Blood & Cutts Part 3

The final part of a piece on one of the country's forgotten Lions...

An appraisal of England’s fire eating general 

Cutts probably did not get into the heat of battle at Blenheim but his commanded a large body of the army.

Cutts on the table top

In a skirmish game John Cutts would be a fearless leader with a nose for danger. Fond of impetuous charges, close combat and impossible odds. A character who scorns death and needs no morale tests. He will win or fight to the death trying. As a colonel leading his regiment whether that be in Ireland against the Jacobites or Flanders fighting the French, he should count as a talismanic figure adding both combat and morale bonuses. Particularly in offensive situations, Cutts should add the highest possible command modifiers if attached to a battalion.

As a brigadier or major general he should continue to add top level modifiers where directly attached to a unit. His wider command ability should perhaps model a man who finds it difficult to change tack when confronted with a serious problem. This may mean negative modifiers are applied if he is ordered to call off an attack, retreat or defend a position rather than take the fight to the enemy. If commanding a formation larger than a brigade, then either no differentiators from other average ability generals should be applied or alternatively, the negatives mentioned at brigade level should be used.

1689-1695 was the Golden Age of the man - battlefield hero  but perhaps less successful in other aspects of life.

Cutts can be legitimately dropped into battle with a variety of opponents from Ottoman Turks and their vassal Transylvanian allies to Jacobite Irish regulars and rapparees, French troops of the Nine Years War in Flanders or during the War of the Spanish Succession again in Flanders or on the Danube. There is conjecture that he secretly participated in the Monmouth Rebellion but later denied it. Maybe he could appear under a nom de guerre fighting against his lawful king in some West Country scenarios.  He refused the governorship of Jamaica and was turned down flat for a similar position in the American colonies so for ‘What if’ fans – how about Caribbean Cutts or Cutts versus the Canadas?

How about Cutts in the Caribees? - He didn't fancy it
 What do you think?
John Cutts died in Dublin on January 25, 1707 having been in almost continual and massive debt since 1690. Using the National Archive calculator and equating to a 2017 value of money equivalent, the debt appears to have run steady at about £1,000,000 rising to £2,000,000 at its height, throughout a period of nearly twenty years. It is rumoured that at the time of his death he was in the process of trying to marry his seventy-seven years old cousin so that her fortune could settle the balance. She outlived him by six months and changed her will back to support her own direct dependants.

It is easy to conclude that his level of scorn for personal risk, almost obsessive quest to be in the most dangerous places and a repeated return to active service after serious wounding would have made him ripe for psychiatric analysis. There is no doubting the heights of his bravery and magnitude of death-defying deeds however, the thrill-seeking derring-do consistently evinced goes well beyond the extreme boundaries of heroism occasionally exhibited on a battlefield. Cutts may well have suffered from what might be described in the modern idiom as, personality issues.

Whether you subscribe to the view of John Cutts in the terms expressed by Benecio de Toro’s character Fenster from The Usual Suspects when describing the legendary Keyser Söze as a ‘peerless psycho’ or, you prefer to see him as a knight errant devoted to the Protestant cause and his king, he is impossible to ignore. A truly fearless man of action, repeatedly seeking the hottest spot on the battlefield and engaging in acts verging on insanely dangerous, he is my candidate for England’s greatest warrior. I don’t know if I would have liked him much but, I would have relished the opportunity to have seen the Salamander up close.