Friday, May 25, 2012

Touch Not the Cat Bot a Glove! The Royalist Macphersons

I mentioned in an earlier post that my family is of Clan Macpherson. This is very proud clan with a rich tradition of active participation and success in the various conflicts of Scotland and England.

"In the civil war of Charles I.’s time the Macphersons played a gallant part on the side of the King. From the register of the provincial synod of Moray it appears that Dougal Macpherson acted as Captain of Ruthven Castle, and that Ewen Macpherson of Cluny had joined with Alastair Macdonald, the Marquess of Huntly, and the Great Marquess of Montrose in their daring military enterprise; that he had been present at the battles of Tibbermuir and Aberdeen, in which he had been in command of all the loyal forces of Badenoch.

It was during one of the headlong attacks of this campaign, when the little Royalist forces were about to engage a party of the Covenanting Horse, that an incident occurred which is related effectively by Sir Walter Scott. A gentlemen of Clan Macpherson was noticed to be crouching somewhat in the rear, and Macpherson of Nuid, taking the action to be one of cowardice, ran up to him and indignantly upbraided him with setting so bad an example. The clansman, however, answered, "I have only been fastening a spur to the heel of my brogue, for I mean in a few minutes to be mounted on one of these horses." And in a few minutes, sure enough, he had fulfilled his intention."

The first contingent that I intend to model and paint for my English Civil War army will be this royalist Badenoch levy mentioned in the quote above and led by Ewen Macpherson. There is not very much detailed information about them specifically that I have been able to locate - however, there are enough tidbits and hints that I should be able to manage while having a ton of fun. This image is titled "Macpherson" and is a plate illustrated by R. R. McIan, from James Logan's The Clans of the Scottish Highlands, published in 1845. It is a great example of what Ewen Macpherson of Cluny himself may have worn at times. Fabulous tartan, green jacket and blue bonnet. He is carrying a dirk, a traditional basket-sword and two pistols. That is bad-ass.

Creag Dhu!


  1. Good luck with your project.

    I have been gaming the ECW for many years and plan to start some Scots armies soon. A very colourful period with many equally colourful commanders! I try and capture in my battle reports.

    1. Many thanks! I'm very much looking forward to the project. I enjoy your site and visit often.