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Note: Background is faded Royal Stuart tartan

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Editor's note:  The background sound programmed into this chapter is "Lochlomond".  As soon as you entered into this chapter, the song began to download.  If you have a high speed internet service, you will hear the song quickly.  For slow speed viewers, you must wait several minutes.


This is very similar to the shield of Robert Bruce, the first Norman King of Scotland,

Badge of  the House of Stuart


How The Stuarts' Alienated the English Establishment

After King James VI of Scotland became King James I of England, the two kingdoms ran in tandem as two separate countries.  However, the rule of the Scottish 'Stuart' monarchs was not a resounding success in England. Their penchant for outmoded autocratic methods of ruling brought English resentment to the core and resulted in several civil wars.  James VI ruled from London but his heart was in Scotland.  He was a fanatic Scot Nationalist but not so his son.

James's son, Charles I,  was the first Scottish King who was more English than Scottish.  He did not understand Scotland.  The Scottish Parliament did what he demanded but it was the 'Kirk' (Presbyterian Church of Scotland) from which he had the most to fear.

Charles made two foolish mistakes that alienated, first the Scottish nobles, then the ordinary folk.  He introduced a law which appeared to prepare for the seizure of lands that once belonged to the Catholic Church in Scotland, but had been in the hands of the Scottish nobility for centuries.  Then he forced a new Anglicized prayer book into general use in Scotland which merely served to provoke riots throughout the country.

The Scottish Covenanters raised a tough battle-hardened army of 20,000 (mostly veterans of the European religious-inspired Thirty Years War which had been raging on the continent) and invaded England to put pressure on the King.  It worked very well as Charles did not have a home army that could stand up to them.  He needed the co-operation of Parliament to raise taxes to pay for an army but they could not agree.

So began the 'Great Civil War' of 1642-1649) between the 'Roundheads'  and the 'Cavaliers'.  In England, it was a war between the Protestant-inspired Parliament and the Catholic-inspired Royalist forces of conservatism.   In Scotland, it quickly became a racial war between the largely Catholic Gaelic-speaking Highlanders of the north and the largely Protestant Lowlander Saxons and Britons of the south.

The Marquis of Montrose, raised a small army of Irish and Highlanders to fight for King Charles in Scotland.  He swept through the land like a whirlwind and won six victories until Scotland was in his hands.  However the Covenanters under David Leslie surprised his army at Philiphaugh near Selkirk  and almost wiped them out.  Now the Covenanters controlled Scotland and the Roundheads controlled England.  

In 1649, Charles was captured by a Scottish army and turned over to the English for trial,  He was put to death on the scaffold and Scotland was horrified.  At once they proclaimed his son, Charles II as King of Scotland, but England became a republic, known as a Commonwealth, without a King, merely a 'Lord Protector', Oliver Cromwell.

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Enter Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England and Scotland

Scottish resentment over Charles II's arbitrary execution by the English ran deep.  In 1650,  Cromwell's army marched into Scotland, and at Dunbar, defeated his previous allies, the Scottish Covenanter army.  Another Scottish army invaded England exactly a year later on 3 September 1651 but was defeated at the battle of Worcester.  English troops kept Scotland quiet, even in the Highlands where order was kept as it was never kept before.  But all Scots knew that Scotland and England were held together only by the force of Cromwell's army.

Cromwell was free of influence of the Campbells so he withdrew the proscription against the Clan Gregor, not because he had any particular affinity with these Highlanders but because he had a basic dislike of intolerance.  After this revocation, later reinstated proscriptions against the MacGregors were never enforced with the severity of those preceding.

Many branches of the MacGregors merely ignored the law and carried on with their business under their old names and grew more abundant.  They had thrown in with the Stuarts, their old tormentors,  and had lost the war, although for the first time in over ninety years, they were free of the State sponsored genocide instigated by the predatory Campbells in the 1400s.

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The Stuarts Come Back From the Dead
(A Scottish army takes London and reinstates Charles II)

After Cromwell's death in 1658, there was no strong leader to succeed him.  General Monck, the commander of the Commonwealth forces in Scotland, (and the most powerful army in Briton) was convinced that only the King's return would satisfy the people.  He marched south, took London and recalled Charles II from exile.

Charles II, was restored to the throne in 1660.  In England, he ruled with cunning and compromise but he controlled Scotland as his grandfather did, with a pen.  Charles declared the National covenant illegal and gave local landowners the right to choose ministers.  This resulted in the rise of a massive religious protest movement in Scotland by the Presbyterian Covenanters.

Charles's reign in Scotland was one of terror for Covenanters, although the largely Catholic MacGregors were rewarded for their loyalty and given  favoured positions in the army and beaurocracy.  Charles had confirmed Cromwell's annulment of the Clan Gregor proscriptions and it now was the Protestant Campbells' turn to be harrased and persecuted by the authorities.

The next King was James VII of Scotland, (James II of England).   In 1687, he issued the first of two Declarations of Indulgence, which let Presbyterians, Anglicans, and Roman Catholics worship freely, effectively removing previous constraints against Catholics.  In England, James placed Roman Catholics in high positions in the army and in the state beaurocracy, although this was against the law.

As pressure against the Catholic autocracy in a largely Protestant country grew, the English Parliament asked William of Orange in Holland (James's son-in-law) to save Protestantism in Britain.  William came and James fled.   James VII had reigned for just three years, he was the last ruling Catholic British monarch.  

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Enter William of Orange

William and Mary reigned as joint rulers in both Scotland and England.   Both Parliaments used the occasion to  legislate laws that limited the power of the  monarch and  enforced the primacy of the elected Parliaments.

Falling under the influence of the Campbells, William reinstated the proscription against the Clan Gregor.  The effect of this manoeuvre was to give the Campbells another licence to grab more MacGregor property and to eliminate MacGregors in the army and civil services.  Although many MacGregors had converted to Covenanted Presbyterianism, the fate of the Clan Gregor had by now become firmly entwined with that of the Stuarts.  The good times for the MacGregors were over and now it was the Campbell's turn for revenge.

The MacGregors were singled out for special treatment by the Campbells.  One of the first  victims of this program was Lt. Col. Donald Glas MacGregor, Rob Roy's father.  Col. MacGregor was imprisoned without cause, and methodically tortured in Edinburgh's Tolbooth prison until near death, then he was fined for the cost of his incarceration.   He was released a cripple and died soon after from his injuries.  This episode had a drastic effect on Rob, from which he developed a die-hard hatred for the Whigs and all they stood for.

The accession of a Protestant British throne was broadly popular in Lowland Scotland, but James could still command considerable support from the 'Jacobites,' (from Jacobus , Latin for 'James').  The Scottish Jacobites rallied and under Viscount (Bonnie) Dundee, won a battle at Killicrankie (1689), but were unable to press their advantage.   Even so, Scottish resentment of William increased dramatically after the deceitful massacre of a branch of the Catholic MacDonalds at Glencoe.  

After Glencoe, many of the Scottish clans warmed to the idea of a Stewart revival.  This support caused William's successor, Queen Anne, to bring the Treaty of Union into force and effectively resulted in Scotland  becoming merely an English province.  Scotland's parliament was dissolved and Scotland became part of the "United Kingdom." The foundations of the British Empire were being laid.  Jacobites did not accept this take-over, and called for the return of the Stuarts to the throne of Scotland.

The Stuart heirs, in exile in France, became known as the 'Kings over the water'.   James VII had died in 1701, leaving a son, who was recognized by the French king as 'James VIII' (the Old Pretender)  He undertook two expeditions to regain the throne, one in 1715, the other in 1719.   Both ended in failure.  After the second debacle, James retired to Rome and the Jacobite cause was left to his eldest son, Charles Edward (the Young Pretender).

When Queen Anne died childless in 1714, the British Parliament asked George of Hanover, a distant cousin of the last King who was the only Protestant next-in-line.  James VIII had a more direct claim to the throne but a new English law, the Law of Succession", declared the British monarch the head of the Church of England, and thereby a Protestant, leaving James excluded.

The British Parliament used this occasion to  wring more power from the monarch.  Because George could not even speak English, he had little real power and left the running of the country to the British Parliament.  This brought about the rise of Robert Walpole, the first real Prime Minister with any power.   Walpole was content to let The Campbell Duke of Argyle run things in Scotland, which brought the power of the government on to the MacGregors.  MacGregor properties were seized for the umpteenth time, and many MacGregors were forced to renunciate any claims they previously had to any lands.  Of course, the Campbells were only too willing to pick up the property at bargain rates.

Consequently, the most powerful MacGregor families, the houses of Balhaldie, Roro, Glencarnoch, and Glengyle became dedicated Jacobites and actively worked towards the restoration of the Stuart dynasty.  They were not alone.

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Enter Charles Edward Stuart III, Claimant to the Thrones of Scotland, England and France.

In 1743, war broke out between England and France. As France was a Catholic country, it had always supported the Stuarts' claim to the English throne.  King Louis XV realized that it would be in his interests if the Stuarts made another attempt to regain the throne.

Louis XV informed James Edward Stuart, the "Old Pretender", in 1745 that if he invaded England he would supply him with arms and ammunition.  James was now fifty-seven years old, and was not keen on becoming involved in another military campaign. However, his son, Charles Stuart, was another matter. 

Because of his considerable personal magnetism and good looks, Charles became known as 'Bonnie Prince Charlie.'  He inherited his father's single-mindedness to regain the Stuart's lost throne, and proceeded to convince the French to assemble an invasion fleet at Dunkirk.  On 5 July 1745, Charles left France for Scotland with seven hundred men as part of a French invasion fleet.  An unexpected violent storm dispersed the fleet and swept away any immediate French involvement.

With no further French help forthcoming, Charles pawned his remaining jewels and raised what money he could to set off alone.  In July, 1745, he landed at Eriskay, in the Outer Hebridies, accompanied by just seven men.  These became known as 'the Seven Men of Moidart.'  After reaching the mainland, Charles gained the support of two influential clan chiefs - MacDonald of Clanranald and
Cameron of Lochiel.

With these powerful clans behind him, he raised the Royal Standard at Glenfinnian on 19 August 1745, proclaiming his father king.   The last Jacobite Rebellion and its most violent had begun.  Scotland would never be the same again.

  Charles Edward Stuart
  Charles Edward III, better known as 'Bonnie Prince Charlie'

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Gathering the Clans Around the Stuart Banner
(for the last time)

The Stuarts were not universally loved in Scotland.  The majority of the population was actually against any return of the autocratic line.  Presbyterianism had swept Scotland, Catholics were now in a minority.  The Stewart's old legacy of 'Rule by Divine Right' had left many opposed to their return.

However, on the other hand, most of the rural conservative Gaelic clans, who had continued to espouse Catholicism, and had kept a religious fervence towards their exiled Kings were more than ready to join his 'crusade.'  His cause became their own - against English arrogance and the domination of the Lowlanders over the Gaelic speaking Highlanders.

Among the Episcopalians of Aberdeenshire, Angus, and Perthshire, much of the working classes of Edinburgh and Glasgow, and even some of the old aristocracy  were in support of  Charles.  Most of the  Whigs (Liberals) who loathed the Stuarts were hedging their bets.  No one is Scotland (or in England for that matter) had forgotten that in 1660 the Stuarts had risen from the dead.  They could do it again!

What most historians still disregard, is that there were more clansmen in arms  opposing Charles than those who supported him.  More than anything else, his cause became a revanchist confrontation between the forces of  ancient rural Norse and Gaelic Catholic Highland  clans of the western Isles and the western Highlands, and aristocrats, and a scattering of English revenge-seeking Catholics - against - largely  Protestant clans of the far north, east, and south, urban Scots- and, with of course, their English allies.

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How MacGregors Followed Their Prince

Charles II, a Stuart,  had lifted the MacGregor proscription, however temporary.  The Campbells had become mostly Protestant and were given the authority to raise an army and prevent any Jacobite 'backlash' in western Scotland, which they had effectively usurped and had become the dominant force.   The MacGregors were is disarray, their names were proscribed.  Who could tell who was really a MacGregor?  Some had changed their surnames several times to reflect the changing political fortunes of the times, and to stay one step ahead of the law.

When word spread that the Bonnie Prince had landed on Scottish soil and was raising an army, the MacGregors responded.  Some family members had become Protestant, but all had remained loyal to whoever was proclaimed as Clan chief.  Salvation was on the horizon with Bonnie Prince Charlie leading an army of Liberation to rid the Highlands of the English scourge.  The 'Cloak of Shame' and the "Fiery Cross" were carried throughout ancient MacGregor lands as the word went out to all able-bodied MacGregors to join in a Holy crusade for redemption.

Remembering that in 1715, during the first Jacobite rebellion, only the MacGregor sept of Ciar Mohr joined the fray.  However, recalling their own faded glory and their own Royal heritage, the far flung remnants of the Clan Gregor, which was still proscribed, called upon all their followers to rally to the 'Bonnie Prince.'  It is a wonder, after so many years of proscriptions, persecutions and harrying, that the MacGregors could forge any considerable number of fighting men together.  But they did, under several leaders.

Many MacGregors, both chiefs, sub chiefs, and disbursed incognito MacGregors had left the mother "Church of Rome".  Or, more correctly, the Catholic church had abandoned the MacGregors to their fate under government pressure and in the face of punitive laws denying the sacraments to all MacGregors.  Regardless, Catholic and Protestant MacGregors alike, to a man, supported this, the greatest and (nearly successful) last great Jacobite crusade. 

Robert MacGregor of Glencairnock, who was generally considered chief of the clan, raised 300 men for the Prince.  Those of the Ciar Mohr (the Glengyle MacGregors), however regarded William MacGregor of Balhaldie, then in France, as their head,  and a separate corps was formed by them, commanded by James
Mohr Roy MacGregor, eldest son of Rob Roy.  Through necessity, he had changed his fake name from Campbell to Drummond in 1729.

This corps was the remnants of Rob Roy's band, and with only twelve men, James surprised the army garrison at Inversnaid, and burned the fort to the ground, which had been constructed solely to keep the MacGregors in line.  Altogether the MacGregors mustered 700 men who fought under MacGregor command for the cause.  How many dispersed MacGregors fought under combined clans, we will never know.  History has otherwise recorded there were no MacGregors who fought for the Hanoverians.

At the battle of Prestonpas, the MacGregors, with a band of Camerons, composed the centre.  They were conspicuous for their wild charge and the carnage they inflicted on the enemy.  Armed only with sharpened pikes and scythes bound on long poles, they cut the legs of the horses and severed the bodies of their riders in half.  Captain James Roy MacGregor, at the commencement of the battle received five wounds, but recovered from them, and rejoined the Prince's army with six  companies of battle-scarred MacGregors.

Even during the harrowing retreat from Derby, they again and again, assumed the most dangerous risks and proved their worth.  At Falkirk, where General Hawley found to his dismay that the cornered wild boar had tusks, along with the Camerons, they victoriously fought in the centre of the front line.

Major James Mohr MacGregor became the Prince's personal adjutant, and also acted as guide over the most dangerous of mountain treks.  The Prince's personal piper was a John MacGregor.

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  Early Successes
Logically  Bonnie Prince Charlie should never have set foot on the mainland.  The Government's grip on the turbulent parts of Scotland had never seemed firmer.  There were military depots at Fort William, Fort Augustus,  and Fort George, and an effective Highland militia (later known as the Black Watch) had been raised.  General Wade had thrown a network of military roads and bridges across the Highlands.  But having set up a military infrastructure in the Highlands, the British Government had neglected it.

For weeks, the Hanoverians eagerly chased the Highlanders through the Scottish highlands anticipating a confrontation, but none came.  The highlanders were used to this sort of warfare.  They would fight on their own terms.  The Redcoats were out of their element.  They could not locate the Jacobite army and were absolutely shocked when word came that Charles had triumphantly entered Edinburgh.

The independent Companies (The Black Watch) had been shunted off to the West Indies, there were fewer than 4,000 (mostly green) troops in the whole of Scotland, hardly any cavalry or artillery, and Clan Campbell was no longer an effective fighting force.  The result was that Bonnie Prince Charlie and his ragtag army of MacDonalds, Camerons, MacIntoshes, Robertsons, MacGregors, MacPhersons and Gordons, plus some lowland cavalry and a stiffening of Franco-Irish mercenaries, was able to walk into Edinburgh and set up a "royal court" in Holyrood Palace.

The early Jacobite successes were actually due to the brilliant tactician, General Lord George Murray.  Unfortunately for the cause, Murray had an offensive manner and would not accept any criticism.  This resulted in a continually tense atmosphere between Charles and Murray.

Although 60,000 cheering people went out to greet Charles upon his triumphant arrival in Edinburgh, few Jacobite troops had been raised in Edinburgh and Glasgow, and the Southwest (homeland of the "Scottish" Anglo-Saxons) were openly hostile.  A majority of Highlanders, and practically all the Lowlander population were against a return to Stuart rule.  Charlie's successes were an illusion.

Some men had been drummed up in Manchester, but there was no serious support from the Roman Catholic families of northern England either.


Outside Edinburgh, the seasoned Hanoverian redcoats lined up at Prestonpas to do battle with Charles.  Murray directed his troops through a secretive night march through a swamp to outflank the redcoats, pinning them with their backs to a ten foot high stone wall.

In the early morning mists, the highlanders split and charged towards the two ends of the enemy's line where the dragoons were waiting.  In the heavy mists of morning, cannons and muskets had little effect.  This was to be a matter of hand to hand conflict, a specialty of the highlanders.

Out of the heavy mist the highlanders were suddenly  upon them screaming their Gaelic war cries, slashing, and sowing panic into the otherwise disciplined dragoons.  They fled, allowing the highlanders into the rear of the centre. 

More panic ensued as the sandwiched centre was attacked from both the rear and forward.  MacGregors and Camerons charging from the front slashed the horses with their pikes and scythes.  The entire line broke and fled in panic straight into the insurmountable wall, where they either died amongst the carnage or managed to surrender.  The Jacobites won the day with only 40 men lost against 400 Hanoverians killed and 1400 taken prisoner.

To Secure Scotland Or To Invade England?  

After the stunning win at Prestonpas, a conference of Charles, his commanders, and the Highland Chiefs took place in Holyrood Castle.  Charles argued to invade England, as he considered himself King of the whole of Britain.  Murray argued against this as he considered it more important to consolidate Jacobite control over all of Scotland first.  There remained vast areas still under Hanoverian control, not the least being the vast holdings of the Campbells.

Murray lost the standoff by one vote.  The small Highland army then invaded England.

The Last Invasion of England

It took the Jacobite column just two days to take Carlisle.  All Hanoverian garrison troops there were pardoned after agreeing to swear an oath not to take up arms against Charles.  This magnanimous gesture set the tone for the entire Jacobite march into England.

The Hanoverians were desperate, they realized this was a "do or die" struggle for both sides, the loser would be hunted down and killed, the winner would rule the British Empire.  A new Commander in Chief was appointed to save the country from the "Papists" threat.  This man was none other than the Duke of Cumberland, the second son of George II.  Cumberland was a seasoned commander, and had fought in continental Europe, mainly against Catholic forces, of which he detested.  He directed his officers to treat the Jacobites as traitors.  No mercy or quarter would be given to these rebels.

The Jacobites outmaneuvered the enemy at every turn, won every skirmish, and soon was at Derby, 150 miles from London.  There was nothing to stop them from entering London, and the House of Hanover was terrified in their haste to pack up and return to their province in Germany.

The Beginning of the End

Then, an event occurred that changed Charle's destiny forever.  A gentleman appeared from London with impeccable Jacobite credentials bearing news of "a 9,000 man army of Redcoats preparing to defend London, also, there was no sign of any French army preparing to invade England."

This gentleman was, in fact, a Hanoverian spy, and his false news resulted in a hurried conference of the Jacobite war leaders.  This time, James lost the vote to Murray's caution, and his army of liberation soon began a sorrowful retreat back to Scotland.

In a sober overview of the situation, it is obvious that, for all his faults, Charles was the better strategist, and Murray was the better tactician.  Many armchair strategists have since argued the Jacobites would have won this uprising if Charles had deferred to his battle-experienced Commander at every turn.

However, considering there were no serious obstacles between the Jacobite army and London, and that the French fleet, at the very moment Charles was in Derby, were preparing to embark on warships to invade southern England, Charles appears to have been much the wiser of the two in the grand scheme of things.

Regardless, he gave such a fright to the Hanoverian King George II that suitcases were hurriedly packed ready to flee out of the country, as Charles was expected to seize London.   The fear that Charles instilled in the Hanoverians would later serve to incite their armies to acts of cruelty not seen before or since on British soil.

In December of 1745, they began a careful withdrawal, denying the Hanoverians any chance of a weak spot to exploit.  Fleeing back to Scotland with two powerful Hanoverian armies hot on his heels, Charles won a rear-guard action at Penrith, and then at Falkirk in January 1746.

The Battle of Falkirk

Back in Scotland, the Jacobite troop complement rose again to eight thousand men, and they began a siege of Stirling Castle.  To aid the trapped government for there, General Henry Hawley left Newcastle with eight thousand more troops.

On 16 January 1746, Hawley was in Callendar House, near Falkirk, resting before an expected confrontation.  However, in the early morning, he awoke to find the Jacobites had come to meet him and were massing higher on the plateau behind the house.

The Hanoverians rushed to get onto the high ground also, but the scramble up the muddy hillside through the morning mist was disorganized and disastrous.  This was the element in which Highlanders excelled.  They eagerly charged down the muddy slopes screaming their Gaelic war cries and again sewed panic in the English ranks.

Less than fifty Jacobites were lost in the twenty minute rout which took the lives of several hundreds of Hawley’s troops.  The Hanoverians fled to Linlithgow while the Jacobites resumed their siege of Stirling Castle.

However, in the highland tradition, many wounded or disillusioned highlanders simply walked away and went home after their inglorious retreat from the threshold of victory.

The 4,500 half-starved Jacobite army was cut to pieces by the Duke of Cumberland's 10,000 English regulars and German mercenaries with their cannons and bayonets on Drum-mossie Moor, Culloden, near Inverness on 16 April, 1746.  It was the last pitched battle on the soil of mainland Britain.  Over ten thousand Jacobite soldiers, along with innocent women and children were massacred for only 300 Hanoverian troops killed.

The Highland genocide had begun.  It continued for over 100 years, until the highlands were bereft of people.  Absentee landlords in the pay of Hanoverians drove out people in favour of the "black-faced clansmen" the Suffolk sheep of renown. Drastic laws were enacted to reduce Scots to the level of indentured servants to the English.  History was rewritten to eliminate anything positive about Highlanders.

What Might Have Been

With London in Charles' hands, and with England under a renewed Stuart throne, with occupying French troops at his bidding, the Hanoverian sympathizers in Scotland would have fled.  With his Highland power base in hand, Charles would have effectively overthrown the largest Empire the world has ever known.

History certainly would have judged him differently.  Whether it would have resulted in a better Britain, or a different North America, who knows?  Bonnie Prince Charlie would be forever remembered as the outnumbered, outgunned hero who conquered all of Britain from a surreptitious landing in north-west Scotland with merely seven men, and persevered mostly on his own inner strength and courage.

Whether his rule had been popular or not, he would stand forever in league with those other few determined men who had previously conquered Britain, Julius Caesar and William the Conqueror.

And what of the MacGregors?  Their influence with Charles far outweighed their numbers, thanks largely to the efforts of the Houses of Balhaldie and Roro.  With a Jacobite win, the Campbells certainly would have been castigated into oblivion.  Their vast holdings, which were the largest in Scotland,  would surely have been confiscated.   The MacGregors, who had lost all their ancestral lands to Campbells, would have been amongst the greatest beneficiaries.

Our clan fortunes would have emerged as the greatest turn-around in Scottish history, at least in the short term.

Illegal Slaughter of Jacobite Garrison Troops at Carlisle

One of the most immoral and horrific acts of vengeance in the annals of English armed forces was committed at Carlisle a few miles from the Scottish border on England's west coast. 

When the Jacobites troops swept out of Scotland towards London in 1745, they met with success after success.  The town of Carlisle was quickly surrounded and the English garrison was promised a safe passage out of the town if they surrendered their arms and left peacefully.   That is exactly what happened.

A skeleton garrison force was left behind, amongst them was an officer in Charlie's army of the Clan Gregor.  In 1746, when two English armies were chasing the Highlanders back into Scotland, the town was surrounded again, this time by English Hanoverian troops.

Naturally this garrison expected to be treated as they had treated the English a year before.  Such was not the case.  The men were quickly rounded up and treated  as common criminals.  Those men from the ranks who took a renewed oath of allegiance to George II were pardoned.  The remainder were thrown into prisons where many perished from maltreatment.   However, they fared much better than their officers, who were quickly sentenced to death by hanging/quartering.

That method of execution was terribly grisly as it combined hanging and then before death, the victim was cut into pieces.  The condemned men were allowed one letter each to family, one such letter was sent from the Lt. MacGregor to his wife, through a friend who was being pardoned and was returning to the Highlands.. 

An old Gaelic myth claims that a Highlander who dies outside his beloved homeland will return home through the underground.  So he told his friend "Ye take the high road and I'll take the low road, and I'll be in Scotland before ye".

It became one of the most beloved and moving love songs ever written.  It was written in Gaelic, but the English version was called:

"The ballad of Loch Lomond".

It is the background song in this chapter.


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  The Battle of Culloden

When the clans reached the neighbourhood of Inverness, the situation before them became evident.. The Prince had to send out scouts to keep in touch with the English army to determine their intentions.  Meanwhile, there were strong clans to the north who were opposed to the Jacobites and were threatening their flank.   The Prince had to counteract this danger, so he dispatched the MacGregors, under James Mohr, to Sutherland to confront the hostile clans of MacKays and MacKenzies.   What difference this over 700-man body would have made at the upcoming battle would never be determined.  As it was, there would be no MacGregor cairn erected at Culloden.  When historians recount that sad war, they should remember it was fought on two fronts.

With little in the way of provisioning, food for the half-starved army also had to be found.  This was the 'rag-tag' army of clansmen who were about to face one of the most effective fighting machines of the world.  The Prince had failed to enlist the majority of Scots to his cause, and now it was showing. There were actually more Highlanders against Charles Edward than were for him.

And, generally those who were against him were the most powerful, such as the all-powerful Campbells who had thrown their lot in with the Protestant English forces long ago.

To confront Charles's ragtag Army of 7,000 Highlanders was a force of 10,000 British Army regulars, and the logistical support of most of the Protestant population of Scotland, including the vast Campbell estates.   The Hanoverian, George I, sent his own son, the Duke of Cumberland.  The  Duke despised all  things Scottish  and  made  no  bones about  it.  He was a ruthless commander and a worthy proponent of 'Teutonic thoroughness.'  He would give no quarter and show no mercy to these Jacobite upstarts.  He would go down in history  as 'the Butcher of Culloden.'


A Portrait of the Carnage at Culloden, the first battle where Highlanders faced bayonets

As a result of the horrific and shameful slaughter of wounded soldiers, and of  innocent women and children after the battle, no British Regiment has ever included Culloden in their battle honours.  

Foreign Troops

A little known aspect of the Jacobite rebellions is the contribution made by foreign governments to the armies of both the Stuarts and the Hanoverians.

Those who aided the Stuarts:

The Stuarts always looked to France first for aid as it was the strongest Catholic power at the time, it had a long rivalry with England and it was close. Louis XIV of France supported James VII until 1713 when he repudiated the Jacobites and expelled the Old Pretender. Once again in the 1740's the French prepared to invade but were prevented by poor weather and the 1745 rising failed.

Charles fled to France after the defeat but was expelled so the French could make peace with Britain. King Charles XII of Sweden also proposed to help the Jacobite campaign by providing 10,000 troops, however negotiations broke down in providing 10,000 troops in 1718 because the Swedish king died. Sweden remained on good terms with the Jacobites and even sent a secret regiment for unacknowledged service in Scotland in 1745.

Other offers of help from Spain and Russia broke down due to problems in negotiations and the weather prevented the Spanish armada from assisting the 1719 rising.  Many of these negotiations for foreign support were not helped by the manners of Bonnie Prince Charlie. He was a heavy drinker and became angry when things did not go his way. The Prussians withdrew support after Charles had become extremely drunk and insulted them publicly.

Those who aided the British Government side:

The most renowned mercenaries were the many "Hessians" who were sold to the British Government as boys by unscrupulous German aristocrats.  These soldiers seldom returned to German, most either died in battle or were allotted lands in far off corners of the British Empire upon their retirement.

After William of Orange assumed power in  1689, many highly professional Dutch Protestant  mercenaries were used to put down Jacobite rebellions in Scotland.

The Aftermath

After Culloden, Cumberland's troops methodically executed all the Jacobite wounded.  All unwounded prisoners were taken to holding centres, sometimes with their wives, and were allowed to starve to death.  Officers and clan chiefs were hunted down throughout Scotland and England and hanged for treason.  Aristocrats who had sided with Prince Charlie were tried and hanged.  All property of Jacobite soldiers and sympathizers were confiscated and/or burned to the ground.   Cattle were driven off.   For a time, the Highlands were mercilessly harried by Cumberland's troops, (the fiercest of whom were probably the Lowland Scots, with their absolute hatred of all things Gaelic beating heavily in their hearts).

This was a revenge like no other, with the law on the English side and no where to hide for the Highlanders. As in all such instances of intolerance to fellow countrymen, the punishment was meted out far and wide - to both Catholic and Protestant rural Scots.    The horror would not end until decades later, a barren landscape would replace the once crowded Scottish Highlands.

Culloden marked the end of the Highland clan system, which had survived in the mountainous Highlands of Scotland long after having disappeared in the Scottish lowlands and in Ireland.  Gone were the days when a clan chief could summon a 'tail' of trained swordsmen for cattle raids into the Lowlands.

The English (now called British) could not do much more to the MacGregors than had already been done by their own countrymen.   Finally, the rest of Scotland's bravest were being offered a taste of what the MacGregors had endured for centuries. Upon Charlie's defeat and with Scotland at the mercy of two Hanoverian armies, the MacGregor battalions   marched south back to their homes several hundred strong, with banners swirling, pipes playing, by the north-west shores of Loch Ness, with the Hanoverians following on the opposite shore, but powerless to attack them. 

They easily evaded Cumberland's forces and arrived back at Balquhidder and Glen Gyle, but ready to take to the hills on the threat of retribution.  The following month, May 1746, it was reported that a party of the MacGregor clan under Gregor Glun Dhubh, were out on the hills between Crieff and Dunkeld, engaged in highway robbery on 'public money' (probably pay for the troops garrisoned in Perth).   Robert MacGregor, the Chief of the MacGregor clan, was long confined to Edinburgh Tolbooth prison.  James Mhor was arrested but made his peace with the Government.  He would have lived his days without further mishap but he ran afoul of the law again, was put in Edinburgh prison, escaped and fled to France.   He later returned to London, was offered a civil service position and declined.  He died a pauper in France.

Charlie had escaped to the Hebridies dressed as a woman and was hidden by Flora MacDonald, giving rise to an abiding Scottish romantic tale. He was then plucked off the coast by a French privateer and taken into exile.  

A romanticized portrait of Charles bidding Adieu to Flora MacDonald

The real cost of this Jacobite rebellion had yet to be counted.   The English Government was now psychologically ready to penalize all  Scots as never before.   If the Highland and Lowland Scots who had sided against Charlie had known of the horror to come, they would not have stood by and let it unravel.   In a Teutonic thoroughness  never before witnessed in Britain,  whole populations were yet to be subjected to an ethnic cleansing, that would have been unthinkable without the traumatic shock of this, the final effort of Scottish independence.    The highland Scots had been 'demonized' and had become fair game for anyone with no conscience.

Perhaps the only positive outcome of this defeat and oppression was the emergence of two great Scottish literary characters; Robert Burns and Sir Walter E. Scott, thereby heralding a new age of awareness and appreciation of Scottish history & tradition...

The world was once again safe for English Imperialism.

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The Marker at Culloden

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