Culloden Battlefield is a special place to many people.
It has been an inspiration for writers of fact and fiction for 270 years.
Inspiration can come from the individual stories of people who fought at the Battle of Culloden; those who were affected by the Uprising and the aftermath; to the stories of the visitors who come to the moor...
As part of an upcoming event “An Epic Tale: The facts and fiction of life during the Rising” we would like you to send why Culloden is special, inspirational or thought provoking place to you.
Whether you have visited or would like to visit we would like to hear your story of why Culloden and the stories of the ’45 Uprising are important to you.
To be part of this event please send your stories on the back of a postcard to:
Learning Team @ Culloden Battlefield and Visitor Centre
All the postcards sent in will be on display at the visitor centre from 1 July to the 31 July.
Thank you for your help and we look forward to reading your stories.
A lot of Jacobite history can focus on the men involved and the actions they took, which is why it is always nice to find a good story about a woman taking a role in history. Granted we may be a little biased because we are both women, but nevertheless here are a few of our favourite tales of women in Jacobite history.
Firstly, Dame Alice Lisle. Alice is widely believed to have been the first victim of the Bloody Assizes and was the last woman to be publicly beheaded in England. She was placed on trial for harbouring fugitives after the defeat of the Monmouth Rebellion and, despite the fact that none of the men she harboured were convicted of treason, she was sentenced to be burned. As she was a lady this sentence was eventually substituted for beheading, apparently this was deemed more appropriate for her social rank. On 2nd September 1685 Alice, aged 71, was thus executed by axe in Winchester market place and today a plaque marks the spot of her execution.
During the 1715 Rebellion there were a number of women of note; including Lady Lude who played her part in drumming up recruits for the Jacobites by apparently threatening to remove the tenants from their ‘means and effects’ if they refused to join. Our pick though is Lady Winifred Maxwell, Countess of Nithsdale, who helped her husband escape execution. After being captured at Preston Winifred’s husband was found guilty of treason and sentenced to death. A personal appeal by Winifred to King George I was unsuccessful so she took more drastic action. The night before the execution Winifred met with her husband and dressed him in ladies clothing to be led out by one of her maids. Meanwhile Winifred carried on her ‘conversation’ with him in his cell, so no one would be suspicious, before she finally fled herself. Both Winifred and her husband eventually made their way to the continent and later joined the Stuarts exiled court in Rome.
Lady Lude returned in the ’45 Rebellion where she entertained Prince Charles at Blair Castle and defended it against Government forces. Once again though she was not the only one to stand up for a cause they believed in. Lady Jane Nimmo was at her home when a group of Jacobites came to raid her property collecting taxes. The party found 91 firearms on the premises but they were deemed old and useless so eventually left with nothing. They later found out that Jane had been deceitful and deliberately hidden weapons and horses from the Jacobite party. The Lieutenant in charge of the group demanded the weapons be sent on for the Jacobite cause but Jane refused and her perseverance won out; the Jacobites never received any weapons from her.
Finally, we look at Lady Margaret Ogilvy who escaped from Edinburgh Castle. Margaret was the wife of Lord Ogilvy who went to fight with Prince Charles. Refusing to leave him Margaret rode with him but was captured and held in Inverness Castle before being transported south to Edinburgh. In November 1746 she was visited by her friend Miss Katherine Hepburn of Keith, and her brother and sister Mr and Miss Johnstone of Westerhall. With the help of her friends Margaret escaped dressed as a laundress whilst Miss Johnstone told guards she was ill and in bed. The guards left, being too gentlemanly to disturb her, thereby allowing the escape to take place. Eventually Margaret managed to make it to the continent where she was reunited with her husband.
Hopefully you enjoyed these tales; as always please like, comment, tweet and share with us any stories you know of the women of the Jacobites.
Most of what you read and hear of the ’45 Rising was about the men of the time so here we’ve decided to do a quick tribute to the some of the women who played an important role in the Jacobite Uprising.
Today, we focus on two Annes; Anne MacKintosh and Anne Mackay.
Anne MacKintosh was the wife of the Clan Chief of Clan Chattan who fought on the government side. However, Lady Anne was an ardent Jacobite. When Prince Charles landed in Scotland at the age of 22, Anne took a pistol and money to threaten and bribe the men of Clan Chattan to join her and fight for the Prince whilst her husband was away. In total she managed to raise some 300 men who affectionately christened her Colonel Anne.
As Prince Charles retreated back up towards Inverness in early 1746 Lady Anne put him and some of his men up at her home of Moy Hall. Unfortunately, Lord Loudon of the government army heard of this and sent 1,500 of his men to attack Moy Hall and capture the Prince. Lady Anne and the Prince were vastly outnumbered but they didn’t give in just yet…
Lady Anne sent just five men out in the lands surrounded the house and they ran about screaming as many different war cries as they could, holding their kilts aloft to make them look bigger and crashing their weapons. The Govenment hearing the cries of many clans and spotting men around the house found their courage failing and retreated back without firing a single shot. Lady Anne had helped pave the way for Prince Charles to march back into Inverness.
Lady Anne didn’t quite get off scot free though and she was later arrested for her Jacobite activities and put in a town house. After six weeks during which time she was allowed visitors she was released into her husbands care. She later went on to meet the Duke of Cumberland at a ball in London where he apparently asked her to dance to a Government tune which she agreed to on the condition he would then dance with her to a Jacobite tune.
This just shows what money could do for you. Those less well off didn’t get treated so kindly, which brings us to Anne Mackay. A poor woman from Skye she moved to Inverness with her two children to await news of her husband who was fighting for the Jacobites.
Whilst in Inverness the Government used Annes cellar to imprison two Jacobite men, Ranald MacDonald and Robert Nairn after Culloden. Anne was convinced by a women of higher standing (no prizes for guessing who that might have been) to distract the guards thereby helping them escape for which Anne was arrested. She was offered 10 guineas to tell the Government where the men were hiding but she refuse to do so.
Her unwillingness to cooperate resulted in her being punished. She was beaten by the government men and forced to stand for 3 days without food or water. At the end of this she was so weak she had to crawl away and would never be able to walk properly again. Her son complained over the treatment of his mother and was beaten so badly he later died from his wounds.
These two women highlight the role women played in the ’45 but also the difference in treatment that was given based on your standing within the community.
Whilst we realise this may not be the most fun post we’ve written we hope you enjoyed learning a bit more about 18th Century life and as always do like, share, follow, tweet and tell all your friends about us.