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James Reid was a Jacobite who participated in the Battle of Culloden. Captured and put to trial in York, he was found guilty and was summarily hanged, drawn and quartered.

What is strange here is that James Reid was a piper, with a defence that he was not a combatant as he was only carrying his pipes.

The judge however argued that Highlanders would not fight without pipers, that the bagpipe was an “instrument of war”.

Apologies, but despite my interest in Scottish Weapons I have not studied the bagpipes and MSG does not have a Bagpipe class.  We do however have a Highland Broadsword class every Sunday morning.  If you interested in checking out our classes, give us a message to reserve a spot.

Epilogue

Dave Brooks from London was caught in 1996 contravening a local bylaw for playing a musical instrument. His argument however was that he was playing bagpipes, which as recorded in 1746 in the trial of Reid was an instrument of war.

The magistrate replied: “In that case I can charge you with bearing arms—-that’s a much more serious offence. As for this James Reid chap, that was obviously a gross miscarriage of justice.”

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