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Reign of George II. (Continued.) page 3


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At this news, the Highlanders were filled with exuberant joy. They demanded permission to pursue and attack Cope's soldiers; but the chiefs saw too clearly the grand advantage offered them of descending suddenly into the Lowlands by the road thus left open. Whilst Sir John was making a forced march to Inverness, which he reached on the 29th of August, the Highlanders were descending like one of their own torrents southwards. In two days they traversed the mountains of Badenoch; on the third they reached the vale of Athol. The Grants of Glenmoriston, one hundred men, had joined him at Corry Arrack, and, as they proceeded, others swelled their ranks, issuing from their respective glens as they passed.

In one quarter Charles had not succeeded as he expected: this was with the wily and hardened villain, lord Lovat - a man covered with almost every crime, and with complicated treasons. Charles had sent him his patent of duke of Frazer, and his commission of lord-lieutenant of all the northern counties; and Lochiel had personally waited on him. At the same time, Duncan Forbes, the lord president, and Robert Craig, the lord advocate, were pressing him to join the royal army. Lovat still lay waiting to see what party was likely to succeed before he committed himself, and, endeavouring to draw all present advantage that he could, he gave to both parties hopes of joining them, but represented to the representatives of king George that he had been so ill-used by that government, that though he, in spite of all this, retained the most unabated zeal and loyalty, and could bring one thousand two hundred men into the field, he was totally destitute of arms. He therefore earnestly entreated that arms for that number should be delivered to him forthwith at Inverness, and then, he declared, they should see how he would exert himself in the king's service; that, if they did not get these arms immediately, they should be certainly undone. The wise Duncan Forbes was induced to join in the demand for the supply of these arms to Lovat, who, if he had got them, would, as it turned out, have used them against the giver. Lovat, in his letters to the lord-advocate and to Forbes, used the most hypocritical language. He said he heard that that mad and unaccountable gentleman (the young pretender) had set up a standard at Glenfinnan, that chief after chief were joining him, that he regretted that his dear cousin Lochiel had joined in the mad enterprise, that he had prayed God ever since he had had his reason that they might have no civil war in Scotland; and in every letter he still pressed for arms, or his clan, he said, would be extirpated, who, otherwise, were, by their valour and situation, capable of saving the king and government. All this time the old miscreant was writing to Lochiel, "My service to the prince; I will aid you what I can, but my prayers are all that I can give at present."

Macpherson of Cluny, the son-in-law of Lovat, and head of a powerful clan, played the same game. He was appointed by the government captain of a company, but in an attack of the rebels on the barracks of Ruthven, he was taken prisoner, according to general opinion a very willing one, and, after some consultation with Charles, agreed to return to his district, and raise it in his favour. He declared that even an angel could not have resisted the fascinating solicitations of the prince; in fact, the Highlanders were all delighted with Charles. He was a fine, well-made man, taller than any of the Gaels, and did everything in his power to ingratiate himself with him. He introduced the few Gaelic phrases that he had learned on every opportunity, dressed in their costume, ate their country dishes with an assumed relish, and partook of all their fatigues, at night rolling himself in his plaid on the open heath, and there sleeping like the rest of them.

On the 30th of August they reached Blair Castle. The duke of Athol, the proprietor, fled at their approach, and old Tullibardine resumed his ancestral mansion, and gave a splendid banquet there to Charles and his officers. He also feasted and entertained them for $ couple of days, praising the alterations and improvements which his younger brother had made during his exile, and especially the growth of pineapples, which were the first Charles Edward had ever tasted. During the stay there, Mr. Oliphant of Gask, Mr. Mercer of Aldie, Mr. Murray, the earl of Dunmore, lord Strathallan, with his son, and lord Nairn, the son of the peer of that name, who was attainted and condemned in 1716, came in. On the third day they resumed their march, and reached Perth on the 4th of September, which the prince entered on horseback, amid loud acclamations. Instead of taking up his residence, as his father had done in 1715, at the ancient palace of Scone, he went to another house of lord Stormont's in the town, where he gave a ball to the ladies, but astonished them by only dancing one measure, and then hurrying away, saying it was absolutely necessary for him to visit his sentry posts.

In fact, all his time was required to bring his army into some order and to recruit his finances. The four thousand louisd'ors which he brought from France had already disappeared, except a solitary one, which he showed to one of his followers. He therefore sent out parties, through Angus and Fife, to proclaim James VIII.; to enlist men, and to levy contributions. The city of Perth furnished-five hundred pounds, and his partisans in Edinburgh sent him several sums, partly as loans, to be repaid when the restoration was accomplished. Some few men and a little money were brought in from the country round; but as there was a fair holding at Perth, Charles sent the traders passports to secure their goods from plunder; and, seeing a draper from London amongst them, he bade him, on his return, acquaint his fellow-citizens that he hoped to see them at St. James's in a couple of months. He spent his time in actively drilling his troops, and bringing his raw recruits into some degree of order.

Whilst at Perth, he received two valuable accessions to his party - the titular duke of Perth, who brought with him two hundred men, and lord George Murray, the brother of the duke of Athol and of Tullibardine. The duke of Perth had been taken to France, on the death of his father, by the duchess, and educated there. He was young, well disposed, but of little skill or ability. Horace Walpole calls him a "silly, race-horseing boy." When Charles landed, the government sent a captain Campbell to arrest him at Drummond Castle; but he made his escape, and hastened to the rebel camp. Lord George Murray was a man of maturer age. He had been in the insurrection of 1715 with his brother, Tullibardine; had fought at the battle of Glenshiel, and afterwards served some years in the Sardinian army. Receiving his pardon, he had lived quietly in Scotland with his family, and might, probably, have continued loyal, had he not been refused a commission in the British army. He was the ablest general in the rebel army; but he was of a blunt and impatient temper, and haughty in his address, which injured his influence. He recommended Charles not to spend too much exertion on the formalities of discipline, for perfecting which there was no time, but to trust rather to the national impetus and mode of warfare of the Highlanders. Unfortunately, a rivalry immediately sprang up betwixt him and the duke of Perth, which continued to augment to the end, and did immense mischief to the cause of the pretender. In all these broils Mr. Secretary Murray took the part of the duke against lord George, as hoping to obtain more power over the weak duke than the able and self-sufficient lord Murray. Lord George did not the less incur the enmity of Sir Thomas Sheridan, the prince's tutor, whose notorious ignorance of our laws and constitution he never omitted to notice and deride.

Charles wrote from Perth to lord Barrymore, in London, entreating him to urge forward the arrangements of the Jacobites there. He was importuned to issue a proclamation in retaliation of the government one, offering thirty thousand pounds for his head. At first he refused; then said he would only offer thirty pounds; but, at length, when weary of refusing, he only consented to offer the same sum for the head of the elector of Hanover, by accompanying the offer with the remark that he trusted no follower of his would ever attempt to obtain the reward; that it was a practice unusual amongst Christian princes; and by adding to the proclamation the words - "Should any fatal accident happen from hence, let the blame lie entirely at the door of those who first set the infamous example." It is but justice to Charles to say that he carried this abhorrence of assassination with him to the last, and showed the utmost reluctance to punish such attempts on his own person.

Having heard that General Cope, having seen his blunder in leaving open the highway to the Scottish capital, after having reached Inverness, began a rapid march on Aberdeen, trusting to embark his army there and reach Edinburgh in time to defend it from the rebel army, Charles marched out of Perth on the 11th of September, his little army having been increased by one hundred Highlanders, under Robertson of Strowan, besides the two hundred under the duke of Perth, and a few Lowlanders. On the road, he was joined by two hundred and fifty men under Macgregor of Glenguile, and sixty Macdonalds under their chief. He reached Dumblane that evening, and on the 13th he passed the fords of Frew, about eight miles above Stirling, knowing that several king's ships were lying at the head of the Frith. On their approach, Gardiner retired with his dragoons from the opposite bank. These dragoons had boasted that they would cut the rebels to pieces; but they made no attempt to prevent their crossing, but rode away after Hamilton's, and the other body of them left by Cope at Stirling, which, some days before, had retreated to Leith. Stirling, being deserted by the troops, was ready to open its gates; but Charles was in too much haste to reach Edinburgh. As his troops marched, on the 14th, within a mile of Stirling, the soldiers in the castle fired one or two cannon shots at them. Traversing the field of Bannockburn that evening, the prince took up his quarters for the night at Callendar, the seat of the Earl of Kilmarnock, and the army was disposed of in the broom fields near Callendar House, and in the town of Falkirk. Hearing that Gardiner, with his dragoons, intended to dispute the passage of Linlithgow Bridge, Charles sent on one thousand Highlanders, before break of day, under lord George Murray, in the hope of surprising them; but they found that they had decamped the evening before, and they took peaceable possession of the town and the old palace. The prince himself came up on the evening of that day, Sunday, the 15th, where the whole army passed the night, except the vanguard, which pushed on to Kirkliston, only eight miles from Edinburgh.

The consternation of the city may be imagined. The inhabitants, who had, at first, treated the rumour of the young pretender's landing with ridicule, now passed to the extreme of terror. The Jacobites had purposely fostered that contempt, by laughing at the enterprise as absurd, and at all measures taken against it as utterly needless; but the news that Cope had marched towards Inverness, instead of blockading the way of the rebels towards the south, and that Charles was marching down upon them, and had already entered Perth, threw the capital into a wild panic. The Edinburgh Evening Courant (says Mr. Chambers, in his History) still endeavoured to ridicule the Highlanders, as good for nothing but to talk of snishing (tobacco), king Jamesh, ta rashant (the regent), plunter, and new progues; but the authorities began, in a confused hurry, to make preparations for defence. The state of the fortifications of this northern capital, which was sure to be early attacked, on any Jacobite invasion, and of the soldiers, regular and irregular, however, showed the gross neglect of the government. Never was a place, or an army of defence, in so disgraceful a condition. Nothing that we have ever read of the improvident abandonment of all means of resistance, and all military discipline, in Spain or Portugal, exceeded that of Edinburgh and its garrison. Whilst we had been spending millions upon millions of money, and tens of thousands of lives, on the continent - in simple fact, only to protect Hanover - not a thought appears to have existed for the defence of Scotland and its capital.

The authorities were tossed about betwixt the conflicting news of the approach of prince Charles on the one side, and Cope on the other. Whilst the citizens were sent to work to strengthen their crumbling ramparts, and barricade the city gates, one of Sir John Cope's captains arrived, demanding transports to be instantly sent to Aberdeen, to bring in his troops. These transports were dispatched on the 10th of September, and the citizens, says Mr. Home, afterwards the author of the popular tragedy of Douglas, in the "History of the Rebellion," passed their time in anxiously looking up at the vanes and weathercocks, in terrible suspense as to whether the winds would bring their friends before the arrival of their enemies. The prince did not leave them long in doubt; news arrived that he was within a few miles of the city. The castle was safe in its own strong position, and with a small, but sufficient garrison, commanded by a bold and experienced officer, general Guest; but as for the town, it was surrounded only by an old ruined wall, in some places twenty, in others, not more than ten feet high; and which, though it had parapets, they were, in most places, too narrow to mount cannon upon them. As for the forces to defend the city, there were the two regiments of Cope's dragoons, which had already fled at the first sight of the enemy. They were now to be drawn up at Corstorphine, about three miles north of the city. To support them, it was determined that the city guard should march out, and also a band of volunteers. What service the city guard was likely to render, might be augured from their conduct in the Porteus riot. The volunteers never exceeded five hundred; they had been only embodied a few weeks, and were in the rudest condition of discipline. They included a considerable number of students, full of courage but destitute of training, and of still more citizens, trembling for their shops and families. Besides, there were some bands of militia, styled the Edinburgh regiment, which had never been called out since 1715, except for a parade, and a dinner annually on his majesty's birthday. Such were -the defenders of the capital of North Britain. The command of all these unorganised troops was intrusted to the lord provost, Archibald Stewart, who had as little military knowledge as any of his men; and instead of regular engineer officers, the preparation of the new fortifications was thrown on professor Maclaurin, a famous mathematician, who could, no doubt, have drawn out able diagrams on paper, but who had neither experience, time, nor materials for the necessary work.

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Pictures for Reign of George II. (Continued.) page 3

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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