Of the deportment of Charles, and the mode in which he spent
his time during his abode at Holyrood house, it may now be necessary to say a few words.
It has been already stated on the authority of an officer in his army, whose memoirs are
quoted by Mr Home, that before the meeting of his council, Charles held a levee. The same
writer adds, that after the rising of the council, which generally sat very long, he dined
in public with his principal officers, and that while the army lay at Duddingston he rode
out there after dinner, accompanied by his life-guards. The object of these visits was to
keep the Highlanders together; and to show them that the change of circumstances had not
altered his disposition towards them, he frequently supped and slept in the camp.
Another writer, an eye-witness, says that "the prince's court at Holyrood soon became
very brilliant, and that every day from morning to night there was a vast concourse of
well-dressed people. Besides the gentlemen that had joined the prince, there was a great
number of ladies and gentlemen who came either from affection or curiosity. People flocked
from all quarters to see the novelty of a court which had not been held in Scotland for
sixty years, and from its splendour, and the air of satisfaction which appeared in every
person's countenance, one would have thought the king was already restored, and in
peaceable possession of all the dominions of his ancestor, and that the prince had only
made a trip to Scotland to show himself to the people, and receive their homage. The
conduct of Charles corresponded in all respects with the attentions shown him. He
professed the warmest attachment to Scotland, and was often heard to say, that should he
succeed in his attempt, he would make Scotland his Hanover, and Holyrood house his
Herenhausen; an expression by which he not only marked his devotion to the Scotch nation,
but conveyed a severe rebuke upon King George, who was justly accused of an undue
predilection for his native soil.
To mark his sense of the respect shown him, and to ingratiate himself still more with his
new friends, Charles have a series of balls and entertainment's in the palace, which were
attended by all the persons of rank and fashion assembled in the capital. On these
occasions, the young Chevalier appeared sometimes in an English court-dress with the blue
ribbon, star, and other insignia of the order of the garter, and at other times in a
Highland dress of fine silk tartan, with crimson velvet breeches, and the cross of St.
Andrew. His politeness, affability, and condescension, were the theme of universal
conversation. Captivated by the charms of his conversation, the graces of his person, and
the unwearied attentions which he bestowed on them, the ladies entered warmly into the
prince's views; and their partisanship became so available to his cause as to attract, as
we have seen, the especial attention of President Forbes. Indeed, so strong was the hold
which the spirit of Jacobitism had taken of the hearts of the ladies of Edinburgh, that
when afterwards overawed by the presence of an English army, they, nevertheless, continued
to wear the Jacobite badge, and treated the approaches of the Duke of Cumberland's
officers with supercilious indifference. As Charles was almost wholly destitute of every
household requisite, his female friends sent plate, china, linen, and other articles of
domestic use to the palace.
At the present stage of this history, it seems proper to record a manifesto which emanated
from Charles's army on the eve of its departure for England, which, as an historical
document of considerable interest, shall be given entire. It was titled, "The
declaration and admonitory letter of such of the nobility, gentry, and free born subjects
of his majesty, as, under the auspicious conduct of his royal highness, Charles, prince of
Wales, steward of Scotland, &c, have taken up arms in support of the cause of their
king and country". It was addressed "unto those who have not as yet declared
their approbation of this enterprise; and to such as have, or may hereafter, appear in
arms against it".
Fellow-Subjects, - It is with abundance of regret, and not without indignation, that we
daily hear and see this our undertaking, which in glory and disinterestedness may vie with
any to be met with, either in ancient or modern history, traduced, misrepresented, and
reviled in those fulsome addresses and associations made to and in favours of the Elector
of Hanover, by those very bishops of the church of England, who, for so many years, have
contributed their utmost endeavours to abet and support every measure the most unpopular,
pernicious, and hurtful, that the worst of ministers, be he of what party he would, could
ever devise for the undoing of these nations.
"It is from such patterns of virtue and piety that the nation now must take the
alarm? Are we by these old bugbears of popery, slavery, and tyranny, for ever to be
hindered from pursuing our only true interest? Or, is the groundless fear of an imaginary
evil to prevent our shaking off the heavy yoke we daily feel?
"What further security, in the name of God, can a people desire for the enjoyment of
their ecclesiastical rights? Have not both the king and prince regent sworn in the most
solemn manner to maintain the Protestant religion throughout his majesty's dominions? Nay,
more, have they not promised to pass any laws which shall be thought necessary for the
further security of it? Are we not Protestants who now address you? And is it not by the
strength of a Protestant army that he must mount the throne? Can any man, or number of
men, persuade you, that we, who are your brethren, born in the same island, and who have
the same interest, do not love ourselves, our religion, laws and liberties, as well as you
"What further security can the nature of the thing admit of? You have your prince's
promises, and here you have laid before you the sentiments of his army; who, having
thankfully accepted them, are determined and resolved to set their country at liberty, by
establishing that glorious plan which has been freely offered to us by the only rightful
prince of the British nations; and this must be done before we sheath our swords.
"Our enemies have represented us as men of low birth and of desperate fortunes. We,
who are now in arms, are, for the greatest part, of the most ancient families of this
island, whose forefathers asserted the liberties of their country, long, long before the
names of many of our declaimers were ever heard of. Our blood is good, and that our
actions shall make appear. If our fortunes be not great, our virtue had kept them low; and
desperate we may be truly called, for we are determined to conquer or die.
"The justice, therefore, of the cause we now appear for, the interest of the nation
which we support and pursue, and the glorious character of our royal leader, may each by
itself, or all together, abundantly convince the nation, that now at last there appears an
happy and unforeseen opportunity of acquiring all those blessings which a distrest nation
has long been so long wishing for in vain.
"This golden opportunity we have laid hold of; and in justice to ourselves and
fellow-subjects, are obliged thus to apprise them of the uprightness of our intentions in
carrying into execution a scheme calculated and adapted to those principles of liberty
which the true lovers of their country have been polishing and refining for these may
"Perhaps you may find fault that you were not apprised of this undertaking. No more
were we. God has conducted, the prince of Wales has executed; and we are thereby in
possession of Scotland, and victorious over one of the Elector's armies, which nothing
could have saved from total destruction but the authority and mercy of a young conqueror,
possest of all the shining virtues which can adorn a throne, and who may challenge the
keenest enemy of his royal family to impute to him a vice which can blacken the character
of a prince. Compare his clemency towards all the prisoners and wounded at the battle of
Gladsmuir, with the executions, imprisonment's, and banishment's, exercised by the German
family after their success at Preston in the year 1715, and your affections will tell you
who is the true father of the people.
"We have hitherto only spoke to your interests; when his royal highness comes himself
among you, let his appearance, his moderation, his affability, his tenderness and
affection for those he can truly call his countrymen, speak to your passions; then you
who, at the instigation of your enemies, are now arming for the defence, as you imagine,
of your respective communities, will be able to judge from whom you will have the best
reason to expect protection. Thus far we can take upon us to promise in his highness's
name, that such as shall make no resistance to our troops, though before our arrival they
may have been levying war against us, may nevertheless depend upon the most ample security
for their persons and estates, provided, by a timely surrender of their arms, they put in
our power to protect them against the fury of the army; and how foolish will it be, after
this assurance, for any city, corporation, or county, to attempt to make head against the
combined force of a whole nation, collected in a numerous army, and flushed with success?
If any misfortune, therefore, ensue from a disregard of this admonition, we of his royal
highness's army declare ourselves free of all blame therein.
"It is time for you now, O countrymen! to lay aside all animosities, all distinctions
of families or names, and to confine your thoughts only to the interest of these kingdoms,
connecting with them as you go along the sentiments you had a few years ago.
"What transport of joy would the bulk of the British nation have felt upon a certain
remarkable and never to be forgotten period in our political history, (that great change
of ministry which happened not long ago, when the cries of a distressed people, supported
by the interest and influence of powerful, though designing men, accomplished the ruin of
a mighty minister), how great would have been your joy had you then had from the Elector
of Hanover such a declaration as that emitted the 10th of this month by his royal
highness, the heir and representative of our natural and only rightful sovereign?
"Is it possible to conceive the universal satisfaction which such a declaration would
have occasioned, unless we judge of it by our fatal disappointment? - We leave it to
yourselves to make the application. As it is not our intention here to set forth the
domestic grievances of the nation, nor the scandalous preference showed upon all occasions
to a pitiful foreign concern; for as we address ourselves chiefly to the friends of
liberty and the constitution, we suppose you all abundantly instructed in them; nor would
it serve but to lengthen this letter, to enumerate the many promises in the king's and
prince's declarations and manifestos to his subjects upon this occasion; we have
abundantly explained our own motives for now appearing in arms, and would willingly use a
little serious expostulation with you, gentlemen, who intend to oppose us.
"What then, in the name of God, do you propose to yourselves? Is it also the interest
of Great Britain and Ireland? Or, is it the support of the Elector of Hanover's family in
the succession to the crown of these realms? If your armaments proceed from the first of
these motives, tell us what a prince can do more to make you a free and a happy people?
What security can you have more than his word and his army's guarantee, until the nation
shall have time abundantly to secure themselves by parliament?
"If you be satisfied with the promises made you, and the security of the performance,
do you disapprove of this method of bringing about the execution by force of arms? If you
do, be so good as to suggest another equally efficacious.
"That by parliament, indeed, would have been universally the most acceptable; but we
cannon be so infatuated as to remain in eternal bondage, unless a parliament, composed of
hirelings, should set us at liberty; nor have we any hopes that the Elector will strip
himself of that pecuniary influence by which alone he has carried, over the bellies of the
nation, every destructive measure.
"On the other hand, if the dispute is to be whether the Stuart of Hanoverian family
shall reign over Great Britain, without reference to the interest of the nation, we need
use no other argument than the sword with such as shall oppose us upon these principles.
"To conclude, we desire to lay this important question before you in a new light.
Suppose, for it is only a supposition, that this dreadful and unnatural rebellion, as you
are taught to call it, should be extinguished and quashed, and every man concerned in it
executed on a scaffold; your joy, no doubt, would be very great upon so glorious an event;
your address would then be turned into thanksgivings, - your parliament would then meet
and clothe your beloved sovereign with new powers, - your standing army, which has
hitherto been looked upon as the bane of the constitution, would then be consecrated as
your deliverers; and the revered bishops of the church of England would be hailed from the
most distant corners of the island by the glorious appellation of patriots and protectors
of British liberty. O happy, thrice happy nation, who have such an army and such a bench
of bishops ready upon this occasion to rescue them from popery, and slavery, tyranny, and
"When, indeed, the first transport of your joy would be over, - for you are not to
expect that these halcyon days are ever to remain, - you might perhaps find, to your fatal
experience, that the constitution of your country was not in the least improved; and upon
the return of the unavoidable consequences of those evils all along complained of, and
which now you have so fair an opportunity of having redressed, you would at last be
sensible that we were those who, in truth, deserved the appellation of deliveries,
patriots, and protectors of the British liberty. But this last part of our letter is
addressed only to such as we expect to meet with in a field of battle, and we are hopeful
that those will prove but an inconsiderable part of the nations of Great Britain and
Ireland; and that you, our countrymen and fellow-subjects, upon being advised and
informed, as you now have been, of the whole plan of this glorious expedition, will
cheerfully join issue with us, and share in the glory of restoring our king and in setting
our country free, which, by the strength of our arm, the assistance of our allies, and the
blessing of Almighty God, we shortly expect to see accomplished".