When surfing EEBO a couple of years back I came across three contemporary accounts of a 1689 “rebellion” by a Scottish regiment: “Lord Dumbarton’s Regiment”, nominally still loyal to James II. It seems, making the perennial excuse of pay arrears they caused considerable nuisance throughout London and East Anglia before being run to ground by loyal troops and surrendering after an armed stand-off. The ring leaders were tried and executed. This particularly stirred my interest as the showdown seems to have occurred close to my original home town of Wisbech.
A cursory internet search yielded no mention of this rebellion yielded no further references to the incident. Notably, potted regimental histories of Dumbarton’s regiment, which would become the 1st Royal Scots, although they cover this period, make no mention of it.
Starting this blog has inspired me to follow up on this intriguing story and I thought, rather than complete my research and the publish, I would blog as I went along.
Ideally this will lead to a gripping tale of historical detective work, leading to a triumphal account of the event, insightful analysis and a credit in the Hollywood film version.
Reality will, probably, be somewhat more mundane and the project may die a death from a succession of dead ends and frustrations – or, quite conceivably, I will discover that there is already a two volume, well respected book on the subject. I think the risk to my non-existent reputation is worthwhile however and I hope following the process of investigation, will be of interest to some and any feedback and leads from readers of the blog will be helpful.
So where will I start? I will need to do some general reading on the “Glorious Revolution” and its immediate aftermath as it is not a subject I am too strong on. Any recommendations will be gratefully received.
I have found Regimental historians to be unfailingly helpful in the past, particularly if it adds to their body of regimental lore, although I am curious about how this rather inglorious incident will be regarded by the 1st Royal Scots and whether this is a well know part of their history they are politely ignoring.
There are some Bury St. Edmunds trial records for 1689 in the archives in Ipswich it seems, which will also be worth following up and I will see if I can make any contact with local historians in the Fens to see if the incident made any lasting impact there.
In the mean time we have three excellent primary sources to work with so I’ll start with looking at them in my next post.