The Glencoe Men.

Extract from a letter dated 15th October 1745, to Dr Thomas Herring, Archbishop of York, signed “Your Grace’s Most Faithful Son and Servant, Philalethes,” reproduced from the Towneley Manuscripts (English Jacobite) by the Rev. A.B. Grosart, Blackburn. 1877.

I must therefore suppose your Grace had none in view but Highlanders when you gave that bad character; and even to them it will not apply. If you have represented them as men bold, hardy, enterprising, accustomed to hardship and fatigue, fearless of danger, under strong convictions of the justice of their cause, and resolved to conquer or die in the attempt, you had done them justice; but to scold them as rascals and ruffians was not fair dealing, either with respect to them or to your audience. If my information is just, as I have reason to think it is, they are men very different from what you would have us believe them. If the Glencoe men could march close by the Earl of Stair’s House without hurting a chicken, even when they had ground for all the resentment which the remembrance of a Bloody Massacre could inspire; if there has scarce one of that army been seen drunk, or heard to swear an oath; if before the late action, while General Cope’s troops were blaspheming, the Highlanders were devoutly sending up their prayers to God for his Direction and Assistance; and after the action they returned their thanks to Heaven, ascribing all the glory of a Compleat Victory to the great God of Battles, to whom they acknowledged it due; if all this is true, as I am well assured it is, your Grace had better spared these terms of reproach.