Securing Scotland

Letter from the Duke of Cumberland, the youngest son of George II to Lord Albemarle on his appointment as Commander in Chief of forces in Scotland, July 16 1746. He was nicknamed ‘Butcher’ Cumberland after his role in putting down the Jacobite Rising at Culloden. The letter gives the Earl Of Albemarle instructions for the defence of the lowlands of Scotland (SP 54/32/49H).


Copy of the Instructions for the Earl of Albemarle

His Majesty having been pleased to call me to London, & approve your being appointed to command the King’s Troops in the North, Upon my Departure, you will, as soon as the Detachments shall be all returned from their Pursuit of the Pretender’s Son, march South & canton [divide into groups] & quarter [provide lodgings for] the King’s Troops according to the annexed [attached] list.

If the Rebells should reassemble to such a head, that you may think it is necessary to march the whole or any Part of the Troops under your command, you will immediatley do it, always taking care to leave the South secure, either by Garrisons at Blair & Castle Menzies, or by leaving a Body of Troops sufficient for that Purpose at Perth or Crief, & having in mind that Stirling Castle must never be left unprovided with such a Garrison as may prevent the Rebells from attempting anything against it, whilst your main Strength may be employed in the North Should the Highlanders commit their usual Depredations [destruction] on the Lowlands, you will send a Sufficient Force to punish the clan that shall have been guilty, as it would be unsafe to send small detachments of the King’s Troops into the Hills, after the Cow stealers, whilst the Rebells are still armed.

As this country is in So unsteady a Situation, you will recruit the Army under your Command with all possible Expedition & keep the whole in a Readiness to take the field at a Day’s warning. To which End, the officers must keep their Horses, & camp necessaries must be got from London; and you will not allow any Officers to be absent from their Duty, but such as you shall be convinced require a little time, to settle their private affairs.

You will be very carefull that the Forts & Castles in North Britain, be well provided with all manner of store & provision, particularly the Castles of Edinburgh & Stirling. You will dismiss all the Conductors [men who move guns, weapons and supplies].

You will transmit accounts of all rebells that may be hereafter seized by the Troops to the Civil Magistrate, & likewise to the Duke of Newcastle, His Majesty’s Principal Secretary of State, with whom you are constantly to correspond, for His Majesty’s better Information of what shall occur in this Country, under your Command: And all this is to serve your instructions ’till you shall have received others from His Majesty or His Ministers. Given at the HeadQuarters at Fort Augustus, the 17th Day of July 1746.


By His Royal Highness the Duke’s Command, (Everard Fawkener)


William Anne, Earl of Albemarle, Lieutenant General of His Majesty’s Forces, and Commander in Chief of the King’s troops in North Britain.

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