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A Montrose Bibliography

Below, you will find a list of published source material, scholarship and fictional works. 

BELL, Robin; “Civil Warrior”; Published 2002, Luath Press Ltd. ISBN 1-84282-013-3.  This book contains the complete poetical works of James Graham but gives so much more as Bell masterfully weaves the poems into the story of Montrose and the civil war troubles. This is a most enjoyable read, not just for those with a poetical leaning.

BLACKIE, RUTH;  “Montrose: Covenanter, Royalist and Man of Principle” . Merlin educational series; ISBN 0-86241-640-X. Suitable for the older child or the adult who wants a basic understanding of the subject. Gives an interesting account of Montrose’s struggle with his allegiance to the Covenant and what he saw as his duty to his sovereign Charles 1 st . The book shows the grim clash of personality between Montrose and Archibald Campbell, Marquis of Argyll, leader of the Covenanters. It also explores the background and shifting allegiances which made this one of the most tumultuous and complex times in Scottish history.

BUCHAN, JOHN; “The Marquis of Montrose” ; First published by T. Nelson in 1913. This work was a first attempt by Buchan to write a biography of Montrose and it concentrates mainly on the warrior side of Montrose and the battles.

BUCHAN, JOHN; “Montrose” ; T. Nelson. First edition in 1928 but there have been many reprints since then. This book is considered the definitive work on the subject.

CHAMBERS, ROBERT;  “History of the Rebellions in Scotland under the Marquis of Montrose” ; Constable 1828.

COWAN, PROFESSOR EDWARD J; “Montrose ; For Covenant and King”; Weidenfield and Nicholson. 1 st edition in 1977. Re-printed in a paperback edition, slightly revised in 1995.

GRANT, JAMES; “Memoirs of Montrose” ; Routledge in 1858. This is a great work; very detailed. Undoubtedly one of the best on the subject.

GRANT, I F; “In the tracks of Montrose” ; Alexander Maclehose & Co. 1931

GREVILLE, LADY VIOLET; “Montrose” ; MacMillan; 1 st edition 1892

HASTINGS, MAX; “Montrose; The King’s Champion” ; Victor Gollanez; 1 st edition in 1977. ISBN 0-575-02226-4

IRWIN, MARGARET; “The Proud Servant” ; Chatto & Windus; 1 st edition 1934. Written as a fictional novel but based on real historical characters and events. This book is the story of Montrose but Irwin wrote others, most notably ‘The Bride’ and ‘The Stranger Prince’, which link in closely with the story of Montrose and the House of Stuart exiled on the continent.

MORRIS, MOWBRAY; “Montrose” ; MacMillan; 1st edition in 1892.

NAPIER, MARK; “Montrose and the Covenanters” ; 2 volumes; 1 st edition published by Duncan, in 1838.

NAPIER, MARK; “The Life and Times of Montrose” ; Oliver and Boyd; 1 st edition in 1840.

NAPIER, MARK; “Memorials of Montrose and his Times” ; 2 volumes; The Maitland Club; 1 st edition in 1848.

NAPIER, MARK: “Memoirs of Montrose” ; 2 volumes; Stevenson; 1 st edition produced in 1856. Napier was without doubt the most prolific writer of this subject. I can’t easily think of any one author who has written so much about the same person in this period of time. Amazingly Napier does not become repetitive in his writings although some of his material is very hard going indeed. A most valuable work but certainly not for beginners.

PRYCE, MRS HUGH; “The Great Marquis of Montrose” ; Everett & Co. 1 st edition in 1912.

REID, STUART;  “Auldearn 1645: The Marquis of Montrose’s Scottish Campaign” . Osprey Publishing, 2003.

REID, STUART;  “The Campaigns of Montrose” ; The Mercat Press, 1990;   ISBN 0-90-182492-5

TRANTER, NIGEL:  “The Young Montrose” and “Montrose the Captain General”. Both these volumes were originally printed singly but they have since been re-printed as two volumes in one called “The Montrose Omnibus” , by Coronet, in 1997. Anyone who has read any of Tranter’s numerous works will be aware of his uncanny ability to bring historical characters and events to real life. His works are classed as fiction but, in truth, his story lines always ran fairly closely to fact. Tranter is probably responsible for attracting more readers to the subject of Scottish history than any other author. Definitely one to have in the collection.

WEDGWOOD, C V;  “Montrose” ; First published by Collins in 1952; A book to be treated with caution. This book was part of the “Brief lives” series.

WILLIAMS, RONALD;  “Montrose; Cavalier in Mourning” ; Barrie and Jenkins; 1st edition in 1975; In my view the best post-Buchan biography of Montrose. A must read for all enthusiasts.

WISHART, REV. GEORGE;  “The Memoirs of James Marquis of Montrose, 1639-1650” . Translated from the Latin by Rev. Alexander Murdoch and H F Morland Simpson; Published by Longmans Green. This is the edition of 1892 often known as “Deeds of Montrose”. There is a tremendous history attached to all Wishart translations. The very first account of Montrose’s deeds was written in Latin by Wishart, Montrose’s Chaplain, in 1647. This was supposedly printed in The Hague, though Amsterdam seems more likely. There are supposed to be five separate Latin editions, all printed in Amsterdam during 1647 and 1649. Only the last of these contains both parts 1 and 2 of the original Latin manuscripts of Wishart.

Society Publications

The following booklets were produced by members of the society at their own expense. Both publications were extensively researched and will provide a valuable source of information for any student wishing detailed information on either topic.

Although the booklets were professionally printed they were not commercially distributed. Some copies are still available however and any enquiries should be made through the society secretary.

‘Contemporary Images of James Graham, Fifth Earl and First Marquis of Montrose’. – Phinella Henderson – 2007.

In this booklet the author sets out what she discovered about extant contemporary or near contemporary portraits and other images of James Graham, 1st Marquis of Montrose. Useful information is also provided about the artists. This 29 page (A5) bound colour booklet is packed full of images and fascinating detail. Expertly researched and written.

‘The Portrait of Montrose in Warwick Castle’ – Ronald Williams – 2013

This is a fascinating and well researched account of the portrait of the 1st Marquis of Montrose in Warwick Castle from the author Ronald Williams. The author’s literary skill is matched only by his powers of detection as he unravels the intricate, and amazing, history of this ‘forgotten’ portrait. This bound booklet consists of 16 colour (A4) pages, with images.

Other Relevant Reading

“A true and perfect relation of the most remarkable passages and speeches at and before the death of his excellence James Marques of Montrose”.   Pamphlet originally published in 1650; reprinted as a ‘Mercat Press Facsimile Reprint’, James Thin. Mercat Press, 1970.


GARDINER, SAMUEL R; “History of the Great Civil War 1642-1649”. First published 1868; In 4 volumes; The Windrush Press; ISBN 0-900075-0- 8

GORDON, PATRICK OF RUTHVEN; “A Short Abridgement of Britain’s Distemper, From the Yeare of God M.DC.XXXIX to M.DC.XLIX”. Spalding Club 1844.

SPALDING, JOHN; “Memorials of the Troubles in Scotland and England” ; Spalding Club.

WEDGWOOD, C V; “The King’s Peace 1637-1641” and “The King’s War 1641-1647” . ISBN 0-141-39073-5 and 0-1400.6691-7 respectively.

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