This page is dedicated to the known spies who for one reason or another spied on the Jacobite army during the 1745 Rebellion. Some of these spies were used by the Hanoverians to give court evidence again prominent Jacobites when the Rebellion failed. When dealing with the spy issue the reader must keep an open mind. The names of identical spies seem to change depending on the writer of the article. Whether the spies used different names or the person recording the name was just a bad speller we will never know. The text below comes from several books and no intended inference was made to whether the spies with like sounding names were indeed the same person. There were many spies but none more infamous than "Pickle". Further research will be required before his story can be told.
WEIR also known as VERE
"As Lord George advanced to Congleton, the Duke of Kingston, in command of a body of horse, retired from that town to Newcastle-under-Lyne. An advance party of Lord Georg's men, under Colonel Ker, went forward at night (December 2) towards Newcastle-under-Lyne, whence the dragoons broke up with great precipitation, some of them escaping through windows. The party seized one Weir, a noted spy, who was only saved from hanging by the clemence of the Prince."
History of the Rebellion of 1745 by Robert Chambers
Captain John Weir (also known as Vere) was a Hanoverian intelligence officer captured at the Red Lion, Talke, North of Newcastle by a troop of Kilmarnock's Horse. There was a consensus of opinion that he should he "strung up on the spot". Lord George Murray decided to send Weir back for interrogation. Weir was only to eager to talk and spread lies about the size and position of Cumberland's army. He convinced Lord George that the Hanoverian army was in such numbers that the Jacobite army stood no chance of survival. Lord George bluntly told the Prince the army should return to Scotland.
"The Army being now arrived at Congleton, Cheshire, nothing particular happed there, except that a patrol took one Captain Weir, a famous spy with seven dragoons who were feasting at a house some distance off. This Weir was by birth a Scotchman, and had been employed in may villanies, and having served the Court not only as a spy upon us, but amongst other foreign Powers, has been promoted for his diligence in this business. He was conducted back with us to Carlisle - how unfortunate for us, that he was not put to death, considering what he has since done!-but his lefe was saved through the innate clemency of the Prince, though he merited the worst punishments."
"Cumberland had laid six or seven weeks before the town (Carlisle) and heralds had been frequently sent in to summon it to surrender. Mr. Hamilton, Governor of the Castle had at last resolved to obey them but whether with a true fear or promise of his life, is disputed. Certain however it is, that he employed that villinous Weir, who I have mentioned before (being left a prisoner at Carlisle) with secret Messages to and from the enemy; and instead of hanging him, invited him daily to his own table. How far this conduct was good, I leave the world to judge."
A True Account of Mr. John Daniel's Progress with Prince Charles, pages 175 & 193, published in the Origins of the Forty-Five 1745-1746, Scottish Historical Society, Second Series