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Prince Charlie

The Jacobite Movement in Scotland

The Jacobite Movement in Scotland and in... Exile, 1746-1759

Jacobites of Perthshire 1745

The Jacobites of Angus, 1689-1746

Highland Jacobites 1745





















George II









Duke of Cumberland


The word Jacobite comes from the Jacob's or James' from the Royal House of Stuart. The followers of these James' were known as Jacobites.

England was being ruled by a Protestant Queen Elizabeth I when she died she was succeeded by James VI of Scotland. England being a mainly protestant country did not take to being ruled by James a catholic King from Scotland. The Stuarts were eventually exiled and forced to go to France.

When the reigning monarch Queen Anne died without an heir the Act of Union 1707, amongst other things allowed the House of Hanover in Germany to take over the crown, something the English desperately wanted.

For forty years the Stuarts, the legitimate Blood line to the throne had been claiming the throne of both Scotland and England also Ireland. But religion and politics kept the Stuarts out.

James VIII the old pretender had a lot of support from within France, Ireland and Scotland even some in England but he never really did anything about it

When his son was born a new fire was fuelled with the passions of his unhappy followers. Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) realised that he could fulfil the dream and regain the crown that was rightfully his. Now 23 years old with the support of his father and the French he decided to make his claim to the crown. He travelled to Scotland to rally support but along the way the French had a change of heart and withdrew their support. Without military support there was little he could do but hoping that support from the Scots and the Irish might stir the French into re-affirming their previous support.

When he arrived in the Highlands his support began to gain momentum and his army of faithful Highlanders flocked to his support. He made his way south to Edinburgh, which he entered without opposition, and then at Prestonpans south of Edinburgh he defeated Cove's army of 4000. It seemed that The Young Pretender, as he became known would do what he said he would.

He could have stayed in Edinburgh and ruled Scotland but he knew that the English would amass a large army and push him back out. His only choice was to continue to march south.

George II put together an army of British, Dutch, Germans and mercenaries from all over under the charge of General Wade and William Augustus Duke of Cumberland.

A verse was added to the National Anthem: -

God grant that Marshal Wade

May by thy mighty aid

Victory bring

May he sedition hush

And like a torrent rush

Rebellious Scots to crush

God save the King

Charles had now been in England for 26 days and was in Derby, 120 miles from London. Cumberland thought that he was in Wales trying to get more support but he was wrong. And this was the closet the Jacobites ever got to their objective. Cumberland sent a spy to the Jacobite camp with the news that a force of 30,000 men were heading straight for them. Little did they know that is was a deception and they decided that they should return home. Short of support and supplies, winter upon them all were in favour of returning home and waiting for the spring. This gave Cumberland the chance to follow them. Charles with his army of just over 5,000 and an army of, so he believed, behind him knew this was his only realistic choice.

Making his way to Stirling his men still had it in them to take on the English at Falkirk and beat them, however without ammunition and sapped of energy they made camp at Stirling for 5 weeks while the Prince moved on to Glasgow.

Eventually they slowly made their way back home to the Highlands. Barely had they made camp in Inverness when the news arrived that Cumberland had landed at Nairn 16 miles from Inverness. Cold, exhausted and freezing some of his army went home to their families, some stayed. Thinking to strike first he sent 1,500 of his best troops to make a night march on Cumberland's camp. In the morning they returned having had no success. Later that morning April 16th 1746 Cumberland marched his army to Culloden Moor and faced the Clansmen.

Just over 4,000 Jacobites stood in the snow, some having been up all night after their night march to Nairn, all were starving, tired and the worse for wear. A mixture of Clans, Irish, old men and young boys, facing 9,000 veterans, well supplied infantry and cavalry.

Cumberland's troops were made up from English veterans fresh from Europe and over 4,000 Scots, in some case it was Clansman against Clansman, brother against brother.

The English had cannon and rifles enough ammunition on the Princes side all they had left was the Highland way "The Charge"

After the first volley the Princes troops were cut down by the dozen it was over in a few minutes all that was left was to run or to charge - outnumbered 2 to 1 they charge Cumberland's right flank for a brief spell the right were scattered but closing ranks they began the massacre. In 30 minutes it was all over those who could ran for cover and back to their homes. By Cumberland's own estimate some 2,000 Highlanders lay dead on Culloden Moor. It didn't end there "The Butcher Cumberland" gave the order "No Quarter Given" his army then marched on and killed every wounded Highlander left on the field. They then marched on to Inverness and carried on their work in the homes in Inverness looking for Jacobites but all were labelled as one Men, Women, Children, the old and the young put either to the bayonet, hangman's rope or simply burnt to death in their houses.

His orders were obeyed "No Quarter Given" and none was.

The slaughter did not end there for months his army moved around the Highlands clearing out any threat once and for all.

Five months passed before the hunt for Jacobites finally eased off. It was at this time Bonnie Prince Charlie made his escape back to France.

Highlanders were scattered to the four corners of the earth even sold as slaves. Our native language Gaelic was banned and it was a hanging offence if spoken. Wearing the tartan was also a hanging offence.

These times were known as The Highland Clearances.

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