OREALD.COM - An Old Electronic Library
eng: a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Reign of George II. (Continued.) page 10

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 <10> 11 12 13 14 15

Charles, thereupon, strengthened his van by placing in it two regiments, the Stuarts of Appin and the Macphersons of Cluny. The sun was about to set when the man's intelligence was confirmed by the appearance of the duke's vanguard on the heights in their rear.

In fact, the duke, discovering his mistake at Stone, had turned back, and, in all haste, sought to recover his position on the high road to London. Near Coventry on the 8th he learned the retreat of the rebels from Derby, and he sent on general Hawley from Meridan Moor with a thousand cavalry and a thousand foot, mounted on horses collected in the neighbourhood, to harass the retreat of the Highlanders.

He also dispatched a message to marshal Wade in the neighbourhood, to strike across the country and join in the pursuit. It was not, however, till the 16th that his advanced guard of cavalry came up with the van of the Highland army. In the night of the 16th, Charles, having seen the outposts of the enemy on the heights, had bivouacked with all his army in and around Shap. That evening lord George Murray, who commanded the rear, was labouring along with immense difficulty over the horrible mountain roads. His carts broke down on the craggy roads, his gun- carriages stuck fast in the ruts, and the horses, worn out with fatigue, were unable to extricate them. He was compelled to throw away a great quantity of baggage, and even much of his powder, into a mountain stream, to prevent it falling into the hands of the enemy. The next day he continued his laborious route towards Penrith, the enemy and crowds of country people hanging on his rear. "Had the country people," says a Jacobite of that neighbourhood, "had the least thought or judgment, they might have made themselves masters of all the baggage and cannon." They had only to have thrown down some parts of the stone walls bounding the highway, and it would have been impossible for the Highlanders to stop to clear the obstructions away whilst the enemy was so close upon them. In fact, general Oglethorpe had been dispatched by Wade with all his cavalry after the rebels, and, by a rapid march of three days, was now up with them at the same time that the duke of Cumberland's thousand cavalry and thousand mounted foot came up too. They united in the pursuit, but, luckily for the Highlanders, they were as much exhausted by their march as themselves.

On the 18th, Oglethorpe and Cumberland, accompanied by a mob of country squires and mounted farmers, attacked lord George's rear near Penrith; but the countrymen were speedily put to flight by a charge of the Glengarry clan, and Oglethorpe fell back to the main body. They came up again, however, in the evening near the village of Clifton, and lord George perceived, by the fitful light of the moon, the enemy forming behind the stone walls, and lining every hedge, orchard, and outhouse from the village of Clifton to the house of Thomas Savage, a quaker, at the foot of the moor. Murray, also, saw the thousand foot now dismount, and begin to steal away behind the stone walls, as if to take him by surprise. The duke of Cumberland had now joined the cavalry close to where lord George had stationed a body of his troops in ambush; but he was warned by Jonathan Savage, one of the quaker family, who, at the risk of his life, ran through the fields and told him of his danger.

Just as the royal troops commenced their charge they were stopped by a cross fire of the concealed Highlanders, and, whilst affected by this surprise, lord George cried, "Claymore! claymore!" and rushing down upon them with the Macphersons of Cluny, attacked them sword in hand. Being supported by the Stuarts of Appin, they compelled the English to retreat. Lord George, losing his bonnet, continued to lead on his men bare-headed; and having, according to Rae, a volunteer, who has left an account of the affair, the advantage of seeing the English by their buff belts and laced hats, they made great slaughter of them. Colonel Honeywood, the commander of the cavalry, was severely wounded, and left for dead on the field; and the Highlanders were with difficulty drawn off from the pursuit, saying it was a shame that so many of the king's enemies should be left standing safe on the moor. The prince, however, sent orders to stop the pursuit and continue the route to Penrith; and the duke having, according to one account, lost in killed and wounded above a hundred men, whilst the Highlanders had only lost, according to the English account, forty, and, according to themselves, only twelve, he forbore to press too closely, on this dangerous rear, and allowed the Highland army, with all its baggage and artillery, to get to Carlisle without any further disturbance.

The duke meant to have quartered himself comfortably that night at Lowther Hall, near Clifton, but he was glad to get a bed with Thomas Savage, the quaker. Whilst he was snugly harboured there, the prince and his army were labouring along the road from Penrith to Carlisle, through one of the darkest nights which ever fell. The moon had gone down, and they had to drag their baggage and artillery over the roughest hills and the most frightful roads through that Egyptian gloom. The prince was obliged to dismount and pore out his way on foot, with the Highlanders stumbling and groping in confusion all around him. The whole army was dead beat and in the most deplorable condition when they entered Carlisle on the morning of the 19th. As the enemy did not appear, they rested that day and the following night, when they set forward again, leaving a fresh garrison. This garrison consisted of a few French and Irish, and part of a Lowland regiment, as well as the so-called Manchester regiment. Chevalier Johnstone charges Charles with leaving these Englishmen to their certain fate, in revenge of his recent treatment at Manchester and on the road; but it appears to have been done at the particular request of colonel Townley, their commander. It was a fatal choice, and the most humane plan would have been to blow up the works, and thus have left open the way for their hoped-for return into England, without exposing these poor men to the savage vengeance of the " butcher." They left with them the greater part of their baggage, their cohorns, and all their artillery except three pieces, called the Swedish pieces, so that they might defend themselves against Cumberland, who, they believed, had no cannon, and also to expedite their own march. Cumberland was soon up before the walls, and they fired vigorously at him; but he sent off to Whitehaven and brought up six eighteen-pounders, with which, to their dismay, he began to play on their crumbling walls on the 29th. They next morning hung out a white flag, and offered to capitulate; but Cumberland would hear of no terms except their surrendering, on condition that they should not be put to the sword. At three o'clock in the afternoon both town and castle were surrendered, the garrison being shut up in the cathedral and a guard set upon them. Seven deserters from Cope's army at Preston Pans were immediately hanged; Coppock, the prince's bishop of Carlisle, was also reserved for the same fate, and the rest of the prisoners many of them to a bloody vengeance, which horrified all Christendom. On the 3rd of December the duke of Cumberland left the command to general Hawley, and hastened back to London, being summoned to defend the southern coast from a menaced landing of the French.

Meantime, the Highland army was continuing its retreat. On the 20th of December, the prince's birth-day, they left Carlisle and crossed into Scotland by fording the Eske. This rapid river was now swollen by the wintry rains, and the lÄen could only wade it by holding each others' hands, to prevent being carried away by the violence of the torrent. Some of them were carried away by it, spite of this arrangement; and Charles, seeing one poor fellow sinking, leaped from his horse, and seizing him by the hair, called for help and dragged him out. The insurgents of one division made Annan that night, those of lord George's division reached Esclesfechan, and the cavalry under lord Elcho advanced to Dumfries, where they found the town illuminated, and bonfires burning for joy, over the rumours of their own defeat. They made the town pay a fine for this of one thousand one hundred pounds, and carried off the provost and another magistrate as security for a further sum of nine hundred pounds. It was determined to march through Glasgow and not Edinburgh, where the citizens had raised a considerable body of volunteers, and whither two English regiments were fast marching. On the 26th lord George entered Glasgow, and Charles, with the other division, on the 27th. Many of the men had run off home from the moment that they again set foot in Scotland, and his army was now reduced to three thousand six hundred foot and five hundred horse. Thus had the young pretender completed a march from Glasgow to Derby and back again, of upwards of five hundred and eighty miles, in fifty-six days - an extraordinary performance, when we consider the various days of halt included in it.

From Glasgow Charles sent forward the duke of Perth to order lord Strathallan and lord John Drummond with their united forces to meet him at Stirling. At Glasgow the prince and the army lay for seven days to rest, and to levy contributions of all kinds of articles of apparel for the soldiers. During their absence in England, Glasgow had been very active in the king's service. It had raised six hundred volunteers, and sent them to join those of Edinburgh and other places, amounting to three thousand men, to guard the passage of the Forth, near Stirling. A very hostile spirit was apparent on the entrance of the Highland troops, and one man snapped a pistol at the prince as he rode along the Salt Market; but though Charles refused to have the man put to death, he punished the inhabitants by severe levies of money and goods, for which the city afterwards claimed and received compensation from the English government. On the 3rd of January, 1746, the same day that Cumberland left Carlisle for London, Charles marched his army out of Glasgow, new clad and new shod, for Stirling. The next day he took up his quarters at the house of Bannockburn, and distributed his men through the neighbouring villages, lord George Murray occupying Falkirk. Lords Strathallan and Drummond soon arrived from Perth with their united force, attended by both battering-guns and engines from France. These engines, ten in number, commanded by M. Gourdon, alias the marquis de Mirabelle, were covered by the duke of Perth with four or five hundred men. Lord Lewis Gordon, who had lately defeated the earl of Loudon and the Mac- donalds and Macleods of Skye, who had now declared for king George, at Inverury, also arrived, thus swelling the prince's army to nine thousand men, the greatest force he had yet had.

With this force, tempted by the battering train, Charles committed the error of wasting his strength on a siege of Stirling Castle, instead of preparing to annihilate the English troops, which were in rapid advance upon him.

The duke of Cumberland being called southward, with characteristic taste had got general Hawley appointed to the command of the army sent after the young pretender. Wade was become too old and dilatory, but Hawley was much fitter for a hangman than a general. He had seen some service both at home and abroad - had fought at Sheriff Muir, and in Flanders, under Cumberland; but he was more noted for rashness than courage, and for brutality than capacity. Horace Walpole says he was called "the lord chief justice," because, like Jeffries, he had a passion for executions; that when the surgeons solicited the body of a deserter, which was dangling before Hawley's windows, for dissection, he would only consent on condition that he had the skeleton to ornament the guard-room. The first thing which he did on arriving at Edinburgh was to erect a couple of gibbets to hang any of the rebels on that he could find. He had a number of executioners in attendance on the army, and was said to confer more with them than with his aides -de-camp. He laughed continually at poor Sir John Cope's escapades, and boasted what he would do with the Highland rabble. He had, besides the volunteers from Glasgow, Edinburgh, Argyllshire, and Yorkshire, twelve old regiments, most of which had served on the continent; so that he had a force equal to that of the prince, besides the two regiments of Gardiner and Hamilton, famous for the canters of Coltbridge and Prestonpans.

Hearing of his approach, Charles drew in his forces from Falkirk under lord George, left a few hundred men to blockade Stirling, and concentrated his army on the renowned field of Bannockburn. On the 16th of January Charles, expecting Hawley, drew up his forces, but no enemy appeared. The next day, still perceiving no Hawley, he advanced to Pleanmuir, two miles east of Bannockburn, and on the way to Torwood. No enemy yet appearing, the prince determined to advance and find him out. He sent lord John Drummond through Torwood, on the road from Falkirk to Stirling, to display the royal standard and other colours to attract the attention of Hawley; whilst he himself, with the main army, marched round considerably to the south of the English camp, so as to give his soldiers the advantage of the wind. About eleven o'clock in the forenoon the division of lord John was observed by the English army manoeuvring in front of Torwood, as they were directed, to draw their attention. Hawley, however, was so confident of dispersing the Highland rabble at any moment that he chose, that he had neglected every military precaution - had fixed no outposts, and was away at Callendar House, at some distance from the field, comfortably taking luncheon with lady Kilmarnock, whose husband was in the rebel army, and who was exerting all her powers of pleasing to detain the foolish general as long as possible. General Huske, the next in command, was completely deceived by the prince's stratagem, and believed the whole army to be marching from Torwood upon them, till, a little before three o'clock, captain Teesdale, of the third regiment of foot, and another officer, climbed a tree, and by the aid of a telescope descried the main army coming in a different direction. Lieutenant-colonel Howard was then dispatched in great haste for Hawley, while the army began to form in a hurry. But Hawley was in no hurry whatever. When the report of the advance of the rebels reached him, he said it was quite right for the men to be ready with their accoutrements, but there was no need to be under arms; and he continued his carouse at his hospitable hostess's. Meantime the officers on the ground were in the utmost anxiety, crying out, "Where is the general? What shall be done? We have no orders!"

<<< Previous page <<< >>> Next page >>>
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 <10> 11 12 13 14 15

Pictures for Reign of George II. (Continued.) page 10

Home | Privacy Policy | Copyright | About