The Jacobites and Britain 3: Neither Highland v Lowland, nor Catholic v Protestant


Medal struck to commemorate the 1745 Rising. Note the Union Jack shield.

The photograph shows a medal struck to commemorate the '45. Note Britannia with a Union Jack shield. "Amor et Spes" means "The Love and Hope". Circa 1745-50. More info at National Portrait Gallery.

Scottish nationalists like to portray an over-simplified and romanticised picture of the Jacobite Risings. Tartan-clad, sword-wielding Highlanders are the classic depiction of Jacobite soldiers, and the Risings are framed crudely in terms variously of English-Scottish, Highland-Lowland and Catholic-Protestant conflict.

Our previous articles, written by John Provan, have debunked the notion of the Risings as English-Scottish conflicts by highlighting just how divided Scotland was along Jacobite and Hanoverian lines; and by exploring the rich history of English Jacobitism.

This article debunks two myths which are equally stubborn: that the Jacobite Risings can be reduced to either Highland v Lowland or Catholic v Protestant conflicts.