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Prince Charles Edward Stuart
March of Prince Charles into England


Pursuant to the plan of Lord George Murray, the advanced guard of the first division of the army left Dalkeith on the evening of Friday the 1st of November, and took the road to Peebles. The main body, consisting of the Athole brigade, the Duke of Perth's regiment, the regiments of Lord Ogilvy, Glenbucket, and Roy Stewart, and the greater part of the horse followed next day. The artillery and baggage were sent along with this column. This division was under the command of the Marquis of Tullibardine. The second division, which consisted of the life-guards and the clan regiments, headed by the prince in person, marched from Dalkeith on the 3d of November in the direction of Kelso. The guards formed the van, and the prince marched on foot at the head of the clans with his target over his shoulder. It was supposed that he would have mounted his horse after proceeding a mile or two; but, to the surprise of every person, he marched on foot the whole day, and continued the same practice during the whole of the expedition, wading through mud and snow, and it was with difficulty that he could be prevailed upon to get on horseback, even to cross a river. The example he thus set to his men, joined to the condescension and affability he displayed, endeared him to the army. Charles arrived at Lauder the same night, and took up his residence in Thirlstane castle, the seat of the Earl of Lauderdale.

After despatching part of his men by a middle course towards Selkirk and Hawick, the prince next day marched to Kelso. As Marshal Wade was supposed to be on his way north from Newcastle, Charles sent his life-guards across the Tweed, not so much for the purpose of reconnoitring, as for amusing the enemy. After advancing several miles on the road to Newcastle, they halted at a village, and made some inquiries as to quarters and accommodation for the army, which they stated was on its march to Newcastle. Charles even sent orders to Wooler, a town on the road to Newcastle, to provide quarters for his army. The design was to keep Wade in suspense, and draw off his attention from the movements of the Highland army upon Carlise. While at Kelso, Charles sent a party of between 30 and 40 men across the Tweed, to proclaim his father upon English ground. Having performed the ceremony, they returned to Kelso. The prince remained at Kelso till the 6th of November, on the morning of which day he crossed the Tweed. The river was scarcely fordable, but the men were in high spirits, and when up to the middle of the water, they expressed the ardour they felt by setting up a loud shout and discharging their pieces. After crossing the river, the prince turned to the left, and marched towards Jedburgh where he arrived in a few hours.

As his next route lay through dreary waste of considerable extent, he halted at Jedburgh for the night, to refresh his men, and departed early next morning. Marching up Rule water, Charles led his men into Liddisdale over the Knot o' the Gate, and after a fatiguing march of about twenty-five miles, arrived at Haggiehaugh upon Liddel water, where he slept. Charles marched down Liddel water on the following day, being Friday the 8th of November, and entered England in the evening. When crossing the border, the Highlanders drew their swords, and have a hearty huzza; but a damp came over their spirits, on learning that Lochiel had cut his hand in the act of unsheathing his sword, an occurrence which the Highlanders superstitiously regarded as a bad omen. Charles lay at Reddings in Cumberland that night. The division belonging to the prince's column, consisting of horse, which had taken the middle route by Hawick and Langholm, reached Longtown the same day.

While the eastern division was thus moving in a circuitous direction to the appointed place of rendezvous near Carlisle, the western column, which started on the road to Peebles, was following a more direct route, by Moffat and down Annandale. This division entered England near Longtown. On the 9th of November, Charles marched with his division to Rowcliff, four miles below Carlisle, where he crossed the river Eden, and quartered his men in the villages on the west side of the city. In the afternoon, Charles was joined by the greater part of the other division, under the Marquis of Tullibardine. This march was judiciously planned, and was executed with such precision, that scarcely two hours elapsed between the arrival of the two main divisions at the appointed place of rendezvous. The march, according to the Chevalier Johnstone, resembled on a small scale that of Marshal Saxe, a few years before, when he advanced to lay siege to Maestricht.

The plan for deceiving Marshal Wade succeeded so well, that that commander, who had now an army of 11,000 men under him, had no idea that the Highland army was marching on Carlisle, and accordingly directed his whole attention to the protection of Newcastle. Such was the secrecy with which the motions of the army were conducted, that, with the exception of Charles and his principal officers, no person knew its real destination. On arriving in the neighbourhood of Carlisle, desertion had diminished the prince's army by some hundreds.

The city of Carlisle, the capital of Cumberland, had formerly been a place of great strength, and had, during the wars between England and Scotland, been considered one of the keys of England on the side of the latter; but since the union of the crowns, its fortifications had been allowed to fall into decay. It was surrounded by walls flanked with towers, and a fosse or ditch. The city was protected by a castle on the north-west, supposed to be as old as the time of William Rufus, and by a citadel on the south-east, erected in the reign of Henry the Eighth. The castle, on the present occasion, was well furnished with artillery, and was garrisoned by a company of invalids; but, like the city, its fortifications were not in good repair. To aid the inhabitants in defending the city, the whole malitia of Cumberland and Westmorland had been assembled within its walls.

When approaching the city on the 9th, a party of the prince's horse advanced to Stanwix Bank, a small hill near Carlisle, to reconnoitre; but they were forced to retire by a few shots from the castle. The whole of the army having passed the Eden next day, Charles proceeded to invest the city on all sides. One of his parties, in marching round from the Irish to the English gate, was fired upon both from the castle and the town, but did not sustain any loss. Having completed the investment, the prince, about noon, sent a letter to the mayor of the city, requiring him to open its gates, and allow the army to enter in peaceable manner; promising, in case of compliance, to protect the city from insult, but threatening an assault in the event of refusal. The prince stated, that should an assault be made, he might not have it in his power to prevent the dreadful consequences which usually befall a city captured in that way. An answer was required within two hours, but none was given, and a discharge of cannon from the besieged announced their determination to hold out. In consequence of this reception, the trenches were opened at night, under the orders of the Duke of Perth, at the distance of eighty yards from the walls. Mr Grant, an Irish officer, of Lally's regiment, who had lately arrived from France, and who was an experienced engineer, ably availing himself of some ditches, approached close to the city without suffering from the fire of the besieged. The artillery consisted of six Swedish field pieces, which had been received from France, and of the pieces which had been taken at Preston.


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