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Prince Charles Edward Stuart
Carlisle captured by Prince Charles


Having received intelligence that Marshal Wade was advancing from Newcastle to relieve Carlisle, and that he had already arrived at Hexham, Charles resolved to meet him on some of the hilly grounds between Newcastle and Carlisle. Leaving, therefore a sufficient force to blockade Carlisle, he departed with the remainder of the army on the morning of the 11th, and reached Warwick castle about ten o'clock. He then despatched Colonel Ker with a party of horse, in the direction of Hexham, to reconnoitre, and ordered his men to take up their quarters for the night. Ker having ascertained that the news of Wade's march was false, returned to Brampton, and made his report. After waiting two days at Brampton without hearing any thing of Wade, a council of war was held, at which several opinions were offered. One opinion, in which Charles concurred, was that the army should advance to Newcastle, and give battle to Wade. Some of the council thought that this would be a dangerous step; for even were they to defeat the marshal, his army might take refuge in Newcastle, which it was vain for them to think of taking, as, besides the strength of the place, the army had lost many men upon its march. Others were for returning to Scotland till joined by a greater body of their friends; but Lord George Murray opposed all these views, and proposed, that while one part of the party should besiege and blockade Carlisle, the other should remain at Brampton. The Duke of Perth seconded this opinion, and offered to undertake the charge of the battery, if Lord George would take the command of the blockade. The council having all agreed to Lord George's proposal, six of the Lowland regiments were sent to blockade the town, besides the Duke of Perth's, which was to be employed on the battery.

Whilst the main body of the army was at Brampton, the party left before the city occupied themselves in cutting down wood in Corby and Warwick parks, with which they made scaling-ladders, fascines, and carriages. On the 13th, about noon, the regiments appointed for the blockade and siege of the city re-appeared before it. Lord George Murray took up his quarters at Harbery, and posted his men in the villages around the city to stop all communication with it. The besieging party broke ground in the evening within musket-shot of the walls, about half-way between the English and Scotch gates. A constant firing was kept up from the city; but as these operations were carried on under cloud of night, the party in the trenches received no injury. Having completed their battery, the besiegers brought up all their cannon, consisting of thirteen pieces, to play upon the town. Next morning the fire from the garrison was renewed, but with little effect, and the besiegers, instead of returning the fire, held up their bonnets on the end of their spades in derision.

Alarmed by the preparations of the Highlanders, and the state of affairs within the city, a meeting of the inhabitants was held, at which it was resolved to surrender the town. For seven days the garrison of the city, kept in constant alarm by the Highlanders, had scarcely enjoyed an hour's continued repose; and while many of the men had, from illness, absolutely refused to assist any longer in the defence of the city, numbers were hourly leaving it clandestinely by slipping over the walls; so that in several cases the officers of some companies had not more than three of four men left. In this state of matters the only alternative was a surrender; and as a crisis appeared to be at hand, a white flag was exhibited from the walls, and a messenger despatched to the Duke of Perth to request terms. His Grace sent an express to Brampton to know the prince's pleasure; but his Royal Highness refused to grant any terms to the city unless the castle surrendered at the same time. At the request of the mayor, a cessation of arms was granted till next day; but before the time expired, Colonel Durand, the commander of the castle, agreed to surrender the fortress along with the town. The conditions were, that the liberties and properties of the inhabitants, and all the privileges of the town, should be preserved inviolate; - that both garrisons on taking an oath not to serve against the house of Stuart for one year, should be allowed to retire, - and that all the arms and ammunition in the castle and the city, and all the horses belonging to the militia, should be delivered up to the prince. This capitulation was signed by the Duke of Perth and Colonel Durand on the night of the 14th.

Next morning at ten o'clock the Duke of Perth entered the city at the head of his regiment, and was followed by the other regiments at one o'clock in the afternoon. The castle, however, was not given up till next morning. The Duke of Perth shook hands with the men of the garrison, told them they were brave fellows, and offered them a large bounty to enlist in the service of the prince. The mayor and his attendants went to Brampton, and delivered the keys of the city to the prince. The Duke found 1,000 stand of arms in the castle, besides those of the militia. He also found 200 good horses in the city, and a large quantity of valuable effects in the castle, which had been lodged there by the gentry of the neighbourhood for safety.

On the day following the surrender, the Chevalier de St. George was proclaimed in the city with the usual formalities; and, to give greater eclat to the ceremony, the mayor and aldermen were compelled to attend with the sword and mace carried before them. Along with the manifestos formerly noticed, another declaration for England, dates from Rome, 23d December, 1743, was also read, or much the same tenor as the others.

After the Chevalier had been proclaimed, and the different manifestos read, the corporation went out to meet the prince, who entered the city under a general salute of artillery.

In many points of view the capture of Carlisle would have been of great importance to the prince, if he had been strong enough to have availed himself of the state of terror which that event, and his subsequent advance into the very heart of England, had thrown the people of that kingdom; but his means were soon found quite inadequate to accomplish his end. Even if his resources had been much greater then ever they were, it seems doubtful whether the jealousies and dissension's, which, at an early period, began to distract his councils, would not have rendered all his exertions, for obtaining the great object of his ambition, unavailable.


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