This is a page from 'Narrative of the Mutiny in the Black Watch in 1743, compiled by His Grace the Duke of Athole, K. T., from the original proceedings of the General Courts-Martial ...', published by John Christie of Perth in 1893.
The Black Watch were first raised by the government in 1729 as six independent companies. They were called Black Watch (or Am Freiceadan Dubh) because of their black, green and blue kilts. The name also distinguished them from the Red Coats (Saighdearan Dearg) of the British Army. In 1739 a further four companies were added. The companies recruited men from any clan, though the officers came exclusively from the Whig clans. These clans sought to increase the power of Parliament and diminish the King's influence in government.
In March 1743 the Black Watch received orders to march for England. Their understanding was that their service would not be needed outside Scotland. Rumours began to spread through the Regiment that they were to be sent out to the West Indies. At that time it was a dangerous place for Europeans and, to a Highlander, transportation was almost as bad as death.
On the night of 17 May a group of over 100 men assembled and began a secret march north. They were eventually found on 21 May in Lady Wood, Northamptonshire, where they surrendered. 103 men were tried for desertion and mutiny. All were found guilty and sentenced to death. Three men were shot, Corporals Malcolm and Samuel MacPherson and Private Farquhar Shaw. The rest were divided between garrisons in Gibraltar, Minorca, Jamaica and Georgia in the Leeward Islands. The rest of the Black Watch was sent out to Flanders
The collection transcribes the court martial proceedings of some of the prisoners
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