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Fire and Sword

After the battle of Culloden, the Duke of Cumberland carried ‘‘Fire and Sword” through the whole country,
driving off the cattle, the only means by which the people subsisted, and leaving those who did not perish by the sword to die of famine. Many poor people, who never offended, females, decrepit old men, and helpless infants,
became the victims of this savage ferocity.

Mothers, with babes at their breast, were often found on the hill, literally starved to death As a specimen of these atrocities, we give the following letter from a clergyman in the north in June 1746:

‘‘As the most of this parish is burnt to ashes, and all the cattle belonging to the rebels carried off by his Majesty’s
forces, there is no such thing as money or pennyworth to be got in this desolate place. My family is now much in-
creased, by the wives and infants of those in the Rebellion in my parish crowding for a moutbful of bread to
keep them from starving, which no good Christian can refuse.”

Parties of soldiers, while the supreme court of justice was sitting, and there was no obstacle in the due execution
of the laws, even within a few miles from Edinburgh, without warrant from a civil court seized the goods and effects, not of persons convicted as rebels but of whomsoever they pleassd to style rebels, exposed them to public auctions, and arbitrarily disposed of the proceed
to the ruin of the individuals themselves and the defrauding their lawfol creditors.

If a tradesman happened to displease an officer, he would order him to be flogged. Thus one Maiben, a wig-
maker in Stirling, happening to have some words with an officer in the way of business, Lieut Col. Howard ordered
him to be flogged; and this sentence was carried into execution, in defiance of the formal protest of the magistrates of Stirling, and their demand to have him given up to them. After this course of violence and plunder had been carried the most daring lengths, a number of actions were brought in the Court of Session against officers of the army, by men who had been thus stript of their property; and on the 18th of December of 1746, Captain Hamilton, of St Georges Dragoons, one of the most noted of these military robbers under the sanction of the royal duke, was condemned to make restitution, a sentence which decided the fate of other actions against him and his brother officers, and put a
stop to further depredations. It required no small degree of fortitude to do justice in those times; and we need not wonder that Lord President Forbes, to whom the merit of this sentence is due, was complimented on account of it, by Sir Andrew Mitchell, as the saviour of his country.

“ I am persuaded,” he says, in a letter in the Culloden Papers, “that Providence intends that you should once
more save your country; and as an earnest of it, I consider your decree in the ease of Captain hamilton.”



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