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Robert Scott (fl.1623-1631), quartermaster general of the Swedish army, master general of the Danish artillery, royal servant of Charles I and military inventor. Nothing is known of Scott before he entered Swedish military service. In 1623 Gustav II Adolf of Sweden granted the Scotsman James Spens, son of the Stuart ambassador in Stockholm Sir James Spens, authority to levy a body of Scottish soldiers for Swedish service. In the same year, Scott levied 200 men for the King of Sweden presumably as part of Spens quote recruitment drive. For the next five years, Scott served in the Swedish army, eventually acting as the army's quartermaster general. Scott was mentioned in royal correspondence to the Danish Court by Erik Krabbe, the Danish resident in Stockholm, in connection with Gustav II Adolf's impending campaign in western Prussia in 1628. The reason for Danish interest in the Scotsman lay in his development of light artillery. While in Swedish service, Scott developed a type of leather covered cannon, also known as the leather gun, in competition with one Melchoir von Wurmbrand. These cannon were revolutionary in that they were light enough to be carried by two men, they fired the same size shot as conventional cannon with half the powder and could fire up to 100 times without having to be left to cool down. Scott used different proportions to Wurmbrand in the construction of his cannon. He also claimed to Gustav II Adolf that he had contrived a way of reloading his cannon 10 times before a soldier could reload his musket once. 

Some Danish noblemen witnessed a demonstration of the leather cannon in Stockholm at which the Swedish king was said to have been suitably impressed. However, Scott wished payment of 20,000 Swedish riksdaler for his invention which Gustav II Adolf refused to pay. The Danes successfully recruited Scott from Swedish service in 1628 when he received his appointment as the master general of artillery on 6/7/1628. This appointment has caused some historical debate since such a military rank had not previously existed within the Danish army. Nonetheless a record exists in the Copenhagen archive of Scott's appointment as General Artillerimeister with a salary of 400 Danish rigsdaler per month, four times more than other officers of artillery. Scott's service for the Danish Crown was short, and had ended by the time Denmark pulled out of the Thirty Years' War. Scott left the service of Christian IV to return to Great Britain. The exact date of his departure is unclear with some sources suggesting October or November 1628 while others place his leaving some time after the Treaty of Lubeck in 1629. Whichever is the case, Robert Scott was certainly in Stuart service by September 1629. 

According to Professor Thomas Riis, he acted as a Gentleman of the Bedchamber to Charles I. As part of his Stuart service, Scott received new accommodation from the Crown. Charles I wrote to Attorney General Heath on 3 September 1629 ordering him to purchase a house in Lambeth, which came with 8 acres of land. For this purpose Heath was ordered to contract himself to the Chancellor of the Exchequer for the sum of £31,400. Five months later, on 15 February, Scott and his family were issued with a grant of denization. This document notes that Scott had a wife named Anne and two children, Charles and Anne as well as a nephew also called Robert Scott. According to Sir James Balfour Paul, Scott's other nephew James Wemyss was also included in an act of denization issued to Scott in 1630, although no mention of this appears in the Calendar of State Papers Domestic. Within only a few days of the grant of denization being issued, on 20 February 1630, it was ordered that Scott should receive £3600 per annum in wages. During this brief time in the service of Charles I, Scott managed to introduce the leather cannon into the British Isles. He did not live to see the deployment of his weapon. He died in 1631 and was buried in St Mary's Church, Lambeth in London where an epitaph to his artillery invention can be found. The leather cannon later became famous in the Covenanting wars through its deployment by General Alexander Hamilton [SSNE 380], who had also served in the Swedish Army. It became known in Scotland as the "Dear Sandy's Stoup" and was further refined throughout the 1640s and 1650s by Scott's nephew, James Wemyss.

Sources: Swedish Krigsarkiv, Muster Roll, 1625/3,5,6; 1626/3-9; O. Blom, 'Smaa Bidrag til Artilleriets Historie under Kristian d. 4de.' in Historiske Tidsskrift, vol. 3, Copenhagen, 1900-2, pp.332-44; L.W. Munthe, Kungliga Fortifikationens Historia, vol. 1 (Stockholm, 1902), p.222; T. Riis, Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot (Odense, 1988), II, p.116.

Service record

Arrived 1623-01-01, as QUARTERMASTER
Departed 1627-12-31, as QUARTERMASTER
Capacity OFFICER, purpose MILITARY
Arrived 1625-01-01, as CAPTAIN
Departed 1626-12-31, as CAPTAIN
Capacity OFFICER, purpose MILITARY
Arrived 1628-01-01, as MASTER GENERAL
Departed 1628-11-30, as GENERAL
Capacity OFFICER, purpose MILITARY
Arrived 1629-09-03
Departed 1631-12-31