William of Orange

William of Orange was declared King of Scotland, England and Ireland in 1689. This immediately followed the deposition of James VII and II; as a result, William and his wife Mary, who had been proclaimed Queen, were the first people that the Jacobites attempted to overthrow.

In 1672 the Dutch suffered the Year of Disaster known as Rampjaar. The French, English and Germans invaded. While fighting to defend the Dutch, William was made stadtholder in July. The following month, brothers Cornelis and Johan, powerful republican figures in Dutch politics, were brutally killed by Orange loyalists. To this day, opinions are divided as to how linked William was to the deaths. The Franco-Dutch War continued for another six years.

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William of Orange

William of Orange and Louis XIV made peace, but remained very suspicious of one another. William also made peace with the English, and sought to marry his cousin Mary to solidify this peace and strengthen his position. Her father, James, Duke of York, was reluctant to marry his daughter to a Protestant, but was persuaded to let it happen by Protestant ministers and his brother Charles II, who had hopes that James’ consent would increase his popularity among Protestants. William and Mary married in 1677.

In 1685, Charles II died, and Mary’s father became James VII and II, making her the heiress to the throne. When people grew resentful of James’ policies, plans were made to get rid of him. William successfully invaded England, James was deposed and William and Mary were there to fill the vacant position. Initially it was suggested that Mary would rule alone, but William was adamant about not being a mere consort, and Mary wanted her husband to rule with her. Those who had originally been against it, acknowledging William’s claim as a grandson of Charles I, complied with their wishes. In 1689, they were crowned Mary II and William II and III.

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Engraving of William and Mary

James attempted to fight back, but William’s forces defeated him at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, and James fled to France. Together, William and Mary passed the Bill of Rights, which limited their power as sovereigns. It also excluded Catholics from the throne. William was viewed as overconfident by many of his subjects, and many Scottish people in particular viewed him negatively due to his actions surrounding the Glencoe Massacre, as well as the lack of support he offered Scotland for its Darien scheme, an attempt to become a world trading nation. There was a failed assassination attempt on William by the Jacobites in 1696.

William took a bigger role than his wife when it came to leadership, though she was regularly left to rule on her own when he was fighting on the continent. The Jacobites viewed her as an ungrateful daughter, but to others she was likeable due to her warmth and generosity. Mary died of smallpox in 1694.

Mary and William had had no children, and William never remarried. Mary’s sister Anne was heiress to the throne, but by 1701, despite her many pregnancies, none of her children still lived. This lead to the Act of Settlement, which, ignoring the excluded Catholic Stuarts, stated that if Anne were to die childless, the throne would pass to Sophia of Hanover and her descendants.

In 1702, William’s horse stumbled on a mole’s burrow at Hampton Court Park. William fell off the horse and broke his collarbone. His health deteriorated, and he died from pneumonia. He was buried in Westminster Abbey alongside his wife. The Jacobites did not mourn him, and as the fall at the burrow was believed to have been the source of William’s decline, toasts were made to the mole – the “gentlemen in the black velvet waistcoat”.

We hope you enjoyed this post, as always please like, share, comment and tweet.

All the best, The Culloden Team

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Glasgow and the Jacobites

Having done blog posts on Edinburgh, Stirling and Aberdeen, today we thought we would write about Scotland’s largest city.

In Webster’s census, completed nine years after the Battle of Culloden, Scotland was recorded as having a population of 1,265,000, with around 23,500 of its people living in Glasgow. This was the first reliable census to be taken within the British Isles, and it showed a large increase in Glasgow’s population that had occurred since the beginning of the century, when it had been estimated at around 12,000.

 

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Mercat Cross in Glasgow

Before 1700, Scottish people were spread out across the country, working the land, but as a result of the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution, many moved to the bustling centres where there was an increasing demand for workers. When Scotland and England merged with the 1707 Acts of Union, Scotland was given access to trade with the Americas, and the Glasgow merchants had ships sent out to trade for tobacco, sugar, cotton and rum. Though Glasgow would later greatly support abolition, for a while the merchants benefited from the slave trade.

Many in Glasgow, a largely Presbyterian area, were initially against the Jacobites having no desire to see the Catholic Stuarts restored. However, despite promises of economic improvement, the 1707 Union did not bring the immediate benefits that the Scottish people had hoped for and, as a result, some of those who had been apathetic about or against the Jacobites began to support them in the hopes of James Francis having the unification undone. After failed 1715 and 1719 Uprisings, James made no further attempt to defeat the Hanoverians. By the time his son arrived in Scotland many years later, enthusiasm for the Jacobite cause had dwindled in Glasgow.

In 1745, Charles Edward Stuart wrote to the council in Glasgow requesting £15,000. Ex Provost Buchanan refused, stating that the people of Glasgow did not care for the cause, and that he feared their riots on the streets more than he feared the Jacobites. A smaller sum of £5,500 was given to appease Prince Charles, but simultaneously citizens of Glasgow were contributing money to fund Government troops to resist the Jacobites.

 

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Prince Charles Edward Stuart

Charles arrived in Glasgow at the end of 1745 and, perhaps attempting to give off more confidence than he felt, he held several balls. It was said that he admired Glasgow itself, but was forced to acknowledge that he had few friends there. He soon found out about the plans to raise troops against him, and angrily demanded that Provost Buchanan give him names, threatening to hang him if he did not. Buchanan gave no names but his own, declaring that he believed he was doing a duty, and that he was not afraid to die because of it.

Charles’s troops’ clothes were worn and ragged, and so he made Glasgow pay for them all to have new outfits before they left; this amounted to a cloth coat, two shirts, a waistcoat, a pair of shoes, a pair of stockings and a bonnet for each of his 6,000 men. This did nothing to endear the inhabitants of Glasgow to his cause. The Glasgow Militia would fight against the Jacobites at the Battle of Falkirk Muir in January 1746.

Before he left Glasgow, Prince Charles inspected his newly attired troops on Glasgow Green; a witness said of him, “He had a princely aspect, and its interest much heightened by the dejection which appeared in his pale fair countenance and downcast eye. He evidently wanted confidence in his cause, and seemed to have a melancholy foreboding of that disaster which soon after ruined the hopes of his family for ever.”

We hope you enjoyed this little insight into the Jacobites and Glasgow. As always please like, share, tweet and comment.

All the best, The Culloden Team