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    Description

    The Battle of Culloden: its loss sealed the fate of Scotland to become forever part of the British Empire.

    Major John Lafausille Autograph Letter Signed Just Twelve Days Before the Battle of Culloden. This remarkable single page letter by Major John Lafausille, commanding an infantry unit of the British Army, written in the field during a short interim while heavily engaged in deadly combat to suppress the Scottish uprising, and while advancing to Aberdeen, Scotland, (where they were to engage just 12 days later, in the bloody battle on the fields of Culloden April 16, 1746). Datelined at "Montrose" (approx. 25 miles south of Aberdeen) April 4, 1746. Handsomely penned in a small, easily read hand; the letter opens: "I have the pleasure to tell my dear nanny that I am returned this day to Montrose from a circuit at the head of 300 foot through the Rebellious Province of Angus where there was a rising again...there were 220 Rebels in Arms; they were disbursed and the most rebellious parts have surrendered about 150 firearms to me and all is quiet. I march'd with ample power to fire, destroy and punish rebels...and i have burned houses and meeting houses in my way with as much mercy as was consistent with my duty." He mentions having received a letter from the aide to his Colonel that "...His royal highness is very well satisfied with everything you have done, which he has ordered me to signify to you"....then continuing to his "Nanny", Lafausille writes: "This has made me very happy as he was pleased to pitch upon me for his service and I shall march to join the Army at Aberdeen in health and spirits and hope to receive a handful of my Nanny's letters...do not doubt that you have been uneasy at my silence but it was unavoidable as I was [away from] all Post roads and even entered the Highlands one day's march where [with] fire and sword I subdued the inhabitants of Lochlie contrary to the expectations of their neighbours....I have been 5 nights in my cloaths (sic) with little rest to myself to procure it for my men. I will venture to say no field officer had ever so ample a power given given over so large a country." He clearly indicates that his actions in the Scottish countryside should not be made known to anyone (or, of course the public or press) by adding postscript at the bottom of the letter: "Don't put my letters out of your hands." Although signed (after much expression of affection to his nanny) with his initials, there is absolutely no doubting that is is by John Lafausille (and is accompanied with photostats of other original correspondence written in his hand and which bears his full signature).

    Accompanying this letter (likely also sent to his "Nanny" with his April 4, 1746 letter) is a two page (each blank on reverse) penned document in the hand of Lafausille's aide or regimental clerk and made for Lafausille's personal use, being the transcription of an order issued by Lafausille just one week earlier, dated March 28, 1746 and directed to the people of the Scottish town they had just subdued and occipied. Order opens: "By Major John Lafausille, commanding a detachment of his majesty's forces...I do hereby require David Gibs, upon pain of the most severe military execution, to send this, my order, to the inhabitants of Glenesque by which I require them to return to their houses and deliver up their arms to me tomorrow...[those that are now] peacebly at [home[ deliver up their arms to me...at the Castle of Invermark or...to the minister of the parish. I shall not molest nor suffer any under my command to do, but all such who oppose me or attempt to do hurt, force me to to take [strong action] or do any damage to his majesty's subject, against all such and those who shall harbour rebels and do not give me immediate intelligence or [etc.] and should the rebels fall upon town or village inhabitants by any of his majesty's Loyal subjects I do hereby declare that I and all his majesty's military officers now in Glenesque shall come into it and I will destroy everything belonging to the rebels. I desire this may be notified to the miniisters and their parishioners to warn them of the great calamity which will inevitably befall them and their families if they persist in this unnatural rebellion." [with a facsimile signature of Lafausille by his aiide]. Page two states it is a second decree. "...My Major Lafausille...at the bequest of Mr. John Gardan, [Pastor]....I have suspended the military persecuton against the inhabitants of Glenesque who do not remain in their homes and surrender their arms and so allow them time to do it until Monday morning....such as do not deliver up their arms to the minister or managers...before that time, against all such I will proceed with fire and sword...given at the castle 29th March, 1746" with facsimile signature of Lafausille..."Major to Wolf's Reg't" Documents are both typical of the early 18th century, with usual aging but excellent sound condition and perfectly legible, absolutely authentic.

    An exceptionally rare and remarkable first hand account of British military operations immediately preceding the furious battle that sealed Scotland's destiny while also ending the reign of Bonnie Prince Charles! John Lafausille led a distinguished military career rising to command the 66th Regiment of Foot and ultimately to the rank of major general.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2009
    12th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
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