1st Edition

Royalists at War in Scotland and Ireland, 1638–1650

By Barry Robertson Copyright 2014

    Analysing the make-up and workings of the Royalist party in Scotland and Ireland during the civil wars of the mid-seventeenth century, Royalists at War is the first major study to explore who Royalists were in these two countries and why they gave their support to the Stuart kings. It compares and contrasts the actions, motivations and situations of key Scottish and Irish Royalists, paying particular attention to concepts such as honour, allegiance and loyalty, as well as practical considerations such as military capability, levels of debt, religious tensions, and political geography. It also shows how and why allegiances changed over time and how this impacted on the royal war effort. Alongside this is an investigation into why the Royalist cause failed in Scotland and Ireland and the implications this had for crown strategy within a wider British context. It also examines the extent to which Royalism in Scotland and Ireland differed from their English counterpart, which in turn allows an assessment to be made as to what constituted core elements of British and Irish Royalism.

    Contents: Scottish and Irish Royalism in context; Confronting the Covenant, 1638-1639; Royalist defeat, 1639-1671; Ireland and the Royalist cause, 1638-1642; Irish Royalism, 1643-1647; Scottish Royalism, 1642-1647; Scottish and Irish Royalism in eclipse, 1647-1650; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.


    Barry Robertson is honorary research fellow in the School of Divinity, History and Philosophy at the University of Aberdeen. He is the author of Lordship and Power in the North of Scotland: the Noble House of Huntly, 1603-1690 (2011) and a number of articles on early modern Scottish history.

    "Overall, this is a solid work of scholarship that is to be applauded for approaching the difficult task of assessing the highly complex and subtle political situations in both Scotland and Ireland. Comparative work of this kind can only deepen our understanding of the turbulent seventeenth century."

    Dianne Hall, Victoria University Melbourne, Journal of the Australian and New Zealand Association for Medieval and Early Modern Studies,