|Was de Ruvigny fully committed at Ripon
For those blog followers interested in our 1692 alternative history of the struggle between Jacobites and Williamites for control of Britain, here is a summary of where we left off BEFORE we share our latest experiences of April 2017/ April 1693.
Written in a suspect narrative style, it covers the main events although, not necessarily as all players may recall ....
It will appear in a couple of parts as it requires detail...
|Mackay - puppet or Puppeteer?
A pamphlet entitled ‘Commitment to the cause?’ thought to have been conceived in Tower Hamlets by an informed source in March of the year 1693.
In the aftermath of the two great battles, one fought in the North and the other in the South the recriminations and accusations flew as densely as a murmuration of starlings.
The righteous fury of Viscount Dundee and the voracity of his denunciation of French commitment at Ripon is well known from the crofts of Lewis to the coffee houses of Chelsea yet, measured evaluation of the available reports both from Versailles and York reveal an alternative perspective. It is true that the defeat suffered by King James’s army before Ripon was resounding and the fracturing of the coalition forces in the aftermath dramatic yet, can this all be laid at the feet of Le Marquis de St Ruhe alone?
Was it not Claverhouse who, having hurled his Highlanders upon the fiery muskets of Mackay made the unilateral choice to quit the field without a nod to his French ally and naught save a glancing apology to his fellow Scot Wauchope?
Examination of the statistics evidence that nine tenths of Dundee’s casualties fell cruelly upon his clan regiments. Near one thousand brave Highlanders were cut down at Ripon driving the point of the Jacobite attack. It has been remarked upon that several of these noble clans have territory immediately bordering the great estates of the House of Mackay in Sutherland. As a consequence of the defeat, their inherent strength is much depleted leaving these ancestral lands all but indefensible against predatory neighbours or malcontents who might exploit a weakness created through loyalty, valour and sacrifice.
|Gallant Wauchope's bloody last stand
Cynical men have pointed to the hecatomb endured by that bold and true officer General Sir John Wauchope whose warriors fought to the death with French troops in the van. What price this? At the storm’s eye as he desperately called for reinforcement it is said he cast his gaze to the rear to see his last reserves – those of Colonels Currie and Zeitzinger march north with Dundee at which soul destroying sight his shoulders slumped in despair.
For only at that moment did he realize that he was sacrificed on the altar of a hidden agenda and a mere catspaw in a larger game played behind a heavy brocade of deceit, ambition and lies. It is a truth that after the cataclysmic battle, his command was no more. The tattered remnants of French under his order marched away with St Ruhe to Maryport and its great camp whilst Dundee had already many Scots miles tramped upon the road to Perth.
|Betrayal.. by both commanders of their troops?
Hapless John Wauchope stood alone amidst the heaps of dead who fell vainly upon the blood drenched Yorkshire sod. Abandoned and forgotten, the good Wauchope is now thought to be suffering a malady of spirit preferring seclusion and a life of contemplation in an undisclosed monastery.
No less a personage than Louvois himself has confirmed over one thousand and seven hundreds of French soldiers were lost at Ripon.
More of the pamphlet to follow...