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Durham University

Special Collections

Palace Green Library Events

The Scottish Army in 1650

30th July 2018, 18:00 to 19:30, Palace Green Library (Learning Centre)

18:00 - 19:30

Booking required

David Caldwell, President of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland

Scottish military capability in the 1640s was at a highpoint not seen since the days of Robert Bruce in the early 14th century. This was largely due to the influence of Alexander Leslie and other professional soldiers who had served in continental armies, especially with Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden. In the years from 1639 to 1651 the Scots raised several armies, 20,000 men strong, and kept them in the field for months – even years – at a time, on active service in England. An army of 10,000 was sent to Ireland in 1642 and several smaller forces were also campaigning in Scotland. The army that opposed Cromwell at Dunbar on 3 September 1650 was well organised and effective, led by an experienced general, David Leslie, who had out-campaigned his opposite number. It is not the purpose of this presentation to dwell on what went wrong on that day at Dunbar but to examine the nature of the Scottish forces, the individuals who took part that day.

Tickets are priced at £9.50 for this event. Tickets for evening talks also include a repeat visit ticket to the exhibition with exclusive after-hours access between 5pm and 6pm on the day of the talk. Tickets can be purchased via Eventbrite:

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