Instrument of War

Piper of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, United States Army.

In 1746, in the aftermath of the Battle of Culloden, which, along with crippling legislation, effectively ended the Highland Clan system in Scotland, the Government put a number of prisoners of war on trial at York. Among them was a piper by the name of James Reid. Mr. Reid’s lawyers argued that, being a simple musician who bore no arms, he was not an enemy combatant. The Court, however, disagreed.

The Court observed that “a Highland regiment never marched without a piper,” and therefore, in the eyes of the law, Mr. Reid’s instrument was a weapon of war.

On 15 November 1746, James Reid was executed as a rebel.

Published by Christian Clay Columba Campbell

Christian Clay Columba Campbell is a Roman Catholic of the Anglican Use. As Senior Warden of the Cathedral of the Incarnation (Orlando, FL), he organised the process by which the parish accepted the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, petitioning to join the Catholic Church. The Anglican Cathedral is now the Church of the Incarnation in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. Personal queries should be directed to me at eccentricbliss dot com.

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