The editors are Christian Aikman, Alastair Livingstone of Bachuil and Betty Stuart Hart, all prominent members of the 1745 Association. The foreword is written by Sir Donald Cameron of Locheil and the introduction by Professor Bruce P Lenman of St Andrews University.
There is a solitary tombstone outside St Anns Church in Manchester, England. It marks the grave of Thomas Deacon, the city's nonjurant Anglican bishop in the mid-1700s. (Nonjurants refused to swear allegiance to the ruling House of Hanover, or to recognise its monarchs as heads of the Church.) Deacons name is forever associated with the Jacobite Rising of 1745, for his three sons were officers in the Manchester Regiment the only English unit to fight for Prince Charles Edward Stuart. They suffered the same consequences as most others in the Regiment: one was executed, one died in captivity, and one was transported. Their names, ranks and fates appear in the latest edition of Muster Roll, along with those of nearly half of their twelve to fourteen thousand comrades who at one time or another served in the Princes army. When ascertainable, civilian occupations are given as well. Each regiment is listed separately, and each listing is preceded by a short regimental history. There is also an excellent Introduction by leading Jacobite historian Professor Bruce Lenman. Though the listings are far from complete, there are significantly more names than in previous editions. The editors are meticulous in recording the source or sources for each entry these range from such well-known documents as State Papers Domestic and Homes History of the Rebellion (Edinburgh 1822) through more obscure local and clan histories and some of them are likewise new. The book explodes several common misconceptions about the Jacobite forces. Though they wore Highland dress, they were not a Highland army. Professor Murray Pittock has already observed, in The Myth of the Highland Clans (Edinburgh 1995), that fewer than half were actually Highlanders the rest were Lowlanders, or French regulars of Irish or Scottish origin, or the hapless Manchesters and the names in Muster Roll appear to bear him out. Nor were they a clan army; rather, they were organised into regiments by skilled professional officers. Nor were they necessarily down-and-outers: on the contrary, Muster Roll records some substantial occupations merchant, innkeeper, writer even among the rank-and-file, and most seem to have had employment of one sort or another. It is possible, of course, that a number of them were bankrupts, as several of the leaders certainly were. Of their motives, Muster Roll tells us little. Religion (nonjuring Episcopalianism, Roman Catholicism), clan rivalries, Scottish nationalism, or the desire to make or retrieve fortunes all played a part. With rare exceptions, quixotic romanticism, in the form of blind attachment to the House of Stuart, did not: even the Gentle Lochiel, Donald Cameron of Lochiel, had the hard-headed good sense to demand an indemnity agreement from Charles before committing himself to the Cause, and he was not the only one. Of their ultimate destinies, the book tells us a great deal, and a poignant tale it is. The Manchesters were hardest hit. Taken at Carlisle, they paid the price for being English and mostly Catholic. Of the 166 officers and men whose names appear in Muster Roll, 27 were executed (including 18 of the 32 officers and sergeants), 39 were banished or transported, and numerous others are believed to have died in captivity. The toll was not nearly so high amongst the remaining regiments, but it was grim enough, except for the Franco-Scottish and Franco-Irish troops, who were treated, and eventually repatriated, as prisoners of war. On the other hand, many prisoners (including nine Manchesters) saved themselves by turning Kings Evidence. Not all were faithful unto death. This is a marvellous book. Not only is it a labour of love; it is also a first-rate piece of scholarship: equally valuable as a conversation piece, a serious research tool, or a vehicle for tracking down family legends about Jacobite ancestors. Above all, it memorialises the faceless thousands who followed the oxymoronic Bonnie Prince. They deserve this memorial. They were fools to trust Charlie's promises that France would intervene; that England's Jacobites would rise and even greater fools to trust his military skills. But they were heroic fools. Martin B Margulies, Quinnipiac University School of Law writing in Scottish History magazine