The Greenock Skirmish of 1685

For a brief moment on the 3rd of June 1685, Greenock became the centre of an armed rebellion to overthrow the reigning monarch of Scotland, England and Ireland, James II. James had been on the throne for less than two months when his nephew, James Scott, the Duke of Monmouth, decided to launch a rebellion... Continue Reading →

John Galt and the Illegal Destruction of Public Statues

In 1823 John Galt published a novel titled Ringan Gilhaize, which charts the fortunes of the fictional Gilhazie (or Gillies) family over three generations from Scottish Protestant reformers to persecuted Covenanters. It's undoubtedly a neglected masterpiece and it begins with the adventures of Michael Gilhaize, the progenitor of the family so far as the story... Continue Reading →

The Craignish Men of Argyll’s 1685 Uprising

The mid-17th century was a tumultuous period in the history of Scotland. Between 1639 and 1651 Scottish soldiers participated in the Bishops' Wars, the Scottish Civil War, the Irish Confederate Wars and a series of English Civil Wars. These complex and interwoven conflicts ultimately led to the execution of Charles I, the establishment of a... Continue Reading →

The Dardanelles, Greenock

One of the earliest memories I have of my Grandfather is walking with him through the small lane in the West-end of Greenock known as 'the Dardanelles'. I can still remember him explaining to me that the Dardanelles was where a great battle took place against the Turks. He was of course referring to the... Continue Reading →

Demolished Heritage

One of the things I enjoy most about genealogy is being able to visit places associated with my family and to know that I am standing on the very spot that they once stood. I'm aware that some people don't understand the appeal of this, but we family historians often afford ourselves these moments of sentimentality and reflection. Genealogy is ultimately a... Continue Reading →

Marshal Étienne Jacques MacDonald of France – Tour of Scotland in 1825

Étienne Jacques MacDonald was one of France's foremost military commanders and he was present at many of the most important military and political moments of the Revolutionary, Napoleonic and Restoration periods of French history. MacDonald was the son of an exiled North Uist Jacobite who had helped Charles Edward Stuart escape from Scotland and I previously blogged about his largely... Continue Reading →

Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑