A short while ago we wrote a blog post detailing some notable Jacobite events that took place in the city of Edinburgh; today we thought we would continue in the same vein with a post about Stirling (and some surrounding areas) and its Jacobite history.
The deposed James VII of Scotland and II of England and Ireland died in 1701. Since his deposition in 1688, which had been made official in 1689, the Jacobites had been attempting without success to get him restored to the throne. His son James Francis Edward Stuart succeeded him to the Jacobite claim.
In 1707 the Acts of Union merged the Scottish and English Parliaments, and Stirling Castle became one of the four Scottish fortresses to be permanently garrisoned by troops of the new British army. During the Jacobite Rising of 1715, an attempt was made by the Jacobites to take control of Stirling Castle.
The Jacobite Rising of 1715 is commonly referred to as The Fifteen, but also sometimes as Lord Mar’s Revolt. John Erskine, Earl of Mar, had been involved in the developments that led to the Acts of Union. By 1714 his opinion on the matter had changed; this, combined with a public snub from the new King, Hanoverian George I, led him to raise the Stuart standard and declare for James Francis Edward Stuart at Braemar in September 1715.
Mar managed to gather more than 10,000 men to the cause, and he and the army travelled around Scotland in a bid to gain control. An attempt to occupy Edinburgh Castle was unsuccessful, but he managed to gain control of most of northern Scotland by November. Stirling Castle remained the most northerly garrisoned castle, and so the Earl of Mar and the (around 8000) troops marched towards Stirling with the intention of taking it.
A small Government army (around 3000), headed by the Duke of Argyll, was waiting and intercepted them at Sherrifmuir, near Dunblane (around five miles from Stirling), and the two armies fought. The result of the Battle of Sherrifmuir was considered inconclusive; the Government army did lose more men, but the Jacobite army needed an outright victory to go on and take Stirling Castle. Around the same time, Inverness was captured by Government soldiers, and Jacobites surrendered at the Battle of Preston.
This combination of events so close to one another pretty much ended the Jacobite Rising of 1715. It carried on for a few months longer, but by the time James Francis Edward Stuart arrived in Scotland, the momentum had been lost, and he soon returned to France.
As time passed, James Francis Edward Stuart became known to some as The Old Pretender, and in 1745 his son Charles Edward Stuart travelled to Scotland to rally support and fight on behalf of his father. After spending time in Edinburgh, Prince Charles and the Jacobites had marched to England expecting new recruits. The trip was disappointing, and Charles and his army returned to Scotland.
At the beginning of 1746, having failed to occupy Edinburgh Castle a few months earlier, the Jacobites decided to besiege Stirling Castle, which was under the control of Major General Blakeney. To assist Blakeney, Lieutenant General Henry Hawley brought 7000 men to fight the Jacobites. The two armies fought at Falkirk Muir, and the Jacobites were victorious.
As the Government army had suffered a loss at Prestonpans under Sir John Cope, an immediate result of the attempt to besiege Stirling Castle and the Battle it resulted in was the arrival of the Duke of Cumberland to take charge of the Government troops.
The Jacobites ultimately abandoned their siege of Stirling Castle. They instead decided to go north to their Highland lodgings and renew the campaign in the spring.
We hope you enjoyed this post, as always please like, share, tweet and comment.
For the BBC Civilisations Festival we have some special guest posts. This one is written by D. Scott Hartwig who was supervisory historian for the National Park Service at Gettysburg National Military Park, where he worked for 34 years. He retired in 2014. He has his own Scottish ancestry with family lineage to the Grants and Gordons.
It is estimated by one source that some 50,000 Scots served in the Union army during the American Civil War. How many served in the Confederate States armies is unknown. While it would be possible using muster roll records to fairly closely determine how many soldiers of Scottish birth served on both armies, since place of birth was recorded on these records, we shall never know with any accuracy how many of Scottish descent actually served, so the 50,000 figure above is simply someone’s estimate. Unlike the Irish and Germans, who immigrated to America in large numbers during the late 1840s, 1850s and 1860s, large numbers of Scots had settled in America in the 18th and early 19th Century and had fully assimilated into the population by the time the Civil War began in 1860. There was no “Scots Brigade,” like the famous Irish Brigade, or army corps filled largely with Scots, like the German dominated 11th Army Corps of the Union Army of the Potomac. There was no Scottish voting block to be appealed to or manipulated as there was among the Irish and Germans. Scots were both Republicans and Democrats, and Confederates.
Efforts to create Scottish nationality units in the Union army met with mixed success. Because Scots had assimilated there was not the enthusiasm for Scottish formations like there was with the Irish and Germans. There were exceptions. In New York State the 79th New York State Militia was formed in 1858 by Scots and Scots-Americans. The numerical designation was selected to match that of the 79th Cameron Highland Regiment. When the war broke out in 1861 the regiment was mustered into the Federal service for three years. They fought at the First Battle of Bull Run where the regiment suffered 198 casualties, including James Cameron, it colonel, who was killed. Issac Stevens, A West Pointer and non-Scot was assigned to command the regiment which caused the men to mutiny. It was quickly suppressed when U.S. Regular infantry and artillery surrounded the regiment and trained their weapons upon them. From this low point the regiment steadily improved. When Issac Stevens was promoted to general, the regiment’s lieutenant colonel, David Morrison, who had served with the Black Watch 42nd Highlanders in the Crimea, was promoted to colonel. Although Irish, English, Germans, and other nationalities served in the regiment’s ranks, Morrison attempted to preserve the regiment’s Highland integrity by refusing to promote any non-Scot in the regiment above the rank of captain. The regiment participated in a number of the war’s major battles, including the Second Battle of Bull Run, South Mountain, Antietam, and Fredericksburg. The last elements of the regiment mustered out of the service in July 1865 having lost 199 officers and men dead to combat, disease or imprisonment.
In Illinois, Daniel Cameron, of Berwick-Upon-Tweed, who had settled in Chicago and was employed in the newspaper business, organized the 65th Illinois Infantry in May 1862. Known unofficially as the “Second Scotch Regiment” and the “Cameron Highlanders,” Cameron was unable to fill the ranks exclusively with Scots and a number of non-Scots served in the unit. It too had an unhappy early experience being caught up the debacle at Harpers Ferry, Virginia in September 1862 during the Antietam Campaign and surrendering with nearly 13,000 other Union troops. Its fortunes improved after this disaster. After being paroled it was assigned to duty in the western theater of the war, taking part in the defense of Knoxville, Tennessee, the Atlanta Campaign of 1864, and the bloody battles of Franklin and Nashville.
To get a sense of Scots who were somewhat typical of those that served during the war we shall narrow our focus to three individuals associated with the Battle of Gettysburg. The first of these was 1st Lieutenant James Stewart, the commander of Battery B, 4th U.S. Artillery. Stewart was born in Edinburgh in 1826. He immigrated to the United States in 1844 and attempted to earn a living as a printer. This did not work out for him and in 1851 Stewart enlisted as a private in the U.S. Army, a choice that often meant an individual had run out of any better options. But Stewart thrived in the pre-war army. He was assigned to Battery B, 4th U.S., which was then serving in the western United States. Over the years Stewart rose steadily in rank, to corporal, sergeant, and 1st Sergeant by 1861. With the outbreak of Civil War the battery’s captain was promoted and detached to other service and Stewart was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant. The newly promoted captain of the battery, Joseph H. Campbell, was a Scottish-American from New Hampshire.
The battery distinguished itself in the Battle of Antietam, where Campbell was badly wounded, and Stewart assumed command. The battery fought its guns against a fierce Confederate attack that was only repulsed with charges of double canister and the loss of 40 men killed or wounded, the highest casualties for any artillery battery in the battle. Stewart was also wounded but concealed his wound because he was afraid the battery would be assigned to the command of someone else. Still a second lieutenant – promotion came painfully slowly in the artillery service – Stewart commanded the Battery B at Gettysburg. During the late afternoon of July 1 the fire of its six Napoleon cannon helped to decimate an attacking Confederate North Carolina brigade. A Union infantry officer supporting Battery B wrote of how enemy fire “killed Stewart’s men and horses in great numbers, but did not seem to check his fire.” Of Stewart this same officer opined that the lieutenant “was as brave and efficient a man as ever fought upon a battle field.” For his performance in the first day’s fighting at Gettysburg Stewart was promoted to 1st Lieutenant on July 3, 1863, the final day of the battle. The Scotsman continued to distinguish himself through the rest of the war, earning brevet, or honorary promotions to captain and major for “gallant and meritorious” service in 1864 battles. Stewart remained in the Regular Army after the war, retiring in 1879. He died in 1905 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C.
Colonel Henry Boyd McKeen, commanding the 81st Pennsylvania Infantry, reflected the assimilation of Scots into American society. McKeen was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to a father of Irish decent and a mother whose father had been born in Storneway, Hebrides, Scotland. At Gettysburg, McKeen’s regiment fought in the Wheatfield, the scene of some of the bloodiest fighting of the second day’s battle on July 2. He earned the praise of his division commander who wrote that the colonel “behaved, as he always has on every battle-field, with the most distinguished gallantry, and brought off his command in perfect order.” McKeen would not survive the war. Having been promoted to brigade command in 1864 he was mortally wounded leading his command at the Battle of Cold Harbor on June 3, 1864.
77 year old James McAllister, like Henry McKeen, was born in Pennsylvania but was of Scottish descent. McAllister, his wife Agnes and their 7 children operated a grist and saw mill on Rock Creek a little over a mile south of Gettysburg. McAllister and his family, reflecting the abolitionist mood of Scotland in that era, helped found the Adams County Anti-Slavery Society in 1836. Part of the society’s work was to establish safe houses for runaway slaves. The border of Maryland, a slave state, was only five miles from McAllister’s, and his mill became one of the first stops on the Underground Railroad, the network of safe houses and pathways that escaped enslaved people followed to freedom in the North. McAllister took a considerable risk for the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act made it a crime to harbor escaped slaves, even in a free state like Pennsylvania. Yet, throughout the pre-war years the McAllisters helped hundreds of slaves to escape to freedom. When the war came, McAllisters sons enlisted in the Union army and one of them was killed at Vicksburg.
During the Battle of Gettysburg, McAllister’s home and buildings were just on the edge of the front lines of the two armies. Their close proximity to them meant that their home, mill and other buildings were appropriated for use as a temporary hospital. The Union 12th Corps established a hospital here on July 2 where both Union and Confederate wounded from the nearby heavy fighting on Culp’s Hill were treated and on July 3, the Union 1st Division, 2nd Corps moved its hospital here when heavy shelling drove it from its previous location. Thirty five identified soldiers who died at the hospital were interred on the property.
McAllister died in 1872, the family moved on and his home and mill gradually fell into disrepair. For a good part of the 20th Century the property, which was outside the boundaries of Gettysburg National Military Park, was used as a municipal dump. But a local group fought to have the dump moved and the site was officially recognized in 2011 by the U.S. Government for its important connection to the Underground Railroad.
Stewart, McKeen and McAllister are but three of tens of thousands of men and women (both local and those that came to help the wounded in the battle’s aftermath) from Scotland or of Scottish ancestry who helped make history at Gettysburg and throughout the American Civil War.
For the BBC Civilisations Festival we have some special guest posts. This one is written by Eric Schnitzer from Saratoga National Historical Park, Stillwater, NY.
A correspondent…with the officers of the Highland regiments at present serving in America, informs us, that nothing displeases the common men of that corps so much as to hear the provincials called Rebels. On a former occasion [the 1745 Jacobite Rising] many of themselves were dignified with that appellation. They then fought bravely, in what they thought was a just cause. The Americans will scarce fight at all, though they pretend their cause is equally just. The Highlanders, therefore, conceive themselves highly affronted, when the designation of Rebel is applied to an American. They think it involves in it a tacit reflection against themselves, as if they were cowards as well as the rebels. Of this they can by no means admit, and consequently will allow the Americans no other title than that of cowardly rascals.
—Caledonian Mercury, Edinburgh, 1 January 1777
Considering the Jacobite Rising of 1745, Scottish support at home and abroad for the Georgian monarchy against the rebellion in North America may seem counterintuitive. Although Scottish emigration to North America throughout the 18th century constituted perhaps as many as 70,000 people, Scottish support for the American Revolution was not fueled by Jacobean animus for the House of Hanover. In fact, Scottish immigrants and their descendants were more likely to side with government on this matter than against it. This is exemplified in the 1777 Battles of Saratoga, fought in upstate New York during the American War for Independence.
Many Scottish Americans supported the revolution, and many served it in key leadership roles. But the American revolutionaries who fought at Saratoga under the command of General Horatio Gates (an Englishman) were, categorically, from New England and New York’s Hudson Valley, neither of which were known for being heavily settled by Scotsmen. At Saratoga, the highest percentage of revolutionary Scotsmen served in a corps of 400 elite riflemen led by Colonel Daniel Morgan, the son of Welsh immigrants. This unit’s personnel were drawn from men who hailed from Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland, places more widely settled by Scottish immigrants. This was the most elite battalion that Gates had at his disposal.
But it was General John Burgoyne’s British Army at Saratoga which benefited more from the services of Scotsmen. Hundreds of the soldiers in his redcoat ranks were from Scotland, and Scottish officers in Burgoyne’s army held important leadership positions, such as the Earl Balcarres, who commanded the elite British light infantry battalion, and John Anstruther of Balcaskie, who commanded the 62nd Regiment of Foot. One of the regiments in Burgoyne’s army was the fusilier regiment representing Scotland, the 21st or Royal North British Fusiliers, whose officers and men were, predominantly, Scottish. But Scottish support for Georgian Britain didn’t end there, as substantial numbers of men loyal to the crown resided in upstate New York’s Lake Champlain and Hoosic River Valleys. The entire region was pocketed with lands granted to veterans whose battalions were downsized or disbanded after the Seven Years’ War. A high percentage of these men were from Scotland—in fact, the property owned by the author is surrounded by plots given to veteran Scottish officers named Grant, Campbell, Gregor, Bain, Gordon, and Monro. Most of these former British soldiers and their families flocked to the British banner and joined Samuel MacKay’s “Loyal Volunteers,” Daniel McAlpin’s “American Volunteers,” or Allan Maclean’s “Royal Highland Emigrants,” amongst others. Nowhere in the Army of the United States was Scottish patriotism likewise manifested.
Reflecting upon the Caledonian Mercury article above, overwhelming support for the crown as expressed by Scottish people becomes understandable. Supporters of the Jacobite Risings of 1715 and 1745 believed they were restoring the British Constitution, not destroying it. But as the 18th century wore on, and the Glorious Revolution and 1706/07 Acts of Union surpassed living memory, Jacobean sentiments were generally subsumed by British nationalism and loyalty to the Georgian monarchy. This generational shift is exemplified by the Frasers. Simon Fraser, 11th Lord Lovat, was executed in 1747 for his support of the 1745 Jacobite Rising. However, his son, General Simon Fraser of Lovat, raised a highland regiment which was deployed to America to combat the “cowardly rascals” in 1776. A cousin, General Simon Fraser of Balnain, commanded Burgoyne’s most elite troops and was mortally wounded in the 2nd Battle of Saratoga (7 October) whilst fighting to restore British governance in America. As to that, no one knows which American rifleman fired the shot, but stories point to Timothy Murphy (an Irishman), William Critchlow (an Englishman), or one Thomas Scott—a Scotsman.
By Eric Schnitzer, Saratoga National Historical Park
Culloden and the ’45 have acted as a backdrop to many different stories (from the stories of Bonnie Prince Charlie escaping the Highlands to lost gold and treasure) some with more truth in them than others; and on Friday the 2 March we are hosting a special screening of the short film 1745 – An Untold Story of Slavery.
Originally created by writer Morayo Akandé and developed together with her sister Moyo Akandé as The Atkin Sisters, “1745” won a place on the coveted Scottish Film Talent Shorts scheme for 2016.
Joining us for the evening will be the Director of the film Gordon Napier.
Gordon Napier is originally from the Highlands of Scotland Gordon has a Master of Fine Art in Film Directing at Edinburgh College of Art. Gordon was awarded the highly coveted UK Prince William BAFTA & Warner Bros. Scholarship for his film work and is supported by both organisations through his professional development. He’s also had varied film experience from working on big productions like Harry Potter and 007: Skyfall and on intimate charity documentaries in the Mongolian Gobi Desert. His focus is primarily on directing short fiction films, which explore the human condition and the complexities of family relationships through the prism of the natural world. Gordon has filmed extensively in the Highlands of Scotland – shorts include Annam and Tide.
The proceeds of the screening go to the National Trust for Scotland helping conserve and tell the story of some of Scotland’s most iconic sites and untold stories.
After the screening members of the team will run a twilight tour of the exhibition highlighting some of the links between Culloden and the history of slavery.
To celebrate the return of the Brodie Sword, from display at the National Museum of Scotland’s Jacobitesexhibition, we thought we would re-share the story of this intriguing sword.
Sword and Symbols
With the recent exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland, many iconic and beautiful pieces related to the Stuart court and its followers were brought together under one roof.
As part of the exhibition the book Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites was published by NMS; with a chapter dedicated to ‘Weapons fit for a Prince’ it brings new insights into the Brodie sword within the context of two other pieces – The Kandler Sword and a Targe
The Brodie sword was reportedly commissioned by James Drummond the 3rd Duke of Perth to be presented as a gift to the Stuart heir to the throne. A basket-hilted broad sword, the Brodie sword dates to the 18th Century, along with the sword the matching scabbard has survived and can be seen on display at Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre.
The basket hilt is constructed from moulded silver; with the individual pieces of silver cast and then soldered together to create the hilt.
The design centres on the Greek mythological being of medusas’ head. Medusa was a symbol used by the Stuart royal family, as for every head of the snake cut of more would appear.
A pair of snakes coming out from the head twist forming the wrist guard, on the hilt there are many military trophies – from Hercules club, swords, arrows to guns – with a dolphin found at the pommel. It was suggested by Helen Wyld and George Dalgleish that the Dolphin might relate to the French word Dauphin meaning heir to the throne (Wyld & Dalgleish, 2017).
The basket hilt features many images of conflict it also contains images of peace. From the olive branch (meaning peace) on the sword to yet more olive braches and the cornucopia (representing plenty) on the matching scabbard, the idea is that when the sword is sheathed at the end of the campaign and the ultimate goal of restoration for James VIII & III being achieved Great Britain will see peace and prosperity.
The Brodie Connection
This sword was said to have been removed from Charles Edward Stuart’s baggage train in the immediate aftermath of Culloden, the Dukes of Gordon (who fought on both sides of the ’45 conflict) had many objects related to the ’45 – everything from pieces of tartan to the beautiful sword.
It was in the care of the Dukes of Gordon until it came into the care of the Brodies through the marriage of Elizabeth Brodie (1794-1864) to George, fifth Duke of Gordon in 1813.
The castle ancestral home of the Brodie clan is a picturesque Brodie Castle in Moray. The castle has a history dating back over 400 years there is a magnificent collection of books, art and objects to explore.
We hope you’ve enjoyed finding out a little more about this amazing piece. Hopefully you will have a chance to come and visit it ! As always please like, share, follow, tweet, comment and let us know if you were able to visit the Jacobites exhibition at NMS.
Discover more about the symbols of the ’45at our Swords and Symbols event on the 26 November 2017
Forsyth, D. (2017). Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites. Edinburgh: National Museum Scotland .
Wyld, H., & Dalgleish, G. (2017). “A slim sword in his hand for batle” Weapons fit for a Prince. In D. Forsyth, Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites (pp. 80-93). Edinburgh: National Museum of Scotland .
On the 30 September Maggie Craig will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of her classic book Damn Rebel Bitches: Women of the ’45.
Damn Rebel Bitches takes a closer look at the roles women played in the Jacobite Rising of 1745 and the consequences it had on their lives.
Most people visiting Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre have heard the name Flora MacDonald, normally mentioning she helped Bonnie Prince Charlie when he dressed up as a woman, right…? Not necessarily knowing much else about her.
Many other women involved in the ’45 are virtually unheard of to some of our visitors. Here are just a couple which Maggie Craig looks at in her writing.
Barbara Campbell, red haired, age 19, and from Perthshire. She was described as tall and clever, she was arrested with seven other women on the Carlisle road in November 1745. On the 8 May 1747 Barbara was on the Veteran, a ship with 149 people destined for indentured service in Antigua. However, in a strange twist of fate Barbara and her fellow prisoners were rescued by a French ship.
Anne Stewart of Burray from Orkney was arrested for treason at her home in August 1746. Anne was transported to London by ship, she was then imprisoned on a prison hulk by Tilbury in Essex. She was imprisoned in a cabin on the ship (not the hold where common folk were kept) she slept on the floor and had the basic rate of subsistence, 4pence per day. She was transferred with the help of Colonel James Stuart, a government officer, to a house in Derby Court. After a trial, where her tenants testified against her, she was released under the general amnesty in July 1747 and went to live in Quality St in Leith.
Charlotte Robertson, Lady Lude was a young widow in her early 30’s and daughter of Jacobite supporter Lady Nairne, her cousin was the Jacobite Duke of Atholl, William. She threatened her tenants into joining the Jacobite army. Charlotte was described as a “…light gigelet…” and presented Prince Charles Edward Stuart with his first Pineapple! Her home was later plundered and vandalised by government soldiers and she was arrested. She was later released without charge.
Isabel Haldane of Ardsheal came to the attention of Captain Caroline Fredrick Scott of the government army. Scott, a notoriously nasty man, arrived at her home in August 1746 and ransacked her entire house and cut down the trees in the orchard. The doors and wood panelling were removed and the contents were taken to Fort William to be sold. At the time Isobel was pregnant and had her children with her.
Our recent visit to the National Museums of Scotland in Edinburgh was a fantastic trip and the collections of objects on show was brilliant. Amongst the artefacts were some unique touch pieces that were used during the Jacobites Risings.
Touch pieces were typically a coin or a medal that was believed to cure diseases or bring good luck. During the Jacobites Risings the Stuarts were believed to have the ‘royal touch’ and they were able to help cure people simply by touching them.
Most Jacobite touch pieces were used to help cure people of scrofula, a form of tuberculosis. The disease was also known as the ‘King’s or Queen’s Evil’ and many people “found” themselves cured after being touched by a monarch. This was seen to be proof that the monarch had the divine right to rule directly from God. However, scrofula was not generally fatal and could cure itself but that didn’t stop the idea of the ‘royal touch’ from growing.
When James VII & II was deposed and William and Mary took the throne they refused to participate in the ‘royal touch’. This furthered the idea for some Jacobites that Mary and William were not the rightful heirs to the thrones. When Mary’s sister, Anne took the throne she apparently shared William and Mary’s views and did not wish to touch people but her advisers convinced her to restart the practice.
All the Jacobite Stuarts, including Charles Edward Stuart and his brother Henry Benedict Stuart, were known to have carried out the ceremony to help cure their followers. There are lots of records of Jacobite touch pieces being made, it is believed the majority were made from silver, although there were gold versions produced.
The Stuart royal family were one of the last main users of touch pieces in British history as the practice eventually stopped, many believe this is because it was seen as too Catholic.
We hope you enjoyed finding out a wee bit more about touch pieces as always please like, tweet, comment, share and be sure to check out the Jacobite exhibition at the NMS in Edinburgh for yourselves.