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Prince Charles Edward Stuart
Intelligence of the Prince's arrival reaches Edinburgh


On the same day, however, on which the President's letter to Lord Tweeddale was written, all doubts of the arrival and landing of the prince were removed at Edinburgh. An express came from Lord Milton, the Justice Clerk, then at Roseneath, to Sir John Cope, with a letter dated the 5th, which he had received from Mr Campbell of Stonefield, sheriff of Argyle, in which was contained a copy of a letter received by the latter from Mr Campbell of Aird, factor to the Duke of Argyle in Mull and Morvern, announcing the landing of the prince in Arisaig, and stating that some of the Macdonalds were already up in arms, and that other Highlanders were preparing to follow their example. This news was confirmed next day, by another express from the laird of Macleod to the Lord President, dated the 3d of August.

This intelligence, which as first was withheld from the public, was shortly followed by the arrival of the Gazette, containing the proclamation for the apprehension of the prince. Nothing was now talked of at Edinburgh but the threatended invasion. In the state of ignorance in which the public was still kept, the most contradictory reports were circulated. A rumour of the departure of Charles from France had indeed been insrted in the Edinburgh Courant a few days before, and the same paper had also, on the back of this report, stated, upon the alleged information of a foreign journal, that the prince had actually landed in the Highlands, and was to be supported by 30,000 men and 10 ships of war; but neither of these statements appears to have excited any sensation, being generally discredited. Now, however, every person firmly believed the prince had arrived. One day it was confidently asserted that he had landed in the western Highlands with 10,000 French troops. Next day it was affirmed with equal confidence that he had landed without troops; but that whenever he came the Highlanders to a man had joined him. On the other hand, the Jacobites, who were in the secret of the arrival, anxious to conceal the fact till Charles should be ready to take the field, industriously circulated a report that he was still in France, and had not the least intention of coming over. To divert the public attention, they had recourse to the weapons of ridicule. In their conversation they represented the preparations of the commander-in-chief in a ludicrous light; and to make him contemptoble in the eyes of the public, sent him anonymous letters containing most absurd articles of intelligence, which afterward circulated with scurrilous comments.


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