Legends of the Black Watch

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(Available to purchase through the Academy of Historical Arts online store.)

Cite this book as:
Grant, James; Keith Farrell (ed.). Legends of the Black Watch. Glasgow: Fallen Rook Publishing, April 2015.

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Ten years after the 1715 Jacobite uprising, General Wade came to the Highlands with the mission to pacify the clans and uphold the law. On the command of King George I, he raised six independent Highland Companies, which were known as the "Black Watch" or "Reicudan Dhu". Within half a century of its inception, the regiment had become well-known and respected for its bravery and skill at arms, and there were many stories of their valiant efforts in battle.

Legends of the Black Watch, first published in 1859, recounts such stories vividly. The tales within this book show the bravery, leadership, and martial skill with which the soldiers and officers of the Black Watch faced their foes with musket and broadsword, as they fought throughout Europe and North America in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The stories serve not only as a record of the legends of the regiment, but also show the mindset and beliefs of the Scottish people during this time period.

The descriptions of battles and individual armed encounters will be of interest to students of European martial arts and historical fencing methods, and will be delightful to readers who seek riveting action scenes!

Keith Farrell is one of the senior instructors for the Academy of Historical Arts, based in Scotland. He teaches HEMA professionally, often at international events, and has an interest in coaching instructors to become better teachers. He has authored Scottish Broadsword and British Singlestick and the AHA German Longsword Study Guide, and is one of the regular contributors to the Encased in Steel online blog. He has been a member of HEMAC since 2011.

Book Details:
- Original Author: James Grant
- Reproduction Editor: Keith Farrell
- Reproduction Publisher: Fallen Rook Publishing
- Date of Publication: 12th April 2015
- ISBN: 978-0-9926735-7-4
- Binding: Perfect-Bound Paperback
- Pages: 252
- Height: 21 cm
- Width: 14.8 cm
- Language: English

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Review - 11th September 2015

Jonathan M. Gordon wrote a brief review of the book on Amazon.com:

Legends of the Black Watch is a collection of diverse stories threaded together by the brave soldiers of Scotland’s most famous Highland Regiment, the Reicudan Dhu, or Black Watch. Most importantly, this is a great read from cover to cover.

From the perspective of a martial artist working to recreate the fighting methods of the Scottish Highlanders, this is an excellent resource for gaining insight into the battlefield methods of the Highland Warrior. The story that best describes the martial prowess of an officer of the Black Watch is The Massacre at Fort William Henry. Lead character, Roderick MacGillivray, exemplifies the skillful Scottish soldier made indispensable to the British Army for centuries. Fighting against insurmountable odds, MacGillivray displays his bravery and his skills with both musket and broadsword battling wave after wave of Iroquois while defending both his Fort and his young wife, Mary.

Editor Keith Farrell, an accomplished historical martial artist and instructor, presents these captivating tales -from the fast paced action in The Adventures of Captain Grant, to the eerie ghost story in The Wife of The Red Comyn. The collection illustrates the ever-present tragic overtones of the Scottish Highland Regiments at the vanguard of the British Army - none more so than in the storylines of The Lost Regiment.

Legends of the Black Watch is a thoroughly enjoyable read, and a great window into the history of one of the most famous military regiments ever to take the field of battle. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to everyone, especially casual readers looking for good action stories; military historians seeking to understand the 17th and 18th century frontline soldier’s mindset while in battle; and historical martial arts students trying to recreate the fighting systems of the Scottish Highland warrior.

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