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Colour taken at Preston (no.7). Blue field, white saltire, slightly askew bronze lily pot with green foliage. The device is taken from the arms of the burgh of Old Aberdeen, which identifies it as belonging to Captain Leslie's Company of Sir Alexander Fraser of Philorth's Firelocks (see Plate F1).

Colour taken at Dunbar (no.82); green field, white saltire, red devices. Sir David Home of Wedderburn's Regiment; at least seven other colours were taken, each distinguished by heraldic cadency marks. The heart indicates that the company commander was named Douglas, but the significance of the central device is uncertain; another of the regiment's colours (Dunbar no.76) bore the plain red crescent identifying the second captain.

Colour taken at Dunbar (no.82); green field, white saltire, red devices. Sir David Home of Wedderburn's Regiment; at least seven other colours were taken, each distinguished by heraldic cadency marks. The heart indicates that the company commander was named Douglas, but the significance of the central device is uncertain; another of the regiment's colours (Dunbar no.76) bore the plain red crescent identifying the second captain.

'The marching Postures of ye Harquebusiers', as depicted in John Cruso's Militarie Instructions for the Cavallrie. Most Scots cavalrymen were equipped in this fashion in the 1640s, but lancers may have predominated in 1650.

'common musket' (hence the origin of the designation '12 bore'), who therefore did indeed require 12 chargers for the powder. However, the same quantity of ammunition produced 14 rounds for the slightly lighter 'bastard' musket. In 1666 the Scots Privy Council ordered militia muskets to be of '16 balles", but whether such muskets were carried in the Civil War years is perhaps open to question. At any rate the different calibres variously required collars with 12, 14 or 16 powder chargers, although it seems to have been quite common for individual ones to get lost from the collar on campaign. There is no evidence for the use of prepared paper cartridges bv Scots infantry.

Another post-Restoration print, depicting a Lowland Scot swathed in a plaid over basically English-style costume, and wearing a bonnet with a bunch of ribbons.


Traditionally Scots armies were chronicallv short of cavalry. The biggest problem was not providing the men or the equipment, but finding sufficient suitable horseflesh. Most troopers were mounted on 'light but weak nags', according to Lord Save and Sele; and it is noticeable that only those units equipped as lancers were regularly able to take on English cavalrv on equal terms. On the other hand the Scots lancers proved so effective in Ireland that the Earl of Castlehaven's rebel cavalrv flatly refused to face them at all unless provided with armour.

In the early days, however, there was a distinct tendency for troopers to carry as many firearms as possible. In 1639 John Spalding saw some very heavily armed cavalrymen laden down with 'five shot, with a carabine in his hand, two pistols by his sides (presumably stuffed into his boots) and other two by his saddle'. Not surprisingly this was reckoned to be a touch excessive, and later only a pair of pistols 'of cine lairge boare' (musket balls were served out for them) and a sword were called for. Considerable use was certainly made of those pistols, for in the five months preceding the battle of Marston Moor the Earl of Eglinton's Regiment shot away no less than 688 pounds of powder. Unfortunately there is no indication of how much powder was used bv the regiment at Marston Moor, but the Earl of Dalhousie's Regiment drew 50 pounds shortly afterwards.

At the time, according to the Ordnance Papers, each cavalry regiment was organized in two squadrons, one of which was armed with pistols and the other with lances. However, in later years the proportion of lancers increased dramatically, and all of the cavalry levied in 1650 were ordered to provide themselves with lances.


'Dragooners' were in theory no more than mounted infantrymen, travelling about the countryside on horseback but dismounting to fight. In practice, however, in the Scottish service as elsewhere, they displayed an increasing reluctance to get down off their horses. At the beginning of 1644 only a single regiment, commanded bv Colonel Hugh Fraser, marched south with Leven's armv, but at least two cavalry regiments also had a troop of dragooners attached. Other dragoon regiments appeared from time to time, largely engaged on counter-insurgency duties in Scotland, but independent troops appear to have been the norm. All of them were equipped with matchlock muskets rather than firelocks.


In 17th century armies the train of artillery was not only responsible for bringing up and firing a variety of cannon, but also encompassed the supply of ammunition, 'new and fixt' muskets, pikes, half-pikes, lances, swine-feathers, and other more or less lethal bits of equipment, together with more mundane items such as digging tools, axes, horseshoes, nails, rope, hides and so on.

On the whole the Scots armies tended to be well supplied with artillery. In 1640 Sir John Conyers, an English scout, reported rather breathlessly that the invaders had no fewer than eleven 'cannon' - by which he presumably meant large siege guns - as well as 54 smaller guns and no fewer than 80 'frams'. In 1644 Leven's train was even larger, and comprised:

8 brass demi-cannon (241b shot)

1 brass culverin (181b shot)

3 brass quarter-cannon or 'cartows' (121b shot)

9 iron demi-culverins (91b shot) 48 brass demi-culverins (91b shot)

8 petard mortars 88 'fframes' (31b shot)

Frustratingly little is known of the 'frams' or 'fframes', although one brass barrel survives, together with a description by James Gordon of Rothiemay: 'Some short feeld peeces, of three foot longe or thereeby, which for all that, were of cine indifferent wydness, and did shoot cine indifferent gieat ball. Tlies peeces (commonly nicknamed Deer Sandyes Stoups, as being the invention, or so thought of ColonelI Alexander Hamiltoune, master of the artillerye, who

3lb cannon cast by James Monteith in the Potterrow, Edinburgh in 1642. This 30in-long barrel was presumably mounted on one of the 88 'fframes' which accompanied the Scots army in 1644.

Surviving example of one of the 'leather' guns built by James Wemyss in 1651. This one lacks both the rope binding and the leather skin, but gives a good impression of the light inner tube and reinforcing rings.

Surviving example of twin-barrelled 'leather' gun, still retaining some of its rope binding and leather skin. Surprisingly, some 20 examples of this type of weapon survive in Scotland, but only one in Sweden.

himself was nicknamed Deer Sandye) wer the ordnarfeeld peeces that afterwards for some time wer made use of.' Apart from this all that can be said is that they were carried on pack-horses, and their name suggests that they were mounted on some kind of frame rather than a wheeled field carriage.

In 1648 James Wemyss replaced 'Deer Sandve' as General of the Artillery, and set about constructing a new train of so-called 'leather' guns; these were actually constructed with an iron tube, reinforced with iron bands and wrapped around with rope, only the outer skin being leather. Wemyss was a nephew of the gunfounder Robert Scott, who had tested a 'leather' cannon in Stockholm in 1628. Although King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden famously purchased copper-barrelled, leather-covered weapons from the Austrian Wurmprandt (who seems to have copied the idea from Philip Eberhard of Zurich in 1623), these light 3- and 6-pdrs. were more novel than effective, and saw only limited use with the Swedish army; they were not taken across to Germain during the Thirty Years' War. In the Scots service, unlike the earlier guns, they were usually mounted in pairs or even in fours, although it seems likelv that the lighter barrels were only suitable for firing hail shot - an early form of canister.

The chief value of the 'frames' was their great mobility. In 1640 two of them were even mounted in the tower of St.Michael's church at Newburn. However, the actual frames on which the barrels were mounted appear to have been a touch fragile; two were returned as

BELOW, LEFT A very unusual colour taken at Dunbar (no.16); blue field, white saltire, grey cloud, blue-clad arm; natural hand, sword and crown. The other devices are: red lion (Wemyss?); silver bear (Forbes); black cross (Sinclair); and red heart (Douglas). The central device appears on Scots coinage of the period, but the combination of no fewer than four heraldic devices in the corners is odd. One possible explanation might be that it belongs to the General of the Artillery's Regiment, which was formed of drafts from other units. Another colour taken at Dunbar (no.38) had the same central device and a red star in the canton, together with the Murray motto TOVT PREST on the sinister arm of the saltire.

BELOW. RIGHT A rare survival from the Civil War: a colour belonging to Colonel William Stewart's Regiment, 1644-1648. White saltire on field quartered blue and red; thistle in natural colours; gold lettering.

brokin' at Boldon Hill in 1644. and since brass guns are not normally prone to bursting it may be assumed that it was the wooden frames which gave way. This certainly happened at Killiecrankie in 1689. General Mackay had three leather guns with him, but they 'proved of little use, because the carriages being made too high to be more conveniently earned broke with the third firing.'

Scots gun carriages were not painted, as was the practice in most armies, but instead coated with tar.

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