An 18th Century Easter Meal

With Easter not too far away it is the perfect time to prepare a lovely meal for the family. If you’re feeling brave why not try some of these 18th Century recipes to tempt your loved ones.

Firstly, hare soup:

Cut your hare in quarters, and the rest in small pieces, put it in a stew pot with a crag or knuckle of veal; put in a gallon of water, a bunch of sweet herbs, let it stew till the gravy is very good, fry a little of the veal and put in it to make it brown, put in bread to thicken the soup, or you may put in rice, but boil it first a little, or fine barley, a quarter of a pound of either will do; season it with pepper, salt, and mace, with an onion stuffed with cloves; take out the herbs, veal and onion, before you dish it.

A nice simple recipe for soup that sounds lovely and hearty for a cool evening in Scotland.

For a centrepiece of a main course it has to be a roast ham or gammon:

Take off the skin, and lay it to steep in luke warm water; then lay it in a pan, pour on it a mutchkin of canary, and let it steep in it twelve hours; then spit it and paper it over the fat side; pour the canary it was soaked in, into the driping-pan, and baste it with it all the while it is roasting; when it is roasted enough, pull off the paper and drudge it well with crumbs of bread, and parsley shred fine, brown it well and let it to cool. Serve it with green parsley.

Whilst the soup was fairly easy to follow we needed a bit of help with this one. The mutchkin of canary stumped us for a moment. However, a mutchkin is an old Scottish unit of measurement that is equal to about 0.43 litres, or quarter of an old Scottish pint. Canary is a type of wine from the Canary Islands which made the recipe instantly more exciting. Not sure how many people have a spit they can roast their ham on so it will probably have to go in the boring modern oven.

And finally for desert how about a carrot pudding:

Boil as many carots as will be half a pound; cut them and pound them fine with half a pound of fine sugar; then beat ten eggs and three whites, and mix them with the carots; grate an orange in it, and just as you are going to put it in the oven, put into it half a pound of clarified butter. All the butter that is put in baked puddings must be clarified, and the skim and bottom taken from it.

It couldn’t be Easter without a carrot recipe and this one sounds simple which could either be a good thing or a bad thing.

All of these recipes come from the wonderful book ‘A New and Easy Method of Cookery’ by Elizabeth Cleland and was apparently designed for all the young women who attended her school.

Hopefully we’ve given you an idea of what to cook for Easter, or maybe what to avoid! As always please like, share, comment and tweet.

All the best, The Culloden Team

Highland Men’s Clothing in the Mid-18th Century

Before the Battle of Culloden in 1746, what Highland men wore could be divided into two categories: Highland dress and non-Highland dress. When not in Highland dress, their clothing was similar to that being worn in the rest of western Europe, apart from the occasional addition of tartan here and there. Richer men could afford a greater variety of clothing, as well as better fabrics and cuts.

Highland dress, on the other hand, was very distinct. First, the man would have put on a loose-fitting thigh-length white linen shirt, which was also considered underwear and was often used as a nightshirt. Next, he would have put on belted plaid (known as the great kilt), a kilt or trews. Belted plaid consists of between four and six yards of sixty inch fabric. The pleats in the plaid were hand folded, and it was secured either by tying or belting it, or by the use of pins. A kilt was generally half the length of the great kilt, and the trews (the word originates from the Gaelic for trousers) were short tartan trousers, made of wool and worn with thigh-high socks.

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A couple of our volunteers dressed as Jacobite soldiers


On his top half, the man would have worn a waistcoat and a woollen coat or jacket. The waistcoats were usually cut a little longer than the jackets, and both were shorter than average so that they could be easily worn with the kilts. The waistcoat and Highland jacket were usually of different tartans. A neckerchief was also worn, which offered a little protection against blades.

The Highland bonnet was made of wool and was usually blue, green or red. It was at least twelve inches in width and was worn flat across the head. On the bonnet a white cockade (fabric fashioned in the shape of a rose) was attached to show that the wearer was a Jacobite. A sprig of the man’s clan plant would have been worn at the front of the bonnet so that he could be identified, and the chiefs, sub-chiefs and other senior clan officials would also wear feathers on their bonnets.

Highland men wore brogues, worn with woollen bag socks. The brogues tied, and if he had enough money, a man could buy better-quality brogues that came with a buckle. Riding boots were worn with trews, but not kilts; men wearing kilts either went barefoot or wore gillies (open sandal-like shoes that tied up the calf). Along with the chosen weapons, a man would have also worn a belt and a sporran. The sporran was necessary for carrying money and other small important objects, as the kilt had no pockets.

The Royal Dress Act of 1746, which was introduced several months after the Battle of Culloden, greatly restricted the wearing of Highland dress. Certain groups of people, such as the gentry, men serving in the Highland regiments and women, were exempt from the ban; for others, however, harsh punishment was promised to those caught wearing Highland dress; for example, if a man was caught wearing Highland dress twice, he ran the risk of being sent to a plantation for seven years.

We hope your enjoyed this little foray into clothing. As always please like, share, tweet and comment.

All the best, The Culloden Team

Scotland in the American Civil War(Guest Blog by Gettysburg National Military Park, PA) BBC Civilisations Festival

plum run
Plum Run The slow moving stream known as Plum Run cuts through the center of the Gettysburg Battlefield and into the “Valley of Death” near the Round Tops copyright Gettysburg National Military Park

For the BBC Civilisations Festival we have some special guest posts. This one is written by D. Scott Hartwig who was supervisory historian for the National Park Service at Gettysburg National Military Park, where he worked for 34 years. He retired in 2014.  He has his own Scottish ancestry with family lineage to the Grants and Gordons.  

It is estimated by one source that some 50,000 Scots served in the Union army during the American Civil War.  How many served in the Confederate States armies is unknown.  While it would be possible using muster roll records to fairly closely determine how many soldiers of Scottish birth served on both armies, since place of birth was recorded on these records, we shall never know with any accuracy how many of Scottish descent actually served, so the 50,000 figure above is simply someone’s estimate.  Unlike the Irish and Germans, who immigrated to America in large numbers during the late 1840s, 1850s and 1860s, large numbers of Scots had settled in America in the 18th and early 19th Century and had fully assimilated into the population by the time the Civil War began in 1860.  There was no “Scots Brigade,” like the famous Irish Brigade, or army corps filled largely with Scots, like the German dominated 11th Army Corps of the Union Army of the Potomac.  There was no Scottish voting block to be appealed to or manipulated as there was among the Irish and Germans.  Scots were both Republicans and Democrats, and Confederates.

Efforts to create Scottish nationality units in the Union army met with mixed success.  Because Scots had assimilated there was not the enthusiasm for Scottish formations like there was with the Irish and Germans.  There were exceptions.  In New York State the 79th New York State Militia was formed in 1858 by Scots and Scots-Americans.  The numerical designation was selected to match that of the 79th Cameron Highland Regiment.  When the war broke out in 1861 the regiment was mustered into the Federal service for three years.  They fought at the First Battle of Bull Run where the regiment suffered 198 casualties, including James Cameron, it colonel, who was killed.  Issac Stevens, A West Pointer and non-Scot was assigned to command the regiment which caused the men to mutiny.  It was quickly suppressed when U.S. Regular infantry and artillery surrounded the regiment and trained their weapons upon them.  From this low point the regiment steadily improved.  When Issac Stevens was promoted to general, the regiment’s lieutenant colonel, David Morrison, who had served with the Black Watch 42nd Highlanders in the Crimea, was promoted to colonel.  Although Irish, English, Germans, and other nationalities served in the regiment’s ranks, Morrison attempted to preserve the regiment’s Highland integrity by refusing to promote any non-Scot in the regiment above the rank of captain.  The regiment participated in a number of the war’s major battles, including the Second Battle of Bull Run, South Mountain, Antietam, and Fredericksburg.  The last elements of the regiment mustered out of the service in July 1865 having lost 199 officers and men dead to combat, disease or imprisonment.

In Illinois, Daniel Cameron, of Berwick-Upon-Tweed, who had settled in Chicago and was employed in the newspaper business, organized the 65th Illinois Infantry in May 1862.  Known unofficially as the “Second Scotch Regiment” and the “Cameron Highlanders,” Cameron was unable to fill the ranks exclusively with Scots and a number of non-Scots served in the unit.  It too had an unhappy early experience being caught up the debacle at Harpers Ferry, Virginia in September 1862 during the Antietam Campaign and surrendering with nearly 13,000 other Union troops.  Its fortunes improved after this disaster.  After being paroled it was assigned to duty in the western theater of the war, taking part in the defense of Knoxville, Tennessee, the Atlanta Campaign of 1864, and the bloody battles of Franklin and Nashville.

To get a sense of Scots who were somewhat typical of those that served during the war we shall narrow our focus to three individuals associated with the Battle of Gettysburg.  The first of these was 1st Lieutenant James Stewart, the commander of Battery B, 4th U.S. Artillery.  Stewart was born in Edinburgh in 1826.  He immigrated to the United States in 1844 and attempted to earn a living as a printer.  This did not work out for him and in 1851 Stewart enlisted as a private in the U.S. Army, a choice that often meant an individual had run out of any better options.  But Stewart thrived in the pre-war army.  He was assigned to Battery B, 4th U.S., which was then serving in the western United States.  Over the years Stewart rose steadily in rank, to corporal, sergeant, and 1st Sergeant by 1861.  With the outbreak of Civil War the battery’s captain was promoted and detached to other service and Stewart was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant.  The newly promoted captain of the battery, Joseph H. Campbell, was a Scottish-American from New Hampshire.

The battery distinguished itself in the Battle of Antietam, where Campbell was badly wounded, and Stewart assumed command.  The battery fought its guns against a fierce Confederate attack that was only repulsed with charges of double canister and the loss of 40 men killed or wounded, the highest casualties for any artillery battery in the battle.  Stewart was also wounded but concealed his wound because he was afraid the battery would be assigned to the command of someone else.  Still a second lieutenant – promotion came painfully slowly in the artillery service – Stewart commanded the Battery B at Gettysburg.  During the late afternoon of July 1 the fire of its six Napoleon cannon helped to decimate an attacking Confederate North Carolina brigade. A Union infantry officer supporting Battery B wrote of how enemy fire “killed Stewart’s men and horses in great numbers, but did not seem to check his fire.”  Of Stewart this same officer opined that the lieutenant “was as brave and efficient a man as ever fought upon a battle field.”  For his performance in the first day’s fighting at Gettysburg Stewart was promoted to 1st Lieutenant on July 3, 1863, the final day of the battle. The Scotsman continued to distinguish himself through the rest of the war, earning brevet, or honorary promotions to captain and major for “gallant and meritorious” service in 1864 battles.   Stewart remained in the Regular Army after the war, retiring in 1879.  He died in 1905 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C.

Colonel Henry Boyd McKeen, commanding the 81st Pennsylvania Infantry, reflected the assimilation of Scots into American society.  McKeen was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to a father of Irish decent and a mother whose father had been born in Storneway, Hebrides, Scotland.   At Gettysburg, McKeen’s regiment fought in the Wheatfield, the scene of some of the bloodiest fighting of the second day’s battle on July 2.  He earned the praise of his division commander who wrote that the colonel “behaved, as he always has on every battle-field, with the most distinguished gallantry, and brought off his command in perfect order.”  McKeen would not survive the war.  Having been promoted to brigade command in 1864 he was mortally wounded leading his command at the Battle of Cold Harbor on June 3, 1864.

77 year old James McAllister, like Henry McKeen, was born in Pennsylvania but was of Scottish descent.  McAllister, his wife Agnes and their 7 children operated a grist and saw mill on Rock Creek a little over a mile south of Gettysburg.  McAllister and his family, reflecting the abolitionist mood of Scotland in that era, helped found the Adams County Anti-Slavery Society in 1836.  Part of the society’s work was to establish safe houses for runaway slaves.  The border of Maryland, a slave state, was only five miles from McAllister’s, and his mill became one of the first stops on the Underground Railroad, the network of safe houses and pathways that escaped enslaved people followed to freedom in the North.  McAllister took a considerable risk for the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act made it a crime to harbor escaped slaves, even in a free state like Pennsylvania.  Yet, throughout the pre-war years the McAllisters helped hundreds of slaves to escape to freedom.  When the war came, McAllisters sons enlisted in the Union army and one of them was killed at Vicksburg.

During the Battle of Gettysburg, McAllister’s home and buildings were just on the edge of the front lines of the two armies.  Their close proximity to them meant that their home, mill and other buildings were appropriated for use as a temporary hospital.  The Union 12th Corps established a hospital here on July 2 where both Union and Confederate wounded from the nearby heavy fighting on Culp’s Hill were treated and on July 3, the Union 1st Division, 2nd Corps moved its hospital here when heavy shelling drove it from its previous location.  Thirty five identified soldiers who died at the hospital were interred on the property.

McAllister died in 1872, the family moved on and his home and mill gradually fell into disrepair.  For a good part of the 20th Century the property, which was outside the boundaries of Gettysburg National Military Park, was used as a municipal dump.  But a local group fought to have the dump moved and the site was officially recognized in 2011 by the U.S. Government for its important connection to the Underground Railroad.

Stewart, McKeen and McAllister are but three of tens of thousands of men and women (both local and those that came to help the wounded in the battle’s aftermath) from Scotland or of Scottish ancestry who helped make history at Gettysburg and throughout the American Civil War.

Scott Hartwig,

Gettysburg, PA



Saratoga’s Scotsmen Fought for King George (Guest Blog by Saratoga National Historical Park, NY) BBC Civilisations Festival



For the BBC Civilisations Festival we have some special guest posts. This one is written by Eric Schnitzer from Saratoga National Historical Park, Stillwater, NY.

A correspondent…with the officers of the Highland regiments at present serving in America, informs us, that nothing displeases the common men of that corps so much as to hear the provincials called Rebels. On a former occasion [the 1745 Jacobite Rising] many of themselves were dignified with that appellation. They then fought bravely, in what they thought was a just cause. The Americans will scarce fight at all, though they pretend their cause is equally just. The Highlanders, therefore, conceive themselves highly affronted, when the designation of Rebel is applied to an American. They think it involves in it a tacit reflection against themselves, as if they were cowards as well as the rebels. Of this they can by no means admit, and consequently will allow the Americans no other title than that of cowardly rascals.

 Caledonian Mercury, Edinburgh, 1 January 1777

Considering the Jacobite Rising of 1745, Scottish support at home and abroad for the Georgian monarchy against the rebellion in North America may seem counterintuitive. Although Scottish emigration to North America throughout the 18th century constituted perhaps as many as 70,000 people, Scottish support for the American Revolution was not fueled by Jacobean animus for the House of Hanover. In fact, Scottish immigrants and their descendants were more likely to side with government on this matter than against it. This is exemplified in the 1777 Battles of Saratoga, fought in upstate New York during the American War for Independence.

Many Scottish Americans supported the revolution, and many served it in key leadership roles. But the American revolutionaries who fought at Saratoga under the command of General Horatio Gates (an Englishman) were, categorically, from New England and New York’s Hudson Valley, neither of which were known for being heavily settled by Scotsmen. At Saratoga, the highest percentage of revolutionary Scotsmen served in a corps of 400 elite riflemen led by Colonel Daniel Morgan, the son of Welsh immigrants. This unit’s personnel were drawn from men who hailed from Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland, places more widely settled by Scottish immigrants. This was the most elite battalion that Gates had at his disposal.

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Main house on the country estate of Philip Schuyler at Saratoga NP

But it was General John Burgoyne’s British Army at Saratoga which benefited more from the services of Scotsmen. Hundreds of the soldiers in his redcoat ranks were from Scotland, and Scottish officers in Burgoyne’s army held important leadership positions, such as the Earl Balcarres, who commanded the elite British light infantry battalion, and John Anstruther of Balcaskie, who commanded the 62nd Regiment of Foot. One of the regiments in Burgoyne’s army was the fusilier regiment representing Scotland, the 21st or Royal North British Fusiliers, whose officers and men were, predominantly, Scottish. But Scottish support for Georgian Britain didn’t end there, as substantial numbers of men loyal to the crown resided in upstate New York’s Lake Champlain and Hoosic River Valleys. The entire region was pocketed with lands granted to veterans whose battalions were downsized or disbanded after the Seven Years’ War. A high percentage of these men were from Scotland—in fact, the property owned by the author is surrounded by plots given to veteran Scottish officers named Grant, Campbell, Gregor, Bain, Gordon, and Monro. Most of these former British soldiers and their families flocked to the British banner and joined Samuel MacKay’s “Loyal Volunteers,” Daniel McAlpin’s “American Volunteers,” or Allan Maclean’s “Royal Highland Emigrants,” amongst others. Nowhere in the Army of the United States was Scottish patriotism likewise manifested.

Reflecting upon the Caledonian Mercury article above, overwhelming support for the crown as expressed by Scottish people becomes understandable. Supporters of the Jacobite Risings of 1715 and 1745 believed they were restoring the British Constitution, not destroying it. But as the 18th century wore on, and the Glorious Revolution and 1706/07 Acts of Union surpassed living memory, Jacobean sentiments were generally subsumed by British nationalism and loyalty to the Georgian monarchy. This generational shift is exemplified by the Frasers. Simon Fraser, 11th Lord Lovat, was executed in 1747 for his support of the 1745 Jacobite Rising. However, his son, General Simon Fraser of Lovat, raised a highland regiment which was deployed to America to combat the “cowardly rascals” in 1776. A cousin, General Simon Fraser of Balnain, commanded Burgoyne’s most elite troops and was mortally wounded in the 2nd Battle of Saratoga (7 October) whilst fighting to restore British governance in America. As to that, no one knows which American rifleman fired the shot, but stories point to Timothy Murphy (an Irishman), William Critchlow (an Englishman), or one Thomas Scott—a Scotsman.

By Eric Schnitzer, Saratoga National Historical Park

Lion vs Elisabeth

Prince Charles Edward Stuart set sail from Nantes at the end of June 1745 on board the frigate Du Teillay. This ship met up with the larger Elisabeth at Belle-Ile before heading to Scotland with some 700 men, 20 cannon, 11,000 arm and 2,000 broadswords. However, the journey to Scotland would not be plain sailing.

As the ships rounded the south-west coast of England they spotted the royal navy warship HMS Lion. The Lion quickly steered towards Prince Charles’ group and pulled up alongside the Elisabeth. As they came within range both ships opened fire. The Lion was designed for combat with 64 guns whereas the Elisabeth was likely heavier and less well equipped. Nevertheless both ships bombarded each other with shot after shot.

The Du Teillay with Prince Charles aboard apparently tried to fire at the Lion on a couple of occasions but was fairly easily pushed back. The smaller ship had little choice but to hand back out of range and watch as the action between the two ships continued.

Action between HMS Lion and Elizabeth and the Du Teillay, 9 July 1745 Serres, Dominic
© National Maritime Museum Collections


It is said the ships fought for several hours. The Elisabeth could not outrun the Lion but it managed to cause substantial damage. After hours of relentless fire the Lions masts were badly damaged, at least 45 men were killed and many more were injured. The Captain of the Lion, Captain Percy Brett was wounded along with most, if not all, of his lieutenants. The Elisabeth though was no better. The British sailors of the Lion had displayed their impressive skill and the Elizabeth was also badly damaged. On board the Captain was killed along with many others. The ships had no choice but to give up and return to their respective ports. The HMS Lion headed back towards Plymouth whilst the Elizabeth would head back to Brest.

This however, left the Jacobite party in a bit of a quandary. The Elisabeth held much of the essential arms and men that the Jacobites needed to kick-start the ’45 Rising with a show of strength, to lose it would be a big loss. With the damage it had incurred the Elisabeth was said to be listing quite badly in the water, so any attempt to try to move supplies across to the Du Teillay would have been too dangerous. Some aboard the Du Teillay suggested they should head back alongside the Elisabeth and regroup to try again another day. However, Prince Charles was seemingly against this as he feared people would see it as another failure and he would face ridicule. Thus the Elisabeth slowly struggled back to Brest whilst the Du Teillay continued on heading for the Western Isles of Scotland.

We hope you enjoyed this little bit of history. As always please like, tweet, share and comment as much as you like.

All the best, The Culloden Team