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

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The Battle of Falkirk Muir

On the 17th January 1746, just under three months before Culloden, the Jacobites won their last battle.

After their success at Prestonpans in September 1745, the general feeling among the Jacobites was one of increased optimism. Charles Edward Stuart, along with the Jacobite army, marched to England in November, reaching Derby in December. He had been hoping to find English and French recruits waiting to join the Jacobites so that they could march on London and overthrow the Hanoverians; upon arriving in England, however, they were all soon disappointed. Back in Montrose, 800 French soldiers had joined, but of the 12,000 that Louis XV had promised to aid an invasion, no more had arrived. There were also fewer English additions than had been expected. Charles wanted to continue onto London regardless, but he was convinced not to, and on the 6th December the Jacobite army began their march back to Scotland.

When the Jacobites returned to Scotland, they were strengthened by the addition of some more recruits, which brought their number to almost 8000 (mostly infantry, with around 300 cavalry). The Jacobites besieged Stirling Castle, which was under the control of Government Major General Blakeney. In an attempt to help Blakeney, Lieutenant General Henry Hawley (known by men as Hangman Hawley due to his harsh treatment of deserters) led a Government army of around 7,000 (mainly infantry, with approximately 700 dragoons) towards Stirling, but found that he was blocked by Lord George Murray at Falkirk Muir.

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Lord George Murray

 

The Jacobite troops were deployed on the 15th and 16th January, as George Murray had been expecting an attack, but the Government army remained in their camp. On the 17th, Henry Hawley, feeling that a battle was not imminent, went to have lunch with Lady Kilmarnock. It was then that George Murray decided to attack, marching the Jacobite army into two lines. As this was happening, Henry Hawley was alerted, and he and his army made the steep climb to meet the Jacobites.

The conditions of the ground at Falkirk Muir, unlike at Culloden, were good for the Highland Charge. Hawley underestimated the power of the Charge, believing that his soldiers would be triumphant due to the speed at which they had shown they could fire volleys of musket shot; on the day, however, as a result of the horrible weather, most of the powder was damp, and as a result the volleys shot were rather weak. A tactic used by the Jacobites to fight the dragoons was to thrust their dirks into the horses’ stomachs, before attacking the dragoons as their horses lost balance.

The battle itself lasted for about twenty minutes, but as a result of the heavy winds, rain and fading light (the battle had begun at 4pm), there was initially a bit of confusion as to who had won. The Government survivors had retreated towards Linlithgow, and it was not until the next day, when George Murray saw more than 300 dead Government men lying on the ground, that he was sure that the Jacobites, who had lost around 50, had won. It is estimated that a further 300 Government soldiers were captured.

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Battle of Falkirk Memorial

 

The Jacobites abandoned the siege of Stirling Castle, and instead decided to go north to their Highland strongholds with the plan of renewing the campaign in the spring. The Duke of Cumberland arrived in Edinburgh on the 30th January. Henry Hawley met with him and the two, along with the rest of the Government army, travelled to Aberdeen. The Duke of Cumberland made sure than the troops were practised in a new tactic that would make them able to withstand a Highland Charge (in a pair the troops were told to always stab at the right regardless of what was coming towards them, reducing the power of the targe). In pursuit of Charles Edward Stuart and the Jacobites, they reached Culloden in April, where the two armies fought for a final time.

We hope you enjoyed this insight into one of the most famous battles of the ’45. As always please like, share, tweet and comment.

All the best, The Culloden Team

A Family Affair…

The Jacobite story is a long one and has many complexities to it, from religion, to politics, to economics; there is a lot to contend with. But, the first thing you need to get you head around is the family connections, of which there are many.

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Firstly, let’s look at the Jacobites. We can start with James VII & II who was king from 1685-1688 when he was deposed. This is what kicked off the first Jacobite Rising in 1688, known as the Glorious Revolution. We then follow a pretty simple line with his son James VIII & III becoming ‘the Old Pretender’ and trying to take back the throne, and then his son Prince Charles Edward Stuart as ‘the Young Pretender’ making his attempt in 1745.

Meanwhile, there are obviously changes in the monarchy when James VII & II was deposed. The crown first passed to his daughter Mary, who ruled with her husband William of Orange. When they both died without heirs it then moved to James VII & II’s other daughter, Anne, who ruled until 1714.

At this point though there was a problem. The next successor should have been James VIII & III but many in the government did not want this. So, whilst Anne was still on the throne,  they passed a law that prevented Catholics from taking the throne, thereby ruling James VIII & III out of contention.

 

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House of Stuart – made by local school pupils

 

 

To find the next monarch they went back through the family tree to find the closest, suitable, relative. This takes us back to James VI & I whose granddaughter was Sophia of Hanover. She was named as the successor to the throne. Unfortunately, she died shortly before Anne so the next monarch was her son, George I.

By the time we reach the 1745 rebellion we have George I’s son, George II on the throne and it is his younger son, William Augustus, the Duke of Cumberland who fights Prince Charles Edward Stuart at Culloden. Both men were 25 years old and were distant cousins.

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House of Hanover – made by local school pupils

 

 

 

In terms of other key historical figures which we sometimes get asked about at Culloden. Mary Queen of Scots was the mother of James VI & I. She was also the great niece of Henry VIII and challenged his daughter Elizabeth I to the throne but failed. Robert the Bruce was alive from 1274-1329, so quite a while before the Jacobites, but he was a direct ancestor of the Stuarts as James VI is his 8x great grandson.

We hope that helped you make a bit more sense of the family tree and the succession of the monarchs. As always please like, share, tweet, comment and feel free to ask us any questions you may have.

All the best, K & D

 

 

The Incredible Rout of Moy

The Rout of Moy is a fantastic story in the Jacobite Rising of ’45 and one that we had to share with you.

In the early months of 1746 Prince Charles Edward Stuart was making his way north on his long retreat from Derby. The Jacobite army had split into two parties who were to regroup in the neighbourhood of Inverness. Lord George Murray led one faction along the coast road whilst Prince Charles heading straight through the mountains up the centre of the country.

By 16th February 1746 Prince Charles had reached the town of Moy where he and a few of his men were entertained at Moy Hall. The seat of the chief of the MacKintosh clan he was entertained by none other than Lady Anne MacKintosh who had helped raise the clan for the Jacobite army. Meanwhile in Inverness Lord Loudon, one of the Government leaders, had caught wind that Prince Charles was in Moy and planned a surprise attack to capture the Prince.

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Lady Anne MacKintosh

 

As evening came in Lord Loudon set off with 1,500 men to enact his plan for capture. As they left though it is believed that the daughter of an innkeeper heard of the plan and set off to reach Moy Hall before the Government troops. She managed to reach the Hall and warn the Prince but the Government were not far behind and unprepared for an attack he had very few men with him to provide assistance. The Prince fled into the countryside whilst the dozen or so men that had been found set about forming their own counter attack.

As Lord Loudon and his men approached the Jacobite men positioned themselves around the road and began to make a great noise, shouting out to fictional regiments, banging their targes and running about to make it appear there was  an entire army waiting. Their are suggestions that when they fired on the Government men they did so one at a time to help create the illusion of more men. As Loudons men approached they feared the worst and believing the lie that their were many men waiting retreated in panic. Thus, 1,500 soldiers were defeated by just a dozen men. (Some say it was even less with suggestions it was as few as just four men who saw the Government off)

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Illustration of the Rout of Moy (Victorian Web)

 

The next day a Government council of war decided the Lord Loudon should retreat away from Inverness and  move north over the Black Isle. This meant that Prince Charles was able to formally enter Inverness on 18th February where he regrouped with Lord Murray and the rest of his men two days later.

We hope you enjoyed this incredible story and as always please share, comment, like, tweet and keep coming back for more.

All the best, K & D

The Romance of Jacobitism

The history of Jacobitism is long and complex and is debated over in many different ways. Today we thought we’d take a little look into how the Jacobites have been romanticised over the years since Culloden.

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Culloden Battlefield

 

One of the most obvious examples of this is ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’. In his lifetime he was Prince Charles Edward Stuart, the man who attempted to lead the Jacobites to victory against the British Government and reclaim the throne for his father. Following his defeat however, he became an alcoholic and a wife beater but many do not know of this side of him, they only know the ‘Bonnie Prince’ which did not come about until after the end of the ’45.

So how did he become such a ‘hero’? The Jacobites capture peoples attention for many reasons. They could be portrayed as the underdogs fighting for what they believed in. Their defeat in 1746 led to the pacification of the Highlands and the destruction of a way of life. It is not hard to see how the main characters can form a good vs evil with Bonnie Prince Charlie and ‘The Butcher’ Cumberland.

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Culloden Memorial Cairn

 

In the Victorian era we saw the publication of ‘Waverley’ by Sir Walter Scott. This book helped popularise a relatively new notion of the romance of the Jacobites in the age of Scottish Enlightenment. After this we then have King George IV visiting Scotland, the first visit by a reigning monarch in nearly two centuries. His visit was orchestrated in part by Sir Walter Scott who used the occasion to bring old traditions back to life. Clan chieftains were celebrated, tartan worn proudly and Scotland was swept up in a new wave of popularity.

It is in the Victorian age where we see clan tartans born. In Jacobite times there were no specific clan tartans, patterns were often regional based on available materials. But in the 1800’s each clan could have their own design and wear it with pride. So in Victorian times as the Scottish Highlands become more accessible and the idea of clans and tartans become popular it is not too hard to see how the Jacobites become another symbol of Scotland and are morphed into characters that might not quite match the reality.

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Culloden Grave Stones

 

The Jacobites have become to some an image of a brave and loyal Scottish warrior even though the truth can be much more bitter. Firstly, Jacobites were not all Scottish, there were men from England, Wales, France and more supporting the Jacobite cause. Not only that but many men did not choose to be a Jacobite. Men were forced out of their homes to fight and if they refused they would have faced terrible penalties. Secondly, whilst they could certainly be classed as brave they could be as brutal as any other army in their acts against their enemies. When discussing history today it is important we are not swept up in an idealised situation and recognise the truth of people actions and their outcomes.

Prince Charles Edward Stuart has been viewed as selfish, arrogant and unworthy and it is important we portray these interpretations of the man as well as the image of ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’ who was brave, heroic and loyal.

We hope you enjoyed our wee insight into the world of romanticised history. There are many stories to tell which we couldn’t possibly cover in one go. As always please like, comment, share, tweet and keep coming back for more.

All the best, K & D

Prince Charles’ Daughter

Prince Charles Edward Stuart is a name we mention, a lot, but how many of us know about his daughter, Charlotte? The answer is usually, not many. Today we take a look at this child who was Prince Charles’s only child to survive infancy.

Firstly, the reason you may not have heard of Charlotte is she was an illegitimate child. She was born on 29th October 1753 at Liege to Charles and his mistress Clementina Wilkinshaw. We know she was baptised as Roman Catholic in the Church of Sainte Marie-des-Fonts.

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Charlotte, Duchess of Albany

 

By the time she was seven the relationship between her parents was a mess. Charles was said to be abusive and violent towards Clementina and so her mother turned to Charles’ father to help her and Charlotte leave Charles. James offered her a annuity of 10,000 livres and apparently helped her make her way to Paris. Here she entered the convent of the Nuns of the Visitation. Charles was said to be furious and refused to pay anything towards his daughter. For the next decade Charlotte lived with her mother in various convents with the support of James, her grandfather and later Charles’ brother, Henry.

Charlotte began to write to her father, even more so after his marriage to Princess Louis of Stolberg-Gedern. She wanted him to bring her to Rome and legitimise her. Eventually Charles accepted on the condition that she leave her mother behind. However, Charlotte refused and Charles broke of all contact, despite the continued letters and pleas from Charlotte. Without any legitimacy or permission Charlotte could not marry. In the end she became the mistress to a Ferdinand de Rohan who was in the same postion and could not marry himself. She had three children: two daughters, Marie Victoire and Charlotte, and finally a son, Charles Edward. Her children were kept secret, and remained largely unknown until the 20th century, certainly not by Prince Charles.

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Portrait of Clementina, Charlottes mother

 

It wasn’t until 1783 that Charles finally began to take an interest in his daughter. His marriage to Princess Louise was over and he had fallen seriously ill. Finally he signed an act of legitimisation and made Charlotte his heir. The following year he invited Charlotte to his home in Florence and Charlotte travelled over from France to see him, leaving her children in her mothers care. She enlisted the help of Henry to return Charles to Rome in 1785 and stayed with him as his companion and carer until he died in 1788.

Sadly Charlotte was not healthy herself and suffered from problems with her liver. She died on 17th November 1789 aged just 36 of liver cancer. Her children remained with her mother raised in anonymity and it was years before their esxistence was known. Once her story came to light though it certainly caught peoples imagination. Rumours of a Stuart heir (even if they were illegitimate) could not be ignored and Robert Burns even wrote a lament to Charlotte entitled ‘ The Bonnie Lass of Albanie’

We hope you enjoyed this insight into Charlotte. As always please share, like, tweet and join us as we explore more of the Stuart family.

All the best, K & D

After Culloden: the Prince and the Butcher

Culloden is considered by many to be the end of the ’45 Rising but what happened to the two men who led the armies at this important battle?

 

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Prince Charles Edward Stuart by Allan Ramsay

 

Considering the Jacobites first, their leader, Prince Charles Edward Stuart did not fall at the battle but was able to escape the field. The day after Culloden those Jacobites who had been able to escape made their way to Ruthven barracks to regroup. Here they expected to find Prince Charles, but when they arrived they were met only with orders to disperse. Abandoning the cause Prince Charles spent the next five months on the run. He managed to find his way between loyal supporters and evaded the government’s roving eyes spending time in the Hebrides to the west of mainland Scotland. He was lucky in that his men never betrayed him but he knew if he was to survive in the long time he would have to make his way back to the continent.

 

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Prince Charles as an older man

Finally, in September 1746. Prince Charles met up with a French rescue ship and sailed to France. Initially he was greeted warmly but in 1748 following the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle , which helped bring the war between France and Britain to an end, he was expelled from the country. For several years Charles lived with his Scottish mistress, Clementina Walkinshaw and the two had a daughter, Charlotte in 1753. The relationship was not to last though and in 1760 it was over amid tales of jealousy, alcoholism and violence. Eventually Charles made his way to Rome and married nineteen year old Princess Louise of Stolberg-Gedern in 1772. Once again the relationship did not prosper and Louise left Charles in 1780 with claims of physical abuse. From 1783 Charles was known to be ill and was nursed by his daughter but not long after his 67th birthday he suffered a stroke and died on 31st January 1788.

 

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William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland

On the Government side the Duke of Cumberland was initially hailed a hero in his defeat of the Jacobites and he quickly set about ensuring there would not be another rebellion. Amongst other things the composer Handel wrote ‘Judas Maccabaeus’ supposedly for Cumberland which contains the anthem “See the Conquering Hero Comes”. Cumberland was also was given the freedom of the City of  Glasgow and made Chancellor of both Aberdeen and St Andrews Universities.  He spent years trying to improve the army but as word of his brutal treatment of the highlands spread his reputation slowly became tarnished and he was given the name ‘The Butcher’.

 

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William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland

In 1757 Cumberland was given command of the British forces in the Seven Years War but was defeated in the Battle of Hastenbeck. He was severely criticised for his defeat and publicly reprimanded by King George II. Cumberland resigned his office and retired to his estate. A leg wound he received at Dettingen, in 1743, never healed properly and he ended up gaining excessive weight before suffering a stroke in 1760. In 1765 whilst in London he had a heart attack and died on 31st October 1765 aged 44.

Prince Charles is probably the more ‘famous’ of the two men today with his story being romanticised over the years and his tale focussed on the year he was actually in Scotland. History was perhaps not so kind to Cumberland who is most known by his moniker ‘the Butcher’ more than anything else. It is safe to say though that Culloden was a key moment in both these mens lives. We hope you enjoyed this brief glimpse into their post-Culloden lives and as always please like, share, tweet, comment and visit us anytime.

All the best, K & D