Carlisle and the Jacobites

The city of Carlisle, located in the northern English county of Cumbria, has special significance in regards to the 1745-46 Jacobite Rising; then a town belonging to the historic county of Cumberland, Carlisle was the site of two sieges at the end of 1745.

Charles Edward Stuart had landed in Scotland in July 1745. After success at the Battle of Prestonpans, he and the Jacobites marched across the border into England to amass further support and take the throne back for the Stuarts. General Wade, in charge of the Government army, had his troops based in Newcastle upon Tyne. The Jacobites avoided Newcastle, their plan being instead to travel down to London through the North West of England. Capturing Carlisle, the first fortress on this route, would advance their mission.

The Jacobites reached Carlisle and it was soon apparent that the town’s defences had been neglected. More attention had been paid to the towns in the North East, such as Newcastle, which had been prepared for any suspected attacks from the Jacobites for weeks; Carlisle, on the other hand, had had less time and, consequently, was defended by a garrison mostly made up of old and infirmed men, with its Castle and wall being described as dilapidated by the locals. The siege lasted for just under a week before Carlisle surrendered to the Jacobites.

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Prince Charles Edward Stuart

Along with its capitulation, from Carlisle Prince Charles also got arms and horses for the Jacobites. With increased confidence, he and his army (excluding the 100 men he left to form a garrison in Carlisle) left and marched south. To the Jacobites’ disappointment, they found far fewer recruits in England than they had expected, although in Manchester 300 men volunteered and formed the Manchester regiment. There was also little explicit support from France.

In early December, the Jacobites turned back at Derby, after reaching the conclusion that it would be unwise to continue on to London. On their way back to Scotland, Prince Charles and the army stopped again at Carlisle, where he left a further 250-300 men (including the Manchester Regiment, who having suffered many deserters, now totalled 118) to garrison the Castle against the Government army.

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Carlisle Castle

On the 21st of December, Government troops, now led by the Duke of Cumberland, marched to Carlisle to retake it. General Wade had been replaced due to the displeasure at how he had failed to tackle the Jacobites on their journey to and from Derby. Unsure of when help would come from Scotland, and up against an army using large gun batteries, the Jacobite troops at Carlisle eventually surrendered on the 30thDecember.

They were immediately imprisoned within the Castle, where they were kept in squalid conditions, without food or water. There are accounts of them licking the stones of the dungeon walls in an attempt to obtain some liquid. Some were hanged, with others being transported. There is a legend that the traditional Scottish folk song “Loch Lomond” was written by a captured Jacobite at Carlisle Castle. The line “O, ye’ll tak’ the high road, and I’ll tak’ the low road” is the prisoner saying that his “true love” will return to Scotland without him, but his execution will mean that his soul will travel back there straight away.

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All the best, The Culloden Team

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Dundee and the Jacobites

In the past six months, we have written blog posts on Jacobite connections to the cities of Edinburgh, Stirling, Aberdeen and Glasgow; today, here is one about Dundee.

After the deposition of James VII and II in 1688, his loyal supporters felt the need to do something to get him reinstated as King, and the Jacobite cause was born. In April 1689, the Parliament of Scotland, located in Edinburgh, declared for William and Mary. John Graham, 1st Viscount of Dundee, angered at the decision, marched with fifty men to the top of Dundee Law, a volcanic sill, and raised the Stuart Royal Standard. This signalled the beginning of the first Jacobite Rising.

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Dundee Law

The immediate response to Viscount Dundee raising the standard was rather unenthusiastic in the surrounding area. Dundee Law was outwith the burgh walls, and when Viscount Dundee attempted to enter Dundee, he found that the gates were locked and the walls were guarded with Government men. Despite the fact that he had just declared himself a ‘rebel’, curiously the garrison at Dundee made no attempt to capture or fight him, and so he travelled north in an effort to rally support for James.

Viscount Dundee would die at the Battle of Killiecrankie a few months later. Though the outnumbered Jacobites won against the Government troops, his absence as leader would be felt deeply. The Jacobites’ loss at the Battle of Dunkeld a month later ended the first Jacobite Rising.

In 1715, there was another rising, with the Jacobites aiming to get James’s son, James Francis Edward Stuart on the throne. The Earl of Mar proclaimed for James VIII and III at Braemar, and at first the Rising was successful, with the Jacobites holding several places, including Dundee. Their success was not to last, and by the time James Francis arrived in Scotland in December, the momentum had been lost. He visited a few places, including Dundee, in an attempt to spur people on, but soon, acknowledging that things had not worked out, he returned to France.

Following the 1715 Rising a number of Jacobite supporters lost their positions including Mr Wedderburn, the Clerk of Dundee. However, this did not stop his son John Wedderburn, revealing himself to be just as loyal to the Jacobite cause as his father had been when the 1745 Rising began. He fought with the Jacobites at Falkirk Muir and Culloden, and at the end of the latter he was arrested and moved to London for a trial.

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John Wedderburn

His signature recorded on tax receipts he collected for the Jacobites condemned him and he was sentenced to death. His young son rode to London to ask their contacts there for help in pleading for his fathers life, but tensions were high, and he was refused by them. His son also tried to convince John to dress up as a woman and attempt to escape from prison but John refused to do so. Afters months in capture John was hanged, drawn and quartered at the end of 1746.

These are just a couple of stories about the Jacobites and Dundee but we are sure there are plenty more to be found.

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All the best, The Culloden Team

 

Cromarties Regiment

George Mackenzie the 3rd Earl of Cromartie, born in 1702, became the Earl after his father John Mackenzie died in 1731. During the Jacobite rebellion of 1745 George Mackenzie was doubtful about joining Charles Edward Stuart in his campaign to regain the British throne for a Stuart king.

Eventually George was persuaded by kinsmen and none other than the ‘old fox’, Simon Fraser the 11th Lord Lovat, to take up arms against the government for the ‘Bonnie Prince’. Lord Lovat handed George his great-great-grandfather’s sword, entitled ‘The Triumphing Sword of the Clan Mackenzie’ telling him to support his prince and be loyal to his country.

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George Mackenzie, 3rd Earl of Cromartie
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John Mackenzie, Lord Macleod

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even though a lot of Mackenzie clansmen joined the government side during the ‘45 there were some Mackenzies who had a strong sense of being a Highlander, and felt they owed it to themselves and to Scotland to join George and his son John Mackenzie, Lord Macleod, in the fight for the British throne.

George and his son led 500 Jacobite Mackenzies, known as Cromartie’s Regiment, at the battle of Falkirk on the 16th of January 1746 after the return from Derby. The Mackenzies helped the Jacobites defeat the government troops, this victory also marked the last noteworthy Jacobite success during the ‘45.

After Falkirk, before Cromartie’s Regiment joined the bonnie prince on the way towards Culloden they laid waste to the lands of the Clan Munro and Clan Sutherland. They  burned Foulis Castle which was the seat of Clan Munro and captured Dunrobin Castle which was the seat of Clan Sutherland. Both Clan Munro and Sutherland supported the government during the ’45, and that made them an enemy of the Jacobites.

On the 15th of April 1746, a day before the Battle of Culloden the Earl of Cromartie was making preparations to travel back south to meet Charles Edward Stuart. Before they left they were attacked by the Mackay and Sutherland Highlanders who were supporting the government, in what later became known as the Battle of Littleferry. Cromartie’s Regiment was defeated; George and his son John were captured at Dunrobin castle and were not able to Join Prince Charles and the other Jacobites, and they never saw the horrors of the Battle of Culloden.

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Cromarties’ Regiment at the Battle of Littleferry

Soon after George Mackenzie and his son were captured the Earl of Cromartie’s titles were forfeited, until the title was recreated in 1861. John, the son of George Mackenzie, 3rd Earl of Cromartie, kept a diary during the Jacobite rebellion of 1745 which was taken from him during his capture. This Diary is now in the hands of Register House in Edinburgh. The Diary tells about how tough the Jacobite life could be, often being ill equipped and poorly paid and having a small amount of food.

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Earldom of Cromartie Crest

Ultimately George was tried and sentenced to death but was never executed. He received a conditional pardon, probably because his wife was heavily pregnant. Even though he was pardoned he was condemned to living in extreme poverty because all his lands and his family estates based at Castle Leod were confiscated. Many years later George died in London at the age of 63 in 1766.

His son John Mackenzie, Lord Macleod, was never brought to trial after his capture even though he confessed and pleaded guilty to high treason. John received a full pardon in 1748 on the condition “that within six months of his 21st birthday he would convey to the Crown all his rights in the Earldom”. John eventually died many years later on the 2nd April 1789 at the age of 62.

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All the best, The Culloden Team

 

 

Aberdeen and the Jacobites

Having recently done blog posts on Edinburgh and Stirling, today we thought we would write about another Scottish city’s connection to the Jacobites; here are some significant events that took place in Aberdeen.

During the 1715 Jacobite Rising, James Francis Edward Stuart was proclaimed King at the Mercat Crosses of Aberdeen and Old Aberdeen (the two being separate until the end of the nineteenth century). Decorated with engravings of Scottish Monarchs, thistles, roses and unicorns (Scotland’s national animal), the Mercat Crosses around Scotland, as well as being centrally located, held a lot of symbolic importance. There are more than a hundred Mercat Crosses in Scotland, and they were traditionally the site of many public occasions, including markets and fairs, executions and the proclamation of a new monarch; to this day, important public events, such as the calling of a general election, are read out at the Mercat Cross in Edinburgh.

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Mercat Cross in Aberdeen

 

After James was proclaimed King, elections were held at the Kirk of St Nicholas for a new Council. The Fifteen ended up failing, and James travelled back to France in early 1716. The Jacobite army heard about his return to France in Aberdeen.

Almost thirty years later, James’s son Charles Edward Stuart came to Scotland on his father’s behalf to fight and get him recognised as King. The Jacobites attempted to replicate what had been done previously at the Mercat Cross in Aberdeen. Once they found the keys to the monument, they forced the Provost, as well as several Council officials, to go to the Mercat Cross and witness their proclamation in support of Charles and his father. A few of the councillors toasted to their health, but the Provost refused.

After arriving in Edinburgh near the beginning of 1746, the Duke of Cumberland made his way to Aberdeen with the Government army. While there, the Government army gathered supplies and Cumberland had them trained in new tactics, which he hoped, after the army’s defeats at the Battle of Prestonpans and Falkirk Muir, would ensure success. They left Aberdeen at the beginning of April.

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Duke of Cumberland

 

After the Battle of Culloden, The Tolbooth in Aberdeen held almost a hundred known or suspected Jacobites as prisoners. There were mostly made up of tradesmen and servants. Some of the upper classes did not escape being branded traitors; Alexander Irvine, 17th Laird of Drum, and his younger brother fought on the Jacobite side at the Battle of Culloden. They were listed among those ‘never to be pardoned’. Alexander escaped to Drum Castle in Aberdeenshire, and hid in a secret room, while his sister spoke to some of the Government troops. His brother Robert died in an Edinburgh prison, but after a few years in exile, Alexander was allowed to return to his estate.

We hope you found this short post interesting. As always please like, share, tweet and comment.

All the best, The Culloden Team

Edinburgh and the Jacobites

Culloden Battlefield, located a few miles outside of Inverness, the “capital of the Highlands”, is probably the place that people associate most with Charles Edward Stuart and the Jacobites. Before the Battle of Culloden in 1746, the Jacobites had been attempting to get their rightful king (James VII & II and when he died in 1701, his son, James Francis Edward Stuart) on the thrones of Scotland, England and Ireland for more than fifty years. There are several cities and locations that hold special significance when learning about the Jacobites and their journey; today, we will start with a post about Scotland’s capital.

James VII of Scotland and II of England and Ireland succeeded his brother in 1685, before being deposed three years later during the Glorious Revolution. Not long after becoming King, James had appointed the Duke of Gordon, a fellow Catholic, Constable of Edinburgh Castle. In March 1689, the Castle was besieged by 7,000 Government soldiers, who were there to claim it on behalf of William and Mary.

Viscount Dundee, who went on to fight and die at the Battle of Killiecrankie a few months later, climbed up the Castle in order to urge the Duke of Gordon (whose resolve was shaky) not to surrender. The siege ended up lasting for three months. During that time, serious developments were happening in Parliament; William and Mary had already been proclaimed King and Queen of England and Ireland in February, and on the 11th of April, the Parliament of Scotland, its meeting place being at Parliament Hall, Edinburgh, declared that James was no longer King of Scotland, and that William and Mary were to be the joint sovereigns. They were proclaimed King and Queen of Scotland in Edinburgh the following day.

Meanwhile in Edinburgh Castle, supplies were dwindling and the Government troops were standing strong outside. In addition to these problems, there were instances of sickness and religious discordance among the 160 within the Castle. By the middle of June, the number inside had dropped to 90, and the Duke of Gordon surrendered the Castle. Under the 1707 Acts of Union, Edinburgh was one of four castles, alongside Stirling, Blackness and Dumbarton, to be permanently garrisoned by the Government troops.

There were further attempts by the Jacobites to reclaim the Castle. During the Jacobite Rising of 1715, Lord James Drummond led around 100 Jacobites in an attack. They tried to scale the Castle walls at night, but ladders dropped for them were too short. The Government troops were alerted, and the Jacobites were forced to abandon their siege. Those who had attempted to help them from within the Castle were either whipped or hanged.

Thirty years later, in September 1745, Charles Edward Stuart, campaigning on behalf of his father, James Francis Edward Stuart, arrived in Edinburgh. Thousands of spectators lined the streets as he made his way through the city, and the courtyard fountain at Linlithgow Palace was said to have flowed with red wine in celebration. People cheered as he made his way to Holyrood Palace, where he stayed and held court for the following six weeks.

However, the Government soldiers who garrisoned Edinburgh Castle, led by General George Preston, held out against Charles Edward Stuart and the Jacobites. On the 21st of September, the Jacobites defeated a Government army, headed by Sir John Cope, at Prestonpans, a small fishing town on the east side of Edinburgh but the castle held strong. The Jacobites had no heavy guns with which to combat the shots coming from the Castle, and ended up withdrawing after several lives had been lost and damage had been done to the city.

Finally, in November, Charles Edward Stuart and his army left Edinburgh and marched to England with the expectation that they would find more recruits there and the hope that they would be able to overthrow the Hanoverians. However, it wouldn’t be long before they made their long retreat back north and stood at Culloden for their final battle.

We hope you enjoyed this foray into the Jacobites and Edinburgh. As always please like, share, tweet and comment.

All the best, The Culloden Team

Lion vs Elisabeth

Prince Charles Edward Stuart set sail from Nantes at the end of June 1745 on board the frigate Du Teillay. This ship met up with the larger Elisabeth at Belle-Ile before heading to Scotland with some 700 men, 20 cannon, 11,000 arm and 2,000 broadswords. However, the journey to Scotland would not be plain sailing.

As the ships rounded the south-west coast of England they spotted the royal navy warship HMS Lion. The Lion quickly steered towards Prince Charles’ group and pulled up alongside the Elisabeth. As they came within range both ships opened fire. The Lion was designed for combat with 64 guns whereas the Elisabeth was likely heavier and less well equipped. Nevertheless both ships bombarded each other with shot after shot.

The Du Teillay with Prince Charles aboard apparently tried to fire at the Lion on a couple of occasions but was fairly easily pushed back. The smaller ship had little choice but to hand back out of range and watch as the action between the two ships continued.

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Action between HMS Lion and Elizabeth and the Du Teillay, 9 July 1745 Serres, Dominic
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© National Maritime Museum Collections

 

It is said the ships fought for several hours. The Elisabeth could not outrun the Lion but it managed to cause substantial damage. After hours of relentless fire the Lions masts were badly damaged, at least 45 men were killed and many more were injured. The Captain of the Lion, Captain Percy Brett was wounded along with most, if not all, of his lieutenants. The Elisabeth though was no better. The British sailors of the Lion had displayed their impressive skill and the Elizabeth was also badly damaged. On board the Captain was killed along with many others. The ships had no choice but to give up and return to their respective ports. The HMS Lion headed back towards Plymouth whilst the Elizabeth would head back to Brest.

This however, left the Jacobite party in a bit of a quandary. The Elisabeth held much of the essential arms and men that the Jacobites needed to kick-start the ’45 Rising with a show of strength, to lose it would be a big loss. With the damage it had incurred the Elisabeth was said to be listing quite badly in the water, so any attempt to try to move supplies across to the Du Teillay would have been too dangerous. Some aboard the Du Teillay suggested they should head back alongside the Elisabeth and regroup to try again another day. However, Prince Charles was seemingly against this as he feared people would see it as another failure and he would face ridicule. Thus the Elisabeth slowly struggled back to Brest whilst the Du Teillay continued on heading for the Western Isles of Scotland.

We hope you enjoyed this little bit of history. As always please like, tweet, share and comment as much as you like.

All the best, The Culloden Team

Jacobite Women

We love uncovering stories about the women who played a role in the Jacobite Risings and we’ve found some good ones we wanted to share with you.

Firstly, we look at Jenny Cameron who was described by one man as ‘a genteel well-look’d handsome woman with a pair of pretty eyes and hair as black as ink.’ When Prince Charles Edward Stuart first come over to Scotland, and attempted to raise supporters at Glenfinnan, Jenny Cameron was one of the first people there along with 200 clansmen and a herd of cattle.

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Glenfinnan Monument

 

Throughout the 1745 Rising Cameron travelled with the Jacobite army, being present at both Prestonpans and Falkirk. Clearly not content to stay at home, there are reports of her wearing a tartan doublet and carrying a sword as she travelled with the army. In February 1746, before the Battle of Culloden, Jenny was captured at Stirling and was sent to Edinburgh Castle as a prisoner. She was later released but was never fully trusted as there were government agents said to be watching her as late as 1753.

Another feisty women was Lady Margaret Ogilvy. Her husband, Lord David Ogilvy, joined the Jacobite cause and Lady Ogilvy, as with Jenny, refused to stay at home. She joined the army on their campaign in Glasgow and was even said to have used her husbands spare horse to ride with them. After Culloden she too was taken prisoner and also placed in Edinburgh Castle. Not one to give up though Lady Ogilvy managed to escape.

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Lady Ogilvy

 

Lady Ogilvy convinced the old lady who did her laundry to swap clothes with her and by apparently mimicking the old woman’s walk she was able to walk past the guards and exit the castle freely without being spotted. After her escape she planned to reunite with her husband and made her way south to Hull. Here, she would set sail for France where Lord Ogilvy waited. However, before she could make it aboard a ship there was a worrying moment when she was mistaken for none other the Prince Charles Edward Stuart himself. Luckily she managed to convince the Government accuser that she was not Prince Charles, and was in fact a woman, and she was able to make her escape to the continent.

It would be fair to think her story ends here but whilst in France, and finally reunited with her husband, she fell pregnant. Refusing to have the child born outside of Scotland she daringly managed to return undetected and gave birth to a child in Angus. Eventually both herself and her husband were pardoned and were able to return permanently to Scotland unrestricted.

We hope you enjoyed these stories which are just two of many great tales that surround the Jacobite ’45. As always please like, tweet, share, comment and let us know who else you would like to hear about.

All the best, K & D