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Jonathan Randall

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Jonathan Randall
Full Name Jonathan Wolverton Randall
Born September 3, 1705 (age 40)[1]
Occupation Captain of His Majesty's Eighth Dragoons
Nationality English
Family Information
Family Members Denys Randall, Bt. (father)

Jessica Wolverton (mother)
Edward Randall (brother)
Alexander Randall (brother)

Mary Hawkins (wife)
Denys Alexander Randall (step-son/biological nephew)

Jonathan Wolverton Randall, commonly known as "Black Jack", was a minor knight in England during the time of the Jacobite Rising of 1745. He played a part in quashing the rebellion, and was heavily financially supported by the Duke of Sandringham. In 1745 Randall married Mary Hawkins, who bore him a son, Denys. Frank Randall, a historian and husband to Claire Beauchamp Randall in the 20th century, traces his family history back to Jack Randall.

Personal HistoryEdit

Jonathan was the second son of Sir Denys Randall and Jessica Wolverton[2] His father was knighted in the late 17th century, and was awarded a baronetcy by King George I.[3] His elder brother, Edward Randall, inherited the family estate in Sussex, while his younger brother, Alexander, became a curate.

In the mid-1730s, Randall bought his commission and served as a captain of dragoons. In late 1739, he became garrison commander at Fort William, succeeding Captain Buncombe.

With a levy imposed on the farms surrounding Fort William to oblige officers with supplies and food for the garrison, Randall and his men were on such a mission in October 1740 when they stopped at Lallybroch, and met resistance from its inhabitants. After hearing his sister, Jenny, in distress, nineteen-year-old Jamie Fraser attempted to defend his sister and his property, but soon gave it up when Randall pointed a pistol at the young woman's head. Randall's men stripped off Jamie's shirt and bound him to their wagon, whence Randall beat him across the back with the flat of his saber. When he'd finished, Randall taunted the sister, inviting her to take him inside the house to spare Jamie. The girl's response provoked Randall into holding his dagger against Jamie's throat. Eventually she acquiesced, and one of the soldiers knocked Jamie out and tied him up in the wagon.

Once inside with Jenny, Randall made some attempt to ready himself to rape her, though as Jenny observed, he experienced some difficulty in doing so. She laughed at him, infuriating him even more, and he hit her hard enough to knock her unconscious, and the men left the farm.

Events of the NovelsEdit

While in hot pursuit of a band of Highland cattle raiders, Captain Jonathan Randall of His Majesty's Eighth Dragoons stumbles upon a woman wandering the countryside in what appear to be her undergarments. Upon hearing her educated English accent, Randall becomes suspicious of her presence in the remote Scottish Highlands. Any further interrogation is cut short when he is knocked unconscious and the woman has disappeared once he awakens.

Randall meets the woman again some weeks later, when Dougal MacKenzie brings her to Fort William and introduces her as Mistress Claire Beauchamp. She explains her situation, which corroborates whatever MacKenzie had told him previously, but he remains highly suspicious of her still.

Jack Randall fulfills his brother Alexander's dying wish that he wed Mary Hawkins, Alexander's lover who carries his child. Thus, Jack becomes the legal father of his biological nephew, Denys Alexander Randall. Randall dies at the Battle of Culloden on April 16, 1746.

In 1739 Scotland, Captain Jonathan Randall is assigned to Fort William, taking over from Captain Buncombe. Having learned from his predecessor of Roger MacKenzie's search for his missing son, he sends a found set of RAF dog tags to Brian Fraser at Lallybroch to give to Roger. Roger recognizes them as belonging to his father Jeremiah Walter MacKenzie, who disappeared after his plane crashed near a set of standing stones in northern England.

Roger and Buck return to Fort William and Roger meets with Captain Randall. He tells them that a patrol from Ruthven Barracks brought the dog tags in. He summons the messenger who brought them and has the man give information on where they came from. He asks Roger what they are and Roger tells them it's a charm to preserve the soul. After the man leaves, Roger asks Randall if he will pray with him and though wary, he agrees. To Randall's surprise, Roger takes his hands and holds tight as he prays for Randall's soul.


If there are two sorts of leaders – one who commands the respect of their men, and one who leads by instilling fear – Jack Randall is surely the latter. By all appearances a handsome second son of a nobleman, his carefully constructed public persona completes the picture of a successful officer in the British Army, while it also disguises his darker desires and practices. Described by his creator as a "sadistic bisexual pervert," Randall seeks sexual pleasure not only by causing physical harm to his victims, but by inflicting the maximum emotional and spiritual anguish in the process. Thus, while he is an equal opportunistic rapist, his position allows him greater access to male prisoners, whose vulnerability and helplessness make their silence more assured than that of any women he might molest.

Physical AppearanceEdit

Jack Randall very closely resembles his descendant, Frank Randall. The likeness is such that Claire Beauchamp mistakes Jack for her husband upon arriving in the past. Though a handsome man like Frank, Jack's skin is darkly tanned from years of exposure and he wears his dark hair long.


  • Jonathan comes from the Hebrew name יְהוֹנָתָן (Yehonatan) (contracted to יוֹנָתָן (Yonatan)) meaning "YAHWEH has given".[4]
  • Randall derives from the given name Randel, which is a medieval diminutive form of names (e.g. Randolf) beginning with the Germanic element rand meaning "rim (of a shield)".[5]


TV SeriesEdit

Main article: Outlander Television Series

English actor Tobias Menzies portrays Jack Randall in the STARZ Outlander television series.



  1. Age at time of death.
  2. In chapter 40 of Outlander, Randall's parents are given as Joseph and Mary Randall, and his elder brother as William. The elder brother is also given as William in Dragonfly in Amber, chapter 38. In The Outlandish Companion, the Randall family tree chart lists Denys Randall and Jessica Wolverton as parents, and Edward as the eldest brother. Confusingly, in the Companion's alphabetical list of characters, there is only William listed as the "eldest of the three Randall brothers", and no Edward. Diana Gabaldon's response to the naming confusion of the elder brother has been briefly, though not definitively, covered in this thread in her folder on the Compuserve forum. For what it's worth, "Denys", "Edward", and "Wolverton" each recur for other subsequent members of the Randall family, in both the family chart in the Companion and in the six books after Dragonfly: the son of Alex and Mary is called Denys; Brianna inherits Randall family silver in Drums of Autumn, originally purchased by an Edward K. Randall; and Frank's middle name is Wolverton.
  3. The Outlandish Companion, page 208.
  4. Jonathan name meaning -- Accessed 28 September 2014.
  5. Randel name meaning -- Accessed 28 September 2014.

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