The arrival of Bonnie Prince Charlie in Scotland.

bonnie prince charlieThe sailing vessel La Du Teillay made land fall on the island of Eriskay on the 23 July 1745.  On board was Charles Edward Stuart, known to his fans as Bonnie Prince Charlie and to the Hanoverians as the Young Pretender.  Charles’ father, the so-called Old Pretender was James Stuart, to some the rightful king of England and only surviving son of King James II whilst to others he was the baby in the bedpan – a changeling placed by James’ send wife Mary of Modena to ensure a catholic succession.  For more about James and Mary as well as the baby in the bed pan click here to open a new window: https://thehistoryjar.com/2016/12/09/mary-of-modena/

James II was defeated at the Battle of the Boyne in 1689.  From there he had fled to France where his family lived in exile. Jacobites from that time forward giving their toast to the king passed their glasses and goblets over a jug or bowl of water to signify their loyalty lay with the ‘king over the water.’ The failed rebellion of 1715 had dashed many Jacobite hopes but now some thirty years later the bonnie prince arrived in the name of his father and immediately set about striking heroic poses.

On that day in 1745 the inhabitants of Eriskay weren’t wildly enthusiastic to greet their Stuart monarch.  MacDonald of Boisdale told Charlie to take himself home where upon, with commendable speed, the prince announced that he was home.  It didn’t look good from the outset.  He didn’t bring any French support with him and he’d been told that at most he could probably count on the loyalty of 4,000 Highlanders.  There actually had been a planned invasion by the French the previous year but bad weather had prevented the enterprise.

On the 25 July the prince and his followers sailed for and arrived in mainland Scotland. The Cameron Clan were persuaded to declare their loyalty and the vessel which had carried Charlie to Scotland was dispatched back to France with a letter to the Old Pretender stating that the prince was prepared to die amongst the Highlanders.  It would be the 19th August before the royal standard of the Stuarts was raised drawing the Camerons, Macleods and Keppoch Macdonalds to its colours in the first instance.  There were about 1,200 men. The rebellion had officially begun.

Meanwhile in Edinburgh a wanted poster was drawn up with a price of £30,000 on Charles Edward Stuart’s head. The rebellion, for Bonnie Prince Charlie, would last slightly more than a year and it would see his army march beyond Derby spawning a plethora of blue plaques commemorating locations were he stayed or declared his father to be king as well as providing Sir Walter Scott with heady tales of love, honour and betrayal for the novels he wrote that made historical fiction a best seller.

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Filed under Anglo-Scottish history, Eighteenth Century, The Stuarts

3 responses to “The arrival of Bonnie Prince Charlie in Scotland.

  1. Sir Kevin Parr, Baronet Kendal

    Yes and in Kendal the house that Charles stayed within and that same bed next night the Duke of Cumberland. It is kept as it was almost but new owners now will not allow access to that upper room. 18th October 1745 saw the snow fall heavily as encamped on the road near the A6 turns past the pub over to Tebay today. They set off over Kendal Fell loosing armour and gun in horse cart down the first ravine. The hard earnest tramp in blizzards brought them to Penrith headed back to Scotland but in the dykes the Redcoat troopers waited. It is called the battle of Clifton Dykes which was nought but a skirmish with one old retainer smashing his clamore into a soldiers head. His mortal cry as he was shot down was Scotts awayhey which Sir Walter Scott wrote his famous poem from. A pair of graves with official head stones lay to record the dead and both sides of that affair in the church yard next to the battle site. In my book on Westmorland I cover all this counties past including Charles Edward who could have told us that he was only there to see who much support there was and go back with this report. No wonder he drank himself to death. So many wiped out and hated just for the Fat German Duke who lost his enemy. Good men died in the thousands as a result and never again have we ever had a native King on our throne. James 11 was a risk waiting for execution so glad he went but on going took our Royal orb and lowered it in the Thames as he was rowed out to a ship. Last act of defiance no doubt. The Stuarts were nothing but trouble as that theme granted Kingdom by hand of God will never suit the free thinking English. now Prince Charles who wants the throe says he believes in that same rite. Idiots merely the top job and no more and for that extended matter why ever do we want a King back. Civil list is so far eating our economy that we should stop the lot to save the people from todays election results.
    Churchill told us all hinges on a strong union with Europe that will avoid war like we have seen ever coming to us again. EU forever Brexit never. 300 years laws with clubs we have been with .In my time five clubs before Eu but just changed name. We have not walked alone since 1942. From my position as a law maker all laws are overlaid with by laws all by laws with sub divisions and all that heap a mile high topped with EU laws. Common market laws and all that sailed in us over time. It will be the greatest of mine fields ever laid before us. No one team as I was in could hope to sort it out it will take 30-50 years of hard slog by experts to divide like noddles this massive mountain of law. On top of this Brussels office belongs to the Duke of Wellingtons estates as it we he after Waterloo that placed support for those nations that had been raped by the French armies under Nappy. Our Government then refused to help and so that office was maned by volunteers for centuries. The thing is we could take it over run it properly as the good Duke asked for. With out him we would be speaking French and parted down the middle by sabre. Hope your dinner was good I did think of you as i cooked mine.

  2. Enjoyed that. “…immediately set about striking heroic poses.” – fabulous!

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