Saturday, 3 May 2014

A Journey Too Far.

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Hanover. 6,000 Dutch soldiers, 9 squadrons of cavalry, 18 regiments of the line and 4 artillery companies were all withdrawn from Flanders to take on the 'ragged, hungry rabble of Yahoos of Scotch Highlanders.'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.)

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