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Reign of George II. (Continued.) page 2


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The seven persons who accompanied Charles Edward on this expedition, and who became widely celebrated as "the seven men of Moidart," were the marquis of Tullibardine, who was out in 1715 under the old pretender, and was now nearly exhausted by age - he was called the duke of Athol by the Jacobites, for such he would have been but for the attainder of 1716; Sir Thomas Sheridan, the tutor of Charles, who had so shamefully neglected his culture, and yet was high in his regard; Sir John Macdonald, who had been engaged in the Spanish service; Kelly, the nonjuring clergyman, who had been concerned in Atterbury's plot; Francis Strickland, an English gentleman; AEneas Macdonald, a brother of Kinloch Moidart, and banker in Paris; and Buchanan, the messenger formerly sent to Rome by cardinal Tencin, to demand the prince for the enterprise of last year.

Charles landed in Lochnanuagh on the 25th of July, o.s., and was conducted to a farm-house belonging to Clanranald, He then dispatched letters to the Highland chiefs who were in his interest. Principal amongst these were Cameron of Lochiel, Sir Alexander Macdonald, and Macleod. Lochiel was as much confounded at the proposal to commence a rebellion without foreign support as the Macdonalds. He set out, however, to meet the prince at Borrodale, the farmhouse already mentioned, and on his way called on Cameron of Fassefern, who gave him the sensible advice to write his reasons for not assenting to the scheme, but by no means to go, declaring that he knew Lochiel better than he did himself, and that, if he once came within the fascination of the royal presence, he would go, spite of himself. Lochiel neglected the advice, and the result was precisely what Cameron predicted. For a long time Lochiel stood out, and gave the strongest reasons for his decision; but Charles exclaimed, 4:41 am resolved to put all to the hazard. I will erect the royal standard, and tell the people of Britain that Charles Stuart is come over to claim the crown of his ancestors, or to perish in the attempt. Lochiel, who, my father has always told me, was our firmest friend, may stay at home, and learn from the newspapers the fate of his prince." "Not so!" instantly replied the impulsive Highlander; "I will share the fate of my prince, whatever it may be, and so shall every man over whom nature or fortune has given me any power."

The decision of Lochiel determined the whole Highlands. The Macdonalds of Skye held back when sent for, but numbers of others were immediately influenced by the example of Lochiel. Macdonald of Keppoch, Macdonald of Glengarry, and numbers of others sent in their adhesion. The 19th of August was fixed for the raising of the standard, and Charles meanwhile exerted himself to win over the people by the adoption of the Highland costume, by learning a few phrases of Gaelic, and by making himself as agreeable as possible. He landed his little stock of arms and money, and sent back the "Doutelle" to France, with letters to his father in Rome, painting his prospects in glowing colours, and requesting him to confer on Mr. Walsh the patent of an Irish earldom, with which James is supposed to have complied. Charles then removed to Kinloch-Moidart, the residence of the chief of that name, where he was joined by Murray of Broughton, who brought with him from the south the manifestos of Charles ready printed. Charles appointed him his secretary, which post he continued to hold during the expedition.

On the 16th of August a party of English soldiers, sent by the governor of Fort Augustus to reinforce the garrison at Fort William, were assailed by a number of Keppoch's Highlanders in the narrow pass of High Bridge. They attempted to retreat when they found they could not reach their antagonists in their ambush, but they were stopped by a fresh detachment of the followers of Lochiel, and were compelled to lay down their arms. Five or six of them were killed, and their leader, captain Scott, wounded. They received the kindest treatment from the conquerors, and as the governor of Fort Augustus refused to trust a surgeon amongst them to dress the wounds of captain Scott, Lochiel immediately allowed Scott to return to the fort on his parole, and received the rest of the wounded into his house at Auchnacarrie. At the news of this first success, trifling as the affair was, the Highlanders began to flock to the raising of the standard, which took place at Glenfinnan, a gloomy and desolate valley, through which the river Finnan runs, betwixt craggy and lofty mountains, the valley being closed at each end by a lake, or loch, as the natives term it. Charles proceeded from Kin- loch-Moidart to this wild and nearly inaccessible spot, lying about fifteen miles from that place, and as many from Fort William. He expected on his arrival to find the glen swarming with Highlanders, but it lay in its melancholy solitude, and he entered a hut to await the arrival of the clans. For above two hours not a soul appeared, but then the sound of the bagpipe was heard, and Lochiel and his Camerons were seen descending the hills, marching in two lines of three men each, and between them the two English companies taken prisoners on the 16th. The Camerons were about six hundred men, but only partly armed, and other clans made up perhaps eight hundred.

A knoll in the middle of the valley being selected, they proceeded to erect the standard. The marquis of Tullibardine, as highest in rank, though feeble and tottering with age, was appointed to unfurl the banner, supported on each hand by a stout Highlander. The colours were of blue and red silk, with a white centre, on which, some weeks later, the words Tandem triumphans were embroidered. Tullibardine held the staff till the manifesto of James, dated Rome, 1743, appointing his son regent, was read; and as the banner floated in the breeze, the multitude shouted lustily, and the hurrahs were boisterously renewed when Charles made them a short address in English, which few of the common class understood. Notwithstanding, they flung their bonnets into the air, and made the welkin ring. Captain Swettenham, an English officer, who had been taken on the day before the skirmish, as he was travelling to take command at Fort William, was a spectator of the scene. He had been rudely handled by the common men, but, as soon as he reached the gentlemen, they treated him with much courtesy, and Charles now liberated him, telling him that he might "go and tell his general what he had seen, and add that he was coming to make war on him."

Scarcely was the ceremony over, when Keppoch arrived with three hundred of his clan, and other smaller parties came in, amongst them some of the Macleods, who enrolled themselves, declaring their chief a coward and a traitor, and offering to return to Skye and raise the clan. The little army encamped that night in Glenfinnan; O'Sullivan, an Irish officer, was appointed quartermaster, and the next morning they commenced their march. Charles was joined, on the way to Auchnacarrie, the house of Lochiel, by Macdonald of Glencoe with one hundred and fifty men, by the Stuarts of Appin, under Ardshiel, with two hundred, and Glengarry the younger with about the same number, so that he soon had about one thousand six hundred men.

The slowness with which the government became aware of these proceedings is something astonishing in these days of telegraphs and railroads. Though Charles sailed on the I 2nd of July, n.s., it was not till the 30th of the same month, o.s., that lord Tweeddale, the Scottish secretary of state in London, was informed even that he had left Nantes. He had actually been in the country five days before it was known that he had left France. Even then the report was received with incredulity. The English government sent a dispatch to Edinburgh, immediately to announce the fact; but on the 8th of August, three weeks after Charles's arrival on the coast, the lord president wrote back discrediting the information. "I consider," he said, "the report of the sailing improbable, because I am confident the young man cannot with reason expect to be joined by any considerable force in the Highlands," Six days only after this, the adherents of the young man had surprised and taken prisoners two companies of his majesty's troops, and only nine days after the standard of rebellion was erected in the presence of these troops amid eight hundred armed enthusiasts, and with the contagion of insurrection flying with the fiery cross through the Highlands. This is the more extraordinary, as the lord president, Duncan Forbes, was one of the most active and intelligent, as well as most able and public-spirited, men in Scotland. His seat was at Culloden House, near the very heath which so soon was to become famous for the great battle which extinguished the Stuart struggles for ever. On receiving the news, however, he hastened up to his Highland residence, to render any service to the established government which his influence and office enabled him.

Sir John Cope was the commander of the forces in Scotland, and he immediately gave orders for drawing together such troops as he had to Stirling. These were extraordinarily few. There were two regiments of dragoons, Gardiner's and Hamilton's, but both recent in the service; and the whole force at his disposal, exclusive of garrisons, did not amount to three thousand men. It is amazing, indeed, to consider how poor and insignificant was the whole body of troops then maintained in England, notwithstanding the critical state of affairs both at home and abroad, and the amount of expenditure for them. There were several companies of a Highland regiment, under the command of the earl of Loudon, lying at Inverness, that is, in the very quarter to march down on the embryo rebellion and tread it out. But these could not be trusted. Had they attempted to lead them against Charles Edward, they would probably all have disappeared, like one of their own mists, amongst the mountains, and reappeared only beneath the standard of the Stuart.

Cope was eager enough to march into the Highlands, even with such forces as he had, and crush the insurrection at once. He proposed this apparently active and judicious scheme to the lords justices in England, George II. himself being at Hanover, and they warmly approved of it, and issued their positive orders for its execution. It was, in truth, however, the most fatal scheme which could be conceived. The spirit of rebellion was fermenting in every glen and on every hill, and for regular troops to march into these rugged fastnesses, was only to be shot down by invisible marksmen on all hands, and reduced to the extremity of the two companies already captured. The plan was to have secured all the passes into the Lowlands, to have drawn his forces to the feet of the mountains wherever a descent could be made, and blockade the rebels in their own mountains till they could be reduced by gradual approaches and overwhelming numbers. Famine, indeed, would soon have tamed any large body of men in those sterile regions. But Cope was a man of willing mind, but of no military talent. He was wholly unfit to cope with such a difficulty as lay before him, and should have been superseded by some more competent commander.

Carrying with him a proclamation by government, offering thirty thousand pounds to any person who should secure and deliver up the pretended prince of Wales, Sir John marched out of Edinburgh for the north on the very day that the standard of the Stuarts was erected in Glenfinnan, the 19th of August. On the following day he continued his route from Stirling, accompanied by one thousand five hundred foot, leaving, very properly, the dragoons behind him, as of no service in the mountains, nor capable of finding forage there. He took with him, however, a large drove of black cattle to kill for food, and abundance of baggage, besides a thousand stand of arms to distribute amongst the people whom he expected to flock eagerly to his assistance. When he arrived at Crieff, and not one such patriotic volunteer had presented himself, Sir John had learned his first unpleasant experience, and sent back seven hundred muskets to Stirling. He then continued his march towards Fort Augustus, which he hoped to make the centre of his operations, and then to strike a sudden and annihilating blow on the handful of rebels. As he proceeded he was harassed and bewildered by the most contradictory accounts in anonymous letters, sent for the very purpose of mystifying him. One statement was, that Charles had landed accompanied by ten thousand Frenchmen; another, that he was not come at all; a third, that he was come, but was hurrying back as fast as he could go; another, that he was not in the Highlands, but had landed at Leitb, and encamped on the banks of the Goose Dubb, a pool under the walls of Edinburgh. Amid pretendedly serious intelligence and palpable ridicule, Sir John marched on with his four field pieces and his ponderous baggage, till he met Captain Swettenham at Dalnacardoch, on the 25th of August, from whom he learned the reality of the capture of the two companies sent to reinforce Fort William, and of the raising of the standard on the 19th. Captain Swettenham estimated the rebels, when he left, at one thousand four hundred, but he had learned a day or two before at Dalwinnie, that they now mustered six thousand, and that they meant to dispute the passage at Corry Arrack, a huge, wild mountain lying directly in the line of his march towards Fort Augustus. This Corry Arrack had been made passable by one of general Wade's roads, constructed after the rebellion of 1715, to lay open the Highlands. The road wound up the mountain by seventeen zig-zags or traverses, and down the other side by others, called by the Highlanders the Devil's Staircase; but it traversed several torrents, which came thundering down deep and craggy ravines, which were crossed by narrow bridges. Three hundred men were capable, much more three thousand, to stop an army in such a situation; and Cope, instead of deciding what he should do under the circumstances, adopted the resource of weak commanders, and called a council of war. There the whole of the officers decided against attempting to cross Corry Arrack, or on keeping their ground near Dalwinnie. One only voted for returning to Stirling. At length it was agreed that they should take a side route, and endeavour to reach Inverness and Fort George. Before Cope would even act on this conclusion, he made the officers give their recommendation of it in writing with their signatures. The resolve was a fatal one, for it gave the appearance of a flight to the army, and left the road open to Stirling and the Lowlands.

Charles, on his part, had determined to occupy Corry Arrack. For that purpose he had made a forced march, disencumbered himself of all possible incumbrances by burning his own baggage, and encouraging his followers to do the same. On the morning of the 27th he stood on the north side of Corry Arrack, and, as he put on his brogues, he is said to have exclaimed, with exultation, " Before these are unloosed, I shall be up with Mr. Cope." To his great astonishment, however, when he reached the summit, all was one wild solitude - not a man was visible. At length they discerned some Highlanders ascending, whom they set down for part of lord Loudon's regiment, forming the English vanguard. They turned out to be only some deserters, who informed them of the change in Cope's route.

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Pictures for Reign of George II. (Continued.) page 2

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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