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Prince Charles Edward Stuart
Charles gains the hearts of the clans


Charles remained only one night at Glenfinnan. On the 20th of August he marched to the head of Loch Lochy, where he encamped. At this place, a copy of the proclamation for his apprehension was brought to him, which exasperated the Highlanders to such a degree that they insisted on a counter one being issued, offering a reward for the apprehension of "the Elector of Hanover". Charles remonstrated against such a step, but he was forced to yield, and accordingly put forth the following answer: "Charles, Prince of Wales, &c,. Regent of the Kingdoms of Scotland, England, France, and Ireland, and the dominions thereunto belonging:

"Whereas we have seen a certain scandalous and malicious paper published in the style and form of a proclamation, bearing date the 6th instant, wherein, under pretence of bringing to justice, like our royal ancestor King Charles the I of blessed memory, there is a reward of thirty thousand pounds sterling promised to those who shall deliver us into the hands of our enemies, we could not but be moved with a just indignation at so insolent an attempt. And though, from our nature and principles, we abhor and detest a practice so unusual among Christian princes, we cannot but, out of a just regard to the dignity of our person, promise the like reward of thirty thousand pounds sterling to him, or those, who shall seize and secure till our father orders, the person of the Elector of Hanover, whether landed or attempting to land in any part of his majesty's dominions. Should any fatal accident happen from hence, let the blame be entirely at the door of those who first set the infamous example". This proclamation, which was dated from the "camp at Kinlocheil", was countersigned by Murray of Broughton, who had lately joined the prince, and had been appointed his secretary.

On the 23d, the prince advanced to Fassifern, the seat of Lochiel's brother, where he passed the night. While at Fassifern, intelligence was received by the prince of the march of Sir John Cope from Stirling. Having previously sent off his baggage under an escort of 200 Camerons towards Moy, in Lochaber, Charles put his army in motion on the 24th, and arrived at Moy on the following day. On the 26th, the prince crossed the water of Lochy with his army, and proceeded to the castle of Invergary, in which he took up his quarters for the night. During the night, he received an express from Gordon of Glenbucket, acquainting him, that Sir John Cope was considerably advanced in his march to the north, and that he intended to cross Corriearrick. About the same time, he was visited by Fraser of Gortlech, who came to him in name of Lord Lovat, to assure him of his lordship's services. Fraser advised him to march north, and raise the Frasers of Stratherrick, and assured him that Sir Alexander Macdonald, the laird of Macleod, and many of the Mackenzies, Grants, and Mackintoshes, would join him; but the proposal was opposed by the Marquis of Tullibardine and secretary Murray, the latter of whom considered the early possession of Edinburgh, where he alleged there were many persons ready to join the ranks of the insurgents, of more importance than any advantages that might be derived by remaining in the Highlands.

This opinion was adopted by Charles, who next morning proceeded to Abertarf in Glengarry. He was joined at Low Bridge by 260 of the Stewarts of Appin, under the command of Stewart of Ardshiel, and at Aberchallader, near the foot of Corriearrick, by 600 of the Macdonells of Glengarry, under the command of Macdonell of Lochgarry; and by a party of the Grants of Glenmoriston. With these accessions the force under Charles amounted to nearly 2,000 men. Charles now held a council of war to deliberate upon the course he should pursue, - whether to advance and give battle to Cope, or postpone an engagement till he should receive additional strength. It was clearly the interest of Charles to meet his adversary with as little delay as possible, and as his forces already outnumbered those opposed to him, he could not doubt but that the result of an engagement would be favourable to his arms. The council, every member of which was animated with an ardent desire to engage Cope, at once resolved to meet him. This resolution corresponded with the inclinations of the clans, all of whom, to use the expression of Fraser of Gortuleg on the occasion, were "in top spirits", and making sure of victory.

The determination of the council, and the valorous enthusiasm of the clans, acting upon the ardent mind of the prince, created an excitement, to which even he, with all his dreams of glory and ambition, had before been a stranger. The generous and devoted people into whose hands he had committed the destinies of his house, struck with admiration by the condescension, and that easy yet dignified familiarity which never fails to secure attachment, were ready to encounter any danger for his sake. No man knew better than Charles how to improve the advantages he had thus obtained over the minds and affections of these hardy mountaineers. Becoming, as it were, one of themselves, he entered into their views, - showed an anxiety to learn their language, which he daily practised, - and finally resolved to adopt their dress. This line of policy endeared him to the Highlanders, and to it may be ascribed the veneration in which his memory is still held by their descendants, at the distance of more than a century. Having in this way inspired his faithful Highlanders with a portion of his own natural ardour, they in their turn, by the enthusiasm they displayed, raised his expectations of success to the highest possible pitch. A remarkable instance of this was exhibited before commencing the march next morning, when, after putting on his Highland dress, he solemnly declared, when in the act of tying the latchets of his shoes, that he would not unloose them till he came up with Cope's army.

Desirous of getting possession of the defiles of Corriearrick before Cope should ascend that mountain, Charles began his march from Aberchallader at four o'clock on the morning of the 27th August. His army soon reached the top of the hill, and was beginning to descend on the south side, when intelligence was brought the prince, that Cope had given up his intention of crossing Corriearrick and was in full march for Inverness. Cope had put his army in motion the same morning towards Garviemore; but when his van reached Blarigg Beg, about seven miles and a half from Dalwhinnie, he ordered his troops to halt, to face about, and, in conformity with the opinion of his council, to take the road to Inverness by Ruthven. To deceive Charles, Cope had left behind, on the road to Fort Augustus, part of his baggage, some companies of foot, and his camp colours. The news of Cope's flight (for it was nothing else) was received by the Highland army with a rapturous shout, which was responded to by the prince, who, taking a glass of brandy, said, with a jeering smile, "Here's a health to Mr Cope; he is my friend, and if all the usurper's generals follow his example, I shall soon be at St James's". Every man, by the prince's orders, drank this toast in a glass of usquebaugh. The Highlanders immediately put themselves in motion, and marched down the traverses on the south side of the mountain with great celerity, as if in full pursuit of a flying enemy, on whose destruction they were wholly bent.

The Highland army continued the same rapid pace till it reached Garviemore, where it halted. A council of war was then held, at which various proposals were made for pursuing and intercepting the enemy; but none of them were agreed to. The council finally resolved to abandon the pursuit of Cope, - to march to the south, and endeavour to seize Edinburgh; the possession of which was considered, particularly by secretary Murray, as of the highest importance. This determination was by no means relished by the clans, who were eager for pursuing Cope, whose army they expected to have annihilated; but their chiefs having concurred in the resolution, they reluctantly acquiesced. A party of 600 Highlanders, however, volunteered to follow Cope under cloud of night; and undertook to give a good account of his army, but the prince dissuaded them from the enterprise.

From Garviemore, Charles despatched Macdonald of Lochgarry with a party of 200 men, to seize the small fort of Ruthven, in which there was a garrison of regular troops; but the vigilance of the commander rendered the attempt abortive, and the Highlanders were repulsed with a trifling loss. A party of Camerons, commanded by Dr Cameron, was sent to the house of Macpherson of Cluny, the chief of the Macphersons, who commanded a company in the services of the government, to apprehend him, and succeeded.

On the 29th of August, the Highland army was again put in motion, and advanced towards Dalnacardoch. At Dalwhinnie, they were rejoined by Dr Cameron and his party, bringing along with them Macpherson of Cluny, who, after a short interview with the prince, promised to raise his clan for his service. On giving this assurance he was released, and went home to collect his men. Next day, Charles marched to the castle of Blair, which had been abandoned by the Duke of Athole on his approach. The Marquis of Tullibardine took possession of the castle as his own property, and immediately assumed the character of host, by inviting Charles and the Highland chiefs to supper. To make his guests as comfortable as possible, the marquis had written a letter from Dalnacardoch, to Mrs Robertson of Lude, a daughter of Lord Nairne, desiring her to repair to the castle, to get it put in proper order, and to remain there to do the honours of the house on the prince's arrival.

At Blair, Charles was joined by Lord Nairne, and several other Perthshire gentlemen; but the greater part of the resident gentry had fled on hearing of the entrance of the Highland army into Athole. Charles reviewed his army the morning after his arrival at the castle, when he found that a considerable number of his men were wanting. Some officers were immediately sent to bring them up, and the only reason they assigned for loitering behind, was that they had been denied the gratification of pursuing Cope.

From Blair, Charles sent forward Lord Nairne, and Lochiel, with 400 men, to take possession of Dunkeld, which they entered on the morning of the 3d of September. In this town they proclaimed the Chevalier. After remaining two days at the castle of Blair, Charles repaired on the 2d September to the house of Lude, where he spent the night, and next day went to Dunkeld, whence he proceeded to Lord Nairne's house, on the road to Perth. While at dinner, the conversation turning upon the character of the enterprise, and the peculiarity of the prince's situation, some of the company took occasion to express their sympathy for the prince's father, on account of the state of anxiety he would be in, from the consideration of those dangers and difficulties the prince would have to encounter. But Charles, without meaning to depreciate his father's cares, observed that he did not pity him half so much as his brother; "for", said he, "the king has been inured to disappointments and distresses, and had learnt to bear up easily under the misfortunes of life; but poor Harry! his younger and tender years make him much to be pitied, for few brothers love as we do".


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