The Skirmish of Tongue

In March 1746, less than a month before the Battle of Culloden, a number of those belonging to the two conflicting sides met at Tongue, a coastal village in the Highlands; there, those loyal to the Jacobite cause were captured, and their ship, Le Prince Charles Stuart, was plundered.

The ship in question had been the British HMS Hazard, but had been stolen by some Jacobites a few months earlier in Montrose, before being sailed to Dunkirk and given its new name. Louis XV of France sent it back up to Scotland, filled with around 160 French, Spanish, Irish and Scottish men. Up until this point, the Jacobites had been disappointed in King Louis’ underwhelming acts of assistance. However, along with some supplies, Louis sent £13,000 in gold, which translates to a little over £1.5 million in today’s money.

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King Louis XV of France

The sailing over to Scotland was not simple though as it experienced trouble not long after leaving Dunkirk and was forced ashore by a couple of English privateers on the coast of Belgium. It suffered some damage, but not enough to stop Captain Talbot from wanting to continue the voyage to Scotland. The intention had been to disembark at Portsoy, a harbour town located about 50 miles from Aberdeen, but soon it became clear to Talbot that Le Prince Charles Stuart was being chased.

Four Government ships pursued Le Prince. Talbot, desperate and acknowledging his lack of knowledge of the area, took aboard two local fishermen to help him escape the enemy. Eventually on ship, the 24-gunned HMS Sheerness, broke off from the other Government ships and tailed Talbot, getting closer and closer. Talbot sailed into the Kyle of Tongue, where he hoped that the larger Sheerness would not be able to fully enter, but he ended up beaching his ship on a sandbank, trapping it as the Sheerness was still close enough to shoot.

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Kyle of Tongue

After several hours of continual shots being fired between the two ships, Talbot gave the orders to unload the goods. The plan was now for the crew to carry the gold and supplies to Prince Charles’ base in Inverness. As daylight broke the men began their trek to Inverness but the captain of the Sheerness had by this point realised that Le Prince was what had been known as HMS Hazard, and sent out a group to look for Government supporters to help to capture the Jacobite soldiers.

Before long the Jacobites were surrounded by Government men, and after several deaths and the arrival of further opposition headed by Captain George Mackay, the Jacobites surrendered, but not before reportedly throwing the gold into the water.

The surviving Le Prince men were captured and imprisoned aboard the Sheerness which prevented them from being able to fight at the Battle of Culloden. Le Prince became known as HMS Hazard again, and after some repairs, it was put back into the Government navy. As for the gold, it was largely recovered and shared among the Government leaders and their men as a reward for taking it from the Jacobites.

It makes for an interesting what if? The Bellona and the Mars arrived once the Battle of Culloden had been lost, but if the gold and soldiers of Le Prince had got to Charles in time, it is difficult to say how much of an impact it would have had, how much it could have changed things for the Jacobites. Not only would Charles have had money to properly feed, equip and pay the troops he already had, as well as hire new ones, but it would also have been a morale boost for the Jacobites to feel that they had such support and that the confidence of the leader they had been following was not unfounded.

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All the best, The Culloden Team

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Viscount Dundee

The first Viscount Dundee was one of the strongest supporters of the Jacobite cause in its beginning. His raising of the Standard was a mark of the start of the First Jacobite Rising in 1689, and his death at the otherwise victorious Battle of Killiecrankie a few months later was a huge blow for the Jacobites. He became known as a Jacobite hero, and can still be identified by the epithet ‘Bonnie Dundee’.

He was born John Graham of Claverhouse and was the elder son born into an old family situated near Dundee. After being educated at the University of St Andrews, he served with the French and Dutch armies, where he achieved some distinction. However, after striking a fellow soldier and subsequently being refused a promotion, he returned to Scotland in 1678.

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John Graham of Claverhouse aka Viscount Dundee

Back home, it was suggested to King Charles II, by his brother James, that Claverhouse be given charge of one of three sets of troops tasked with supressing the Covenanters in south-west Scotland. Claverhouse was frustrated at his lack of resources in this position, and was defeated at the Battle of Drumclog. He and his troops were then absorbed into the Duke of Monmouth’s army, and the Covenanters were defeated at the Battle of Bothwell Bridge a few weeks later. In the next decade, Claverhouse was given his other enduring nickname: ‘Bluidy Clavers’. The Covenanters dubbed him this for his perceived harshness in combating their movement.

James gave Claverhouse several proofs of his favour, which continued when he became King James VII and II in 1685; in 1688 Claverhouse was made Viscount Dundee. James’s rule, however, would prove rather short, and he was deposed soon after this appointment. Dundee was greatly disappointed when the Scottish Parliament ultimately ruled in favour of William and Mary as joint Sovereigns.

In March 1689, Dundee sneaked into Edinburgh Castle and encouraged the Duke of Gordon to continue to hold the Castle against the Government army. Dundee then travelled around in search of support. Before going home to his wife, he met with some Highlander allies. Although a Lowlander, Dundee was said to have had an interest in the culture of the Highlands, reading about their ancient songs, poems and customs. This knowledge, along with their united goal, probably helped to forge a bond between him and the Highlanders, who typically did not like being led by someone who was not one of them.

Dundee waited for news from the deposed King, before marching to Dundee Law to raise the Standard on 13th April 1689. He then departed and travelled around Scotland rallying support. Dundee had been branded a ‘fugitive and rebel’ and soon a reward was being offered for his immediate capture.

On the 27th of July, a Jacobite army (around 2,500), led by Dundee, met a Government army (around 4000), led by General Hugh Mackay at Killiecrankie. The Jacobites had a better position, starting on a hilltop above the Government soldiers, and the effectiveness of the Highland Charge meant that it was soon a decisive victory for them.

Dundee, however, had been hit by a musket ball and fallen off his horse. While dying, he was said to have asked a fellow Jacobite soldier, ‘How goes the day?’, to which the man replied, ‘Well for King James, but I am sorry for Your Lordship’. Dundee’s reported last words were in response to this statement: If it goes well for him, it matters the less for me’. There is a stone in Killiecrankie dubbed ‘Claverhouses’s Stone’ as he is believed to have died leaning against it.

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Claverhouse’s Stone

We hope you enjoyed this short insight into Viscount Dundee. As always please like, share, tweet and comment.

All the best, The Culloden Team

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Despite winning the battle, the death of their leader at Killiecrankie was a crushing setback for the Jacobites. It is thought that they lost around 700, including some of their best men. A few weeks later, under an inferior leader, the Jacobites were defeated at the Battle of Dunkeld, and before long the First Rising fizzled out.

 

 

 

 

Queen Anne

Anne was the last official Stuart sovereign, ruling Scotland, England and Ireland from 1702. During her time in power, Scotland and England merged and Anne became the first monarch of Great Britain, ruling until her death in 1714. Throughout her reign, the Jacobites considered her half-brother, the Catholic James Francis Edward Stuart, to be the true King.

Anne was born in 1665. Her uncle Charles II had been King since the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660, and her father, James, was the heir. Of James’s marriage to his first wife, Anne Hyde, Anne and her elder sister Mary were the only two children to live into adulthood. Anne Hyde died when her daughters were young, and James soon remarried. The fact that Mary of Modena, James’s second wife, was Catholic meant that the idea of the marriage was unpopular with many of the people. James was already suspected of being a Catholic, and this increased the rumours. Charles II insisted that his nieces Anne and Mary were to be raised Protestant.
In 1683, Anne married Prince George of Denmark, a Protestant. Two years later, Charles II died and Anne’s father became James VII and II. From the beginning of his reign, James attempted to increase the powers of the Catholic Church, which was met mostly with hostility and anger, including from Anne. As time passed, father and daughter became more and more estranged from one another. When Mary of Modena gave birth to a son, James Francis Edward Stuart, rumour spread that a baby had been smuggled in after the real heir had died. Of this, Anne, who had been absent from the birth, wrote to her sister in the Netherlands, “I shall never now be satisfied whether the child be true or false. It may be it is our brother, but God only knows…”

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Queen Anne

Several months later, Anne’s brother-in-law William of Orange invaded England, and James was deposed. Anne had been aware of William’s plans. James soon discovered that, as well as his daughter Mary siding with her husband, Anne had also abandoned him. He reportedly said, “God help me! My own children have forsaken me!” From then on he considered Anne and Mary “ungrateful daughters”. Mary and her husband William were crowned jointly in 1689, and James spent most of the rest of his life in France.
Mary II died in 1694. Mary and Anne had not been speaking at the time of Mary’s death, as she had suspected Anne’s best friend’s husband, the future Duke of Marlborough, of being a secret Jacobite. William III died in 1702. As they had had no children, Anne became Queen. Her father had died in 1701, and the Jacobites had proclaimed her half-brother James VIII and III.
In 1708, one year after the Acts of Union, James Francis landed in Scotland with a French fleet, intent on taking the throne from Anne. He failed, and no serious attempt was made again until a year after her death. As Anne had no surviving children, there was no clear successor. Obviously the Jacobites wanted it to be James Francis, but Catholics were barred from inheriting the throne. When Anne died of a stroke in 1714, George of Hanover, a distant Protestant cousin, inherited the throne, beginning the reign of the Hanoverians.

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All the best, The Culloden Team

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”.

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All the best, The Culloden Team

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

The Failed French Invasion of 1708

In 1701, James Francis Edward Stuart, at the age of thirteen, inherited the Jacobite claim; seven years later, with the help of the French, he attempted to invade Scotland and rule it and England as James VIII and III.

James Francis had spent most of his life in France, his family having been given shelter by King Louis XIV from 1688 onwards. Spain, Modena and the Papal States all supported James Francis, but in London the claim continued to be ignored, and when William of Orange died in 1702, James Francis’s half-sister Anne became Queen of Scotland, England and Ireland.

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Louis XIV

Louis XIV was a first cousin of James Francis’s father, and he believed wholeheartedly in the divine right of kings. The fact that James VII and II’s Catholicism had led to his deposition caused Louis, himself a Catholic, to offer support and a home in France for James and his family.

After nearly ten years of James VII & II living in France, Louis offered him the Crown of Poland. James refused it, feeling that his focus should be on the countries that he felt were his by hereditary right. Then, in 1697 Louis signed the Treaty of Ryswick, formally acknowledging William of Orange as King and agreeing not to offer James any military assistance. James still had his home at the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, and he lived his last few years quietly, though always making it clear to his young son that he saw him as the future King of Scotland, England and Ireland.

In early 1708, James Francis, being nineteen, felt that the time had come to do something. By this point, Louis XIV was back to being actively pro-Jacobite, having acknowledged James Francis as King. After the Acts of Union in 1707, it was believed to be an opportune time to rely on the Scottish people to fight for the Jacobite cause, as many had been angry about merging with England under Queen Anne. It was also believed that there would be few trained soldiers in Scotland to resist James’s landing, as many were away fighting in continental Europe. Louis sent someone to Scotland to judge the atmosphere, and it was reported back that the people of Scotland were eager to rise up for their true King.

 

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James Francis Edward Stuart

In February preparations were made for the journey. Six French regiments and the Irish Brigade gathered at Dunkirk. Louis XIV appointed Le Comte de Forbin Admiral of the fleet, with the instruction that, whatever happened, James Francis could not die. Almost 6,000 men filled the five warships and twenty frigates. Weapons enough for 13,000 men were taken aboard in anticipation of the large crowds that were expected to be there waiting for them.

James Francis contracted measles, so the departure was delayed until March. The journey was dangerous, as a result of the stormy weather, but de Forbin commented that James Francis faced it ‘with a courage and coolness beyond his years’. The plan had been to land close to Edinburgh, but the bad weather interfered with their navigation and they travelled too far north. A few members of the fleet were sent out in Fife, but only a small number of supporters had gathered to see James Francis.

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Le Comte de Forbin

Admiral George Byng arrived with a fleet of British warships, and proceeded to chase the French northwards. James Francis had asked to get off in Fife, but de Forbin had refused. Byng turned back, believing that he had missed the other fleet, but the French, with the belief that they were still being chased, continued to go north. They travelled across the north coast, around Cape Wrath and back to Dunkirk. Several ships were lost on the rocks.

The attempt was a failure and James Francis returned to France and joined the French army. His next attempt at taking the throne would come in the form of the 1715 Uprising.

We hope you enjoyed this short glimpse into history. As always please like, share, tweet and follow.

All the best, The Culloden Team

Louisa Stuart: The Princess over the Water

Louisa Maria Stuart was born in France in 1692, almost four years after her father was deposed as King of Scotland, England and Ireland. To the Jacobites, however, as her father was still seen as King James VII and II, Louisa was known as the “Princess over the Water”.

She was born the second living child of James and his second wife, Mary of Modena. Her brother, also James, was four years older than her. As there had been rumours of babies being swapped at their son’s birth, James and Mary of Modena invited several Protestants to witness the birth of Louisa, including her half-sister Queen Mary. Louisa was born at Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, the residence that had been gifted to her parents in their exile by King Louis XIV of France; she was named after Louis, who served as her godfather. Of her arrival, her father said, ‘See what God has given us to be our consolation in exile’; as she grew up, her parents continued to think of her in this way, nicknaming her ‘La Consolatrice’.

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Portrait of Louisa Stuart

 

Her father died when she was nine, and her brother was recognised as King James VIII of Scotland and III of England and Ireland in France, Spain, the Papal States and Modena. For accepting the claims, in London he was declared a traitor.

Louisa was taught religion, Latin and history, among other things, and as a teenager she enjoyed spending time at the French Court, where she was well-liked. Potential future bridegrooms were discussed for her, including one of King Louis’ grandsons and the King of Sweden, but nothing ever materialised. Her uncertain position acted as an obstacle, and it was believed that she was reluctant to leave her mother. Out of her personal funds, Louisa paid for some Jacobite daughters to be educated.

In 1712 James fell ill with smallpox, and after a while it was discovered that Louisa had it too. It soon became apparent that Louisa’s condition was worse than James’s. She was bled, which weakened her, and she slipped into a coma and eventually died. She was buried in Paris alongside her father. James was not told of his sister’s death until after the funeral, as it had been feared that his own health would have suffered if he had been told earlier. Luckily James managed to recover from the disease.

The year following Louisa’s death, things changed again for James Francis Edward Stuart. France had been a home to him for many years, but under the conditions of the Treaty of Utrecht, Louis XIV had agreed to offer him no more support. After Louis’ death in 1715, the French Government told James that he was no longer welcome. His 1715 Uprising failed, and he spent most of the rest of his life at the Palazzo Muti in Rome.

We hope you enjoyed this little post on Louisa Stuart. As always please like, share, tweet and comment.

All the best, The Culloden Team