An Angus man has been putting pen to paper to complete the last book in his trilogy about the adventures of the Jacobite Grenadiers.
Gavin Wood, who lives in Kirriemuir, has already published two books – The Jacobite Grenadier and Tales of the Jacobite Grenadiers.
And now the third publication in the trilogy, The Fate of the Jacobite Grenadiers, is available to buy.
The books are all works of fiction but are closely based on true historical events.
Gavin explained what readers can discover.
He said: “The Fate of the Jacobite Grenadiers recounts the adventures of the Jacobite Horse Grenadiers who were the smallest regiment in the army of Bonnie Prince Charlie and Patrick Lindesay was their captain.
“Patrick Lindesay was the youngest son of John Lindesay of Wormiston (by Crail) who was the hereditary commissary of St Andrews.
“In 1745 Patrick Lindesay owned a farm in the Borders and he was badly in debt when he raised the standard of rebellion in the market place at St Andrews and attempted to raise a company of Fife men to serve in the army of Bonnie Prince Charlie.”
The Fife-raised author said the first book of the trilogy covers Patrick’s life from 1740 until the Jacobite occupation of Edinburgh in the summer of 1745.
The second book covers Patrick’s part in the Jacobite invasion of England, the Battle of Falkirk Muir and the siege of Stirling Castle over the winter of 1745-46.
Gavin continued: “The third book begins with the Culloden campaign and then follows the events that befell Patrick and his companions in the summer of 1746.
“I stumbled across the story of Patrick Lindesay whilst researching the history of my family home.
“It was a story that gripped me and I decided to put it down on paper.
“On an individual level it is the story of an impoverished farmer trying to restore his family’s fortunes.
“However, on a human level it is the story of comrades-in-arms while on a military level it is the story of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s lowland cavalry.
“My initial intention was to write a factual book of twelve chapters but two years on and a hundred chapters later I was still writing!
“The more I researched, the more complex the tale became. I uncovered a gallery of colourful characters and a host of questions that needed to be pieced together. I had stumbled on a blockbuster of a plot, by accident.”
Gavin said he didn’t realise the scale of the subject when he began the project – he said it turned out to be like writing War and Peace as a first novel!
He said: “I did consider writing more books with Patrick Lindesay as the central character but I made a conscious decision to limit the story to include only true events.
“By doing so I also limited the scope for further books but I felt this gave my story more credibility. With three full scale battles fought during the rebellion, the story worked well as a trilogy.
“Each book, however, is self-contained and it would be perfectly possible to read the three in any order. Having said that, I would recommend reading them in order!”
It took Gavin two years initially to research and write the trilogy and he then had the opportunity to bring out a hardback version in 2016.
That gave him the chance to revise the books and make minor changes.
With no writing experience, he was learning as he went along.
Gavin revealed that the first book is his favourite.
“Nothing beats the feeling of holding your own book in your hand for the first time,” he said.
The author went to school at Madras College, StAndrews University, and considers himself to be more of a reader than a writer.
However, when he stumbled upon Patrick Lindesay’s forgotten tale, he felt it was one that needed to be documented.
He explained: “I was brought up in St Andrews, had a deep passion for Scottish history and yet had never heard of Patrick Lindesay.
“The writing of this trilogy was also a personal challenge to see if I could write the sort of book I enjoy.
“I was drawn in by a story which seemed to be a perfect mix of every genre of book in my bookcase. Walter Scott, John Buchan, Nigel Tranter, Bernard Cornwell andJohn Grisham all meshed into one.”
People looking to buy copies of the three books can buy them in ebook, software or hardback formats.
The 2016/17 publications can be ordered from the Authorhouse website at www.authorhouse.co.uk or through Amazon.
Culloden ends Jacobite cause
The Jacobite rising of 1745 was the attempt by Charles Edward Stuart to regain the British throne for the exiled House of Stuart.
The rising occurred during the War of the Austrian Succession, when most of the British Army was on the European continent. Charles Edward Stuart, commonly known as Bonnie Prince Charlie or the Young Pretender, sailed to Scotland and raised the Jacobite standard at Glenfinnan in the Scottish Highlands, where he was supported by a gathering of Highland clansmen.
The march south began with an initial victory at Prestonpans near Edinburgh. The Jacobite army, now in bold spirits, marched onwards to Carlisle, over the border into England. When it reached Derby, some British divisions were recalled from the Continent and the Jacobite army retreated north to Inverness where the last battle on Scottish soil took place on a nearby moor at Culloden. The Battle of Culloden ended with the final defeat of the Jacobite cause. Charles Edward Stuart fled with a price on his head before finally sailing to France. After Culloden, government forces spent the next few weeks searching for rebels, confiscating cattle and burning Episcopalian or Catholic meeting houses.
Prisoners from regiments in the French service were treated as POWs and exchanged but 3500 captured Jacobites were indicted for treason.
Of those, 650 died awaiting trial, 120 were executed, 900 were pardoned and the rest transported.
Three Jacobite lords, Kilmarnock, Balmerino and Lovat, were also executed and they were among the last.
The Jacobite cause did not entirely disappear after 1746 but the exposure of the key factions’ conflicting objectives ended it as a serious threat.