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Crucible of the Jacobite '15

Crucible of the Jacobite '15

Jonathan Oates
ARRSE Rating
1.5 Mushroom Heads
This book is number 20 in a series called ‘Century of the Soldier, but can be read as a standalone volume. It describes the background and events leading up to and the aftermath of the Battle of Sheriffmuir in 1715. It is the author’s fifth published book on the subject, in addition to an undergraduate thesis on the Jacobite rebellion of 1715 and a doctoral thesis covering both the 15 and the 45. He knows his subject!

Unfortunately for this reader, although the depth of research and wealth of information is unquestionable, the writing style is long-winded, impenetrable and turgid. I ploughed through it, out of respect to the amount of work the man had undoubtedly done, but cannot say it was a pleasurable read. This is disappointing as I am hugely interested in the history of this period, and was expecting a lively tale as well as a learning experience.

I did enjoy one anecdote, particularly in the light of present kerfuffles around Indyref2 in Scotland. Apparently the first casualty of the battle was a soldier killed by one of his own side, as the Highlanders who called out for a password did not understand his Lowland accent when he gave the correct response.

If anyone is interested in reference section full of lists, charts and tables showing infinite data about the rebellion, for example numbers of officers who deserted to the English side, number of men wounded and how, occupations of the soldiers before they joined, then this will fill that gap.

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