PHOTO ABOVE: View from Doon Hill near Dunbar, Scotland looking east towards the North Sea. Site of the Battle of Dunbar 3 Sep 1650. The photo was taken by Kirsten Fredrickson in July 2015 and shared with her permission.
Published: 7 March 2013
Updated/Edited: 17 May 2016
Here’s tae the heath, the hill and the heather,
The bonnet, the plaid, the kilt and the feather.
You have found the web/blog site for the Scottish prisoners of war from the Battle of Dunbar on 3 Sep 1650 and the Battle of Worcester on 3 Sep 1651. No, that is not a typo, the battles did take place on the same day, just one year apart. These are two of the battles fought during the Third English Civil War (1649-1651).
The Battle of Dunbar took place in Dunbar, East Lothian, Scotland. The Scottish army commanded by David Leslie fought against the English Parliamentarian forces under Oliver Cromwell. The Scots were defeated and thousands of Scottish soldiers were taken as prisoners of war. They were forced to march to Durham Cathedral where they arrived on 11 Sep 1650. Many died and were buried in mass graves while at the cathedral. Eventually, approximately 150 of the survivors were deported from England in November 1650 to the Massachusetts Bay Colony, arriving in Charlestown (now incorporated into Boston) in December 1650. They were indentured into hard labor and after their six to eight year stint, the ones who survived, bought land, married, and settled down to rear families. Many of them have thousands of descendants now living throughout the United States.
Recent archaeological finds near Durham Cathedral have confirmed that Scottish prisoners of war were buried in mass graves. See: SPOWs in the News
The Battle of Worcester took place in Worcester, Worcestershire, England. It was the LAST battle of the English Civil Wars. The Scottish Royalists under “ Charles II attempted to forcefully regain the crown, in the fields a little to the west and south of the city, near the village of Powick,” from Wikipedia. The Scottish Royalists were defeated and thousands were taken prisoner. About 272 of them were exiled to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1652, there is some speculation that some, if not most, of these prisoners were actually taken to the Virginia Colony as well as Barbados. They also served six to eight years each and many of them lived to own land, marry and rear families. There are also thousands of their descendants living today in the United States.
This web/blog site is an effort to bring together the known facts of these prisoners. They left their Scottish homes for war, never expecting that if they survived the battle, they would never see their homeland again.
By working together, we hope to knock down some of our brick walls. One of our main goals is to eventually discover the birthplaces of our Scottish ancestors in Scotland. We will be using the usual research practices to do so, as well as a Y-DNA study. It is essential that you also join us at our Scottish War Prisoners Yahoo Group where we can answer your questions, put you into contact with more information, and perhaps help you find a new cousin.
Slàinte! (to your) Health!
~Teresa (Hamilton/Pepper) Rust, Founder/Owner and Super Admin
Co-Administrators of this site:
~Elizabeth (Bowe) Boggs
Administrators of the DNA Study:
~John Cleary – Lead Administrator
~Elizabeth (Bowe) Boggs
~Teresa (Hamilton/Pepper) Rust