Myth of 'primitive' Jacobite army at Culloden laid to rest

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They are dismissed as primitive savages who charged into battle screaming and waving their claymores, only to be cut down by musket fire from well-drilled British army redcoats.

The defeat of Bonnie Prince Charlie's forces at Culloden, near Inverness, in 1746 is widely considered a triumph of modernity over the romance of a bygone age.

But new research has established this is yet another of the many myths about the rebellion based largely on government propaganda of the day. Gaelic poets also share some blame for the misconception because of their obsession with the sword as a heroic weapon. In reality, the battles between the Jacobites and Hanoverian forces were more contests between equals with the rebels using up-to-date military tactics and relying on the musket and bayonet – not the claymore.

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