ScotWars - Scottish Military History and Re-enactment
General Tam Dalyell of the Binns
Also known as Bluidy Tam, General Dalyell, an ancestor of today's Labour MP, became notorious for his suppression of the Covenanters at the Battle of Rullion Green, in the Pentland Hills, in 1666. Little more than a thousand Protestant 'rebels' had marched from Dumfries towards Edinburgh, armed only with scyhes, pitchforks and staves.

They wanted to enter the city to air their grievances about the religious persecution inspired by Charles II. But they were turned back -and found their route home blocked by General Tam and his well armed government troops.

About 50 Covenanters were killed before gathering darkness stopped the slaughter. Of the 80 men taken, 21 were later hanged while others were transported to America as slaves. Dalyell had supported the royalist cause since his youth.

When he learned of the execution of Charles I, he vowed not to cut his hair or beard again until the monarchy was restored. But it was noted that when Charles II gained the throne, Dalyell still wore his hair long.

Among other exploits, Tam managed to escape from the tower of London, where he had been imprisoned after Oliver Cromwell won the Battle of Worcester. He fled to Russia where he achieved high rank in the army of Tsar Mikhailovitch, until Charles II recalled him to Scotland to be commander~in~chief of his forces. With him, Tam brought back a useful Russian invention: the thumbscrews.
So another nickname was The Muscovite De'il.

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