The road-network from William Roy’s Military Survey of Scotland. 1747
George Wade 1673-1748. Field Marshal and Member of Parliament.
In 1724 Lord Lovat submitted a report to George I on the state of the Highlands and the Jacobite threat. His conclusions were alarming. In April of the following year, General George Wade was appointed Commander-in-Chief of His Majesty’s Forces, Castles, Forts and Barracks in North Britain with the brief to subdue the Highlands and restore security. He is most renowned for his initiative on "mending the Roads between Garrisons and Barracks for the better Communication of His Majesty'sTroops" He completed 250 miles of road ( 5 highways) and 40 bridges before handing over to Major William Caulfeild in 1740. The eighteenth-century military roads are generally known as "Wade's Roads" and indeed Wade was given so much credit that his name features in the National Anthem. In fact, most of the military roads were built by William Caulfeild. Roy's map shows all five of Wade's roads in high emphasis. They were built between 1725 and 1734.
Wide had started his military career in the NineYears War and the War of Spanish Succession, serving in Flanders and in Spain. he was promoted to Major-General in 1714. He became a Member of Parliament in 1715. Following his initiatives in Scotland he was promoted to Field Marshal in 1743 with a major role in the Wars of Austrian Succession.
When the 1745 rebellion started he was Commander in Chief but was soon replaced by William Duke of Cumberland.
He died in 1748.
Last updated Nov.2020