Scots mercenary tradition

Since the Middle Ages, Scottish men have been involved in military pursuits, often on foreign soil. Fierce fighters, especially from the western islands, were particularly prized by the armies of Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain and France. Steven McKenzie of the BBC looks at their history.

Dr. David Caldwell writes about the recruitment of Scots into Irish armies. "By the early 16th Century the Western Isles were supplying men to do fighting in Ireland. The main military contractors included the MacDonalds of Dunyvaig and the Glens - leaders of Clan Donald South - with lands concentrated in Islay and Kintyre, and the MacLeans of Duart in Mull. The Campbells were also significant players."