In this book, the fourth such effort by Mrs. McDonnell or her husband, David Dobson, concerning the Jacobites, the author rescues from oblivion the achievements of the rank and file of the Highland Jacobite army, part of the cannon-fodder of the ill-fated campaign of 1745-46. According to Mrs. McDonnell, “In the Highlands of Scotland, where the Clan system operated and the tradition of unquestioning loyalty to the Clan Chief was still strong, raising and holding men in support of Prince Charles Edward Stuart’s bid to wrest the throne of Britain from the House of Hanover was not as troublesome as in the rest of the country.” Lacking the promised support of the French government and English Jacobites, however, the Highlanders paid dearly for their loyalty to the Stuarts. In fact, the failure of the Jacobite Rebellion signalled the death spiral of the Clan system and a large-scale emigration to North America.
In the preparation of this volume, Mrs. McDonnell was able to profit from the Hanoverian government’s intention to gather as much information as possible on the rebels, about whom court records, jail records, and transportation orders abound today. Drawing on records in the Public Record Office in London and the Scottish Record Office in Edinburgh, among others, she has here assembled an alphabetical register of 1,000 Highland Jacobites, giving, invariably, each person’s name, rank, date(s) of service, and unit (if military), and frequently the subject’s date and place of imprisonment, date and place of transportation, name of his vessel, and the place of arrival in the Americas. While these expatriates were carried to a variety of places in the New World, a disproportionate number of the Highland Jacobites are known to have disembarked in Jamaica, Barbados, Antigua, and other places in the West Indies.