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Prince Charles Edward Stuart
Measures taken to increase the army


As soon as it was determined to remain in Scotland till the army should be reinforced, every measure was adopted that could tend to increase it. Letters were despatched to the Highlands, and other parts of Scotland, containing the news of the victory, and urging immediate aid; and messengers were sent to France to represent the state of the price's affairs, and to solicit succours from that court. Officers were appointed to beat up for recruits, and every inducement was held out to the prisoners taken at Preston to join the insurgents. Many of these, accordingly, enlisted in the prince's army, and were of considerable service in drilling recruits, but before the Highland army left Edinburgh, almost the whole of them deserted, and joined their former companions at Berwick. The principal person selected by Charles to go to the Highlands, on the present occasion, was Mr Alexander Macleod, a gentleman of the Scottish bar, who carried along with him a paper of instructions, dated the 24th of September, and signed by secretary Murray. By these instructions, Macleod was directed forthwith to proceed to the Isle of Skye, to assure Sir Alexander Macdonald, and the laird of Macleod, and other gentlemen of their names, that the prince did not impute their not having hitherto joined him, to any failure of loyalty or zeal on their part, for this father's cause; but to the private manner in which he had arrived in Scotland, which was from a desire to restore his royal father without foreign assistance - that he was ready still to receive them with the same affection he would have welcomed them, had they joined him on his landing - and that as they well knew the disposition of the Highlanders, and their inclination to return home after a battle, they would be sensible how necessary it was to recruit the army with a strong body of men from their country. Macleod was directed to require of these chiefs to repair with all possible speed with their men to Edinburgh, where they should be furnished with arms. In case they were found refractory, Macleod was directed to use all proper means with the gentlemen of their different families, to bring them to the field with as many followers as possible, - that to encourage them to take up arms, he was to acquaint them that the prince had received undoubted assurances of support from France and Spain, - that the Earl Marischal was expected to land in Scotland with a body of troops, - that the Duke of Ormond was also expected in England, with the Irish brigade, and a large quantity of arms, ammunition, and money, - and that before passing the Forth, he had received letters from the Spanish ministry, and the Duke of Bouillon, containing positive assurance of aid. In conclusion, Macleod was ordered to assure these gentlemen that the encouragement and favour which would be shown them, if they joined the prince's standard, would be in proportion to their loyalty and the backwardness of their chiefs. He was likewise directed to send for the chief of Mackinnon, and to tell him that the prince was much surprised that one who had given such solemn assurances, as Mackinnon had done, to join him, with all the men he could collect, should have failed in his promise. As Macleod of Swordland, in Lenelg, who had visited the prince in Glenfinnan, had there engaged to seize the fort of Bernera, and to join Charles with a hundred men, whether his chief joined or not, the messenger was instructed to ask him why he had not fulfilled his engagement. The result of this mission will be subsequently noticed.

Seated in the palace of his ancestors, Charles as Prince Regent, continued to discharge the functions of royalty, by exercising every act of sovereignty, with this difference only between him and his rival in St. James's, that while King George could only raise troops and levy money by act of parliament, Charles, by his own authority, not only ordered regiments to be raised for his service, and troops of horseguards to be levied for the defence of his person, but also imposed taxes at pleasure. To give eclat to his proceedings, and to impress upon the minds of the people, by external acts, the appearance of royalty, he held a levee every morning in Holyrood-house, and appointed a council which met every morning at ten o'clock, after the levee was over. This council comprised the Duke of Perth and Lord George Murray, the lieutenant-generals of the army, O'Sullivan, the quarter-master-general, Lord Pitsligo, Lord Elcho, Sir Thomas Sheridan, Secretary Murray, and all the Highland chiefs.

As nothing could injure his cause more in the eyes of the people than acts of oppression on the part of his troops, one of Charles's first acts after his return to Edinburgh, was to issue an edict granting protection to the inhabitants of the city and the vicinity, in their persons and properties; but farmers, living within five miles of Edinburgh, were required, before being entitled to the protection, to appear at the secretary's office, in Holyrood-house, and grant bond that they should be ready, on twelve hours' notice, to furnish the prince with horses for carrying the baggage of his army to Berwick-upon-Tweed, or a similar distance, according to their plowgates. By another proclamation put forth the same day, viz, the 23d of September, he denounced death or such other punishment as a court-martial should order to be inflicted on any soldier or person connected with his army, who should be guilty of forcibly taking from "the good people of Edinburgh", or of the country, any of their goods without a fair equivalent to the satisfaction of the parties. These orders were in general scrupulously attended to, though, in some instances, irregularities were committed, under the pretence of searching for arms. The greater part, however, were the acts of persons who, though they wore the white cockade, did not belong to the army.

Besides the clergymen of the city, a considerable number of the volunteers had deserted their houses in dread of punishment for having taken up arms. To induce these, as well as the ministers of the city, to return, Charles issued a proclamation on the 24th of September, granting a full pardon to all or such of them, as should, within twenty days after the publication thereof, present themselves to Secretary Murray, or to any other member of the council, at Holyrood-house, or at such other place as the prince might be at the time. A few volunteers only took advantage of this offer.

When the Highland army first approached the city, the directors of the two banks then existing, had removed all their money and notes to the castle, under the apprehension that the prince would appropriate them to his own use. As great inconvenience was felt in the city by the removal of the banks, Charles issued a proclamation on the 25th of September, in which, after disclaiming any intention to seize the funds belonging to the banks should be free from any exactions on his part; and that he himself would contribute to the re-establishment of public credit, by receiving and issuing the notes of the banks in payment. The banks, however, declined to avail themselves of the prince's offer; but when applied to for money in exchange for a large quantity of their notes in possession of the Highland army, the directors answered the demand.

As the wants of his army were many, the next object of the prince's solicitude was to provide against them. Anxious as he was to conciliate all classes of the people, he had no alternative on the present occasion, but to assess the burghs of Scotland, in sums proportionate to the duties of excise drawn from them. He accordingly sent letters, dated the 30th of September, to all the chief magistrates of the burghs, ordering them, under pain of being considered rebel, to repair, upon receipt, to Holyrood-house, to get the contributions to be paid by their respective burghs ascertained, and for payment of which, he promised to assign the duties of excise. For immediate use, he compelled the city of Edinburgh, on pain of military execution, to furnish his army with 1,000 tents, 2,000 targets, 6,000 pairs of shoes, and other articles, to the value of upwards of 15,000, to liquidate which, a tax of 2s 6d per pound was laid on the city, and in the Canongate and Leith. From the city of Glasgow he demanded 15,000, a sum which was compromised by a prompt payment of 5,500. The prince, at the same time, despatched letters to the collectors of the land-tax, the collectors and comptrollers of the customers and excise, and to the factors upon the estates forfeited in the former insurrection, requiring all of them, upon receipt, to repair to Holyrood-house with their books, and to pay such balances as might appear upon examination to be in their hands, - the first and last classes, under the pain of rebellion and military execution, and the second class, besides the last-mentioned penalty, under the pain of high-treason. Charles, at the same time, seized all the smuggled goods in the custom-houses of Leith and other sea-ports, which being sold, yielded him 7,000. Besides the exactions from public bodies, he compelled several of the nobility and gentry in the neighbourhood of Edinburgh to supply him with considerable quantities of hay and oats. Parties of the Highlanders were sent to the seats of the Dukes of Hamilton and Douglas, and the Earl of Hoptoun, to carry off arms and horses. From the last mentioned nobleman they took nearly 100 horses.


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