Most of what you read and hear of the ’45 Rising was about the men of the time so here we’ve decided to do a quick tribute to the some of the women who played an important role in the Jacobite Uprising.
Today, we focus on two Annes; Anne MacKintosh and Anne Mackay.
Anne MacKintosh was the wife of the Clan Chief of Clan Chattan who fought on the government side. However, Lady Anne was an ardent Jacobite. When Prince Charles landed in Scotland at the age of 22, Anne took a pistol and money to threaten and bribe the men of Clan Chattan to join her and fight for the Prince whilst her husband was away. In total she managed to raise some 300 men who affectionately christened her Colonel Anne.
As Prince Charles retreated back up towards Inverness in early 1746 Lady Anne put him and some of his men up at her home of Moy Hall. Unfortunately, Lord Loudon of the government army heard of this and sent 1,500 of his men to attack Moy Hall and capture the Prince. Lady Anne and the Prince were vastly outnumbered but they didn’t give in just yet…
Lady Anne sent just five men out in the lands surrounded the house and they ran about screaming as many different war cries as they could, holding their kilts aloft to make them look bigger and crashing their weapons. The Govenment hearing the cries of many clans and spotting men around the house found their courage failing and retreated back without firing a single shot. Lady Anne had helped pave the way for Prince Charles to march back into Inverness.
Lady Anne didn’t quite get off scot free though and she was later arrested for her Jacobite activities and put in a town house. After six weeks during which time she was allowed visitors she was released into her husbands care. She later went on to meet the Duke of Cumberland at a ball in London where he apparently asked her to dance to a Government tune which she agreed to on the condition he would then dance with her to a Jacobite tune.
This just shows what money could do for you. Those less well off didn’t get treated so kindly, which brings us to Anne Mackay. A poor woman from Skye she moved to Inverness with her two children to await news of her husband who was fighting for the Jacobites.
Whilst in Inverness the Government used Annes cellar to imprison two Jacobite men, Ranald MacDonald and Robert Nairn after Culloden. Anne was convinced by a women of higher standing (no prizes for guessing who that might have been) to distract the guards thereby helping them escape for which Anne was arrested. She was offered 10 guineas to tell the Government where the men were hiding but she refuse to do so.
Her unwillingness to cooperate resulted in her being punished. She was beaten by the government men and forced to stand for 3 days without food or water. At the end of this she was so weak she had to crawl away and would never be able to walk properly again. Her son complained over the treatment of his mother and was beaten so badly he later died from his wounds.
These two women highlight the role women played in the ’45 but also the difference in treatment that was given based on your standing within the community.
Whilst we realise this may not be the most fun post we’ve written we hope you enjoyed learning a bit more about 18th Century life and as always do like, share, follow, tweet and tell all your friends about us.
All the best. K & D