Moss-trooper

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Moss-troopers were bandits who operated in Scotland during and after the period of the English Commonwealth in the mid-17th century.

Many moss-troopers were disbanded or deserting soldiers from one of the Scottish armies of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. They had kept their weapons and lived a life of banditry, attacking both civilians and Parliamentary soldiers for supplies during the Royalist rising of 1651 to 1654 when English Parliamentarian troops under George Monck occupied Scotland. Moss-troopers usually operated in small bands, either on the fringes of the Highlands or in the border regions.[1] Many Highland lairds complained of moss-troopers' cattle-stealing and of how they incurred military reprisals against the Highlands as a whole.

Some moss-troopers may[original research?] have had a national-political as well as an economic motivation, believing in resisting the Cromwellian occupation of Scotland - much as their Irish contemporaries, the "tories", in part resisted English occupation.

See also[edit]

  • rapparees - Irish guerrillas who fought for James II after the Revolution of 1688 and who on his defeat degenerated into brigands
  • reivers - predecessors of the mosstroopers in the Scottish borders
  • Sergeant Mor, who fought on after the 1745 rebellion until his capture and execution in 1753.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Norman Penney (ed.), The Short Journal and Itinerary Journals of George Fox, Cambridge University Press1925 p. 33