Bonnie Prince Charlie’s entry to Carlisle on a white horse followed by the declaration of his father as James III at the foot of the market cross all seems very straight forward but as with much to do with the rebellion of 1745 an element of farce is never far away.
Charles was based at Blackhall but heard that Wade was moving from Newcastle to intercept him, so the prince shifted to Brampton where he stayed in what is now known as Prince Charlie’s House on High Cross Street. It has a blue plaque. In Carlisle the deputy mayor had a rush of blood to the head at the Jacobite departure. Thomas Pattinson wrote a niftily worded note to the government and the London Gazette to the effect that Carlisle had routed the enemy and that it had outdone Edinburgh – he also managed to infer that it was all thanks to him.
Unfortunately for Pattinson the Jacobites returned the following day and behaved in a most unchivalrous way by turning the locals into human shields. Pattinson surrendered and offered up two thousand pounds if the Scots would promise not to ransack the place. This happened on the 15th of November as you may recall from my previous post.
Inside the castle, Captain Durand took an audit of their situation. Durand had received a letter on the 10th November from Wade saying that he probably wouldn’t arrive in Carlisle in time. The castle was not what it had once been- it was likened at one point in its history to a ‘chicken coop,’ the militia refused to fight and the castle was garrisoned by the elderly and the infirm. Prior to the rebellion extra groups had been requested but this had been turned down on the grounds that it would have cost too much money. Fifty pounds could have halted the Jacobites in their tracks – medieval monarchs were well aware of the importance of Carlisle as a strategic key to the kingdom. The knowledge had been lost and in November 1745 the Scots were able to take advantage of the situation even though they didn’t have much in the way of canon. The castle surrendered the next day and after the rebellion Durrand was court-martialled but acquitted. In addition to being hobbled by the state the Government had left Carlisle in there was the small matter of the Jacobites forcing local women and children to walk ahead of them rather preventing Durand from firing the castle guns. The city folk were also quite keen that the castle surrender asap because the Scots refused to accept the town’s surrender without the castle.
Meanwhile all was not well in the Scottish camp. Lord George Murray had not been impressed by Prince Charles’ failure to rotate troups according to Riding so resigned his commission. It was symptomatic of the difficulty that Charles would increasingly face as the Jacobites travelled further south. His men were not a cohesive body and prone to their own jealousies and agendas. The Duke of Perth also resigned his commission whilst the Jacobites were in Carlisle added to which there was dissension amongst Charles’ advisers about whether they should advance further into England or return to Scotland. The main problem seems to have been the lack of support – folk were not flocking to the Stuart colours – only two notable Cumbrian gentlemen arrived to swell their numbers, though once the Jacobites arrived in Lancashire which was more Catholic the numbers of recruits rose. I should add that whilst the 1715 uprising had been almost entirely Catholic in flavour the 1745 rebels were Catholic, Episcopalian and there were even some Presbyterians amongst their number it was simply that not many people wanted the Stuarts back including some of those who’d merrily been drinking toasts to the ‘king over the water.’
Ultimately Colonel John Hamilton was left in charge of Carlisle’s Jacobite garrison with a hundred men and Sir John Arbuthnot who was named governor of Carlisle whilst the prince and the rest of the army headed down the A6 towards Penrith where the prince spent the night in what is now the George Hotel but which was then known as the George and Dragon; Kendal on November 20th where the mayor promised not to resist (but didn’t manage an entire song about it). The Jacobites remained in Kendal for forty eight hours. The prince stayed in a house on Strickland Gate (yes- there is a plaque- there are plaques all over the countryside from Carlisle to Derby based on Bonnie Prince Charlie’s pronouncements and sleeping habits) and the Angel Inn gained a legend that a child was saved from certain death at the hands of a Jacobite by the appearance of a helpful angel. Part of the reason for the decision to continue south was that the fall of Carlisle in the aftermath of Prestonpans and the fall of Edinburgh gave Prince Charles the prestige of victory.
Tomorrow’s post will take the Jacobites south to their fateful meeting at Exeter House in Derby and the decision to turn back at a point where had they but known it London was in a state of chaos. The Jacobites would be back in Kendal on the 13 December 1745 and they would be back in Carlisle by the 19th December with William Augutus better known as the Duke of Cumberland in hot pursuit.
Meanwhile the deputy mayor of Carlisle had become the topic of a ballad – and it wasn’t terribly flattering:
O Pattison ! ohon ! ohon !
Thou wonder of a Mayor !
Thou blest thy lot thou wert no Scot
And blustered like a player.
What hast thou done with sword or gun
To baffle the Pretender ?
Of mouldy cheese and bacon-grease
Thou much more fit defender.
front of brass and brain of ass
With heart of hare compounded,
How are thy boasts repaid with costs
And all thy pride confounded
Thou need’st not rave lest Scotland crave
Thy kindred or thy favour ;
Thy wretched race can give no grace,
No glory thy behaviour.
The reference to cheese and bacon grease is made because Pattinson was actually a grocer and whether it was fair is another matter entirely as much of our understanding of the period comes from a source personally hostile to the deputy mayor.
Riding, Jacqueline. (2015) Jacobites: A New History of the ’45 Rebellion London:Bloomsbury Publishing
“Carlisle in ballad and story. A lecture delivered before the Carlisle Scientific and Literary Society, on October 31st, 1911; and … to the Cumberland and Westmorland Association of London, on February 21st, 1912“