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.

No comments:

Post a Comment