• Hi Guest!

    The costs of running this forum are covered by Sea Lion Press. If you'd like to help support the company and the forum, visit patreon.com/sealionpress

No Battle of Culloden; Effect on the Highlands

RyanF

Pub Reconquista Ongoing
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
Location
Falkirk
Pronouns
he/him
Given today is the anniversary of the last battle fought on British soil, what if the Young Pretender dies before he can launch the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745, and there is no Battle of Culloden? Presuming there is not another effort launched at a Rising with a similar battle, what would be the long term effects on the Scottish Highlands?

Would legislation still be passed stripping clan chiefs of their judicial powers and banning the wearing of tartans? Would the tacksman system still so quickly decline?

Though the economic pressures would still be there, might this dampen the efforts of the Highland Clearances? Would the nineteenth century eventually bring an equivalent of the Irish Land War in the Highlands? At the dawn of the 20th century might a fifth of Scotland speak Gaelic compared with the less than 5% OTL?
 

Death's Companion

General Ugg Apologist.
Given today is the anniversary of the last battle fought on British soil, what if the Young Pretender dies before he can launch the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745, and there is no Battle of Culloden? Presuming there is not another effort launched at a Rising with a similar battle, what would be the long term effects on the Scottish Highlands?

Would legislation still be passed stripping clan chiefs of their judicial powers and banning the wearing of tartans? Would the tacksman system still so quickly decline?

Though the economic pressures would still be there, might this dampen the efforts of the Highland Clearances? Would the nineteenth century eventually bring an equivalent of the Irish Land War in the Highlands? At the dawn of the 20th century might a fifth of Scotland speak Gaelic compared with the less than 5% OTL?
My inner nitpicker points out the 1916 rising. But that does not detract from the significance of it all.

The clearances were primarily economic though the Highlands being politically and militarily shattered probably made them a lot easier. Its a lot harder to boot people from their lands if they are armed and organised. So without the battle at all it probably goes more slowly and less harshly with more resistence and negotiation.


The greater difference obviously would be a Jacobite victory. I don't see a successful invasion of England even with a complete success but Charlie probably looks a lot more credible if his night attack works out and the government army is caught drunk and disorganised. Obviously if the Highlanders become the political elite of Scotland and influential in the UK in the very unlikely event of a Jacobite restoration then the clearances are unlikely to go ahead.
 

George Kearton

Well-known member
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
Given today is the anniversary of the last battle fought on British soil, what if the Young Pretender dies before he can launch the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745, and there is no Battle of Culloden? Presuming there is not another effort launched at a Rising with a similar battle, what would be the long term effects on the Scottish Highlands?

Would legislation still be passed stripping clan chiefs of their judicial powers and banning the wearing of tartans? Would the tacksman system still so quickly decline?

Though the economic pressures would still be there, might this dampen the efforts of the Highland Clearances? Would the nineteenth century eventually bring an equivalent of the Irish Land War in the Highlands? At the dawn of the 20th century might a fifth of Scotland speak Gaelic compared with the less than 5% OTL?
My "House of Stuart Sequence" addresses the '45 from the other side; a successful Jacobite Uprising and all that flows from it. In volume two the battle at Culloden (aka Drumossie) takes place some years later and is fought between invading Hanoverians and clans loyal to the ruling House of Stuart.
 

Alex Richards

A musical Hubble Space Telescope
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
Location
Derbyshire
The clearances were primarily economic though the Highlands being politically and militarily shattered probably made them a lot easier. Its a lot harder to boot people from their lands if they are armed and organised. So without the battle at all it probably goes more slowly and less harshly with more resistence and negotiation.
You would still have some powerful clan leaders within the semi-gentry who might well end up as lesser landowners (with more inclination for tenanting rather than sheep) by the 19th Century.
 

Death's Companion

General Ugg Apologist.
You would still have some powerful clan leaders within the semi-gentry who might well end up as lesser landowners (with more inclination for tenanting rather than sheep) by the 19th Century.
True and the upper ranks may have a bunch of English and Irish titles and lands as well to distract them.

I wonder if the clans remained important or even increased in importance what impact that would have.
 

George Kearton

Well-known member
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
The POD in this thread is interesting - but does it posit no 1745 Uprising at all? If the Prince dies before Culloden but after the Invasion of England then there may well not have been a "final battle" - but the Clans would almost certainly have carried out guerrilla warfare across the Western Highlands. In OTL, this was the strategy suggested by Lochiel, George Murray and others as early as the return to Scotland following the Battle of Clifton and the fall of Carlisle. It was also suggested after Culloden when several thousand men assembled at Ruthven to carry on the struggle. Had this happened, the atrocities committed by the Hanoverians and their Argyll allies would certainly have been worse.
 

George Kearton

Well-known member
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
True and the upper ranks may have a bunch of English and Irish titles and lands as well to distract them.

I wonder if the clans remained important or even increased in importance what impact that would have.
A Hanoverian victory, however attained, was the kiss of death to the Clan system: even the Clans from the North East who remained neutral suffered in the years that followed Culloden. Many of the clearances (especially in Argyll) were carried out by factors acting on behalf of Clan Campbell. There was little enforced redistribution of land by the Hanoverians after the '45 - but many landowners saw a final shift of power to London and thus sold up to absentee (not always English) landlords who then emulated Clan Campbell.
 

Alex Richards

A musical Hubble Space Telescope
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
Location
Derbyshire
A Hanoverian victory, however attained, was the kiss of death to the Clan system: even the Clans from the North East who remained neutral suffered in the years that followed Culloden. Many of the clearances (especially in Argyll) were carried out by factors acting on behalf of Clan Campbell. There was little enforced redistribution of land by the Hanoverians after the '45 - but many landowners saw a final shift of power to London and thus sold up to absentee (not always English) landlords who then emulated Clan Campbell.
If it's the shift of power to London that was fatal, wouldn't that be likely to happen to a significant effect even under the Stuarts?
 

George Kearton

Well-known member
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
If it's the shift of power to London that was fatal, wouldn't that be likely to happen to a significant effect even under the Stuarts?
Possibly not: it is quite likely a restored Stuart monarchy would have re-established a separate Scottish parliament and, in any event, they would have been more supportive of a clan system which had been instrumental in restoring them to the throne.
 

Alex Richards

A musical Hubble Space Telescope
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
Location
Derbyshire
Possibly not: it is quite likely a restored Stuart monarchy would have re-established a separate Scottish parliament and, in any event, they would have been more supportive of a clan system which had been instrumental in restoring them to the throne.
Which does suggest you need to avoid the rising altogether if you're having a late-stage PoD for a stronger Clan system/Gaelic.
 

RyanF

Pub Reconquista Ongoing
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
Location
Falkirk
Pronouns
he/him
My inner nitpicker points out the 1916 rising. But that does not detract from the significance of it all.
Strangely both events would be chronicled in the 1960s as television docudramas as though the events were being covered live by news crews as they happened, I have unfortunately never seen RTÉ's Insurrection and have been unable to find it but Peter Watkin's Culloden for the BBC is phenomenal.

The POD in this thread is interesting - but does it posit no 1745 Uprising at all? If the Prince dies before Culloden but after the Invasion of England then there may well not have been a "final battle" - but the Clans would almost certainly have carried out guerrilla warfare across the Western Highlands. In OTL, this was the strategy suggested by Lochiel, George Murray and others as early as the return to Scotland following the Battle of Clifton and the fall of Carlisle. It was also suggested after Culloden when several thousand men assembled at Ruthven to carry on the struggle. Had this happened, the atrocities committed by the Hanoverians and their Argyll allies would certainly have been worse.
My intention was to look at how the Highlands might have developed without the impact of the 1745 Uprising, perhaps a better title would have been "The Highlands Without 1745".
 

George Kearton

Well-known member
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
The RTE series was good - but the BBC series "Rebelheart" was, in my view, much, much better. As regards the '45 there is was an excellent independent film "Chasing the Deer" made with an early form of crowdfunding in, I think, the early 1980's. Apart from Brian Blessed's ranting performance it is highly recommended. A very poorly-edited semi-documentary version was issued some years later under the title (I think) of "The Last Highland Charge"
 

George Kearton

Well-known member
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
Which does suggest you need to avoid the rising altogether if you're having a late-stage PoD for a stronger Clan system/Gaelic.
You are probably right - but the Hanoverians pre-1745 did not rule with a heavy hand. Major Hanoverian action was prompted by Prestonpans and the Invasion of England. Had the Jacobites confined themselves to Scotland then they may well have got away with it. As far as Gaelic is concerned it may well have been undisturbed had it not been for the '45. The other elephants in the room however are the longstanding enmity between Highlander and Lowlander and the position of non-juring Episcopalians.
 

Grinner

Member
Location
Paisley
I suspect that even with no '45 the era of the clans was coming to an end: after all what is the point in a chief being able to call on the services of his clansman if not for battle. The system would fade away as economics took over.

On the clearances, this was often actually a two-stage process, at least in the early stages, as people were cleared from the straths to make way for sheep, but only moved onto the coast to a croft that was deliberately insufficient to provide self-sufficiency, forcing them to supplement their income via more profitable enterprises (for the laird) such as fishing and kelping. When the markets for kelp and fish collapsed after the end of the Napoleonic wars things moved to clearing the coastal crofting communities off to Canada.

One though about no '45 though is that we probably don't see the prohibition on tartan and Gaelic, and so the romantic Highlander that was reinvented by Walter Scott and popularised with Queen Victoria's Balmoral jaunts possibly doesn't become a thing. So a Highland identity might be a more local things (similar to the Viking identity of the nothern isles) as opposed to an integral part of the Scottish identity, i.e. it needed the ban to be reinvented.
 

lordroel

Well-known member
Given today is the anniversary of the last battle fought on British soil, what if the Young Pretender dies before he can launch the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745, and there is no Battle of Culloden? Presuming there is not another effort launched at a Rising with a similar battle, what would be the long term effects on the Scottish Highlands?

Would legislation still be passed stripping clan chiefs of their judicial powers and banning the wearing of tartans? Would the tacksman system still so quickly decline?

Though the economic pressures would still be there, might this dampen the efforts of the Highland Clearances? Would the nineteenth century eventually bring an equivalent of the Irish Land War in the Highlands? At the dawn of the 20th century might a fifth of Scotland speak Gaelic compared with the less than 5% OTL?
Is that the same battle which is featured in the series The Outlander where they try to prevent it.
 

George Kearton

Well-known member
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
Yes, series two of "Outlander" a very good adaptation of a wonderful series of books by Diana Gabaldon.
 

Archdeacon of Dunwich

That's Except for Posters in Scotland
This fundamentally changes Scottish history. Primarily because it means that Presbyterianism never manages to fully win against the Episcopalians who in OTL dwindled to a small minority over the later half of the 18th century due to the level of persecution they faced after the '45. If due to points of divergence they forsake the Stuart cause in the 1730s/early 1740s you could see a rapprochement between them and the UK authorities by as early as the 1750s. Where this would lead I'm not sure but I have the feeling it would radically change the whole concept of the Scottish Identity that was forged by the complete victory of Presbyterianism in OTL.
 

Alex Richards

A musical Hubble Space Telescope
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
Location
Derbyshire
This fundamentally changes Scottish history. Primarily because it means that Presbyterianism never manages to fully win against the Episcopalians who in OTL dwindled to a small minority over the later half of the 18th century due to the level of persecution they faced after the '45. If due to points of divergence they forsake the Stuart cause in the 1730s/early 1740s you could see a rapprochement between them and the UK authorities by as early as the 1750s. Where this would lead I'm not sure but I have the feeling it would radically change the whole concept of the Scottish Identity that was forged by the complete victory of Presbyterianism in OTL.
Some kind of bizarre alliance between aristocrats, Gaelic/non-Gaelic Highland Chieftains, Episcopalians, Bishops and (slightly later on?) Catholics against the Presbyterian commoners running the show in Edinburgh and Glasgow?
 

Archdeacon of Dunwich

That's Except for Posters in Scotland
Some kind of bizarre alliance between aristocrats, Gaelic/non-Gaelic Highland Chieftains, Episcopalians, Bishops and (slightly later on?) Catholics against the Presbyterian commoners running the show in Edinburgh and Glasgow?
Exactly, though the aristocracy will be as divided as the rest of the populace with the majority backing the current status quo.

There's a really fascinating scenario that could come out of this set-up but it would probably take an incredible amount of original research to try and create a "Hard" alternate history from it.
 

George Kearton

Well-known member
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
Some kind of bizarre alliance between aristocrats, Gaelic/non-Gaelic Highland Chieftains, Episcopalians, Bishops and (slightly later on?) Catholics against the Presbyterian commoners running the show in Edinburgh and Glasgow?
Take out the Bishops and some of the "non-Gaelic" chieftains and you pretty well have the grouping that followed the Stuart cause during the '45 anyway so it's not all that bizarre. The animosity between Highland and Lowland Scots is still noticeable today: neither side like the "English" - but Highlanders prefer them to Lowland Scots.
 
Top