The Sieges of the '45

Siege Warfare during the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745-1746

Jonathan D. Oates

A study of the sieges of eight fortresses in Scotland and England during the Jacobite rebellion of 1745-1746.
Date Published :
February 2021
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Series :
From Reason to Revolution
Illustration :
22 b/w & 13 color illustrations, 11 b/w maps, 3 tables
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781913336554
Pages : 204
Dimensions : 9.8 X 7.1 inches
Stock Status : Available


There were more sieges than there were battles during the Jacobite campaign in Scotland and England in 1745-1746, yet no one work has concentrated on these episodes. Siege warfare was more common than set piece battles in Europe at this time and the ‘45 was no exception. There were two sieges of both Ruthven Barracks and of Carlisle, whilst the castles at Edinburgh, Blair Atholl, and Stirling were also besieged, as were the more recently-built Forts Augustus, George, and William.

The government, noting the threat passed by some of the Highland clans and their allies, built a number of new forts in the Highlands from 1690 and especially after 1716 in order to contain this danger. In theory the Jacobites, with their lack of heavy artillery (save at Stirling) should have been unable to take any of these old or new garrisoned fortresses. Yet in several cases they were able to do so and the results of these sieges was never guaranteed. Conversely the British Army was forced to undertake its last siege against a fortress on British soil.

This book examines the eight places which were under siege in 1745-1746, examining the history and strength of the fortress or walled town, its garrison and the strength of the attackers, along with the artillery employed by both sides. It narrates each siege, using manuscript and published contemporary sources in order to do so.

About The Author

Dr Oates is a historian and prolific author on the subject of the Jacobite campaigns from 1689-1746. His focus is on military matters, the British Army and its commanders, and especially the English dimension of the period. This is his seventh book on the topic and he has also written about thirty articles on aspects of Jacobitism, anti-Jacobitism, and the military campaigns. He has also edited three volumes of relevant material; the memoir of a loyalist Scottish officer, the letters of the Duke of Cumberland, as well as a memoir of an eighteenth century Leeds schoolmaster. There are a number of other similar books in the pipeline, including one on sieges of the 'Forty Five. The author studied History at Reading University in 1988-1991, obtaining a First Class degree with a thesis about the 'Fifteen, and then a doctorate from the same place in 2001, covering responses in north eastern England to the two major eighteenth century rebellions. He has been employed as Borough Archivist for the London Borough of Ealing since 1999. He has also had books published about criminal, local, and family history, especially in and around London.


" excellent investment for anyone wishing to recreate the entire ‘Forty Five as a wargame campaign."

- Miniature Wargames

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