Walls as symbols of control, even if there is none.

Hadrian’s Wall

Iain MacIvor, former Chief Inspector of Ancient Monuments for Historic Scotland, said:

The first military works to divide north from south Britain were made by the Romans, and for a long time there was a fanciful link between the famous wall from the Tyne to the Solway [Hadrian’s Wall] and the border between Scotland and England. The Scots were to find a lasting source of national pride in the notion that, whereas the southern parts of Brittania had been taken over without much difficulty by the mighty Roman army, their own ancestors had held out against the Roman Empire for centuries , and that this undaunted resistance forced the Romans to builds one word the wonders of Europe to protect their province of Britannia – Hadrian’s Wall. 

Around A.D. 79 the tribes causing most concern to the Roman army were the Votadini in the east with their capital Traprain Law in Lothian; the Novantae in the south-west (Dumfries and Galloway); and between them the Selgovae, dominating from Eskdale to the Cheviot Hills.

Beyond these three tribes were the Damnonii, around the Firth of Clyde. Those even further north, in the mountainous Highlands were collectively named by the Romans as Caledonii by the Roman historian Tacitus.

It was not economical for the Romans to pursue the Caledonians, though they tried from A.D 70 for a decade. There was also another effort to use a wall in A.D 142, which is known as the Antonine Wall which was a turf fortification connecting the Central Belt of Scotland, from the Firth of Forth to the Firth of Clyde. The Romans abandoned this wall in A.D 162, returning to the Hadrian Wall fortification.

In A.D 208 Emperor Septimus Severus had repairs carried out to Hadrian’s Wall, from this point it was renamed by some the Severan Wall. He re-established legions there.

The Romans may have left their mark through Christianity and education, but never subdued the Caledonians. Britain was free of the Roman Occupation by A.D 410. 

What the Romans learned over centuries was, rather than fight and annihilate, it made sense to form alliances with native rulers who were willing either to fight alongside them or at least provide logistical support. This tactic remains with us in modern global warfare as ‘coalition’ is a common term cropping up again and again in military language.

But alliances only occur if the military rules with superior skill. There were many historical examples in Scotland where battles were fought under one insignia emblazoned on the chest garment, but underneath was the insignia of the ‘enemy’ which could become ‘friend’ if alliances were switched due to who was winning the battle. Or a brother could fight with the English King, and his sibling fight with the Scottish King. The outcome would leave the family close to the winning King.

This is another recurring pattern which we witness in the 21st century in wars around the world.

Another conquering tactic was described by the historian Tacitus:

‘He [Agricola] wanted to accustom them [the Britons] to peace and leisure by providing delightful distractions. He gave personal encouragement and assistance to the building of temples, piazzas and town-houses, he gave the sons of the aristocracy a liberal education, they became eager to speak Latin effectively and the toga was everywhere to be seen.’

When native aristocrats adopted a Roman lifestyle , the rulers of the empire were delighted.

‘And so they were gradually led into the demoralising vices of porticoes, baths and grand dinner parties. The naïve Britons described these things as ‘civilisation’, when in fact they were simply part of their enslavement.’

To become a Roman citizen, Place of residence, language, religion, parentage – did not matter. But If you had standing in your own community and supported the Roman occupation, you would be groomed to become part of a dynasty of pro-Roman ‘client-kings’ . These were puppet rulers who referred all important decisions, especially regarding foreign policy, to Rome. 

This model of a superior ruling power grooming a replacement ‘puppet’ ruler has long been the strategy adopted by centuries of powerful military rulers.

Further down the hierarchy, influential merchants within the empire were eager to become Roman citizens – and there are plenty of archaeological discoveries which prove the process of striving and gaining such citizenship. Then a network of thriving merchants trade and develop their local community, under the secure umbrella of the Roman Empire.

History reveals military conquest and comings and goings of empires over the short existence of humans on this planet. The integration of military and trade partnerships has ensured each period of empire lasts until some event occurs which helps dismantle it. 

Nothing lasts for ever, certainly not empires.

Adam Smith: Part XII

George Wade – an example of a loyal military man, wholly anti Catholic, particularly anti Jacobite. When Wade was commissioned the British monarch was Protestant Dutch William and Mary (of Orange). 

You get a feel for the kind of military experience a dedicated soldier would be proud of to climb the ranks as Wade did. It is apparent how appreciated he was in a climate of Protestant fever of superiority with a belief ‘God was on their side’.

Wade’s family were ‘Williamites’ who mostly lived in the north of Ireland but Wade’s family must have fled Ireland to England, since they lived in a predominantly Catholic area.

1690 He was commissioned into the Earl of Bath’s Regiment.

1692 served in Flanders, Battle of Steenkerke (during the Nine Years War)

1693 promoted to lieutenant

1694 Transferred to Sir Bevil Granville’s Regiment

1695 Promoted to Captain

1702 During the War of the Spanish Succession he first served under Marlborough, seeing action in Flanders at the Battle of Kaiserwerth in April 1702, the Battle of Venlo in September 1702, the Battle of Roermond in October 1702 and Battle of Liège also in October 1702. 

1703 He was promoted to major on 20 March 1703 and to lieutenant colonel in October 1703.

1704 he joined the staff of Henri de Massue, Earl of Galway as adjutant-general in Portugal, and distinguished himself as colonel of the Huntingdon’s Regiment during the Battle of Alcántara during which he was wounded in April 1706.

1707 He repelled a large force of cavalry at Vila Nova and then commanded the 3rd infantry brigade during the Battle of Almansa in April 1707.

1708 – 1714 He won promotion to brigadier general on 1 January 1708. He served as second-in-command to James Stanhope in Minorca in 1708, leading one of the storming parties on Fort St. Philip, before returning to Spain in 1710, where he fought at the Battle of Saragossa in August 1710. He was promoted to major-general on 3 October 1714 and became commander of the British forces in Ireland in November 1714.

1715 Wade returned home to join in the suppression of the Jacobite rising of 1715 and undertook security duties in Bath, where he unearthed a haul of Jacobite weapons. He entered politics as MP for Hindon in 1715. On 19 March 1717 he became colonel of the Earl of Plymouth’s Regiment of Horse.

1719 he served as second in command to Viscount Cobham during the War of the Quadruple Alliance when Cobham led a force of 4,000 troops on a raid on the Spanish coastline which captured Vigo and occupied it for ten days before withdrawing.

He became MP for Bath in 1722, retaining the seat for 25 years. His house there is now a Grade I listed building.

By now Wade (born 1690) was 32 years of age and Adam Smith was being born in Kircaldy, his father having died before he was born. Smith’s mother’s family were military people and they helped support Adam as he grew up.


1724 The government of George I sent Wade to inspect Scotland . He recommended the construction of barracks, bridges and proper roads to assist in the control of the country. 

1725 he was appointed Commander in Chief of His Majesty’s forces, castles, forts and barracks in North Britain, tasked with carrying out his own recommendations. Over the next twelve years Wade directed the construction of some 240 miles (390 km) of roads, plus 30 bridges (including the Tay Bridge at Aberfeldy). General Wade’s military roads linked the garrisons at Ruthven, Fort George, Fort Augustus, and Fort William. This was the route (via boat up the linking lochs, which Columba had used to bring Christianity to the Picts in Northern Scotland).

The Military Roads were built to allow Government forces to deploy rapidly to key locations in the Highlands if there was a Jacobite uprising. More than 250 miles of these roads were built under the command of General Wade linking forts in the Great Glen between Fort William and Inverness and with the road network in the south of Scotland at Dunkeld and Crieff.

Wade also organised a militia named “Highland Watches”, calling on members of the landed gentry to sign up and raising the first six companies in 1725 (three of Campbellsand one each of Frasers, Grants, and Munros). Also in 1725, Wade put down an insurrection after the Government attempted to extend the “Malt tax” to Scotland and enraged citizens in Glasgow drove out the military and destroyed the home of their representative in parliament. He was promoted to lieutenant general on 15 April 1727.

1732 he became Governor of Berwick upon Tweed and on 19 June 1733 he became Governor of Fort William, Fort George and Fort Augustus. He was promoted to general of horse on 17 July 1739.

He raised four more “Highland Watch” companies in 1739; these were subsequently reorganized as the Black Watchregiment. He still had the time to sign his support to the Foundling Hospital which was established in 1739 in London.

1742 he was appointed Lieutenant-General of the Ordnance and on 24 June 1742 he was appointed a member of the Privy Council.

War of the Austrian Succession (see Part XI)

1743 he became a field marshal with his appointment to the joint command of the Anglo-Austrian force in Flanders against the French in the War of the Austrian Succession. Wade organised an advance towards Lille in July 1744 but the action became stalled in the face of logistical problems.He resigned from his command in March 1745, returning home to become Commander-in-Chief of the Forces.

Jacobite Rising

In October 1745 during the Jacobite rising Wade concentrated his troops in Newcastle upon Tyne on the east coast of England; however, the Jacobite forces advanced from Scotland down the west coast of England via Carlisle into Lancashire and the speed of their advance left Wade scrambling. In freezing conditions and with his men starving, he failed to counter their march into England or their subsequent retreat back from Derby to Scotland; Wade was replaced as Commander-in-Chief by Prince William, Duke of Cumberland who led the army to success at the Battle of Culloden in April 1746.

It was because of the difficulties Wade encountered marching his troops cross-country from Newcastle to Carlisle, that he built his Military Road west of Newcastle in 1746, entailing much destruction of Hadrian’s Wall. Wade helped plan the road, but had died before construction began in 1751. His Military Road is still in use today as the B6318; it should not be confused with the Military Way built by the Romans immediately south of Hadrian’s Wall.

Wade received mention in a verse sung as part of God Save the King around 1745:

Lord, grant that Marshal Wade

May by thy mighty aid,
Victory bring.

May he sedition hush

And, like a torrent, rush

Rebellious Scots to crush.

God save the King.

3 years after the verse was written, on 14 March 1748 Wade died, unmarried. This verse gradually faded from use after his death. 

He is buried at Westminster Abbey where his life is recognised by a monument created by Louis-François Roubiliac.

Adam Smith was 35 when Wade died. Among other military achievements, Wade and his strategic road building finally symbolised victory over the Jacobites by the Protestant Monarchy. Wade had left his mark on Scotland by then. Adam Smith would be aware of the military roads north of the Central Belt, but there is no evidence he ever used those roads, rather turning south, out of Scotland more often than not. No doubt his upbringing would reinforce pride in men like Wade, he was unlikely to harbour romantic notions of Bonnie Prince Charlie.

Adam Smith: Part XI

When Adam Smith was 17, Britain was at war against Spain, ostensibly due to an old grievance of a Captain Robert Jenkins. His merchant ship was boarded by Spanish coast guards and Jenkins had his ear sliced off by one of the coast guards.
Great Britain against Spain

December 1740 to 11th June 1742

This incident was used to justify war, but really it was about improving trade conditions coercing the Spanish to pressure Spain not to renege on the lucrative asiento contract, which gave British slavers permission to sell slaves in Spanish America.

Great Britain were again at war with France 

Summer 1745 to 16th April 1746

Jacobite Uprising (The Forty-Five)

Great Britain against Jacobites, France

July 1746 to 24th April 1748

French and Indian War (Became Part of the Seven Years War)

Great Britain against France

Summer 1756 to 10th February 1763


Great Britain against France, Mughal Empire (The Mughal empire extended over large parts of the Indian subcontinent and Afghanistan. The empire was the second largest to have existed in the Indian subcontinent, spanning 4 million square kilometres at its zenith, after the Maurya Empire, which spanned 5 million square kilometres.)  

The conflicts involved numerous nominally independent rulers and their vassals, struggles for succession and territory, and included a diplomatic and military struggle between the French East India Company and the British East India Company. They were mainly fought on the territories in India which were dominated by the Nizam of Hyderabad up to the Godavari delta. As a result of these military contests, the British East India Company established its dominance among the European trading companies within India. The French company was pushed to a corner and was confined primarily to Pondichéry. The East India company’s dominance eventually led to control by the British Company over most of India and eventually to the establishment of the British Raj.

First Carnatic War (In the 18th century, the coastal Carnatic region was a dependency of Hyderabad) 1746 – 1748

Second Carnatic War

Great Britain against France, Mughal Empire

Summer 1748 to 1754

Third Carnatic War

Great Britain against Mughal Empire

May 1754 to 10th February 1763

First Silesian War (Part of the War of Austrian Succession)

Hapsburg Empire against Prussia

1741 to 10th July 1747

Second Silesian War (Part of the War of Austrian Succession)

Hapsburg Empire against Prussia

May 1744 to 24th April 1748

The first two can be viewed in the context of the larger War of the Austrian Succession, while the “Third Silesian War” is better known as the Seven Years’ War. Silesia was strategically important to Prussia because “it significantly blunted the capacity of Prussia’s two chief foes—Austria and Russia—to meddle in Prussian affairs”.[1] Prussian victory (and possession of Silesia) foreshadowed a wider struggle for control over the German-speaking peoples that would culminate in the Austro-Prussian War of 1866.

Seven Years War (Third Silesian War)

Prussia, Hanover, Great Britain, Brunswick against France, Austria, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Saxony, Mughal Empire

Italian Campaigns (Part of the War of Austrian Succession)

Spain, Naples, France against Hapsburg Empire, Prussia

April 1744 to 25th December 1745

King George’s War (Part of the War of Austrian Succession)

Great Britain against France

Summer 1745 to 16th April 1746

Seven Years War (Third Silesian War)
Prussia, Hanover, Great Britain, Brunswick against France, Austria, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Saxony, Mughal Empire

17th September 1757 to 22nd May 1762

Pomeranian War (Part of the Seven Years War)

Prussia against Sweden

7th December 1758 to 10th February 1763

American Revolutionary War (American War of Independence)

United States, France, Spain against Great Britain

Spring 1787 to January 1792

French Revolution

French Royalists against French Republicans

17th April 1792 to October 1797

War of the First Coalition (French Revolutionary Wars) (Precursor to the Napoleonic Wars)

France against Austria, Prussia, Great Britain, France, Spain, Portugal, Sardinia, Naples, Sicily

Adam Smith: Part X

My current Historic Scotland magazine made me aware of the Medieval torture practices which extended into the 1700s. It made me think that we can always, as humans, raise our intellectual understanding but never seem to leave go of the psychopathic power involved in extracting the most awful suffering from innocent victims for absolutely no value of “information sought”. Whilst an Enlightenment was happening in Britain, somewhere else depraved minds were relishing being given immunity and authority to commit heinous suffering to a victim in the name of ‘national security’. Nothing has changed in the 21st century. These miserable individuals still emerge, working happily for some vested authority in their activities around the world.

In 1597 an entry in the Records of the Parliament of Scotland states that ‘a confession extorted works and proves nothing against the confessor, much less against another person.’

Yet here is horrible torture against a man thought to be plotting against King Charles II.

When rivalries reached a peak and cruelty was unchecked in the 1570s after Mary Queen of Scots abdicated in 1567, awful torture was applied to put pressure on people for all sorts of reasons.

Gilbert, the 4th Earl of Cassillis ‘roasted’ the head of Crossraguel Abbey in order to extort lands from him.

Some methods of medieval torture  lasted into the 1700s.

The Torture Museum gives an indication of the kinds of sick minds who must have built and applied these instruments of torture. The website soberly  quotes Beccaria, Sartre,Tirukkural:

“Torture is a sure means to absolve robust villains and condemn weak innocent men”
”The law makes you suffer because you are guilty, you could be guilty, it wants you to be guilty” 
Cesare Beccaria

“He who surrenders in the course of interrogation, not only was forced to talk, but has forever been compelled to accept a status: that of being sub-human”
J.P. Sartre

“The king who punishes criminals by death resembles the man who pulls out weeds from a wheat field when it is still green”
Tirukkural, First century A.D.

Adam Smith: Part IX

The Auld Alliance

Today we talk of the ‘special relationship’ between the US and UK. The special relationship which once existed between Scotland and France is just such a relationship. Today the Scottish Nationalist Party refer to it as the helpful bond with France  which has held strong with the European Union. Hubert Fenwick wrote, when Britain was considering joining the Common Market, that the spirit of the Auld Alliance would be kept alive by such a process.

I have been reading this excellent book by historian Hubert Fenwick, published 1971. It is the first attempt ever to trace the story of ‘The Auld Alliance’ in its entirety. I have dipped into it and quoted from it to illustrate the relevance to the 17th Century life of Adam Smith. The fact that the dual nationality afforded to French and Scots people lasted for centuries, is quite remarkable in itself.  I have transcribed some paragraphs from the book here.

The origins of the Auld Alliance are lost in the mists of time…….(p.xii) the first documentary evidence of a formal alliance is actually contained in the Treaty concluded between King John Baliol and Philippe le Bel, in 1295, which was ratified by King Robert the Bruce in 1326, and renewed by David II in 1359.

Succeeding monarchs of the Royal Stewart line renewed the Auld Alliance as each came to the throne, and in 1512, the year before Flodden, it was formally strengthened still further. James V added a French marriage to the political union, espousing Madeleine de Valois, daughter of François Premier; and when she died he wed Mary of Guise, whose work own daughter, Mary, Queen of Scots, subsequently became Dauphine and Queen of France. However, the Reformation soon put paid to the ever-increasing ovement towards a unitary state in Scotland and France, in in 1560, under the aegis of John Knox and his patroness, Queen Elizabeth, whose ships entered the Firth of Forth in a show of force, the official Alliance was dissolved. Yet Marie Stewart and François II remained as joint Sovereigns off France and Scotland and the purely cultural and commercial aspects of the association continued unabated.

(p.xiii) In 1513 Louis XII granted French nationality to the whole Scottish nation, ‘Pour route la nation d’Ecosse,’ as a document on display in the French Institute in Edinburgh in 1953 stated; and because of this and other generous gestures from France a visit to that country has special attractions for Scots. It not only emphasises sentimental attachments that linger on long after the severing of political ties, but also reminds one of artistic and intellectual gifts, not to mention gastronomic novelties, received from our oldest allies. We shared and won battles together too. In the Cathedral of Orléans, for example, may be seen a plaque upon which is recorded the service of an officer of the historic Garde Écossaise; while at Buzancy, near Soissons, the 1914-1918 village War Memorial is inscribed as follows:

‘Ici fleurira lr glorieux Chardon d’Écosse

Parmi les Roses de France.’

A gap of nearly six centuries divides these two tributes, but the bottle of friendship have clearly bridged the years undiminished.

(p.xiv) Throughout the seventeenth century adventurers and scholars, as well as professors and religious men kept up the two-way traffic between Scotland and France. Rabelais was first translated into English by a Scotsman, and John Law of Lauriston founded the first Banque Nationale de France (italics). Later, when the Stewart’s went into exile in St. Germain, there arose yet a third phase of collaboration in which French and Scots intellectuals participated. Hume and Rousseau were closely associated, and as the eighteenth century progressed scores of Scots who were neither supporters of the Stewart’s nor mere tourists went to Ferney to pay their respects to the author of Candide and to demonstrate their superior learning!

Adam Smith: Part V

Friendships with well connected Scots must have helped the career of Adam Smith,  example here is Friendship Number 1:

Buccleuch Dynasty

Scots often visited Paris.  Adam Smith was no exception, but he could not have spent so long in France without meeting the young Duke of Buccleuch. He was able to go because he was tutor to Henry Scott, 3rd Duke of Buccleuch and Queensbury. They visited Europe together.  It was David Hume, Adam’s friend, who recommended him to the Buccleuch family.  Henry’s father had died of smallpox aged 29. Caroline, Henry’s mother,  wanted a suitable tutor for her precious son. She had married Charles Townshend, and he arranged for Henry to attend Eton College, and then funded Henry to travel abroad with Adam Smith as his tutor from 1764 to 1766. The Duke remained lifelong friends with Adam Smith.

Indeed, Henry generated more wealth for his family during his life time (1746 – 1812) than any other Buccleuch. No doubt he applied the instruction from Adam Smith enabling his success. Buccleuch was Governor of the Royal Bank of Scotland from 1777 to 1812. He was President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh from 1783 to 1812. He was Lord-Lieutenant of Haddington from 1794 to 1812, and Lord-Lieutenant of Midlothian from 1794 to 1812. In 1778, he raised successfully a regiment of Fencibles. He was appointed a deputy lieutenant of Northamptonshire on 9 May 1803.

The Buccleuch family are well known in the Scottish Borders:

Sir Walter Scott, Bart., was directly descended of the Lords of Buccleuch. His family history, fancifully interpreted, is the main subject of much of The Lay of the Last Minstrel.

The current Duke of Buccleuch, Richard Scott, the 10th Duke, is the largest private landowner in the United Kingdom and chairman of the Buccleuch Group, a holding company with interests in commercial property, rural affairs, food, and beverages. The title originally comes from a holding in the Scottish Borders, near Selkirk.

The family seats are Bowhill House, three miles outside Selkirk, representing the Scott line; Drumlanrig Castle in Dumfries and Galloway, representing the Douglas line; and Boughton House in Northamptonshire, England, representing the Montagu line. These three houses are still lived in by the family and are also open to the public. The family also owns Dalkeith Palace in Midlothian, which is let, and has owned several other country houses and castles in the past. Its historic London residence was Montagu House, Whitehall, now demolished.

Most of the Dukes of Buccleuch (the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th) are buried in the Buccleuch Memorial Chapel in St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Dalkeith, Midlothian. The 2nd Duke (died 1751) is buried in Eton College Chapel. The most recent Dukes (the 8th and 9th) are buried among the ruins of Melrose Abbey in Melrose.

This was a new line of Buccleuch since a previous line ended with:

The Scotts of BUCCLEUCH, whose Dukedom dates from 1673, ended in Anne, who married James, Duke of Monmouth, natural son of Charles II, who was beheaded for rebelling against his uncle, James II. From this marriage comes the line of the later Dukes of Buccleuch and Queensberry.