One of the more well known characters of the ’45 Rising was Donald Cameron of Lochiel who was the 19th clan chief of Clan Cameron.
The Cameron clan were traditionally loyal to the Stuarts and fought in both the 1715 and 1719 Risings so, when Prince Charles Edward Stuart landed in Scotland in 1745, he quickly sent word to Lochiel in order to gain his support and his influence.
However, Lochiel, like many men at the time, had misgivings and initially sent his brother Archibald Cameron to meet with the Prince. On 19th August though Prince Charles was waiting at Glenfinnan when he saw Lochiel approaching with some 800 Cameron men forming the largest support of the Jacobite army.
Lochiel was considered a loyal and fair man and became known as ‘Gentle Lochiel’. After the Battle of Prestonpans he ordered that all the Government men should be taken care of and receive adequate medical attention. Similarly, when the Jacobite army marched through Glasgow, he ensured there were no reprisals for not supporting Prince Charles. Indeed to this day city bells are rung when the present Cameron of Lochiel enters the city.
Lochiel took part in all the major battles of the ’45 Rising. The Camerons were instrumentally in the seizing of Edinburgh and fought in the successful attack at the Battle of Prestonpans. Late in 1745 Lochiel was even made Governor of Edinburgh. It is reported that having secured Edinburgh Lochiel counselled Prince Charles to stop and strengthen his hold on Scotland. However, Prince Charles was determined to continue and Lochiel continued on the campaign down to Derby and back.
At Culloden the Camerons were positioned on the front line and struck the front line of the Government men. After the battle the Lochiel home of Achnacarry was burned to the ground and Lochiel was forced to go on the run. He eventually met up with Prince Charles in the hiding place of Clunys cave before both men managed to flee to France.
We hope you enjoyed this short insight into Lochiel. As always please like, share, tweet, comment and definitely read more about the Camerons of Lochiel who are a fascinating family.
All the best, D