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Prince Charles Edward Stuart
Arrival of reinforcements at Edinburgh


Among the Lowland Jacobites who displayed the greatest zeal on the present occasion, was Lord Ogilvy, eldest son of the Earl of Airly, who joined the prince at Edinburgh on the 3d October with a regiment of 600 men, chiefly from the county of Forfar, where his father's estates were situated. Most of the officers of the regiment were either of the Airly family, or bore the name of Ogilvy. Lord Ogilvy was followed by old Gordon of Glenbucket, an equally zealous supporter of the Stuarts, who arrived at Edinburgh next day with a body of 400 men, which he had collected in Strathdon, Strathaven, Glenlivet, and Auchindoun. Glenbucket had been a major-general in Mar's army, in 1715; but he now contented himself with the colonely of the regiment he had just raised, of which he made his eldest son lieutenant-colonel, and his younger sons captains, while the other commissions were held by his relations or personal friends. On the 9th of October, Lord Pitsligo also joined the prince. He was accompanied by a considerable number of gentlemen from the counties of Aberdeen and Banff, with their servants, all well armed and mounted. These formed an excellent corps of cavalry. He also brought with him a small body of infantry. Lord Pitsligo, though possessed of a moderate fortune, had great influence with the gentlemen of the counties above named, by whom he was beloved and greatly esteemed, and having great reliance on his judgement and discretion, they did not hesitate, when he declared himself in favour of the prince, to put themselves under his command.

Having been informed that there were many persons, who, from infirmity and other causes, were unable to join him, but were disposed to assist him with money, horses and arms, the Chevalier issued a proclamation on the 8th of October, calling upon all such persons to send such supplies to his secretary; and as an order had been issued, summoning the parliament to meet on the 17th, he, by another proclamation dated the 9th, prohibited all peers and commoners from paying obedience to any order or resolution that might be published in the name of either house, in case they should meet.

On the 10th of October, Charles issued a second rather spirited manifesto, justifying the step he had taken, proclaiming his father's gracious intention to redress every grievance, including the repeal of the union, endeavouring to show that the government of the Elector of Hanover was a grievous tyranny supported by foreign mercenaries. It concluded thus:-

"Let him send of his foreign hirelings, and put the whole upon the issue of a battle; I will trust only to the king my father's subjects, who were, or shall be, engaged in mine and their country's cause. But notwithstanding all the opposition he can make, I still trust in the justice of my cause, the valour of my troops, and the assistance of the Almighty, to bring my enterprise to a glorious issue.

"It is now time to conclude, and I shall do it with this reflection; civil wars are ever attended with rancour and ill-will, which party-rage never fails to produce in the minds of those whom different interests, principals, or views, set in opposition to one another: I therefore earnestly require it of my friends, to give as little loose as possible to such passions: this will prove the most effectual means to prevent the same in the enemies of our royal cause. And this my declaration will vindicate to all posterity the nobleness of my undertaking, and the generosity of my intentions".

During Charles's stay in Edinburgh the magisterial authority was in complete abeyance, and thieves and robbers, no longer restrained by the arm of power, stalked about, in open day, following their vocation. Under pretence of searching for arms, predatory bands, wearing white cockades and the Highland dress, perambulated the country, imposing upon and robbing the people. One of the most noted of these was headed by one James Ratcliffe, the same individual who figures so conspicuously in the Heart of Mid-Lothian, and who, having spent all his life in the commission of acts of robbery, had twice received sentence of death, but had contrived to effect his escape from jail. To suppress these and other acts of violence, Charles issued several edicts, and in one or two instances the last penalty of the law was inflicted by his orders upon the culprits.

Early in October a ship from France arrived at Montrose with some arms and ammunition and a small sum of money. On board this vessel was the Marquis Boyer d'Eguille, who arrived at Holyrood house on the 14th of October. The object of his journey was not exactly known, but his arrival was represented as a matter of great importance, and he was passed off as an ambassador from the French court. This vessel was soon followed by two others in succession, one of which brought, in addition to a supply of arms and money, some Irish officers in the service of France. The other had on board six field-pieces and a company of artillerymen. These succours, though small, were opportune, and were considered as an earnest of more substantial ones, of which d'Eguille gave the prince the strongest assurances. To facilitate and shorten the conveyance of arms and cannon, and of the reinforcements still expected from the north, batteries were raised at
Alloa and on the immediately opposite side of the Frith of Forth, across which these were transported without any annoyance, although the Fox, a British man-of-war, was stationed in the Frith.

The army of the prince continued to increase by the arrival of several additional detachments from the north, and before the end of October he found that his forces amounted to nearly 6,000 men; but this number was far below what Charles had expected. He had entertained hopes that by the exertions of Lord Lovat and other chiefs, whom he expected to declare in his favour, about triple that number would have been raised; but a messenger who arrived at Edinburgh from his lordship, brought him intelligence which rendered his expectations less sanguine. Lovat had calculated the he would be able to raise by his own influence a force of 4,000 or 5,000 men for the service of Charles; and, better to conceal his design, he opened a correspondence with President Forbes, in which, with his characteristic duplicity and cunning, he avowed himself a warm supporter of the government, and succeeded for a considerable time in throwing the president off his guard. By degrees, however his real intentions began to develop themselves, and after the battle of Preston he resolved to assemble his clan for the purpose of joining the prince. To deceive the government he compelled his son, (afterwards known as General Fraser), a youth of eighteen who had been pursuing his studies at the university of St. Andrews, to put himself at the head of the clan, and afterwards pretended that his son had, by this proceeding, acted in direct opposition to his orders. The only force raised south of the Tay was a regiment of 450 men which Colonel Roy Stewart formed in Edinburgh during the stay of the Highland army; for, although the prince was joined at Edinburgh by the Earls of Kilmarnock and Kellie, Lord Balmerino, Maxwell of Kirkconnel, and other south-country gentlemen, they did not bring as many men along with them as would have formed the staff of a company.


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