Off to seek thy fortune

It was the norm in Europe that rulers did not keep an active army. It was far too expensive. When war loomed on the horizon they would hire mercenaries instead. Here, opportunity awaited the able-bodied man. Scottish mercenaries were said to be poor monetarily, but rich in courage. They were hardy and would fight for almost any cause.

In the seventeenth century about one fifth of the male population left Scotland to seek fortune and fame as a soldier-for-hire. Many would die before realizing their dream, some of them from malnutrition, rather than the sword or musket. Others would benefit in plunder off the bodies of the slain. A few privileged would earn titles.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s