Chasing around a few scattered references online, I’ve realised I may have been under a slight misapprehension with regards the Dumbarton’s regiment’s Jacobite leanings. The regiment is variously referred to as having remained loyal to James II. I had assumed this referred to some earlier event related to their reaction to William’s landing in England, and their eponymous colonel’s loyalty to James but it seems it refers entirely to this brief 1689 “Rebellion”. The pamphlets seem adamant that this belated expression of loyalty was a retrospective justification for their riotous behaviour and an excuse for avoiding further foreign service. This seems convincing to me, but being unsure of their authorship, it is hard to guage the motivation behind them. It would be in the interests of many, not least the King and Parliament, to paint this as a criminal rather than political act.
Since my last post, thanks to my Uncle-in-Law Bill Buckenham, I’ve come across another interesting source. Cobbett’s Parliamentary History of England (reproduced in full and for free on Google Books) has a transcript of the 15 March “Debate on the mutiny of Lord Dumbarton’s regiment”. Much of this debate centres on whether the rebellion should be considered to be High Treason or not, along with some vehement anti-catholicism, suggesting that many in parliament thought that this was a political rather than opportunist rebellion. I will look at the debate in its own right later.
It does also provide some more details on the events of the mutiny however, albeit in some rather ambiguous language which raises some questions of its own. In order to maintain the chronology of event, I’ll briefly comment here on how this relates to my previous post, before moving onto the pursuit.
Mr. Harbord opens the debate with:
Lord Dumbarton’s Regiment, which is now marshal Schomberg’s, with the grenadiers and some officers, have deserted, and chosen two captains. They have seized the artillery at Ipswich, and have made proclamation for King James. The regiment of fusileers is at Harwich; they say they will declare with them. They are 1500 men, with the train of artillery, and how many will join them I do not know
A footnote to this passage, certainly written some time after the debate,maybe by Cobbett himself goes on:
These regiments had been ordered by his majesty (with some others) to repair to the sea side under the command of lord Churchill (see the Journal). They all took the road to Scotland. General Ginkle was ordered to pursue them with a sufficient force of horse and dragoons, who soon obliged them to submit to the king’s mercy; and the only punishment be inflicted on them was to send them over to serve in Holland
The Fredrick and Meinhardt (the First and Third Dukes of Schomberg) were both in William’s service at this time but the use of “marshall” suggests this was it probably was Frederick who was the nominal and presumably absent Colonel of the Regiment at this time.
The rest of this passage is a little unclear. Read literally it would suggest that the entire Dumbarton’s regiment including the grenadiers and some officers deserted and a second regiment of fusileers joined them. However there is no suggestion elsewhere that any other regiments were involved. I’m inclined to read this that the mutiny began with the grenadiers and the spread to the fusileers of the regiment, separately billeted at Harwich, to give a combined strength of 1500, plus some artillery.
Mr Howe suggested specifically that Dutch troops should be sent after them as “I know not which else to trust” and Grinkle was another of William’s Dutchmen. Parliament petitioned the king to send troops after the Dumbartons and to declare the “Rebels and Traitors”.
I think it paints a picture of England in 1689. The regiment is under a Williamite German colonel, rebels to avoid fighting in a Dutch war whilst a frightened sounding parliament petitions their Dutch king to send his Dutch troops under a Dutch general in pursuit.
In my next post, we cut to the chase.