Wednesday, 28 May 2014
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
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 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
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
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.
Tuesday, 6 May 2014
While Charles was for taking the army further into England, against the wishes of his leading generals, news arrived at Carlisle that Edinburgh was once again in the hands of Hanoverian supporters, of which there were many in the city. Elcho tells that " the Justice Clerk, Lords of the Session and the Sheriffs of the Lothians had returned back to Edinburgh attended by a great number of other gentlemen. They had reassumed the government of the town and had ordered the 1000 men formally agreed upon to be levied and put under the command of the Commander in Chief in Scotland." Glasgow had raised their militia under the command of the Earls of Home and Glencairn ; Stirling, Paisley and Dumfries had raised their militias and General Campbell had returned to Inveraray to raise the Argyllshire militia. If Charles left a vacuum of control behind him in Scotland, there were many who would fill the void, just as before. No sooner had the Jacobite army left Carlisie, than the previous council was reinstated. The Jacobite army was not large, and could not satisfactorily garrison the towns which fell to them. The army pushed on south through Penrith and Kendal, towns which were for sure not Jacobite in allegiance. They cooperated in order to save themselves and their towns. On 23 November, "Lancaster made out that they intended to hold the town, upon which Lord Elcho wrote to the Mayor informing him that part of the army would be there next day and told him if there was no resistance made, no harm would be done to the town." (Elcho's memoirs). The next day (24 November) Lord George Murray and the Atholl Brigade marched into Lancaster. On the 25th the Prince and the rest of the army arrived at Lancaster, where proclamations and manifestos were read as per usual, "but the people testified no joy and seemed all against the cause." While in Lancashire, Lord George Murray contacted an acquaintance "who procured him two spies whom he dispatched, the one into Yorkshire, the other into Staffordshire" to get intelligence about the strength and location of the Hanoverian forces. They returned to say that "Marshal Wade had marched his army straight south on the London Road to Doncaster, and that there were rumours of his marching across the country to Lancashire : the other spy said that Sir John Ligonier was forming an army around Lichfield and Coventry to consist of 10,000 men, and that the Duke of Cumberland was expected every day to take the command of it." (Elcho's memoirs). 27 November the Prince marched all the way to Derby on foot at the head of a column with his guards dressed in Lowland clothes to assuage the locals' fears. The Chevalier de Johnstone relates this amusing account of when he and his regiment were encamped outside Manchester. On the evening before the Battle of Prestonpans, Johnstone applied to the Prince to raise a company which was granted, and that it be attached to the regiment of the Duke of Perth. There was in his company a sergeant named Dickson whom Johnstone had enlisted from the prisoners taken at Prestonpans, actually a young Scotsman "brave and intrepid as a lion, and much attached to my interests." (Ch. John). He told the Chevalier that on their jouney south he did not manage to recruit one single person for the Prince's army, whereas the other sergeants were much more successful. Dickson was very disappointed with the situation. Dickson asked permission of the Chevalier to go ahead of the army to Manchester, a large city of 40,000 inhabitants, to recruit men for the Prince's army. The Chevalier told Dickson his proposition was foolhardy and dangerous and would only see him taken and hanged. Dickson was ordered back to his company. With the confidence that the Chevalier had in his sergeant, he had, some time ago, given him a horse to carry his portmanteau behind him, so that it was always with the Chevalier. That evening Dickson had entered the Chevalier's lodgings and removed the portmanteau and a blunderbuss. The Chevalier was furious with his sergeant's rash behaviour, but on 28 November on his arrival in Manchester with the army, Dickson presented himself before the Chevalier with around 180 men, whom he had enrolled with the company of the Chevalier de Johnstone, a remarkable feat. It seems that the citizens of Manchester realised that the Jacobite army was a good way off, and a large crowd began to close in on our recruiting sergeant who only managed to save himself by presenting the loaded blunderbuss at them. The situation was finally resolved when hundreds of Jacobite supporters came to Dickson's assistance and dispersed the baying crowd. The Chevalier was delighted that here in Manchester, his sergeant was able to recruit 180 able bodied men for the the Prince's army. Together with other English recruits, they would be known as the Manchester Regiment. The Chavalier says that "this adventure of Dickson's occasioned a good deal of pleasantry, by the City of Manchester finding itself ludicrously taken by one sergeant,one drum and one girl."
Saturday, 3 May 2014
In the words of the Chevalier de Johnstone, Charles was now 'entirely master of the Kingdom of Scotland.' He was elated at the Jacobite victory at Prestonpans and believed that victory was more than possible in future battles with the Hanoverian forces. His army would need to move on England without delay while the dander of his men was up. The Jacobite army were now better armed, clad and equipped, and after Prestonpans had undergone a great deal of training and drilling around the flat plains of Edinburgh. Charles was now preparing to move his army down the east coast towards Newcastle to confront General Wade's army. He was buoyed by the promise of the French and the English Jacobites bringing large forces to join him. But Charles had no idea how the defeat of their army in Scotland had galvanised the English into action. King George had returned from his native Hanover. 6,000 Dutch soldiers, 9 squadrons of cavalry, 18 regiments of the line and 4 artillery companies were all withdrawn from Flanders to take on the 'ragged, hungry rabble of Yahoos of Scotch Highlanders.' Charles and his inner circle of obsequious Irish were alone in wanting to take the fight into England to regain all three crowns of Great Britain for his father, the Old Pretender. However he would learn that his Scottish advisors, the leading army officers and importantly the clan chiefs were against an invasion of England. They made out that their sole purpose was to see Charles crowned King of Scotland, and together they would defend their realm against the English. At this point in time, the Jacobite army was 4,500 men strong, while the English could count on at least 14,000 troops, with many more available as backup. Lord George Murray and Lord Elcho were very vocal in their opposition to taking the army into England, but the decision taken in Council to back the Prince, was due to the Clan Chiefs being persuaded by Charles that they "would find many English lords on the frontiers of England, under arms, ready to join them with a considerable corps of English" (Memoirs of the Chevalier de Johnstone). The Prince agreed that confronting General Wade at Newcastle was not such a good idea. It was agreed that the army be divided in two. The first column commanded by the Prince and Lord George Murray was made up mainly of Highlanders and half the cavalry consisting of the newly raised regiments of Lord Kilmarnock and Lord Pitsligo. The Prince's column, after feinting towards Newcastle, passed through Kelso and Jedburgh and then along Liddesdale, finally crossing the River Esk into Cumberland and England. The second column, led by the Dukes of Atholl and Perth was made up of the Atholl Brigade, foot regiments of the Duke of Perth and the cavalry of Lord Elcho and Lord Balermino. They travelled via Moffat and Lockerbie to Cumberland where both armies would join forces again. They had departed Dalkeith on 4 November and were in England by the 9 November. This was the first time the Jacobites had entered England, and as they did so, the Highlanders all drew their swords and turned around to face Scotland again. The army camped for the night a few miles distant from Carlisle. After a few days of cannon fire from the Carlisle castle garrison the Jacobite army dug in around the city and mounted cannon around the trenches. The mayor and aldermen of Carlisle finally agreed to capitulate on 15 November, handing over the city keys to the Prince. The 'impregnable' castle garrison was surrendered without a fight, and Colonel Durand and his officers led out their men with their drums beating, and carrying their arms which they lay down on the ground in front of the Duke of Perth. There was one issue within the Jacobite army which stemmed from the falsehoods that the Prince's Secretary, Murray of Broughton had spoken against Lord George Murray to the Prince back at Perth. Since then, the Prince seemed to favour the Duke of Perth in issuing orders , and this over the head of Lord George Murray, who was the Senior General. In accepting the signed order of capitulation from the people of Carlisle, it was the Duke of Perth, a Catholic, who was chosen by the Prince. Carlisle was a staunchly Protestant city, and it would have eased the situation had Lord George (a Protestant) been there to accept the surrender. Because of this, Murray asked the Prince to be relieved of his commission (not for the first time) which the Prince accepted. This was exactly what Secretary Murray of Broughton wanted. When the army heard of this, they delivered a petition to the Prince asking that Lord George be reinstated, and "begging that the Prince should discharge all Roman Catholics from his Council because it might be a handle for his enemies to make use of against him, as they had lately done in newspapers where they said all his Councils were directed by Roman Catholics. In one paper they compared Sir Thomas Sheridan, a close advisor to Charles, to Father Peter his grandfather's confidant (King James II)." (The words of Lord Elcho, a Protestant). Lord George Murray resumed his commission as Senior Lieutenant General, " which entirely defeated Secretary Murray's schemes." ( Lord Elcho ). The Prince while still at Carlisle learned that Marshal Wade had moved with his army to Hexham on the 17 November, but due to the bad condition of the roads, he had returned to Newcastle. I don't think he was itching for a fight ( says Neil.)