The story of the Scottish mercenary. There have always been mercenaries and some nations have a better temperament for the trade than others. Mercenaries, both historically and present day, have tended to be hardy men from mountainous, uncompromising countries and climates. In an age of families which expected to have numerous sons to ensure a continuation of the line, young gentlemen of the Quentin Durward variety often took to the sword to make their way in the world. The Scots have always been attracted to the mercenary life-especially at times when there was no war to fight at home-and their mercenary numbers were made up of all ranks from senior officers to common soldiers, who would sometimes go into foreign service as an entire regiment. The high point of Scottish mercenary activity was during the European wars of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries when upwards of an incredible 40,000 Scots were employed under arms at any one time. This excellent book discusses the role of the Scots in the service of Russia, Prussia, Austria, Sweden, Italy, Turkey, Spain, Portugal and France and it makes fascinating reading.
Dedication inside front cover. This copy published 1890.