Information, Suggestions, and Guidelines for Jacobite
Living History Participants




All Highland men between the ages of 14 and 60 (roughly) should make themselves available to serve their Chiefs in time of war. Accordingly, these men should be prepared to arm themselves as to their station. The men in Highland Clan regiments fell basically into three groups:
    The front line men were obviously in the front ranks. These men were at the top end of the Clan structure. They would be the best armed, best dressed, and best trained. They were expected to act as shock troops and break the enemy line. Front line men would carry long guns, pistols, dirks, short blades, daggers, bayonets, targes and a sword (often a basket hilt.)
    Middlemen were less highly trained and would be armed with only part of the previous list. Middlemen were not likely to have broadswords or pistols.
    The tenants and herders came last. These men seldom had coats or shoes, and were often armed with ancient guns, broken swords, pitchforks, scythes, or Lochaber axes.
Clan battle lines should be drawn up based upon dress and accouterment. Some trading/loaning of arms and equipment may be necessary to accomplish this.

Many men at Culloden did not have basket hilt swords. There is no record of great two handed swords, Viking war hammers, troll axes, or sling shots on the battlefield at Culloden. Sharp farm implements were seen in the rear ranks, but not golf clubs or medieval weapons.

Do not wear a “sgain dubh” or so called “black knife” in your stocking. It is inappropriate for the Eighteenth Century.

At our battle re-enactments we are limited to using wooden swords and other similar safety-oriented items. We can obviously only shoot blanks in our flintlocks and cannons. In hand-to-hand combat situations no real edged weapons may be used on the battlefield. Edged weapons may be carried, or displayed in camp. Appropriate pistols may be carried, but not fired. Long guns are limited to those from before 1775 (approximately.) These should be reproduction smooth bored flintlocks (a limited number of matchlocks or wheel locks may be used.) The use of bayonets is also restricted.

No antique weapons may be fired. Blank rounds and priming must be done from pre-rolled paper cartridges. The maximum amount of powder grains is 1.5 x caliber. You may not load from powder horns or any other conveyance. At no time is anything but powder to go down the barrel. Ram rods may not be used, not even to ram the paper. There will be safety checks before each battle. Please consult with your unit if you have questions about flintlock weapons, safety, or requirements. This event adheres to the appropriate safety standards of organizations like the N.W.T.A .or the B.A.R., and we err on the side of caution.

You do not need a gun to participate. Many Jacobite men at Culloden were without guns.

You may make your own wooden sword and targe, modeled upon an appropriate original. They are also usually available for purchase at the event. Please remember, even wooden swords can hurt people. All hand-to-hand combat must be choreographed in advance. Men who do not practice at the morning session may not participate in hand-to-hand combat during the battle re-enactments.

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Copyright 2001 MacFarlanes Company. Revised 3/2003.
Information on this page may be used by non-profit organizations for research and education purposes only, for all other use contact Elliot MacFarlane.
Last updated: 4/17/03
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