More of the background tale leading to our April 2017 weekender....
|Complicit in the Jacobite defeat? St Ruhe's French may have fought hard enough|
Dundee’s own losses amounted to no greater than thirteen hundreds of the total four and one half thousands lost for King James. So, can it truly be believed that the legions of King Louis the Magnificent did not shoulder more than adequate share of the burden or, that some ulterior plan may have been in train? The web of misinformation appears to well serve interests in various quarters.
And since the disaster has not Dundee rejected the French and kept the Irish at arm’s length? The unlikely truce with Mackay seemingly continues raising eyebrows and furrowing brows in every corner of the land. Most opposition in Scotland is broken or fragmented. It is true that certain elements and not without just cause, are openly discussing the rise of the ‘House of Graham’ in the northern kingdom. With the vaulting ambition of the King’s man in Albany, can anyone be certain of the future of the Crown’s influence beyond the line of the Tweed?
|Mackay's victory came from this massive left wing sweeping inwards (Ruvigny and Hamilton contemplate)|
And what of the victorious army of General Mackay? A masterful holding action on his right counter balanced perfectly by a majestic sweeping manoeuvre by his left or, was this a cynical sacrifice of the brave but somewhat troublesome Protestant Irish of Ulster to buy an easy victory? Of the near three thousands of King William’s army reported lost at Ripon half were from the Enniskillen regiments. These men and their regimental officers were known to rub against the smooth grain of the Dutch army and its art of war. Blunt speaking and forthright ways remain unwelcome amidst the inner quorum and byzantine protocols of the Williamite military hierarchy. Closed ranks indeed, particularly to simple and straightforward country men of conviction little diverted by the machinations of European power politics.
|The high water mark of the Jacobite attack - stopped by South western militia|
And, Mackay himself? The pure and loyal knight whose principled stand has been his mark through a score of years in the service of many great princes. Is he without stain? Has he no agenda beyond tireless fealty to his latest Lord? The sharp witted amongst us will recall the sublime deception played upon the Dupe of Berwick who was tricked into sending a warship full of troops, guns and supplies to the wily highland chieftain.
The latest intrigue to ooze from the leaking barrel alleges the Frenchman de Ruvigny has been sent to the Indies on a flimsy pretext at the request of none other than honest Sir Hugh. This able Huguenot’s absence removes a rival and furthermore, closes a channel of information to King William from the closed room that now exists north of York.
This leaves, on both sides of Hadrian’s ancient wall, three Scots controlling more than two thirds of all the British mainland – General Mackay, Lord George Hamilton and Viscount Dundee. All Protestant men, all to some extent a little out of step with their peers, all with much to gain by keeping at arms length friend and foe alike . Conspiracy theorists will ponder without abatement.
|Burnt on the altar of victory - the Enniskilleners|