IT was pleasing to see the Jacobite swords in yesterday’s guest article by Stuart McHardy on the forgotten Anti Union Rebellion of 1708 (Opposition to the Union has been erased from our history, September 11). He mentions the Jacobite broadswords bearing the inscription, “Prosperity to Scotland and No Union”.

The Earl of Mar, “Bobbing John”, who led the 1715 and Anti Union Rebellion, was a signatory to the Union who rebelled, complaining that his family did not get a big enough share of the bribes. It could be argued that he actually won the Battle of Sherramuir. But he dispersed his Highland troops after the battle, leaving Red John of the Battles to retreat in good order to Dunblane and then hold Stirling, the gateway to the Highlands. Red John Glas, or Campbell, led the Scottish MPs against the Union Treaty four years later and was told that they were bought and sold to be laughed at, “to their Scotch faces”.

Mar Castle still has a display of the banner, “Prosperity to Scotland and No Union”. The current Earl is LibDem “Inbetweener” and latter-day “lang-faced” Unionist Whigamore. The Revolutionary Earl of Mar supported John MacLean, Scottish republican socialist, who advocated Scottish independence some 20-odd years afore the modern SNP was formed. Both were members of the “Declaration of Arbroath 1320” Committee and spoke there with other radical republicans such as James Maxton.

READ MORE: The map which proves opposition to Union was erased from Scotland's history

It is now well known that copies of the Treaty were burnt at every Mercat Cross in Scotland and the Treaty itself was signed in a cellar in the Scots Parliament whilst the coach had to be escorted by dragoons across the Boarder. A local meenister beseeched the rioting Weegie locals to be “up and anent for the city of God” and a young General Wade brought his redcoats from Eglinton Barracks to restore order. Wade, an Irish Protestant, built more roads and bridges in the Highlands after the ‘15 Rebellion than Ernest Marples and MacAlpine’s Fusiliers did in the 1960s.

What is not so well known is that Duke of Hamilton led an Anti Union Rebellion in 1708 and failed to turn up due to a toothache. The Jacobites came from the north and easily took Edinburgh, where the toon’s Hielan’ Guards let them in.

The Cameronians marched from the south west in support and were grassed up at Dumfries, where the local wimmen fought the British troops on the streets. It is now believed that the Duke of Hamilton was a double agent, due to his lacklustre performance in Parliament, kinda like “Corb the Abstainer” today on Brexit etc.

Again, what else is ignored by modern historians is the fact that the Jacobites were opposed to the so called “Union“, where only 1% of Scots had the vote. King James declared the annulment of the Parliamentary Union of 1707, but not the regal Union of 1603, when he landed, too late at Peterhead after the ‘15 was over. Cherlie also did the same in his Manifesto of 1745 when he landed at Glenfinnon. His troops were happy to declare him at Edinburgh, but not so happy to have him as a Brit King in London.

Cherlie adapted tartan as his party colours, explaining the hatred today emanating from the Proscription Act of 1746. English Jacobite MPs wore tartan waistcoats as a political statement. The Manchester Jacobite Regiment left in Carlisle Castle was tortured to death. Jacobite wounded prisoners were murdered and tortured too, by redcoat officers who were paroled after Prestonpans and others battles.

One hopes oor “English For Yes” will join us in a happier fate.

Donald Anderson