Private Farquar Shaw

Private Farquar Shaw, depicted in this print, achieved fame as one of the ringleaders of the Black Watch deserters in 1743. He, along with the two Macpherson brothers, led between 100 and 200 men back towards Scotland, from London when it was realised that the regiment were to be shipped abroad for foreign service. The deserters were spared from execution, except for Farquar and the Macphersons. They were taken to the Tower of London and shot on the morning of Monday 12 July 1743. The other deserters were paraded to watch the execution and then transported for life.

Farquar Shaw, according to Archibald Forbes 'was the son of an old Celtic warrior from the Braes of Lochabar, who died sword in hand at the rising in Glenshiel. After the warrior's death the old dhuinnewassal's estate was seized by the House of Breadlebane, and Farquar his only son, was compelled to enlist in the independent company of the Black Watch commanded by Campbell of Finab.' He was a good swordman and a deadly shot with musket and pistol. His strength was such that that he could twist horseshoes and drive his skene dhu into a pine log up to the hilt.

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by Stephen Luscombe