Scottish Mercenaries

James Miller, Swords for Hire: The Scottish Mercenary. This is a good book for Clann Tartan , much more useful (and a lot cheaper) than Murdoch’s Scotland and the Thirty Years’ War. Miller covers a longer period, discussing Scottish mercenaries before, during, and after the Thirty Years’ war. It is much more of a military history, giving a lot of information about the battles that the Scots were involved in.

A few notes:

  • The pay rates we cite (See Infantry Pay Rates) were set by King Gustavus.
  • As the war dragged on, recruiting got harder. Sometimes prisoners in the local jails were “enlisted”.
  • What we focus on in colgaffneyis is only a small fraction of the war. Sweden entered the war in 1630. King Gustavus was killed at Lützen in 1632, when the war had 16 years to run. For the people of Germany, the worst was yet to come.
  • Outside of MacKay’s regiment, most of the Scots we read about appear to be lowlanders.
  • Despite the best efforts of John Knox, there were still plenty of Catholics in Scotland, even in the lowlands. After France entered the war in 1635 (on the Swedish side) a lot of these Scots entered French service, which allowed them to serve a Catholic monarch.

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