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Reign of George II. (Continued.) page 14


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camp at Fort Augustus, patronised by his royal highness, were formally attested by the Rev. James Hays of Inverness; and his testimony is only too well supported by others of unquestioned character and veracity.

These horrors and abominations - such, say the astounded contemporaries, as never were witnessed in any Christian country - continued till July, when the Highlands, far and wide, were reduced to a desert. But long before, on the 14th of May, the king had sent a message to the house of commons, suggesting the propriety of settling a handsome income on the hero of Culloden; and the obsequious house had at once voted him twenty-five thousand pounds a-year, in addition to his previous income of fifteen thousand pounds a-year. Even Pitt, the great patriot and moralist, was anxious to have been the proposer of it, and the nation was in ecstasies over the glory of Cumberland. Glory there was none. Not to have routed such an army as that of Charles, famishing and weakened to the last degree by famine, would have been a disgrace only less than the horrors and indecencies that followed it. Whilst Cumberland was thus incensed, he had the effrontery to insult the nation by declaring that the British troops had won the victory, the Hessians not coming into action, and that English troops might now be considered "almost as good as foreign ones." Thus could the German egotism of this young royalty designate the army of a nation which had inherited the glories of Cressy and Agincourt, of Blenheim, Malplacquet, and Ramilies - victories such as no German army ever achieved till the Battle of the Peoples at Leipsic, in 1813.

But perhaps at no period of our history had the English government and public exhibited a more debased and degraded aspect than under this reign. Everything like nobleness and greatness of mind had fled; there was no glorious aspiration, no generosity, no magnanimity. The very patriots were venal and time-serving, and the few men who were above their age were treated with apathy and contempt. At the very moment that the parliament and nation here shouting acclamations to Cumberland, the wise and patriotic Duncan Forbes, who had done more than any man to prevent the rebellion, and when, spite of his warnings and suggestions, it came, had exerted himself incessantly, more like a soldier than a judge and a man of peace, to oppose the clans in arms, and to soothe down those who were ready to become hostile, was earnestly imploring the government to repay him one thousand five hundred pounds. This, indeed, was a small part of what he had laid down. He had spent three years' income to assist the government, and exposed himself to the vengeance of the clans. He had, in fact, greatly embarrassed his estate for the defence of the government, and he only asked this repayment, because it was a sum for which he had made himself responsible to others. But the noble lord-president implored in vain. He had given mortal offence to Cumberland by endeavouring to check his sanguinary proceedings, and had ventured to remind him of the authority of the laws. "Laws!" exclaimed the ruffian, "what laws? I'll make a brigade give laws!" But the heroic nobleman had still further offended. He had interceded for the unfortunate Highlanders, chiefs and men, and represented that there were other means now to calm the Highlanders besides cruelty and extermination. It was characteristic of the age, of the government, and the royal family then, that such a man should be contemptuously passed over, and his pleas be left unheard. He sank and died of a broken heart and a broken fortune in the following year, in the sixty-third year of his age. "But," says Sir Walter Scott, "he left behind him a name endeared to enemies as to friends, and doubly to be honoured by posterity."

The young pretender, during this time, had been making a hard run for his life, beset and hunted on all sides for the thirty thousand pounds set upon his head. After hiding for a few days in Glenboisdale, he got to Borrodale, where he had landed on coming to this country. Expecting to find a French vessel at the cluster of islands called the Long Island, he embarked in a boat with O'Sullivan, O'Neill, and Burke, and landed on Benbecula in the midst of a very stormy night. There was no vessel, and they were compelled to pass the wretched hours of darkness and the two following days with nothing else to eat but some oatmeal and water. They got thence to Lewis, where they engaged a fishing-boat to carry them to the continent; but the master of it, discovering who his chief passenger was, refused to put out on any terms. In returning to the mainland they saw two men-of-war, and, fearing they were English, avoided them; by which means they lost the passage to France, for they were French. After escaping a real English sloop they landed in North Uist, and about the middte of May in South Uist. There the great proprietor of the island, Macdonald of Clanranald, received them hospitably, furnished the prince with fresh shoes and stockings, for he was nearly barefoot, and refreshed him with generous food and wine, for his health and spirits were breaking down under the hardships he had passed through. But he was speedily obliged to abscond and hide himself again amongst the rocks, for general Campbell, afterwards duke of Argyll, came with a body of soldiers and several ships of war to search the islands for fugitives and disaffected. After exploring several of the neighbouring islands and taking many prisoners, suddenly he arrived at South Uist, surrounded it with his soldiers, ships, and boats, and commenced a rigorous search of the whole island. Nothing but the ingenuity and indefatigable fidelity of Clanranald and his people could have saved Charles. During the whole five months of his adventurous wanderings and hidings, nothing could induce a single Highlander to betray him, notwithstanding the temptation of the thirty thousand pounds. At this moment Miss Flora, or Flory Macdonald, of Milton, in South Uist, and a near relative of Macdonald of Clanranald, with whom she was on a visit, stepped forward to rescue him. She was so much excited by his sufferings and his dangers, that she agreed to convey him safely out of the island and to Skye. She procured a pass from Hugh Macdonald, her stepfather, who commanded part of the troops now searching the island, for herself, her maid, Betty Burke, and her servant, Neil Mac Eachan. She moreover induced captain Macdonald to recommend the maid, Betty Burke - which Betty Burke was to L J Charles in disguise - to his wife in Skye as very clever at spinning. At the moment that all was ready, general Campbell, as if suspecting something, came with a company of soldiers, and examined Clanranald's house. The prince, in his female attire, however, was concealed in a farmhouse, and the next morning he and his deliverer embarked in a boat with six rowers and the servant Neil. In passing the point of Yaternish, in Skye, they ran a near chance of being all killed, for the militia rushed out and fired upon them. Luckily the tide was out, so that they were at a tolerable distance, were neither hurt, nor could be very quickly pursued. The boatmen pulled stoutly, and landed them safely at Mugstole, the seat of Sir Alexander Macdonald. Sir Alexander was on the mainland in Cumberland's army; but the young heroine had the address to induce his wife, lady Margaret Macdonald, to receive him; and, as the house was full of soldiers, she sent him to her factor and kinsman, Macdonald of Kingsburgh, in the interior of the island. Near the house Charles put on a Highland dress, and Flora left him to the care of Kingsburgh and went home. Flora says that he had now recovered greatly his health and spirits. The next day Charles went over to the isle of Rasay, which was only six miles off, where he was received by the sons of Macleod of Rasay, who had been out with the young pretender at both Falkirk and Culloden, and were still hiding on the mainland. They could only, however, accommodate him in a cow-shed, for the soldiers had been there the day before, and burnt down every house in Rasay. Whilst he lay miserably there, his adventure had got wind, and Flora Macdonald was seized and sent to London, and Kingsburgh was seized and sent to headquarters at Fort Augustus. The enemy now knew that they were close upon his track, and it was almost by miracle that he escaped out of the isles to the mainland, where he was conducted by his faithful adherents from place to place through Rosshire, everywhere having to thread the lines of soldiers and sentinels which watched every pass. At length he was brought to a cave in the great mountain of Corado, between Kintail and Glenmoriston, inhabited by seven freebooters, who waited on him with the utmost zeal, "lifting," according to the Scotch phrase, or stealing for him whatever was necessary to his present comforts - food, clothes, linen, and even luxuries. With them he continued five weeks and three days, living more like a prince than since he left Falkirk, and having news and supplies brought by them from the very camp of Cumberland at Fort Augustus. One of these faithful bandits, untempted by the thirty thousand pounds, then conducted him to Glencoich, where he remained some time concealed with Cameron of Clunes and his sons in a little hut. Thence, by similar services, he was enabled to reach Mellanauir, in Badenoch, where Lochiel, who had been severely wounded at Culloden, and Macpherson of Cluny, were hiding. They took him to a little hut called the Cage, built of sticks, heather, and moss, in a thicket of trees on the rocky face of a high mountain, called Letternilinchk, in Benalder. The chiefs had a saucepan, with which they managed to cook so well, that when Charles was eating collops out of it with a silver spoon, he exclaimed gaily, "Now, gentlemen, I live like a prince!" In truth, they managed to live well in their concealment, having plenty of mutton, butter, and cheese, a ham, and a keg of whisky. Here the prince remained till the 13th of September, when news came that two French frigates had put into Lochnanuagh, under the direction of colonel Warner of Dillon's regiment, who was sent expressly to find him and convey him to France. Setting out immediately with his hospitable hosts, but, being able only to travel by night, it was the 20th of September before he got on board the French vessel. His late hosts, Lochiel and Cluny, as well as colonel Roy Stuart, and about a hundred other refugees, sailed with him, and they landed at the little port of Roscoff, near Morlaise, in Brittany, on the 29th of September, whence Charles hastened to Paris, was received in a very friendly manner by Louis XV., and by the Parisians, when he appeared at the opera, with rapturous acclamations.

Charles was, both in Scotland - on which his wild adventure had inflicted such miseries - and in France, a hero of romance; but his captured adherents had far other scenes to face than the lights and luxurious music of the opera. The wretched prisoners who were thrown into English dungeons, lest their own countrymen might on their trials sympathise too much with them, might truly utter such words as Burns has put into the mouth of one of the sufferers -

Drummossie Moor, Drummossie day,
A waefu' day it was to me!

So entirely was the insurrection quelled, so little likely was it that any renewal of it would ever again be attempted, that nothing could have been more worthy of the reigning family or more politic than to have shown a magnanimous clemency; but no such qualities rendered illustrious that heavy Hanoverian race. The king, it was said, was disposed to some degree of mercy; but Cumberland, drunk with blood, and yet thirsting for more, continued to urge "the utmost severity." The prisons were crammed to such a degree with the unfortunate Gaels, that government was compelled to stow numbers away on board of men-of-war and transports, till fevers broke out and swept them off by hundreds, sparing the labours of judges, juries, and hangmen. In Carlisle prison alone four hundred Scots were jammed in a space not properly sufficient for forty! The poor prisoners had been brought out of Scotland in open defiance of the Act of Union, and of the recognised rights of the Scottish courts; and now they were called on to cast lots for one in twenty to take their trials, with a certainty of being hanged, and the rest shipped off to the plantations in America without any trial at all. It was truly what Cumberland promised it should be - brigade law. Every principle of constitutional law was coolly ignored, as if, having put down their rivals, the Hanover family could now do as it pleased. In 1715 there had been some show of leniency; now there was a Draconian rigour exercised, in strange contrast to the humanity which Charles throughout had practised and recommended.

Amongst the first victims was colonel Townley and eight of his officers and privates of the Manchester regiment. They were hanged on Kennington Common, and all the ancient atrocities of tearing out their hearts and bowels and flinging them into a fire were perpetrated with disgusting formality. Similar odious executions took place at York, Brampton, and Penrith, and heads were stuck up over gates and in different places, as if the days of Jeffries were come again. About eighty such detestable exhibitions were made, the poor sufferers displaying a quiet courage and firmness which might have moved the heart of a Nero. Charles Radcliffe, the brother of the earl of Derwentwater, who escaped the earl's fate by breaking out of prison in 1715, had been taken on board a French vessel carrying supplies to the young pretender, and was put to death without any fresh trial. He pleaded that he was a French subject, holding a French commission, but without avail. He was beheaded on Tower Hill, and was buried by his brother in St. Giles's Church.

The duke of Perth had escaped on board a vessel and died at sea; lord Elcho had reached Paris in safety. Amongst the most distinguished persons captured were lords Kilmarnock, Cromarty, Balmerino, Mordington, and Lovat. Cromarty, Balmerino, and Kilmarnock were brought to trial before the peers in Westminster Hall on the 28th of July. "Cromarty," says Horace Walpole, "was a timid man, and shed tears; and Kilmarnock, though behaving with more dignity, pleaded guilty, both expressing remorse for their past conduct, and their fervent good wishes for the person and government of the king. But old Balmerino, the herd of the party, pleaded not guilty, and took exceptions to the indictment. He is," continues Walpole, "the most natural, brave old fellow I ever saw; the highest intrepidity, even to indifference. At the bar he behaved like a soldier and a man; in the intervals of form, with carelessness and humour. At the bar he played with his fingers upon the axe whilst he talked to the gentleman gaoler; and one day, somebody coming up to listen, he took the blade and held it like a fan between their faces. During the trial a little boy was near him, but not tall enough to see; he made room for the child, and placed him near himself." He took exception to the indictment, by showing that he was not at the taking of Carlisle, as stated in it, but that was overruled; and then he said, with a smile, he would give their lordships no further trouble. Whilst the peers withdrew to consider their verdict, Murray, the solicitor-general, afterwards lord Mansfield, asked him why he put in a plea which his solicitor previously assured him would be of no use. "Ah, Mr. Murray," replied the witty old nobleman, "I am certainly glad to see you. I have been with several of your relatives; the good lady, your mother, was of great use to us at Perth." As Murray's brother had been the young pretender's secretary, and his family altogether was very Jacobite, he felt no great temptation to renew such queries.

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Pictures for Reign of George II. (Continued.) page 14

Young Moidart
Young Moidart >>>>
Erecting the standard of the young pretender
Erecting the standard of the young pretender >>>>
Stirling castle
Stirling castle >>>>
Pinkie house
Pinkie house >>>>
Holyrood house
Holyrood house >>>>
Field of Prestonpans
Field of Prestonpans >>>>
Carlisle castle
Carlisle castle >>>>
Edinburgh castle
Edinburgh castle >>>>
Mrs. Skyring and young pretender
Mrs. Skyring and young pretender >>>>
Medal of Prince Charles Edward
Medal of Prince Charles Edward >>>>
Medal of James III
Medal of James III >>>>
Retreat of the young pretender
Retreat of the young pretender >>>>
Field of Culloden
Field of Culloden >>>>
Battle of Culloden
Battle of Culloden >>>>
The escape of the young pretender
The escape of the young pretender >>>>

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