Officers of the Jacobite Armies
The first online listing of all who held commissioned rank in the armies of the Jacobite cause
This Officers of the Jacobite Armies project (PI Murray Pittock) is the first online listing of all who held commissioned rank in the armies of the Jacobite cause, or those who held such rank in other armies and were actively associated with that cause. The army of James VII and II before 1688-89 is not included: the King’s Army in Ireland 1689-91 and Dundee and his successors’ army in Scotland in the same period are the earliest forces included. The latest and best documented army is that of 1745-46, and officers beyond that period are not included unless they were active agents of the Jacobite court in England, Scotland and Ireland or involved in a military action directly related to the interests of the cause. Officers in the Irish Brigades in the service of France and in the French, Spanish and other services more generally are included in part, especially when there was a live connexion to the cause.
Officers of the Jacobite Armies offers the most complete picture yet in one place of the breadth, nature and composition of the junior and senior Jacobite leadership. The movement they led was the most serious internal threat to the sustainability of the British state and its empire for the first sixty years after the Revolution of 1689, and left an extraordinary deep and complex legacy of ideas, images and ways of thinking that penetrated into everything from Irish republicanism to tartanry to English ruralism. If not the bloodiest conflict within these islands-though it could be bloody, with 7000 deaths at Aughrim in 1691 and thousands at Culloden and its aftermath-it was the most persistent. From Bantry Bay in 1689 to Quiberon Bay seventy years later, the Revolution and Union states were repeatedly challenged militarily by the Jacobites and their allies. As late as the 1790s, the French Directory suggested Charles Edward’s brother, Henry, as a fit figurehead for Ireland. And all this is to say nothing of the vast counterculture of Jacobitism, found from Scotland to Russia.
A comprehensive database of all Jacobites who ever served in the Jacobite or Jacobite-related military at all ranks would be ideal, but the scale of the enterprise and the irrecoverability of much of the evidence (at least 50 000 men served in these armies in 1689 and 1715 alone) renders it impracticable, though circumscribed datasets by background and locality are both possible. The Jacobite Database of 1745 (JDB 1745) aims to create a comprehensive database of all serving Jacobites in this Rising: here the evidence is most plentiful, as 4000 and more names survive of the 11-14000 who served.
Each entry normally has at least one source appended, and there are also a series of classifications which apply to some of those listed: the foreign service the officer belonged to, whether they were a prisoner, transported or killed in action are all examples. Irish Brigade or other foreign officers who were taken and discharged are not classified as prisoners. The listing is inevitably incomplete, and fresh names (with sources) are welcome: please tweet to @JacobiteDB as the team are not able to enter into direct correspondence. Anyone supplying information in this way has the option to be named in association with that entry as an additional source and co-author. In the same way, please point out any duplication and inconsistencies.
In many cases, the listing provided is a very basic one. As the database develops, more details will be added.