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Battles of the Jacobite Rebellions (Hardback)

Killiecrankie to Culloden

Military P&S History > British History > Tudors & Stuarts P&S History > By Century > 17th Century P&S History > By Century > 18th Century World History > UK & Ireland > Scotland

By Dr Jonathan Oates
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 309
Illustrations: 20
ISBN: 9781526735515
Published: 30th October 2019


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Many books have been written about the Jacobite rebellions – the armed attempts made by the Stuarts to regain the British throne between 1689 and 1746 – and in particular about the risings of 1689, 1715, 1719 and 1745. The key battles have been described in graphic detail. Yet no previous book has given a comprehensive military account of the campaigns in their entirety – and that is the purpose of Jonathan Oates’s new history.

For over fifty years the Jacobites posed a serious threat to the governments of William and Mary, Queen Anne and George I and II. But they were unable to follow up their victories at Killiecrankie, Prestonpans and Falkirk, and the overwhelming defeat suffered by Bonnie Prince Charlie’s army when it confronted the Duke of Cumberland’s forces at Culloden in 1746 was decisive.

The author uses vivid eyewitness testimony and contemporary sources, as well as the latest archaeological evidence, to trace the course of the conflict, and offers an absorbing insight into the makeup of the opposing sides, their leadership, their troops and the strategy and tactics they employed. His distinctive approach gives the reader a long perspective on a conflict which is often viewed more narrowly in terms of famous episodes and the careers of the leading men.

The author has produced a well balanced account of the campaigns, seeing events from both sides.

Read the Full Review Here

History of War

After reading the Outlander series I wanted to get more detailed information about these battles that were grazed over in the series. I loved this book and I now understand so much more about what happened in these battles. I'm not usually a non fiction fan but I really enjoyed this book.

NetGalley, Ashley Barnett

Reviewed by Stephen Ede-Borrett

Oates manages to avoid any blatant bias - in fact I am still unsure as to where his loyalties lie, which is a reflection of the quality of his writing. I could go into reams on this book but I will only say that it should be on the bookshelf of anyone with an interest in the Jacobite cause and will be a real boon to wargamers as well as military historians. Additionally there is so much information within these pages that even if your interest is in other aspects of the English and British military of the era you will find a great deal of information here.

A most highly recommended book and a wonderful read.

The Pike and Shot Society

The greatest takeaway is how Oates’ own astute analysis of the opposing forces and their leaders, strategy and tactics provides insights that create a big picture view of the protracted warfare.

Toy Soldier & Model Figure Magazine, issue 248

With plenty of eyewitness quotes and archaeological research it's a great overview.

The Armourer, May 2020

A novel and rewarding approach in providing a comprehensive account of the Jacobite rebellions. This is a story of a family torn apart by religion and entitlement. – Highly Recommended.

Read the full review here


For those wishing to fill in the gaps in their historical knowledge, it's worth investing time in this tome. An academic and informative read.

Scottish Field, March 2020 - reviewed by Rosie Morton

'Here are our top reads for 2020'

Scotland magazine, February 2020

Jonathan Oates examines in minute detail why the Jacobite forces posed such a threat to William and Mary, Queen Anne, and George 1 and II. A comprehensive and essential record of the Jacobite campaigns.

Books Monthly

As featured by

hiya bucks, January 2020

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I love history and was drawn to this as I'd only really ever read about the Battle of Culloden. I grew more fascinated by the Jacobite rebellion by watching Outlander.

It is clear from the start that Dr Jonathan Oates has poured so much work in to this book from troop estimations to the names of those involved and even quotes from correspondence at the time.

It is a lengthy read but I felt like I flew through the book due to the writing skill and the amount of detail included.

Each battle allows you to imagine how those involved must have felt at the time and shows you how each side interpreted the outcome of each battle either by exaggerating the numbers they'd succeeded against or been defeated by. Even the weapons used by each side is discussed along with the presentation of the Jacobites, even the English accepted them as brave.

I also wasn't aware of the battles fought in England so I was fascinated by this, previously I thought the Jacobites had only fought in Scotland.

I'd like to thank Dr Jonathan Oates for the hard work that went in to this truly fascinating account and I'd recommend this to anyone with an interest in the Jacobites or military history.

NetGalley, Amy McElroy

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This book was clearly a labor of love by the author, Dr. Jonathan Oates. As prefaced, he spent years gathering research from a variety of infamous archives throughout the UK, as well as actually visiting the locations of the original battlegrounds. Anyone with some time and money could have visited these places and done a bit of research, but what makes this author stand out is the time spent and the attention to detail. Dr. Oates gives phenomenal details, right down to exact approximation of soldiers present on the battlefield and the exact path each took to get there. He goes as far as to inform us of the estimated numbers of calvary and musket fire, as well as details of the landscape. He gives you the exact blue prints of each battle, allowing you to piece it together in your imagination. For me, Dr. Oates helped me to see this all played out throughout each battle as if I was right there on the front. He was the director of this film.

Dr. Oates attention to detail did not only extend to the scientific data regarding each battle, but also the mental and likely emotional patterns of each player. We're lead through each commander's decisions as they are being made, such as that to march their troops forward or to turn back. I actually felt the tension rising throughout each battle even though I already knew the ultimate outcome.

My favorite aspect of this educational text were the researched quotes from each battle. This understandably only added to the sensation that the reader was really there. Many of us are particularly interested in the Battle of Culloden on April 16, 1975. If you want to know what it was like to be on the battlefield that day, this is the closest you will ever get. This book is the ultimate source of the Battles of the Jacobite Rebellions.

NetGalley, Angela Belmont

A very interesting read. The images depicting the battles was a real help when it came to envisioning them. My knowledge of the Jacobean rebellion is rather limited (mostly only what I learned from Outlander) so I thought this book was a perfect way for me to expand my mind a bit... A book not to be missed by anyone interested in James II, Bonnie Prince Charlie, or the thousands of lives that were lost to ensure the correct type of Christianity could sit on the throne.

NetGalley, Shannon Hutchinson

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Battles of the Jacobite Rebellions by Dr. Jonathan Oats is a great compilation and overview of the 9 battles that made up the Jacobite Campains.

The author clearly did his research, as the text is packed full of information, credible and plentiful resources and references, and gives the reader everything you need to know about the battles themselves... A great read for a Scottish history fanatic such as myself. Anyone that is interested in Scottish/English history or battle/warfare would love this book.

NetGalley, Rachel Fox

This is an excellent narrative history and actually a very enjoyable read. The author describes the battles in great detail and brings his opinions based on excellent sources so that what for some may be a rather obscure series of rebellions become populated with flawed people who make mistakes. Such are battles. The chapter on Culloden is especially well done. The maps are good. Recommended.

Michael McCarthy. Battlefield Guide

Michael McCarthy

About Dr Jonathan Oates

Dr Jonathan Oates is the Ealing Borough Archivist and Local History Librarian, and he has written and lectured on the Jacobite rebellions and on aspects of the history of London, including its criminal past. His best-selling books on criminal history are John Christie of Rillington Place, John George Haigh, the Acid-Bath Murderer and London Serial Killers. He is also well known as an expert on family history and has written several introductory books on the subject including Tracing Your London Ancestors and Tracing Your Ancestors From 1066 to 1837.

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