Thursday, 14 August 2014

The Final Chapter.

People have always asked whether Charles and the Jacobite army could have made it all the way to London, instead of turning back at Derby, a decision which infuriated the Prince. It may well have been possible to reach the capital since King George and his court were actually preparing to quit London for Germany. London was in turmoil. However, one has to ask whether an army of 5,000 would have been able to hold and police this city's vast population, even if the various English armies had been unable to intercede ? I cannot imagine that a Stuart prince and large numbers of 'barbarous' Highlanders would have been at all welcome in London. The large armies of Cumberland and Wade were closing in , and I fear that the Jacobite adventure might have ended there and then. Charles's army could have made it to London, but within a short time defeat was inevitable. There would be no 'coronation' for Charles at Westminster, nor anyone willing to anoint him. From the outset, Charles's problem was an inability to maintain an army of sufficient size. The promises that Jacobites would rise in England, Ireland and Wales came to nothing, but there were plenty among his court of "Irish travellers" eager to perpetuate these lies and raise false hopes. Facts should be faced. The Jacobites in Scotland were the only people that Charles could count on. The French, English etc. never lived up to their promises. When they turned back at Derby, some of the Highland chiefs had argued that Charles should have stopped in Edinburgh as 'King of Scotland', and that they had been prepared to defend Scotland, but not England. That was disingenuous. They had in fact promised to see his father regain all Three Crowns of Britain. They possibly saw what lay ahead if their army continued towards London. The Highland clansmen were fearless and expert soldiers, but they were suited to fighting in rough, hilly terrain. This suited their guerrilla style, but against a professional army, fully equipped and highly trained, with a large complement of cavalry and modern artillery, they were always going to lose. The Hanoverian Army in early 1746, under the command of the Duke of Cumberland, was a highly professional and battle hardened army. The earlier Government army of late 1745 (vide Prestonpans) was anything but. The English people never took to the Stuarts , neither when they reigned in Scotland nor when they came south to England as their monarch. Queen Elizabeth, the Virgin Queen, had her cousin, Mary Queen of Scots (Mary Stuart) executed to ensure she wouln't take the English throne. Charles I, a Stuart king, met with the same fate. The Restoration of the Monarchy in favour of the Stuart, King Charles II, only happened because at that time the alternatives were unacceptable, and the people were tired of conflict. His brother James II later came to the throne and lasted only a few years before he was forced into exile. The Stuart line was strongly Catholic, and since the Reformation, the peoples of England and Scotland were uneasy with monarchs who might still have some allegiance to the Church of Rome. The suspicion that Britain would once more have a Catholic king would prove too much for the people of Britain. This would be the biggest barrier of all for Charles to overcome. Charles Edward Stuart arrived in Scotland with next to nothing, and one year on, he left these same shores with nothing. Between times he and his Jacobite army won a few battles and scared the living hell out of the government in London. Charles was bold and at times courageous, never more so than the time he spent as a fugitive in the wilds of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, and he with a massive price on his head. However, those he left behind paid an even greater price after 'Bliadhna Tearlach'. THE END, LE FIN, AIG AN DEIREADH .

Sunday, 10 August 2014

'Bliadhna Tearlach' ( TheYear of the Prince ).

The planned French naval invasion of 1744 was a genuine attempt to help the Prince win back the Three Kingdoms for his father, James III. However storms and British warships saw the enterprise end in disaster. The French would not mount another invasion force like this again. SOME COMMENTS AND OBSERVATIONS ON THE "YEAR OF THE PRINCE". 1. Charles would not be deterred. He made his way to Scotland in a hired French ship with just a handful of men he could trust. In the face of the unknown, this demonstrated considerable courage. 2. He was depending on the loyalties of Jacobite clans who had supported the Stuart Cause in the past. Coming ashore in Moidart, Charles knew that this was a strong Catholic area, well away from the notice of Protestant observers. Here he was able to summon the chiefs of the most powerful clans. Unless these clan chiefs could be persuaded to join with him, Charles knew that the rising would be dead in the water. Even Murray of Broughton would have called it a day. 3. For any chance of success, Charles would need Clan Cameron to join the Rising. Their chief, Young Lochiel , did not believe a rising would succeed and told the Prince so. The Prince summoned him to a meeting at Kinlochmoidart, and knowing the historic allegiance the Camerons had to the Stuarts, he played on this and won over Lochiel by suggesting he could sit at home in Achnacarry and read in the newspapers about his Prince's battles. The Prince was astute enough to know that with this very large clan on his side, it was likely that many others would follow. 4. It was strange that Lord George Murray had 'signed up' for the Government side, and only a week later joined the Jacobites. He said his heart had ruled his head. Murray of Broughton would continue to use this strange volte face to infect the Prince with suspicions of Lord George's treasonable intent. The Prince thereafter never fully trusted his leading Lieutenant-General. This would have an effect on decision making and indeed on the whole conduct of the campaign. 5. Lord George Murray was a natural general in war. He was brave and the ideal man to lead the Highlanders in their particulr attacking style. However he could be fierce in thought and word, and in demeanour, proud and haughty. He resigned his commission twice in high dudgeon, once when the Duke of Perth took over the seige of Carlisle, and again when Lord Cromartie crossed into Easter Ross in pursuit of Lord Louden's Government forces. In each case Lord George had not been 'consulted'. He was difficult and irascible, did not take kindly to being countermanded, disliked the Irish and preferred his own council. He had found it difficult to throw his lot in with the Jacobites, and his decision was a great sadness to his wife. 6. Lord Elcho knew Prince Charles and his father, the Old Pretender, as far back as their time in Rome. Even then, he tried to disuade Charles from contemplating an invasion of Britain, unless he could command 30,000 men and large supplies of money and arms. He was not impressed with the Prince from these first meetings, but did join him in Edinburgh in September, 1745, 'after much soul searching'. He was an able and fearless soldier, but was said to be brutal in battle, giving no quarter. He detested Charles' Irish advisors. He is damning of Charles in his "Memoirs". While he was in exile in France, Lord Elcho wrote to the British authorities seeking an amnesty, that on his return he would swear allegiance to the Hanoverian King George II. Not surprisingly, his appeal was rejected. 7. The Jacobite army was fortunate at Prestonpans when they were shown a way through the marshes placing them in an ideal position to defeat General Cope's 'unasailable' force. 8. Fortune favoured the Jacobites again in the way they gained entry into the town of Edinburgh through an open port gate. 9. The Jacobites (and often it was Charles himself) made mistakes in releasing prisoners on parole whose freedom had been won by the oath they took never to take up arms against the Prince and his army herein after. They rarely held to that oath and shortly rejoined their regiments to fight another day. 10. As the Jacobite army retreated north, Charles left a garrison of 400 men within Carlisle to 'keep a foothold in England'. This was a ridiculous decision taken solely by the Prince during the period when he no longer took council. The armies of Cumberland and Wade took Carlisle's surrender with ease, and these poor souls were brutally executed or transported to the colonies. This was a high price paid by the 'defenders' of Carlisle for the worthless decision of the Prince. 11. While in the area of Shap near Penrith, the Hanoverian army was closing in, attemping to prevent the Jacobite forces from reaching Scotland. The Prince had given orders that the retreat must continue, However, Lord George Murray decided to make a stand at the village of Clifton against English cavalry which had constantly harrassed them. A good number of the cavalry were killed while the rest scattered. You could say that Murray had disobeyed the Prince's orders, or you could say that the action at Clifton had secured the Jacobite rear and given them extra time to reach the Scottish border. 12. The biggest and most costly mistakes made by the Prince relate to the Battle of Culloden. A good part of the Jacobite army was missing or late for the battle. The soldiers had not had proper food in many days and were forced to go scavaging, and in consequence they were weak and tired. Then Charles had the mad idea to march these poor men through the night to 'surprise' Cumberland's army ( no doubt to repeat their success at Prestonpans). In single file they marched for seven hours in the dark, so tired that many of them fell asleep by the roadside. By the time their long line neared Culloden, it was dawn. No 'surprise' to Cumberland now, but surprising that the Jacobite troops had made it at all. The choice of site for the battle was Charles's alone, and on that he would not change his mind. The flat marshy plain of Culloden was about the worst choice he could have made, totally unsuited to the Highlanders' way of fighting. Depriving the Macdonald Clans of the right wing of the battle line at Culloden was crass stupidity on the Princes' part (to appease Lord George Murray), and one can undertand their reluctance to move or fight when battle was engaged. The result of these things could only have one outcome to the battle.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

'A Desparate Undertaking,' 'A Very Mad Design.'

From around 1650, the Stuarts either lost hold of the British Crown or held on to it very tentatively. For Charles Edward Stuart it would be the last throw of the die for the Stuart Cause. Almost all of the Jacobite supporters in France, barring a significant few, and the clan chiefs back in Scotland advised him that his quest to regain the Three Crowns for his father could only end in failure, if indeed an invasion of Britain was actually possible. The news that Charles intended to come to Scotland seems to have filled almost all of the Jacobite leaders in Scotland with dismay. Lochiel said it was a 'desperate undertaking', Macleod of Macleod considered the 'Design a vey mad one'. The Duke of Perth thought otherwise, as did the Prince's French based advisors, George Keith, the 10th Earl Marischal of Scotland, who had fought at the Battle of Sherrifmuir during the 1715 Rising, Aeneas Macdonald from Kinlochmoidart, now a banker in Paris, and John Murray of Broughton (Peebleshire) whose brief seems to have been courier of messages between Jacobites in Scotland and Charles in France. On his first meeting with Murray in Paris, the Prince said that 'with great keenness' he was determined to land in Scotland the following summer, 'if he only brought a single footman'. Was this keenness or naivite' ? In a letter to his father, James III, in February 1745, he said that 'it would be of great comfort to me to have real business on my hands'. Charles was looking for an adventure, a successful one which would see his name written into the annals of history. The Jacobite leaders in Scotland were now extremely concerned that their plotting was beginning to draw attention in the wrong quarters, and in a letter despatched to the Prince through Murray of Broughton, they strongly urged him most strongly not to come. That advice was very clear. Many of Charles' companions were Irish, as many of them had found employ in the Irish Regiments of the French Army. Their Irish Catholicism was a big plus for Prince Charles and he came to place a lot of faith in them. Sir Thomas Sheridan, his former tutor, now seventy, had travelled from Rome to be with him in France. Another favourite with Charles was the Irishman John William O'Sullivan, fat and well-fed, 45 year old, who left the priesthood to become a soldier of fortune. O'Sullivan seemed to keep the Prince in a good humour, not an easy task, it seemed. The next Irishman was the the exiled Protestant clergyman, the Reverend George Kelly, once secretary to a Jacobite bishop, who spent many years in the Tower of London before escaping to France. Another Irish companion of Charles was another Kelly, Father Kelly who had been Charles confessor in France. These close Irish companions of the Prince were either old or unfit or both, and the sum of their military experience amounted to little or nothing. The Irish had little to lose and argued constantly with the Scots close to the Prince. These Irishmen were full of enthusiasm for the idea of an expedition. The Scots banker, Aeneas Macdonald, said that the 'expedition to Scotland was entirely an Irish project'. I believe that without this coterie of Irishmen, the Prince might not have embarked on this 'adventure'. The French got word in November 1743 that a group of notable English Jacobites had made a request for armed intervention, and in the following month, December 1743, 38 transports were assembled at Dunkirk, ready to transport 12,000 men under the command of Marischal Saxe. An escorting force of 22 warships were gathered at Brest. In early March 1744 the French expeditionary force with the escorting convoy of warships set sail into the English Channel / La Manche but were picked up by 20 British warships. The French ships changed course and avoided action with the British, but on the 6 March, a very violent and long lasting storm destroyed most of the transports with the loss of all hands. The ship carrying both Marischal Saxe and Prince Charles somehow escaped. A few days later Saxe decided to abandon the whole venture. Charles was left in utter despair, the best hopes of an invasion destroyed and unlikely to be repeated. Had this invasion landed, the course of history might have been different. Fortune eluded Charles Stuart.

Friday, 1 August 2014

Charles Stuart and his Hanoverian Cousins.

The name Stewart (or Stuart) derives from the title, High Steward of Scotland, bestowed by the King on the Anglo-Norman knight, Walter Fitzalan in the middle of the 12th century. High Steward was a high office in the Scottish royal household, responsible for the overall administration of the court, and control of royal revenues. His position gave him the right to lead the army into battle. Walter was the first High Steward of Scotland. A descendant of his, also called Walter Fitzalan, became the 6th High Steward of Scotland, now known as Walter Stewart. He married Marjory Bruce, daughter of King Robert the Bruce. Their son, Robert, eventually became King Robert II of Scotland. He was the first of the Stewart family to ascend the throne of Scotland in the year 1371 and the first in a long line of Stewart Kings of Scotland and later of Britain. The first Ruler of the United Kingdom of Great Britain was King James VI of Scotland, the son of Mary Queen of Scots. In 1603 he ascended to the thrones of Scotland, England and Ireland, and would be named King James the First of Great Britain. After this, problems arose between the Stewart kings and their subjects, often orchestrated by the religious divide caused by the Reformation. Later Stewart monarchs( Charles I) acted like 'Little Gods on Earth,' whose Divine Right to Rule was their firm belief, but not that of the people's parliament. What followed were terrible civil wars, the last regicide in Britain, a people's republic and the Restoration of the Monarchy under Charles II. When he died in 1685, his younger brother was crowned King James II, but his reign only endured until 1689. People thought that James was a practicing Catholic, and when his second wife was expecting a child, the fear of the country reverting to Catholicism, brought matters to a head. Parliament invited his Protestant daughter, Mary, and her husband William III of Orange (in Holland) to accept the Crown of Great Britain. Civil war followed, and in 1690 at the Battle of the Boyne in Northern Ireland, the army of James II was defeated. James went into exile in France, never to return.. The last Stuart monarch of Britain was Queen Anne, after whose death in 1714 saw its future rulers chosen from princes of a foreign country. At critical times, after King James II was defeated and forced into exile in France, various attempts were made to place a Stuart back on the throne of Britain. In 1689 Viscount Graham of Claverhouse ('Bonnie Dundee') raised an army in support of the deposed King James II. On the death of Queen Anne in 1714, the last Stuart ruler of Britain, the accession of the Hanoverian Prince George provoked a rebellion under the Earl of Mar in 1715. In 1719 a small army of Scots and 200 Spanish troops were defeated at Glenshiel, at which a young Lord George Murray took part. Finally, we have the 1745 rebellion/rising in support of Charles Edward Stuart. It is noticeable that each of these risings took place in Scotland - not in England nor Ireland. Religion, the Highland Clan structure and the politics of the day would be factors in making Highland Scotland a place touched by the 'spirit of rebellion'. Queen Anne died without an heir in 1714, and the issue of succession could only be solved by retracing the Stuart line back to King James I of England (and VI of Scotland). Everyone knows that King James had a son, the unfortunate Charles I, but few are aware of the existence of a daughter, Elizabeth (1596-1662) who married Frederick, King of Bohemia. In biblical parlance, Elizabeth Stuart begat Sophia, Electress of Hanover who begat a son George who was invited over to Britain to be their new king, King George I. There followed a series of "German Geordies", whom Charles Stuart and his supporters looked on as usurpers of the Three Crowns of Britain. In the years 1745 and 1746, the Crown of Britain was fought over by the Jacobite and Hanoverian forces, and the winner would take all.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Culloden. The Aftermath.

The British Government's fear that war with France was always a possibility, it was imperative that the Highlands were 'dealt with' once and for all. Their brutal military occupation of the Highlands was designed to snuff out the last vestiges of Jacobitism, which was always a threat to the Government. They went further by destroying the Catholic chapels and Episcopalian churches in the West Highlands where these religions were strongest among the Jacobites. The British government wanted to crush the very culture and way of life of the Gealic speaking peoples, and brought forward legislation that was crippling. In 1746 the Disarming Act was passed, prohibiting the carrying of weapons (understandible, you might think), and prohibiting the wearing of the kilt and tartan, which was to remove centuries old symbols of Highland culture. The bagpipes were likewise banned as 'instruments of war'. A year later in 1747, the Heritable Jurisdiction Act removed any legal powers the chiefs had over their clansmen, and Jacobite estates were forfeited to the Crown. Even clans who had supported the government, were now affected by these acts (eg. wearing of tartan and playing the bagpipes). Great changes were wrought in the Highlands after Culloden, but long before this, the Highlands had undergone radical changes , especially within the clan system. Clan ties were loosening, as the Highlanders looked beyond the glens, to seek a living further afield. In the years after Culloden, many of the Jacobites joined the newly formed Highland Regiments. The British government thought that persuading their erstwhile enemy to take the 'King's shilling' was an ideal way of integrating them with the rest of the kingdom. Into the bargain, these regiments were permitted once more to wear tartan and the kilt. Some Highlanders took advantage of the opportunities now afforded by the large and expanding British Empire, and this only increased further Highland emigration. Now that the Highlanders were fully 'integrated' with the rest of the United Kingdom, it was felt that some of the repressive orders and laws could be lifted. The Disarming Act of 1746 was repealed in 1782, and in 1784 many of the Jacobite estates were returned to their rightful owners, but these days the clan chiefs felt more at home in their London clubs. Modern methods of farming and estate management were now all the fashion, and the Highland Chiefs would discuss these matters with their richer counterparts in England, whose estates were large and productive. They encouraged animal husbandry, fishing, kelp processing on their estates, but the rents kept spirraling and in the end surviving chiefs broke their traditional ties with their clansmen in order to make their estates pay. What followed over the next one hundred years, saw cruelty and destitution visited on the ordinary Highlander on a par with anything meted out by the Redcoats. Clan chiefs were now clearing their lands of their own kinsfolk, and bringing in thousands of the large Cheviot breed of sheep. Many thousands of Highlanders were forced onto barren rocky ground, while others were forced to emigrate . With the infamous Highland Clearances, life in the Highlands would never be the same again.

Monday, 21 July 2014

The King's Mercy.

The cruelty and slaughter which took place on Culloden Field did not end there. Government troops launched a savage programme of repression to punish Jacobite Scotland and in particular the Gaelic heart of the Highlands. In the beginning, people living near the garrison towns of Inverness, Fort Augustus and Fort William were terrorised and and whole communities hounded out. Women found sheltering a wounded or starving prisoner were strip-searched and raped. Those people found with arms were taken out and shot. Houses were plundered and burned, while all the appurtenances used to sustain life (ploughs, farming equipment, boats and fishing tackle) were destroyed. All their cattle, which was the mainstay of their economy, was plundered and sold to dealers from Lowland Scotland and Northern England. Cumberland's army shared in the handsome profits, while people whose only 'crime' was being Highland were left to starve. By mid-July 1746, the Duke of Cumberland felt that the Highlands had been 'pacified', Prince Charles was a fugitive and the Jacobite clan chiefs were either dead, in hiding or festering in English prisons. The clansmen of Gaeldom were now leaderless and starving. The new Commander-in-Chief was William Keppel, the Earl of Albemarle who had commanded the government front line at Culloden. He hated Scotland, 'this cursed country' and firmly believed in the same harsh government as Cumberland. To cut down on the large number of 'rebels' in prisons, an order in council was issued stating that henceforth prisoners who were not Gentlemen or Men of Estates, should draw lots : that out of every twenty, one should stand trial for his life, the charge being treason, and the remainder transported to the colonies. One of the first to be tried for treason was Francis Townley, Colonel of the Manchester Regiment, who was tasked with holding Carlisle during the Jacobite retreat north. The government held the ultimate punishment for someone found guilty of treason. Drinking the health of Prince Charles was enough to have you tried for treason. Found guilty of treason, the Judge passed sentence on Francis Townley 'that he be severally hanged by the neck, but not till he be dead, for he must be cut down alive; his bowels must be taken out and his genitals severed and all burned before his face; then his head must be severed from his body and his body severally divided into four quarters, each quarter to be displayed in prominent locations throughout the country.' Townley, wearing a newly tailored black velvet suit, met his dreadful fate on Kennington Common on 30 July, with courage and dignity. A further one hundred executions followed, to 'entertain' the immense crowds which assembled on Kennington Common. On 28 July there was an even greater stir on the opening of the trials of the three Jacobite peers, Lord Balermino, Lord Kilmarnock and Lord Cromartie. Horace Walpole wrote to a friend that he should be in town on the 28th 'as London will be as full as at a Coronation.' Stands had been erected within Westminster Hall with special boxes for the Prince and Princess of Wales,the Duke of Cumberland and foreign ambassadors. These were show trials at the highest levels but the judges comprising 136 dukes, earls and viscounts pronounced the expected guilty verdicts. Two of the Scottish peers, Kilmarnock and Balermino died on the block, while Lord Cromartie was given a reprieve at the last moment. Lord Lovat was arrested and transported to London, where he was found guilty on the testimony of 'Evidence Murray'(of Broughton). Lovat was unbowed, full of energy and wit during his trial, but parted this life on the executioner's block. A year after Culloden the Government still had the task of shipping over 900 prisoners to the colonies, people fortunate enough to have been granted the King's Mercy of transportation and perpetual banishment as indentured persons. Prisoners would be shipped to America for £5 a head, but many of them would die of disease in transit or, as could happen, they might be captured by a French man-of-war and then released as free people on one of the French Caribbean islands. Some prisoners were able to find clansmen or compatriots in America who might be generous enough to pay £7 to buy their indentures and give them their liberty.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

The End of the Affair.

In the Battle of Culloden many Jacobites were killed or wounded, but, even so, there were still some 2000 fighting men in the field, who believed that Charles had planned to re-group at Fort Augustus on the Friday after the battle. The intention was to fight Cumberland again, this time in the hills and defiles where government artillery and cavalry would be of no advantage. The Jacobites were as wrong about the Prince's intentions as they were about the location of the rallying point. Since the word 'defeat' was not in the Prince's lexicon, he had never planned a rendezvous. Most of the surviving Jacobite troops had made, not for Fort Augustus, but for Ruthven in Badenoch, believing that this was the rallying point. Most of the Jacobite leaders believed so too, including Lord George Murray, the Old Duke of Atholl, the Duke of Perth, Lord John Drummond and Lord Ogilvie. Lord Elcho had helped Charles's escape from the the battlefield at Culloden. Now Charles headed westwards, accompanied by Elcho, Sir Thomas Sheridan, John William O'Sullivan, Captain Felix O'Neil, an Irishman in the French service, and his ADC, Alexander Macleod whose servant Ned Burke from North Uist would be the party's guide. Charles kept his Irish 'advisors' always close to him. With the Prince on the run, this was a shadow which clouded the moment of triumph for the House of Hanover. Charles never intended to continue the fight, but left his followers a message to 'seek the means of escape as well as they can'. The Chevalier de Johnstone observed that this was a 'sad and heart-breaking answer for the brave men who had sacrificed themselves for him'. Maxwell of Kirkconnel said that the troops who assembled at Ruthven, having no orders from the Prince, 'simply dispersed', with no idea of their fate, nor if their days would end on the scaffold. Here at Ruthven on the day after the battle, Lord George, full of pent-up resentment, gave vent to his long-standing feelings in a lengthy, bitter letter to the Prince, detailing the disasterous conduct of the campaign. It was some weeks before the Prince received the letter, for which he never forgave Lord George. There would never again be any communication between the two men. Knowing that serious retribution would be sought by the government, most of the Jacobite lumenaries knew they had to leave the country as best they could. Two French ships arrived off Arisaig bringing 35,000 louis d'or to support the rising, but they were late, of course. Murray of Broughton, who was too ill to appear at Culloden, was now well enough to don the mantle of the Prince's Secretary in claiming 5,000 for 'current expensives' and burying the rest in two places near Loch Arkaig. The two ships, the 'Mars' and the 'Bellona', returned to France taking with them into exile Lord Elcho, Sir Thomas Sheridan, the dying Duke of Perth and his brother Lord John Drummond. Lochiel and Murray of Broughton stayed behind. Lochiel made it to France, where he was given command of a French regiment fighting in Flanders. Murray bid farewell to his young pregnant wife and headed for the East Coast hoping to arrange passage to Holland for himself. A party of dragoons eventually captured him at his sister's house in Peebles-shire, and as a rich prize for the Government, he was transported ot the Tower in London to be 'interrogated'. He told all he knew, which didn't amount to much, but his evidence in relation to Lord Lovat virtually signed the old man's death warrant. He would go down in history as 'Mr. Evidence Murray' or the 'Jacobite Judas'. He was later released from prison with a small government pension, but never returned to Scotland, dying in England some thirty years later.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

After Culloden. Death and Destruction.

With the battle now over and victory declared, the British infantry hung around the battlefield enjoying a meal of biscuits, cheese, brandy and rum, courtesy of the Royal Navy. Between mouthfuls, they killed any wounded men they saw crawl out from the heaps of Highland dead. The rest of Cumberland's army were marching on Inverness with drums beating and colours flying. Going on ahead, on the Duke's instructions, a company of Sempill's under Captain James Campbell of Arkinglas took formal possession of the town. The first thing they did was to open the jails, releasing all government soldiers and sympathisers, and packing them with the large number of Jacobites, who until now had escaped the sabre or the bayonet. There were nineteen Highland officers lying wounded in the grounds of Culloden House when a detachment of Royal Scots happened on them. They carried the officers outside and leaning them against a wall, told them to prepare themselves for death. All nineteen Highlanders were shot from a range of six feet. The Royal Scots took to burning huts and bothies with the Highlanders inside. In one case 18 men were burned alive, locked inside a hut. A Jacobite prisoner, John Farquarson, described the scene in the prisons "....the wounded festering in their gore and blood, some dead bodies covered quite over with pish and shit, and the living standing in the middle of this, their groans would have pirsed a heart of stone." Lieut-Col. Thomas Cockayne of Pulteney's Regiment was ordered by the Duke to proceed to Moy House, with 2 Captains, 6 Subalterns and 200 'volunteers' to arrest Lady Anne Macintosh, the great Jacobite heroine, 'Colonel Anne'. When a young officer came to her house and started hammering at her door, calling for that 'bloody rebel', Lady Macintosh. Anne opened the door and calmly asked them to come into her home. Colonel Cockayne's officrs were taken aback by her youth and beauty and her dignified demeanour. Later, Anne mounted her horse and was taken under armed escort to Inverness where she was interviewed by Cumberland. She spent the next six weeks in the guard room, where Colonel Anne received visits from young Hanoverian officers with whom she drank tea. ' I drank tea yesterday with Lady Macintosh. She really is a very pretty woman. Pity she is a rebel,' wrote one young officer to his brother. Cumberland's policy was to inflict terror throughout the Highlands, which was designed to stamp out any remaining resistance. He issued orders calling on all sheriffs and magistrates to report on any persons who had been at any time 'in arms against His Majesty'. In every town in Scotland, proclamations were read out, demanding, under pain of hanging, the surrender of all arms, the laying of information against hidden rebels, and the surrender of the Young Pretender. The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, meeting in May 1746, one month after the slaughter at Culloden, presented Cumberland with an address praising his valour, referring to the 'public blessings which the House of Hanover had conferred on mankind'. In May the Duke moved his main force from Inverness to Fort Augustus with the purpose of controlling and terrorising all of the Highlands. General Blakeney would hold Inverness with four battalions, while Brigadier Mordaunt with three battalions went to Perth and Aberdeen. In the West, General John Campbell of Mamore took over operations in Lochaber and Appin. The Royal Navy patrolled the West Coast against any French vessel, which may have been sent to rescue the 'fugitive', Charles Edward Stuart. The news of his son's victory reached George II at St.James's Palace on the 25 April. The King was greatly moved, and on hearing that his son came through unscathed, he said "Then, all's well with me". 'Unable to speak for joy', he withdrew to a quiet room, but outside the guns were firing salutes and the bells were ringing out from every steeple in London. The Duke of Cumberland, William Augustus would soon be known as 'Sweet William' in Whig circles, after the small pink and white flower which had been named after him.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Battle of Culloden. Visions of Hell.

'It was a hard, misty, rainy day with the wind blowing in the face of the Prince's army'. The Jacobite guns sounded, bringing the troops into two lines. In the rear was Charles' cavalry of less than 200 horse, and in the front he had twelve cannon, consisting of three batteries of four on the right, left and centre of the front line. There were still bitter arguments between senior commanders over their position in the line, particularly among the Macdonalds who lost their traditional position on the right of the line. There were important defensive areas within the Jacobite army which were unguarded due to depleted numbers ( regiments still on their way from Inverness, and men who had failed to appear, still searching for food and rest ). At noon, Cumberland's army came into view, taking the Jacobites by surprise as they were still getting their line in battle order. The Jacobite army was further back than they had been on the day before, when they faced an open field. Their present position now lay between the walls of the two enclosures on their right and left. Lord George Murray thought that the walls of the enclosures would give protection to his troops, but as there was a lack of men to occupy the enclosures, this might allow the enemy to break through the walls and outflank the Jacobites. This is exactly what happened. The government troops were a picture of confidence and self discipline as they marched towards the enemy in columns, taking up battle positions, ending up in two lines. Cumberland advanced with drums beating and colours flying. The Jacobite guns opened up first, but they had little effect on the enemy line. Now the British cannon opened up leaving large holes in the Jacobite line. Charles sent an order to Murray to advance, but Murray delayed. The government artillery now switched from round shot (cannon balls) to grapeshot, which devastated large numbers of Jacobites. The Jacobite men could no longer take this bombardment and charged the Hanoverian lines. This charge was ineffective as those on the left side got bogged down in marshy ground. Additionally, on the left wing, the Duke of Perth and Lord John Drummond were having trouble persuading the Macdonald regiments (Clanranald, Keppoch and Glengarry) of moving forward at the commencement of the battle. In total, these three regiments amounted to around 1,000 men but many of these had already left the battlefield, bitterly resenting being placed on the left by the Prince. Even after moving forward, cajoled by the Duke and his brother, none of them actually raised a sword in anger. They just walked away. Because of the slope of the land here, forcing others to veer right, only a small section of the Government troops came under attack. The charge was ineffectual and caused chaos in the regiments coming directly behind. Despite this, a large number of Highlanders reached the government lines, but, as warned earlier, they came under gunfire from government troops who had penetrated the enclosure walls to the right and left of them. The right flank of the Jacobites broke through the British line on its left with sword and targe, but this attack was soon halted by Cumberland's second line. The fighting became bitter hand-to-hand combat. The Jacobites sustained heavy casualties, and those who had broken through were trapped by British troops who had practiced much and now used the bayonet to deadly effect. Lord George Murray tried to rally his troops but it came to nothing. Cumberland's army was victorious - it was all over in less than an hour. About 1300 Jacobites had been killed, 1250 were wounded and 380 taken prisoner, whereas the government forces lost 50 killed and had less than 300 wounded. Accounts of the action tell of heads being 'cleft from crown to collar-bone', of limbs being completely severed, and of bodies rammed through and skewered by bayonets. At this juncture 'the whole of the Prince's army wheeled round and fled'. Those fleeing from the battle field on the road to Inverness were pursued by the English cavalry who, carrying their sabres aloft, slaughtered the Highlanders as they ran. "The road from Culloden to Inverness was all along strewed with the dead. The Duke of Cumberland had the cruelty to leave the wounded among the dead upon the field of battle, despoiled of their clothes, from Tuesday, the day of our miserable battle, till Friday, when he sent detachments to kill all those whom they should find alive, and there were many of them." (Memoirs of the Chevalier Johnstone) You will remember how Cumberland had an Act passed in Parliament which indemnified him from the heinous acts he ordered that day, contrary to the laws of Great Britain. "Cumberland's cruelties showed a soul cowardly and ferocious". (Johnstone). An officer in Cumberland's dragoons had this to say ."The heavily armed mounted soldiers closed in on them from both wings, and then followed a general carnage. The moor was covered with blood; and our men, what with killing the enemy, dabbling their feet in the blood, and splashing it about on one another, looked like so many butchers." Their Commander-in-Chief would forever be known as 'Butcher Cumberland'.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

The Battle of Culloden. Looking into the Jaws of Hell..

The decisions which led the Jacobite Army to engage with the forces of the Duke of Cumberland on Culloden Moor on 16 April 1746 were so misconceived and eventually so disastrous that an ancient people, its culture and language would be changed forever. After seeing that Cumberland and his army had put off battle until the next day ( 16th April ), the Jacobites returned to Culloden House. Charles with his officers discussed a battle plan, but a suggestion was advanced that instead of waiting to be attacked, they should march through the night and attempt to surprise Cumberland while he and his troops were recovering from the night before. For days now, the Jacobites were starving and were forced to go scavenging for food to fill their empty bellies as all they had was water and a handful of oatmeal each day. While they were still in Inverness, many Highlanders returned home for provisions which caused their late arrival in rejoining the army again. Some were so late they missed the battle entirely. The Highlanders were ordered to march through the night in single file, which stretched the line considerably, causing more delay. The Jacobite soldiers were so hungry and tired that they fell asleep on the track side against stone walls or in the heather. At seven in the evening (15th April) the army moved off on its night march with 2,000 men missing. Lord Cromartie with a good part of the Jacobite Army was presumably still in Sutherland while Cluny Macpherson and the Master of Lovat with their clansmen had not arrived, although they were expected. The arrival in camp of Macdonald of Keppoch with 200 of his clansmen raised spirits a little. This would in normal circumstances have been a fairly straightforward march of ten miles, albeit in the dark, but with hunger and tiredness their progress was slow and by two in the morning of the 16th they had barely covered six miles in six hours and had another four miles to reach Cumberland's camp. It would be daylight before they could launch their 'surprise attack', and so in the end it was unanimously decided to abandon this attack and simply to march back to Culloden. With still nothing to eat and now even more fatigued, the Jacobites were in no shape to face Cumberland's 7,500 strong, well-fed, well-drilled professional army. The Chevalier Johnstone wrote "I never could comprehend the idea of the Prince wishing to attack the English army, so superior in number to his own, with even only a part of his own force in disorder, without waiting till the whole force came up,and without getting them formed into battle array, to present a front of attack"......." the Highlanders, overpowered with fatigue, dispersed and lying in profound sleep in the cottages and enclosures of the neighbourhood, it was impossible that he could bring them forward to the combat. Besides, what could be hoped for from people in their situation ; overcome for want of sleep and nourishment, and altogether cut up by this night's march," worse than any they had experienced in England. It was madness for Charles and O'Sullivan to choose Culloden and Drummossie Moors as the site for the battle. Of course, Lord George Murray had argued for the area across the River Nairn which was 'hilly and bogie', ideal ground for the Highlanders' reknowned charge. The Prince was determined to fight on Drummossie Moor. Even at this late hour, Murray and many of his officers still considered a tactical retreat the best course of action. At the approach of Cumberland with 9,000 men, the Prnce and the principal commanders of the Jacobite army mounted their horses, 'ordered the pipes and drums to play, which alarm caused great hurry and confusion amongst people half dead with fatigue' ( Account of Lord Elcho ). The Prince ordered his 5,500 men to march out to Culloden and form up in battle order. They were looking into the Jaws of Hell.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

A Battle 'Royal' Is Looming.

The Duke of Cumberland spent more than four weeks in Aberdeen, where amongst other things, he set out to improve his infantry's proficiency in the use of the bayonet against the Highlanders, whose supremacy with broadsword and targe had been a decisive factor in the Jacobite victories until now. He left Aberdeen on 8 April, 1746 and marched to Cullen by the 11 April via Turriff and Banff. At Cullen he was joined by Lord Albemarle with the advanced guard. Cumberland was now in command of a highly trained force of 9,000 men, well fed and well equipped, and following them closely along the coast were ships of the Royal Navy, warships, transport and supply ships. This was a formidable government force, and at Cullen, Cumberland was only twelve miles from a Jacobite force of 2,500 men commanded by the Duke of Perth and his brother, Lord John Drummond and which was positioned on the far side of the River Spey. Important for the Jacobites to hold, Cumberland expected them to make a stand, but for some reason the 'Army of the Spey' had retreated and allowed the Hanoverian forces to continue to advance. This was a grave error which would have an important outcome in the days to come. Cumberland's army crossed the Spey, and by 14 April they had reached Nairn, where the Duke of Perth's rearguard were just leaving as the Duke of Kingston's Horse and the Campbells were entering from the other side of town. There was a running fight in which the Jacobites suffered some casualties. Charles now knew that Cumberland had crossed the Spey, and on the 14 April he rode out of Inverness at the head of his troops with pipers playing and colours flying to set his headquarters at nearby Culloden. His army began to strengthen with the addition of Lord George Murray's detachment, Locheil and his Camerons arriving from Achnacarry, some of Glengarry's men back from Sutherland and the the Duke of Perth returned with the 'Army of the Spey', a title surely now redundant. The Jacobite army camped in the grounds of Culloden House or on the moor nearby. With Cumberland only ten miles away, a battle now seemed certain, and Charles in his wisdom had chosen Culloden and Drummossie Moor for the encounter. Lord George Murray had been accused (unfairly) of previously keeping his Athollmen out of harm's way in earlier battles, and he now insisted that they should be placed on the right wing of the line. This outraged the Macdonalds, who since the time of King Robert the Bruce, had regarded the right of the line as theirs. The Prince agreed to give the right of the line to Lord George, as he knew that the latter resented not being consulted on the choice of ground. These jealousies and mistrust between the Jacobite officers would have a further bearing on the outcome of events. Lord George Murray rode out to survey the proposed site of battle. The moors of Culloden and Drummossie were fairly flat moorland, bounded on the east by the River Nairn and hills rising beyond the river. To Lord George it was apparent that this would be the ideal site for regular troops, supported by cavalry and cannon, ideal for the well drilled, well equipped army of Cumberland now only a few miles away. The Highlanders favoured hilly ground for their historic charge with broadsword and targe. As it stood, the Highlanders would be at a great disadvantage. Lord George sent two of his officers to make a reconnaissance of the higher ground beyond the river. They reported back that the ground there was more suitable for the Highlanders's way of fighting, where heavy casualties could have been inflicted on the government army. This argument was probably dismissed by O'Sullivan, and the battle would be where the Prince had decided, on Culloden Moor. Lord George Murray later wrote that "There never could be more improper ground for the Highlanders". One must ask why Murray and other senior Jacobites did not overide the Prince and O'Sullivan - they had done so before. Lord George dismissed O'Sullivan when he said that the latter "had forty-eight hours to display his skill and did it accordingly". However, news came through that Cumberland would not engage in battle that day, but would remain where he was in order that he and his troops might celebrate his 25th birthday which happened to fall on 15 April. Battle might come after the celebrations - a reversal of the natural order of things.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Lord Loudoun. An Historical Note.

JOHN CAMPBELL, 4th EARL OF LOUDOUN(Loudoun in East Ayrshire) was born in 1705 (two years before the Act of Union of Scotland and England) and lived to the age of 76. He became Lord Loudoun on the death of his father. As a Campbell he was a supporter of the House of Hanover, and during the Jacobite Rising of 1745, he raised a regiment of twelve companies for the Government, with Loudoun as colonel, and John Campbell (later 5th Duke of Argyll) as lieutenant-colonel. At the Battle of Prestonpans, three of his companies were captured, 1n what was a great victory for the Jacobite army, at the outset of their campaign. Later, in 1746, he was based at Inverness with eight companies, and was involved in the 'Rout of Moy' (qv), where his 1500 men were so terrified by five local lads that Loudoun's men retreated in haste back to Inverness. This disgraceful event did not prevent future promotions for Loudoun in the British Army. He served as C-in-C of the British forces in North America during the Seven Years War, was later in Portugal fighting against the Spanish, and finally he was promoted to General, and saw out his days as Governor of Edinburgh Casle (from 1763), when peace had returned to the realm. Such a sinecure for a notable old soldier ! A HAPPY REUNION. Since the Rout at Moy, Lord Loudoun and the scattered remnants of his army pushed north across the Cromarty and Dornoch Firths pursued by Lord Cromarty (a Mackenzie kinsman) with a substantial force of men, but Loudoun was able to continually employ evasive action and avoid all contact with his pursuers. Lord Cromarty was 'doing no good, and the men had not much confidence in him'. Lord George Murray took over the command of this army, aided by the Duke of Perth. On landing on the other side of the firth, they encountered no opposition, and Lord Loudoun and Forbes, the Lord President had again managed to escape. But some others did not escape. One of these was the 'Laird of Macintosh' who was a captain in Lord Loudoun's regiment who 'surrendered himself prisoner' with a great many men under his command. The 'Laird of Macintosh' was none other than Aeneas (Angus) Macintosh, the husband of Colonel Anne, the 'Heroine of Moy'. Prince Charles gleefully instructed that he be handed over to his wife at Moy, where he would be safe and well treated. On being greeted by Anne with the words "Your servant, Captain", it was said that, just as succinctly, Macintosh replied "Your servant, Colonel".

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Letter to Mary Grant. The Rout of Moy.

Dear Mary, As you are aware, Inverness has not escaped the vicissitudes of the present troubles. You have had Hanovarian and Jacobite armies billeted in your midst, and more recently government forces under the command of Lord Loudon have occupied Inverness. On 15 February, Charles's force was just eight miles south of Inverness, and the army was quartered near the villages of Moy and Aviemore. On the next evening Charles visited Moy Hall, where he was welcomed by the now famous Colonel Anne Mackintosh, whose husband was on duty with the government forces. She was proud to play host to Prince Charles and provided 'a plentiful and genteel' supper for all of her seventy-five guests. News of Charles's whereabouts reached Lord Loudoun, who realised that fame and £30,000 could be won with a single blow. That night he left Inverness with some 1500 men to take the Prince by surprise at Moy. The Dowager Lady Macintosh, who like her daughter-in-law, Colonel Anne, was a true Jacobite. She lived in Inverness and heard of Loudoun's plan. She called on one of her clansmen, the 15 year old Lauchlan Macintosh, to set out for Moy to appraise the Prince of the grave danger which beset him. The Prince was wakened and left the castle with his bonnet on top of his nightcap and his shoes half-on. He and some of his men made their way down to the lochside. Meantime Colonel Anne was seen to be running through the vennels in her petticoat, shouting about the Prince's safety, 'running about in her shift like a madwoman', observed the ubiquitous Mr O'Sullivan. She then sent the blacksmith of Moy, one Donald Fraser, and four others to take up position on the roadside between Inverness and Moy to await the approach of Lord Loudon's men. When Loudoun's troops appeared, 'the Blacksmith' fired his pistol, followed by shots from the other four men and then all of them gave out loudly with the war cries of the Camerons,Macdonalds Macintoshes and those of other clans. This caused the greatest of panic in Lord Loudoun's vast army, and instantly they beat a retreat and returned to Inverness, imagining that the whole Jacobite army 'to be at their heels'. Colonel Anne Macintosh was now revered as "The Heroine" and the event came to be known as the 'ROUT OF MOY'. Loudoun's reasons or excuses for his army's disgraceful behaviour were the usual ones of surprise, panic and mass desertions. The Rout of Moy so demoralised Lord Loudoun's men that more than 200 troops deserted and the decision was taken by Loudoun to withdraw with his men to 'friendly' Ross and Cromarty to await the arrival of Cumberland's large army. Meanwhile Inverness fell to Charles's army without a shot being fired. On 20 February the garrison of the castle capitulated, after which the castle was entirely destroyed. Mary, as a resident of the 'dirty wee town' you will know about the events I have just related. Cumberland was exasperated and bewildered to hear how 1500 Hanovarian soldiers were routed by five men at Moy. Incomprehensible is a word Cumberland might use, but even that is inadequate to explain the lamentable cowardice of Loudoun and his troops. THE CHEVALIER JOHNSTONE related this sad story to me, which I share with you, Mary. "Monsieur Macdonald of Scothouse came to pass the day with me. He was a man of about forty years of age, endowed with a fine figure and a prepossessing address, joined to that, an agreeable exterior. He had all the qualities of soul which ordinarily distinguish the honourable and gallant man - brave, polite, obliging, of fine spirit and sound judgement......Although I had not known him long, I formed with him the closest friendship, despite the disparity in our ages......He was naturally of a gay disposition, but I perceived his melancholy on entering my dwelling." His eyes bathed in tears, M. Macdonald explained that he would be part of the detachment which that evening would attack Lord Loudon's army. His adorable son was, he said, an officer in one of Loudon's regiments, a position he had been fortunate to obtain for his boy, "not being able to foresee the descent of Prince Charles Edward into Scotland." It was common at that time for the sons of gentlemen to seek a commmission in the army of Great Britain. The greatest fear he had as a father was that during the affray, he might accidentally shoot dead his son. On the other hand he might be able to save his life by going on this detachment, " If I do not march, some other may kill him." The next evening The Chevalier heard a great knocking at the door. "There was the good father holding a young man by the hand, a lad of a jolly figure, tears in his eyes, but still sparkling with joy. Macdonald had taken his son prisoner, "and when I had hold of him he embraced me fervently, not regarding the others who were present." The Chevalier, Monsieur Macdonald and his 'prisoner' son, celebrated this wonderful outcome with supper in the chambers of the Chevalier de James Johnstone ( from Edinburgh ).

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Cumberland In Pursuit.

With the Jacobite army now withdrawing north towards the Highlands, the Duke of Cumberland arrived in Edinburgh, staying at Holyroodhouse, where he called a council of war, and where it was decided to march against the 'rebels' the very next morning. The army left Edinburgh on 31 January, with the Duke travelling in a state coach drawn by twelve horses, all provided by the sycophant Earl of Hopetoun. They spent the night in the ancient Stuart Palace of Linlithgow, where Mary Queen of Scots had been born. The palace, by accident or design, went on fire, and only the walls survived. Cumberland was anxious, as he put it, for 'an opportunity of finishing this affair at once' and continued to pursue the Jacobites to Falkirk and Stirling, barely twenty-four hours behind Charles. Cumberland wanted to catch up with the Jacobite army before they reached the Highlands, 'before they got into their holes and hiding-places, where it will be impossible to follow them in a body'. (Letter to the Duke of Newcastle, Feb.2). Finally Cumberland and his army reached Perth on the 6 February. On the way there, they marched through the Strathallan estates of the Jacobite, Lord James Drummond, the Duke of Perth, where Cumberland saw fit to 'let the soldiers a little loose, with proper precautions, that they might have some sweet meats with all their fatigues'. Cumberland held Lady Perth and her daughter captive in their home, Drummond Castle, and demanded that she write to her Jacobite husband to release all government prisoners held by the enemy, under threat of burning the castle to the ground. Writing again to the Duke of Newcastle (5 Feb.) his final words were that ' I thought it a pity to let this troublesome old woman escape without making some use of her'. He had given up hope of an immediate engagement with the Jacobite army, and spent the next two weeks in Perth. He sent out raiding parties to collect stores and rations in the hinterland, and to harrass the ordinary people, all of whom he believed to be Jacobite supporters. He prepared for the next phase of his campaign. His army was greatly reinforced by the arrival at Leith of the 4,500 German force under Prince Frederick of Hesse. At the same time a large contingent of Argyll Militia reached Perth under the command of Major-General John Campbell of Mamore. They were sent to the West Highlands to support Lord Glenorchy, whose father, Lord Breadalbane, had once been a Jacobite. Cumberland could not get his head round the fact that the Campbells, being Gaelic-speaking Highlanders could be good Whigs and supporters of King George. He disliked the Scots in general and the Highlanders in particular, whom, to a man, he stated were privatedly Jacobite supporters who often 'aided the rebels'. On 15 February Cumberland returned briefly to Edinburgh for a council of war at the house of Lord Milton, the Lord Justice-Clerk. Asked their opinion, all of Cumberland's generals said that as far as they could see, the war was at an end. The remaining rebels could be flushed from their strongholds when spring weather returned. When pressed for his opinion, Lord Milton said that, from his knowledge of the Highlanders, the rebellion was by no means over. Cumberland said that he would therefore press on to end this campaign and prevent any future outbreaks by rebel forces. He sent three batallions of foot to Coupar-Angus, a regiment of dragoons to Dundee and left the Scots Fusiliers behind to protect Perth. On 20 February he set out with his main force for Aberdeen arriving there near the end of the month. At this time he sent a despatch to London , calling on Parliament to pass a short act which would make it easier for him to deal with the rebels in a manner which they deserved. He wrote "As yet, I have only taken up Gentlemen and yet all the jails are full, whilst the common people I pick up every day must remain unpunished for want of being unable to try such a number. So, they will rebel again when someone comes to lead them." Cumberland was wanting nothing less than the power of life or death over his Jacobite enemies.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Jacobites Withdraw to the Highlands.

The Jacobites were unsure whether Falkirk really was a victory; some thought it was a battle half finished, that they should have pursued Hawley's demoralised army "with the rapidity of a torrent" according to the Chevalier Johnstone. In the end they decided to continue the siege of Stirling Castle, the Prince being the only one having any faith in the fatuous Monsieur Mirabelle. He wasted another ten days with no effect on the castle, ten days which tied up the whole Jacobite army, according to old General Blakeny. Meanwhile, Charles returned to Bannockburn House to be with the lovely Clementina. On 29 January, Lord George and the principal clan chiefs presented another memorandum to the Prince, no more acceptable to Charles than its predecessors. Basically, it told of widespread desertions in the Jacobite army, especially since Falkirk, the earlier loss and dumping of artillery, and saying that Charles' army was not in a fit state to meet the enemy. They recommended that they withdraw to the Highlands, where they could continue the war in their own territory, in country suited to their style of fighting. On receiving the memorandum the Prince was more than dismayed. He 'struck his head against the wall till he staggered, and exclaimed most violently against Lord George Murray'.(according to Hay of Restalrig). In the end Charles had to comply with the wishes of the majority. The retreat of the Highland army would begin on 1 February, but now came the news that the Duke of Cumberland and most of his large army had reached Linlithgow, not that far away. On the evening of 31 January Lord George and the clan regiments fell back on Bannockburn. Leaving a small cavalry unit at Falkirk to watch the enemy, and some troops to remain at Stirling, it was agreed that the Prince's army would rendezvous in a field just outside Stirling at nine that next morning. That morning, Lord George arrived at the appointed place to find not a soul there. The orders had been altered, or more probably disregarded by Charles and O'Sullivan. There was complete confusion as the Highlanders, in no order at all, streamed westwards in small groups. 'They left cannon and their carts upon the roads behind them'. Lord George was bitter and very angry and nothing could stop him from bursting in on the Prince at dinner 'after the most disrespectfull and impertinent manner', according to O'Sullivan. Lord George stated that 'it was a most shamefull and cowardly flight, Yet they were a parcel of villains who had advised him (The Prince) to it'. The fragmented Jacobite army headed north, some going to Doune and Dunblane, the Highland army marching to Crieff, while the rest of the army reached Perth. The Prince held a review of the army, and was able to establish that not more than 1,000 soldiers had deserted. A council of war was held that night in Crieff, and the atmosphere in that room was explosive in the extreme. Charles stated that 1,000 deserters was hardly a reason for a retreat, while Lord George was no less enraged by the total disruption of his plans for an orderly withdrawal. Mutual recrimination followed with even hints of treachery.'There never had been such heats and animosities as at that meeting'. Despite all of the ill-feeling, it was decided that the cavalry and the Lowland regiments march to Inverness along the coast (via Montrose and Aberdeen) under Lord George Murray, and the Prince with the clans would take the direct route to the Highlands. On 4 February both parts of the army set out for Inverness. Leaving Crieff on 4 February, the Prince spent two nights at Castle Menzies, reaching Blair Atholl on the 6th, where he stayed with Duke William until the 10th, 'hunting and hawking' according to information relayed to Cumberland. From Blair, Charles' army continued their march to Dalnacardoch, where the Prince stayed for two more nights, but his main army marched on to Ruthven, near Inverness. It was now the 12 February. By 19 February the Prince had taken over Culloden House, five miles from Inverness. This was the home of Duncan Forbes, Lord President of the Court of Session, an important government official who had vacated his home the day before, and left hurriely with Lord Louden. The Prince was joined two days later by Lord George Murray and his brother, Duke William of Atholl. Lord George related that his coastal march by way of Montrose and Aberdeen had been very difficult due to 'a vast storm of snow', making progress difficult, especially for the cavalry. It was not until 21 February that they finally reached Inverness.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Disgrace and Vexation.

The Jacobites losses at Falkirk had been 'small'(50 killed) while Hawley's losses had been much heavier, 20 or more officers killed and 'several hundred' other ranks. During the following two days, 'several hundred' more English prisoners were rounded up. When General Hawley reached Linlithgow, his mood was of great anger at the 'cowardice' of some section of his army. He had the unenviable task of writing a letter of explanation to his patron, HRH. The Duke of Cumberland, who had placed so much faith in him. "Sir, my heart is broke. I can't say why we are quite beat today.........We had enough to beat them for we had 2,000 men more than they. But suche scandalous cowardice I never saw before. The whole second line of foot ran away without firing a shot. Pardon me sir, your most unhappy, but most faithfull and dutifull your Royal Highness has. H. Hawley." To raise the morale and spirits of the army, he had thirty-one of Hamilton's Dragoons hanged for desertion, and thirty-two foot soldiers shot for cowardice. Executions, Hawley believed it was the best way 'pour encourager les autres'. Then there was the case of the poor Captain Archibald Cunningham of the Royal Artilley who had failed so badly during the battle. He was arrested, and after a failed suicide attempt, he was court martialled and sentenced to be cashiered 'with infamy'. This was a painful proceedure which involved having his sword broken over his head, his sash cut in pieces and thrown in his face and finally 'a kick on the posteriors' administered by a member of the Provost Martial's Office. After the news of the Jacobite's retreat from Derby, there had been great optimism in the capital, but now, with a retreating army defeating a large government force at Falkirk, there was now only consternation. When the news of the defeat was received at a gathering in St.James's Palace, there was the deepest gloom on all the faces, except that of Sir John Cope, who seemed quite cheerful. Hawley was no longer Commander-in-Chief, and it was now felt in London that only one man was capable of restoring the morale of Government forces in Scotland, HRH. the Duke of Cumberland, who arrived in Edinburgh on the 30 January to assume overall command. Meanwhile the Government forces received substantial reinforcements - a fresh artillery train with a complement of regular gunners, Campbells Royal Scots Fusiliers, Sempill's 25th Regiment and three squadrons of Lord Mark Ker's Dragoons. Further reinforcements were expected - Bligh's Regiment of Foot and between 4,000 and 5,000 German mercenaries from Hesse ie. the Hessians. On 8 February Cumberland's brother-in-law, Prince Frederick of Hesse landed at Leith with his Hessians. His 'Serene Highness' received various gun salutes from ships on the Forth, and from the garrison at Edinburgh Castle. He did the social rounds of the city being invited to balls, concerts and assemblies. " The Germans, both men and horses, looked well" and it took three or four days to land them. Hessian mercenaries had been employed by the British government 50 years earlier in the First Jacobite Rising (1715).

Sunday, 8 June 2014

A Letter To Mary Grant. Persons and Places.

Dear Mary, We hope that you are in rude health, and that the Inverness Courant continues to prosper. We hope that our reports are reaching you safely, as we are spending a pretty penny on sending them by courier. I'm sure that you will see us recompensed for the expensive express mail that is regularly delivered to you, and which makes the Courant the ' best informed newspaper in Great Britain'. Despite our rash promise at the outset, we had no idea that things could be so expensive on Tir Mor (Gael. mainland). Here are a few items for your delectation which you might print as they stand, or incorporate in some existing articles. 1. JEANIE( JENNY )CAMERON. This lady was born in Glendessary in Knoydart in 1695 and sent to school in Edinburgh. At the age of 16 she was caught up in a sexual scandal and sent to France for a convent education but the nuns found her difficult to handle. She returned to Glendessary on her father's death. She was a fervent Jacobite and raised 250 local men for Charles Stuart's cause. She was present at the raising of the Royal Standard at Glenfinnan, and was described at the time (she was aged 50) as a buxom, middle-aged lady and widely rumoured to be the Prince's mistress. She followed the Jacobite army in her horse-drawn carriage, and once carried with her the Prince (disguised as a women) at Kendal during the army's retreat. 2. CALLENDAR HOUSE. This house, just outside Falkirk, was the seat of Lord Kilmarnock, who commanded one of the Prince's troop of cavalry, and whose attractive wife, the Countess, was an ardent Jacobite herself. It was her misfortune that in the days before and during the Battle of Falkirk, she was compelled to entertain the enemy general, General Hawley, and surprisingly she did so with reasonably good grace. Hawley rode out to review his troops and do a reconnaissance of a possible battle site, when a young officer of the Glasgow Militia told the General that he had heard tnat some officers had seen the enemy moving on the Torwood. The Glasgow officer said that "although, I saw nothing, neither did Mr. Hawley." Convinced that he had done a recce of the area, Hawley was happy to return to Callendar House, convinced that an attack was unlikely. He would take tea with the lovely Countess. Later that morning, Hawley's troops saw some movement of the Prince's army which later withdrew again to Plean. Hawley's army stood down and went in search of their mid-day meal, which was not easy to find. About one o'clock, two officers of the Old Buffs climbed a tree, and using a telescope could clearly see that the main Highland army were moving rapidly to the south of the Torwood. Colonel Howard, commanding the Old Buffs, galloped off to Callendar House to relay this disturbing news to Hawley, who was still unwilling to believe an attack was in the offing. Nothing would disturb him from partaking of the lavish repast now being offered by the charming Lady Kilmarnock. The only thing he told Colonel Howard was that his troops " should put on their equipment, without however standing to arms." Meanwhile he was left alone to enjoy his meal in his charming hostess's company. It was only after a desperate message to Hawley, did the General leave the Countess and Callendar House to return to the fray. He arrived on the scene at a gallop with no hat and " the appearance of one who had left an agreeable table." Lady Kilmarnock had used all her womanly wiles in an attept to delay the English General. 3. BANNOCKBURN HOUSE. Before he embarked on the siege of Stirling, Charles marched on 3 January 1746 to Bannockburn, about three miles from Stirling where his 9,000 strong army was assembling. The Prince stayed three days at Bannockburn House, the guest of Sir Hugh Paterson, a loyal Jacobite, where he met Sir Hugh's niece, Clementina Walkinshaw a handsome girl of twenty-three, named after the Prince's own mother. On the 19 January, when the clan regiments moved to Falkirk, the Prince once again took up residence at Bannockburn House in the pleasing company of the handsome Clementina. It was she who ministered to the Prince, who was told to stay in bed with 'a feverish cold'. The Prince was sufficiently taken with her to neglect his immediate military duties, and, feeling a little guilty, made some lame excuse to the upright Lord George Murray on the 23 January. Lord Elcho asserted that the star struck couple were indeed lovers. So, here we had two Commanders-in-Chief of opposing armies, General Hawley and HRH Prince Charles, only six miles apart, being cosseted and comforted by two fine ladies. One can appreciate their reluctance to rejoin the fray. 4. The final story is told by the Chevalier James de Johnstone in his own words. It is a cautionary tale of greed and despair. During the rout of the English cavalry at Falkirk, "The English in their flight made a prisoner in a very singular way. A Mr. Macdonald, a major of the Glengarry Regiment, having killed and pulled an English officer from his horse, took possession of this beautiful animal, and immediately mounted it. When the English cavalry took flight, the horse ran off with the unfortunate Macdonald, in spite of all his efforts to restrain him, and he never stopped till he was at the head of the regiment, of which, to all appearances, his master had been the commandant. One can imagine the miserable and laughable figure the poor Macdonald made, seeing himself thus the victim of his ambition for a fine horse. This cost him his his life on one of Hawley's scaffolds." One can not be sure of the sympathy or otherwise of the Chevalier for Major Macdonald. 5. COLONEL ANNE. In Inverness-shire, the Macintoshes were mostly Jacobite in sympathy, but strangely they lacked a leader, because their chief Angus had 'signed up with the other side' before Charles Stuart arrived in Scotland. Angus had decided to accept a commission in the government regiment, the Black Watch at 'half a guinea a day and half a guinea the morn'. Into the breach stepped Angus's handsome and lively young wife, Anne, herself a fervent Jacobite. Her dress was of Macintosh tartan trimmed with lace and with a blue bonnet on her head and a pair of pistols at her saddle-bow. 'Colonel Anne' rode far and wide recruiting people for the Prince, enough to make up a battalion, which joined with the force of of Lord Lewis Gordon as they marched south to Perth at the end of December 1745. Lady Anne won herself lasting fame in the annals of the Jacobite Rising.

Friday, 6 June 2014

Battle Is Joined On Falkirk Muir.

On the 15 January,1746, the opposing armies formed battle lines on Falkirk Hill. We quote from Lord Elcho's Memoirs. " The Prince's army consisted of three lines drawn up in battle order. The clans made the first line, the Lowland foot the second and Lord John Drummond formed the third line of the Prince's army. The whole army consisted of 6,000 foot and 360 horse. General Hawley's army consisted of 12 battalion of foot, making about 6,000 men, three regiments of horse (ie.six squadrons of dragoons),900 men, 1500 Glasgow and Paisley malitia and 1,000 Highlanders under a Campbell colonel, fighting for the government side. There were in all about 9,400 men commanded by Lt. General Hawley, Major General Huske and Brigadeers General Cholmondely and Mordaunt.. The Prince commanded the Corps de Reserve of his army, Lord George Murray the right wing and Lord John Drummond the left." The English were very surprised to see the Highlanders appear over the summit of Falkirk Hill. "General Hawley arranged his order of battle in two lines, being three regiments of infantry with his cavalry placed before his infantry, to the left of his first line." Because of the nature of the terrain, the opposing lines of the armies were not as one would expect, right wing of one army opposite the left of the other, left wing opposite right wing etc.. As such, they found a wing of their battle line directly opposite cavalry at the centre of the enemy line. There was much confusion, and some officers were not sure of their command or what to do. "The Engish commenced the attack by a corps of cavalry of 100 men, who advanced quite safely against the right of our army, and did not stop till about the distance of about twenty paces from our first line, on purpose to await our fire," says the Chevalier de Johnstone. " The Highlanders advanced slowly and as they were trained to wait 'till about touching muzzles' and at the moment the cavalry halted, they let go their discharge which brought down to ground about twenty four men, every one aimed at a horseman." One of those killed was the officer in charge of the cavalry who had led from the front. The English cavalry managed to regroup and rushed at the Highlanders at a great trot, driving all before them, and trampling the Highlanders under the horses' feet. In a unique and remarkable tactic, the Highlanders lay flat on their backs on the ground, and with their dirks pointing up, they thrust them into the horses' bellies. Others seized the horsemen by their clothing, pulling them down and dispatching them with their dirks or pistols. In this melee there was no room to wield their claymores. In time, the English cavalry broke ranks and were forced to retreat, but as usual, the Highlanders pursued the fleeing horsemen with sabre strokes, keeping up with the horses at speed. The English cavalry rushed through their own infantry positioned behind them on the battlefield. There the cavalry fell into disorder, and dragged their army along wth them in this rout. The Chevalier, an expert on ancient and modern military theory, says in one of his many pronouncements that " The battle of Falkirk confirms me in my opinion that it is a very bad disposition to place cavalry in front of infantry." As night fell, the English army entered Falkirk and many fires were lit throughout their camp. The enemy had retired, and we were left with the feeling that our victory was far from complete and that today's battle had advanced us nothing. The Jacobites had no reason to believe that they had lost the battle since the English army had left the field. The opinion in the Prince's camp was that the battle was indecisive, mainly caused by the disorder which had spread through their ranks. The Highlanders were in the greatest confusion, with all their corps intermingled, and in the darkness which had fallen, many did not know whether they had won or lost until the next morning. Lord Elcho says that "General Hawley's army had between 500 and 600 killed and 600 taken prisoners, few upon the field. Among the slain were 30 officers. They lost seven piece of cannon which were never fired, three standards and several colours and all their camp and baggage. The Prince's army had about fifty killed and sixty wounded." This, in some small way, resembled the outcome of the Battle of Killiecranckie during the First Jacobite Rising of 1689 for which was penned the song "Some say that we won, and some say that they won, And some say that nane won at a' "

Battle of Falkirk Looms Large.

While the Highlanders wasted their time with the 'siege'of Stirling Castle, the Government forces were being completely reorganised by the Duke of Cumberland. Cumberland had returned to London from Carlisle to confront the supposed threat of a French invasion, and in place of the aged Marshal Wade who had retired, Cumberland's replacement was Lieutenant-General Henry Hawley, reputedly a bastard son of George I. Hawley was known to be brutal and possibly a psychopath. Hawley's brigade-major was James Wolfe, who would later command the English armies in Canada against the French. Wolfe had this to say about Hawley. "The troops dread his severity, hate the man and hold his military knowledge in contempt." Walpole wrote that "Frequent and sudden executions are Hawley's rare passion." Hawley's army was composed of the best troops of the Duke of Cumberland and Marshal Wade, and numbered in the region of 8,000 men. As it was thought likely that Charles would again attempt to take Edinburgh, Hawley began moving his army north from Newcastle, an army which now included two infantry battalions and three regiments of cavalry (Ligonier's, Hamilton's and Cobham's Dragoons.) At the end of December, 1745, ten regular infantry battalions, most recently returned from Flanders, were dispatched to Edinburgh and arrived there by 10 January, 1746. With the regulars already in Edinburgh, the city now played host to 12 infantry battalions,and three militia units, the Edinburgh Volunteers, the Yorkshire Blues and Lord Home's 'Glasgow Regiment of Enthusiasts'. On his arrival in Edinburgh on 6 January, Hawley, true to form, had gallows erected in the Grassmarket, and on the roadside at Leith, "executions being a rare passion of Hawley." On 13 January, Major-General Huske, Hawley's second-in-command, set out westwards from Edinburgh with five regular infantry battalions, Hamilton's and Ligonier's Dragoons and some militia. Meanwhile, part of the Jacobite army under the Prince's command were stationed near Bannockburn, while the remainder of five clan regiments and part of the cavalry were under Lord George Murray near Falkirk, about ten miles east of the Prince's army. At the same time, some cavalry under Lord Elcho patrolled the roads leading to Edinburgh. Elcho had reported that government forces were growing by the hour, and that " there was a very large body of horse and foot advancing towards them." Lord George Murray crossed the River Avon at a bridge just to the west of Linlithgow, waiting here to attack the English army " when a half should pass the bridge", but "none of them passed it." The Hanoverians preferred to remain drawn up on the other side," with very abusive language passing betwixt both sides." Lord George realised that a major battle was in the offing, and seeing no advantage in engaging in some minor skirmish, he ordered his troops to return to Falkirk. The Highland army began their advance after midday on the 17 January and their first objective, it was decided, should be the Hill of Falkirk, a steep ridge on moorland to the south west of the town. They marched in two columns, the left-hand column under Lord George Murray and the right-hand commanded by the Prince. Barely had the army marched half a mile when John William O'Sullivan came riding over to Lord George to say that he and the Prince had decided to delay action until night. Lord George continued to ride, explaining all the time to O'Sullivan why now was the time. I think O'Sullivan was 'right annoyed' at this reception. Lord George wrote that "I did not halt and O'Sullivan went back to His Royal Highness." The Chevalier Johnstone takes up the story. "By using side roads and a grand detour, the Jacobite army were able to conceal from the English the knowledge of our march." They reached the top of Falkirk Hill, and much to the surprise of General Hawley whose troops were just over on the other side of the hill. The Chevalier Johnstone said that " a strong wind prevailed with a great rain full in the face, which the Highlanders, by their position, had it to their backs, while it blew full in the faces of the English, and the rain pelting in their eyes blinded them; they had besides this the inconvenience of the smoke of our firing, and the rain pouring into the priming pans, the half of their muskets would not give fire." The English endeavoured to change position to gain the advantage of the wind, but the Prince by his manouevering was able to preserve that advantage. The Battle of Falkirk was about to begin in earnest, one in which many lives were sacrificed, a battle marked by disorder and one where outright victory would be difficult to claim.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Jacobites Fail to Take Stirling Castle..

Through November and December 1745, many groups of Jacobite recruits had been arriving in Perth from various quarters, so that by the beginning of January 1746 there were, including the 800 men who came from France with Lord John Drummond, about 4,000 more troops than the Prince had in his army which had originally marched South into England. Leaving Glasgow on 3 January, Charles' immediate goal was to take the town and castle of Stirling, still held by government forces. Charles had made his way via Kilsyth to Bannockburn a few miles from Stirling, where in the house of the Jacobite Sir Hugh Paterson, he met Sir Hugh's niece, Clementina Walkinshaw, a handsome girl of 23 years. She would play a big part in the Prince's life in years to come. The Prince now had 9,000 men at his disposal, and as before, one column under Lord George Murray, which on 3 January marched to Falkirk leaving the Hanoverian forces thinking they were making for Edinburgh, which they had held since shortly after Prestonpans. Lord George returned to join the Prince on 5 January, while Lord Elcho was left to patrol the Edinburgh road with a force of cavalry, reinforcing the notion that the Jacobite army were moving on Edinburgh. As well as the 800 men who had come from France, Lord John Drummond had brought with him a quantity of sizeable artillery (16 pounders, 12 pounders and 8 pounders) which were to be used now in the seige of Stirling. They were transported from Perth to the Forth estuary, whence they were ferried across river 'with great labour and in the teeth of a squadron of frigates' of the Royal Navy. The guns arrived safely. On the 5 January, a drummer was sent into Stirling to demand the surrender of the town, now completely surrounded by the Jacobites. The garrison consisting of 500 militiamen opened fire on the poor drummer boy, who dropped his drum and ran like hell back to his lines. Next morning the Jacobite guns were set within a short distance of the town, forcing the council to think again. On 8 January the surrender of the town was signed, but not the castle, garrisoned by some regulars and militia commanded by Major-General William Blakeney. Against this the Jacobites had the expertise of a Monsieur de Gordon, a French engineer officer who came across with Lord John Drummond. Also known as the Marquis de Mirabelle, and of Scottish descent, he was said to be one of the finest engineers in France, decorated with the Order of St. Louis. But, said the Chevalier de Johnstone "He was totally destitude of judgement, discernment and common sense," and Lord George Murray stated that "He was so volatile that no one could depend on him." Mr. Mirabelle, known to the Highlanders as 'Mr. Admirable', was always drunk. The siting of the batteries and the conduct of the seige were so unsuccessful, that General Blakeney had little fear that Stirling Castle would be surrendered to the Jacobite army. The failure to take Stirling Castle was not Charles' only cause for concern. Desertion was now rife among the troops, particularly among the Murray Athollemen, the regiment of Lord George's brother Duke William of Atholl. Lord George wrote to his brother about "the scadalous desertion of your men." Since the Prince had refused to hold any more coucils, more and more he came to heed the advice of his 'friends', Murray of Broughton and Sir Thomas Sheridan. The Highland Chiefs deeply resented that they were no longer called to council, and Lord George Murray in a memorandum to the Prince pointed out that "upon any sudden emergency such as a battle or a seige, a discretionary power must be allowed to those in command." He pointed out the importance of these councils of war in the past, and that they be resumed forthwith. An indignant Prince, probably egged on by his intimates, repeated that he would have no more truck with these army councils. Ever since Derby, the pent up feelings and antagonism which had been building up between the Prince and Lord George and the chiefs were now manifestly clear. This did not bode well for the future.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

No Friendly Places.

As the Prince's army passed through the towns of Southern Scotland, it was apparent to his troops that the Jacobite Cause was not the cause of these people - grim faced, silent crowds that lined their route. These people looked on the Highlanders with fear, and hoped that they would not tarry long. Where they had raised militia for the government, these men were sent well out of the way. They could not compete with an organised army, and no one wanted a battle on one's doorstep. Outwith the Highlands, the greater part of Central and Southern Scotland was Protestant, pro-Union and benefitting from the trade routes which were now open to them. They had no desire for the return of the House of Stuart, whose present claimant was the Catholic Prince Charles Edward. They were now properly represented in parliament, where their grievances could be heard. In temperament, religion and life style the Jacobite from the Highland glens spoke a differnt language and belonged to a system rooted in the distant past. Naturally he wondered about this other Scotland, where he was not welcome. Lord George Murray and Lord Elcho pressed ahead to take possession of Glasgow, while the Prince stayed at Hamilton House and there enjoyed a morning's shooting on the policies of the Duke of Hamilton, who, as a staunch Hanoverian had naturally absented himself. On 27 December (some reports give dates according to the Julian calander or the Gregorian) the Prince led his troops into the elegant and prosperous little city of Glasgow, and he himself settled into his lodgings at Shawfield House in the Trongate, which belonged to a Colonel MacDowall of Castle Semple. He would remain here for the next ten days. The people of Glasgow had never shown any enthusiasm for the Prince's Cause, and had actively resisted pressure to contribute money to his army. They had raised a militia of 500 men for King George, but at the Prince's approach this body of men had withdrawn to Edinurgh. The Glasgow citizens were noticably unfriendly to these 'wild intruders,' so much so that the majority of the Highladers were very keen to sack 'the dear little place'. This would have happened were it not for the personal intervention of Cameron of Locheil. Glasgow reluctantly provided thousands of shoes, hose, shirts and several thousnds of pounds, and in gratitude for Lochiel's actions, the bells of the city, to this day, ring out to welcome the Chief of Clan Cameron when he visits Glasgow. The Prince, during his stay in the Trongate, held informal receptions for the loyal and the curious, dining each day in public, attended and fussed over by a number of devoted Jacobite ladies. Charles pulled out the stops while in Glasgow, dressing more elegantly here than anywhere else during his campaign, wearing silk tartans and court dress. Morale within the Jacobites was to some extent restored. Parades were held in different parts of the city to proclaim James, King again. On 2 January, 1746 the Jacobite army had been re-equipped, and now rested, they were ready to move off. To entertain the large crowds following the Prince and the Jacobite army, Charles put on a review of his whole army on Glasgow Green by the banks of the River Clyde. 'With drums beating, colours flying and bagpipes playing, multitudes of people arrived from all parts, and especially the ladies.' (Captain Daniel, a volunteer from Lancashire). Though these people were against the Prince and his Cause, for now they were charmed by the sight of this colourful royal personage. Yet these same people would shout "God Save King George" as Charles' army disappeard from sight along the Stirling Road.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

The Jacobite Army Crosses into Scotland

The Prince at the head of the Highland army entered Carlisle on 19 December. He was in better spirits than he had been these last few days. He had received encouraging letters from Lord Strathallan and Lord John Drummond telling him of the good state of the army at Perth and the strong expeditionary force from France that would join him before long. When the Prince's army left Carlisle the next day, he left 400 of his officers and men and their artillery to garrison the town. It was the Prince's desire that 'he keep a foothold in England.' Of course Charles no longer held any councils, because, if he had, this folly would not have been sanctioned. Thus 200 dispirited Highlanders together with Colonel John Hamilton, left in command by the Prince and Colonel Francis Townley with his Manchester Regiment were left to their fate in this 'English foothold.' They did not have to wait long to know their fate. Carlisle was faced with the huge armies of Cumberland and General Wade, and after sustained bombardment, the garrison sent a letter of capitulation to the Duke of Cumberland. "Contrary to the terms of capitulation, the Duke decided that the garrison be thrown into prisons in London. He felt that he was not obliged in honour to keep a capitulation with rebels. On 5 January, 1746 a dozen officers of the Manchester Regiment including Colonel Townley and Colonel Hamilton were hanged, drawn and quartered in London. This is the most extreme and barbarous method of execution reserved for high treason. God knows what the leaders of the 'rebellion' could expect. The heads of Colonel Townley and Colonel Hamilton were set on one of the gates of Temple Bar in London. People could rent spy-glasses at a halfpenny a time to take a look. The head of the unfortunate Colonel Towmley, or what remained of it, was still in place on a spike in the year 1772, twenty six years afterwards." (Memoirs of the Chevalier de Johnstone.) The captured Highlanders would have been transported to the 'colonies', of which those in America would soon rebel against the authority of the British Crown. On 20 December, the Jacobite army marched out of England crossing the River Esk once more into Scotland. At the suggestion of Lord George Murray, the army again was divided into two columns. Lord George took command of six battalions and travelled via Ecclefechan, Moffat through Hamilton to Glasgow The other column was commanded by the Prince, consisting of the clan regiments and most of the cavalry who marched through Annan, Dumfries, Thornhill, Douglas and Hamilton. The Prince stayed at Dumfries in a beautiful old house that later became the County Hotel. Dumfries was a strongly Hanoverian enclave, and the Highlanders knew that. They behaved very 'rudely' with the citizenry of that town, removing the shoes from everybody in sight. They also demanded £1,000 and a further quantity of shoes and took as hostages Provost Crosbie and the rich merchant Mr. Walter Riddell to force the payment of the £1,000. The Prince's army reached Thornhill and occupied Drumlanrig Castle, the fiefdom of the Duke of Queensbury whose predecessor was a major supporter of William of Orange, who defeated Charles' antecedent, King James II at the Battle of the Boyne. Later, in 1707, he was a leading player in the Act of Union with England. There would be no more Scotland - it was now a part of Great Britain. The Highlanders were billeted in Drumlanrig which they left in a sorry state. Each of these beautiful apartments were laid out with straw for bedding, they killed 40 of the Duke's sheep in the dining room and stabled several horses under the gallery. They plundered the Duke's cellars and drank all of the spirits and most of the wine, and melted down all of the pewter they found. Most satisfying for the Highlanders was the defacement of the large portrait of Williaam of Orange. It was left in tatters due to the attention paid to it by Highland claymores. Lord Elcho and Lord George Murray would go ahead with their column to take possession of Glasgow.

Monday, 19 May 2014

A Victory in Retreat.

Once the retreat was underway, there was a sea change in the attitude of the people in the towns through which the Jacobite army had recently passed. Horace Walpole had said that "No one is afraid of a rebellion that runs away." The people in these towns were now less friendly, and army stragglers were accosted and thrown into jail. The Highlanders reacted to this hostility by stealing horses, which would be comic if it were not so serious. There were Highlanders wearing no breeches, without saddle or bridle astride these horses and only a straw rope around the horse's neck. Later some entered houses for plunder. Charles wanted to disguise the fact that he was retreating, and urged Lord George Murray to have the army stay longer in these northern towns, contrary to Murray's desire to keep ahead of the pursuing English armies. 11 December the Jacobite army reached Lancaster. The Prince wanted to halt here and take on the Hanoverian forces. Lord George Murray and Mr. O'Sullivan with a guard of cavalry were sent by the Prince to reconnoitre a suitable place for battle, and having found an excellent location, they returned with this news, only to find that the Prince had changed his mind, and wished to march the next day. The Duke of Cumberland and General Wade were now closing on the Jacobite army, trying to prevent their escape into Scotland. But the Highlanders always marched at a very quick pace, and their army reached Manchester on 11 December. At this time Cumberland received notice from London that a large number of French vessels were assembled at Dunkirk with the intention of invading the South and East coasts of England. The King begged his son to return to London with his troops, along with General Wade's to face an invasion force of 6,000 French soldiers (it was said.) This gave Charles a day's advantage over his pursuers, and his army arrived in Kendal on the 15 December. The populus of Kendal had heard that the Jacobite army had suffered a serious defeat. This emboldened the Kendal men and they seriously harassed the Jacobite army to the extent that the army left Kendal and arrived at Shap, This whole area was mobilised to attack the Jacobite army, who were forced to take evasive action, travelling across the the moors pursued by an angry peasantry and county militia. On 17 December, Charles and his army crossed Shap Fell and arrived in Penrith. The enemy were now hard on their heels. As they set out on the morning of 18 December, they could see small parties of English cavalry intermittently appearing on the high ground to their rear. When confronted by Glengarry's men, they made off at a gallop. That same afternoon, a very large force of English cavalry came into sight to the south of Clifton village and drew up in two lines, 'upon an open moor, not above cannon-shot from us.' The Highlanders were occupying a number of hedges and walled fields and enclosures in and around Clifton. Those present there were the Macdonalds of Glengarry, John Roy Stewart's men, the Stewarts of Appin and Cluny's Macphersons. To confuse the enemy, Lord George had the Jacobite colours appear at different places to make the enemy think that their army was greater than it was. The Prince's most recent orders to Lord George was to continue his withdrawal without delay. After consulting with John Roy Stewart and Cluny, they took the decision to ignore Charles' orders and to say nothing of this to another soul. That night a few hours after sunset, with the moon seen from time to time between the clouds, Lord George could make out the disposition of the English troops, without their's been seen. A party of Bland's Dragoons, with their bright yellow belts, could be seen creeping along a low stone wall towards one of the enclosures. Lord George decided that he would attack on the left of Cluny's men who would take up the right. The Macphersons started to scramble through the hedge cutting through the thorn hedges with their dirks. "They went down upon their knees to the ground to cut with their dirks the thorn hedges - a necessary precaution for them who never wore breeches but only a small kilt or petticoat which falls down to the knees." (Chevalier Johnstone). As Macpherson's men negotiated their way through the hedges, the enemy openened fire with a full volley. At the shout of 'Claymore' from Lord George, Cluny charged at the head of his clan and the sudden impact of their charge completely knocked the dragoons off balance. Many of them were killed or wounded, and it was with difficulty that Cluny managed to halt his men from following the poor dragoons over across the moors, who were already under heavy fire from Lochgarry's Macdonalds. 40 of Bland's Dragoons were killed or wounded while five Highlanders were killed and a few taken prisoner. The skirmish had lasted about half an hour, but it had secured the Prince's rear, and Lord Georgr Murray felt content to continue the retreat without further trouble from the Hanoverian armies. The renowned politician, Horace Walpole, might have to eat his words that this was 'no rebellion running away.'

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Derby - The End Of a Dream.

As the Prince's army passed through England, there was little support for his cause. Manchester gave some heart to the Prince. There were cheering crowds as he entered the city, Church of England ministers said prayers for him and large numbers gathered outside his lodgings to see hime dine. In addition he gained a regiment here in Manchester, the only Englishmen to join the Prince's cause. However realities had to be faced. Lord George Murray again told the Prince that the combined forces of the Hanoverian army was 30,000 that of the Jacobites only 5,000. Even taking account of the heroism of the Highlanders, continuing on this course would be their nemesis and every brave soldier in their army would be slaughtered. Promises of help from Wales or Ireland could be discounted, and the force of 4,000 that landed in Scotland from France commanded by Lord John Drummond, if true, was too far away from them to help. The Prince reminded Lord George that for the entire length of their campaign they were undefeated, and if they pressed on to London, victory was assured. Indeed, with news of the Highland army at Derby and rumours of an early French invasion, there was utter panic in London. Business came to a standstill, shopkeepers shut up shop, Jacobite posters appeared on walls, and Jacobite sympathisers collected £10,000 for the Prince. It was rumoured that King George had his yachts on standby off Tower Quay on the Thames, laden with his most precious belongings, ready to sail to the Continent. On 5 December Prince Charles awoke from a long sleep in his comfortable quarters in Exeter House Derby feeling happy, and buoyed at the prospect of being in London in two days time. Later that morning Lord George Murray spoke to the Prince asking him if had thought of what they were to do. The Prince was taken aback as he thought that they were resolved to press on to London. A Council of War was called for that day in which the chiefs reminded Charles that there had been no risings in England nor had France come to their aid, and it was now time to return to Scotland to join up with the army under Lord John Drummond. The Scots had done more than their duty, but now the sheer size of the English armies amassing against them was just too great for the small Jacobite army. The very idea of retreat was intolerable to the Prince, who said that " Rather than go back, I would wish to be twenty feet underground." The Prince heard all the arguments for retreating with growing impatience and "fell into a passion and gave most of the Gentlemen that had spoken very abusive language, and said that they had a mind to betray him." Finally the Prince agreed to go back to Scotland, but at the same time "he told them that for the future he would have no more Councils, for he would neither ask nor take their advice, that he was accountable to nobody for his actions but his Father, and he was as good as his word, for he never after advised with any body but the Irish Officers, Messers Murray and Hay and never more summonsed a council." (Chevalier Johnstone). Mounted on a black horse, the Prince left his lodgings late that morning and the Jacobite army marched out of Derby on Friday 6 June, the drums beating 'To Arms'. Lord George Murray took command of the reargaurd, surmising that here one might expect the enemy to attack. This was the end of the Prince's dreams.