Many books have been written about the Jacobite rebellions – the armed attempts made by the Stuarts to regain the British throne between 1689 and 1746 – and in particular about the risings of 1689, 1715, 1719 and 1745. The key battles have been described in graphic detail. Yet no previous book has given a comprehensive military account of the campaigns in their entirety – and that is the purpose of Jonathan Oates’s new history.
For over fifty years the Jacobites posed a serious threat to the governments of William and Mary, Queen Anne and George I and II. But they were unable to follow up their victories at Killiecrankie, Prestonpans and Falkirk, and the overwhelming defeat suffered by Bonnie Prince Charlie’s army when it confronted the Duke of Cumberland’s forces at Culloden in 1746 was decisive.
The author uses vivid eyewitness testimony and contemporary sources, as well as the latest archaeological evidence, to trace the course of the conflict, and offers an absorbing insight into the makeup of the opposing sides, their leadership, their troops and the strategy and tactics they employed. His distinctive approach gives the reader a long perspective on a conflict which is often viewed more narrowly in terms of famous episodes and the careers of the leading men.