexander Montrose Artist

insufficient good horses in the area to produce a proper cavalry regiment. At any rate, only four troops or companies were present at Marston Moor, where they made something of a reputation for themselves - even though the records show that they can only have fired four or five rounds apiece. Afterwards they served at Carlisle and Philiphaugh before being converted into a regiment of Horse at the end of 1645. One troop was present at the siege of Newark, and a muster report on 17 January 1646 notes rather unflatteringly that they were 'lately Dragoones and not yet armed as troopers; more than that there's some have pistols by ther sydes nor have they horses fit for troopers.' The reference to pistols by their sides presumably means that they had them thrust into their boot-tops rather than in saddle holsters. Intriguingly, however, there is no record of their ever having been issued with any pistols when they turned in the matchlock muskets and 'collars of bandiliers' with which they were originally equipped.

D: STRATHBOGIE REGIMENT, ABERDEEN,1644

One of the most resilient Royalist units, the Strathbogie Regiment was first raised in 1639, and won a neat little victory at Turriff north of Aberdeen on 15 May. Subsequently it served at Megray Hill, and a detachment led by Captain Nathaniel Gordon took part in the defence of the Brig o' Dee. Disbanded at the end of the First Bishops' War, it was again raised by the Marquis of Huntly in 1644. On this occasion a detachment took part in the storming of the burgh of Montrose on 24 April, but Huntly, finding himself unsupported, disbanded his forces shortly afterwards. Nevertheless his rather more resolute son Lord Gordon raised the regiment yet again in 1645, and it led the crucial Royalist counter-attack at Auldearn.

As a symbol that they were fighting for King rather than country the Royalists made extensive use of the Royal lion rampant on their colours rather than the national saltire adopted by the Estates. Plate D1 is an ensign carrying one of the colours made during the Royalist occupation of Aberdeen in March and April 1644; 'He (Huntly) causit mak sum ensignes, quhair on ilk syde wes drawin ane red rampand Lion, having ane croun of gold above his heid, and C.R. for CAROLUS REX, havelng this motto, FOR GOD, THE KING, AND AGANIST ALL TRAITTOURIS, and beneth, GOD SAVE THE KING... The Marquess and his followeris weir ane blak teffetie about thair crag, quhilk wes ane signe to fight to the death, bot it provit utherwayes.' The scarlet riding coat indicates that he is one of the professional soldiers retained by Huntly to train his levies.

Plates D2 and D3 represent a drummer and pikeman respectively. While there may very well have been some Highlanders serving within its ranks, the Strathbogie Regiment was a regular formation properly drilled by professional soldiers and equipped with pikes and muskets, a point explicitly confirmed by Spalding on 21 April: 'Thair cam over ane guard out of the toune about 60 muskiteiris and pikoneiris, with twa cullouris, ane drum, and ane bag pipe.' In this case the clothing worn by both is based on that excavated from Quintfall Hill in Caithness. The drummer, perhaps foreseeing hard times ahead, is wearing two coats.

Defended Passage
The main entrance at Dunottar Castle - a narrow, easily defended passage only wide enough for four men abreast.

E: THE IRISH BRIGADE, 1644-45

After the Cessation or ceasefire in Ireland on 15 September 1643 most of the English regiments serving in Leinster and Munster were recalled in order to reinforce the Royalist armies in England. In time substantial numbers of Irish soldiers were recruited for the same service, and in the summer of 1644 a mercenary brigade was despatched to Scotland. There it formed the nucleus of the Royalist army raised by the Marquis of Montrose. While this is frequently portrayed as little more than a Gaelic warband of exiled MacDonalds led by the celebrated Alasdair MacCholla, the composition of the brigade's three regiments, commanded by Colonels Thomas Laghtnan, James MacDonnell and Manus O'Cahan, was actually quite complex. John Spalding, who several times recorded their passage through Aberdeen, described them as 'about 1500 trishis, brocht up in West Flanderis, expert soldiouris, with ane yeiris pay.'

A surviving roll of the brigade's officers confirms that the greater part of them came - originally at least - from Ulster and Connaught rather than the Scottish highlands; some were even Anglo-Irish Catholics from the Pale. The Hebridean exiles appear to have accounted for only the three or four companies which generally formed MacCholla's Lifeguard. Attrition, and the creation of a small dragoon unit under Captain John Mortimer of O'Cahan's Regiment, reduced the brigade to just 500 men by the summer of 1645. About half of them were then killed at Philiphaugh on 13 September - or executed afterwards: but the survivors soldiered on under various Royalist leaders until the end of the war.

BELOW Pattern for the Quintfall Hill coat. Both garments are unlined; the cloth is now a sandy brown colour, but this is probably the result of peat staining.

17th Century Cassock

Clothing recovered from a 17th century corpse at Quintfall Hill, Caithness. Coin evidence dates it to the 1690s, but the style seems unchanged since the Civil War - the low stand collar seems to have gone out of fashion c.1650. All buttons are 'dumplings' made from cloth scraps.

BELOW Pattern for the Quintfall Hill coat. Both garments are unlined; the cloth is now a sandy brown colour, but this is probably the result of peat staining.

The figures in this plate represent the three principal constituents of the brigade. Plate E1 is an Anglo-Catholic officer such as Captain Mortimer, probably with previous experience in the Spanish Army of Flanders. No detailed descriptions of their clothing survive, but it is known that a considerable amount of 'rich apparell' was seized for the use of the officers from Perth and Aberdeen. Furthermore, when Alasdair MacCholla's servant was captured during the retreat from Dundee in 1645 we are quaintly Informed that he was carrying his master's hat, cloak and gloves. The ensign itself Is one of a number described In the True Informer which can be linked to the embarkation of the brigade In the summer of 1644. All bore a red saltlre on a yellow canton, with the crown and cypher beneath. Otherwise there does not appear to have been any uniformity as to their colouring - others were white, green, purple and blue. However, all were distinguished - like this example - by their very overt Catholic imagery; one, for example, was white with a 'blood red crucifix with the motto AQUUM EST PRO CHRISTO MORI', while another was red, bearing 'the name of Jesus' and the motto IN NOMINE JESUS OMNE GENU FLECTITUR. Plate E2 represents a pikeman of the brigade. At the Justice Mills fight In 1644 Montrose was described as 'cled in cot and trewis as the Irishes wes clad', and this particular reconstruction is based on contemporary political cartoons -

including some on cavalry cornets - which invariably depict Irish rebels wearing plain white trews, grey coats, and what appear to be Monmouth caps. Many secondary sources suggest that the soldiers serving in the brigade were armed only with muskets, but there are a number of contemporary references to pikes. George Wishart, Montrose's chaplain-cum-biographer, states that at Tippermuir they were very poorly armed: they had. he says, neither swords nor long pikes (hastis longioribus), which clearly implies that some of them had the half-pikes so common in Irish warfare. In any case conclusive evidence for the presence of pikemen comes from Patrick Gordon of Ruthven, who relates how one of the Irish regiments saw a slain Royalist officer into his grave with all the usual courtesies including 'training of pikes, and thundring vollie of muskets.'

Plate E3 represents a clansman of MacCholla's Lifeguard. He is based on a figure in one of three prints depicting Highland mercenaries at Stettin in c.1631. While there is certainly evidence that some of MacCholla's men carried broadswords, this particular individual has a dirk, a matchlock musket and a bow. This surprising combination is recorded in pre-war wapinschaws (though naturally it was much commoner to carry one or the other), and the use of bows was certainly quite widespread at the beginning of the war; and specific mention is made of archers serving on the Royalist left at Tippermuir. Secondary sources frequently identify them as belonging to John Graham of Kilpont's Regiment, but they were in fact a contingent of Keppoch MacDonnells - Kilpont's men actually being equipped with pikes and muskets.

The sleeveless tartan coat is recorded in all three of Koler's prints and is shown here as an alternative to the rather better-known belted plaid. In the original prints the bows appear to be the composite type carried by Tartars and other eastern irregulars in Polish service, which will presumably have been more familiar to the artist. In actual fact

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