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Prince Charles Edward Stuart
Prince Charles lands at Borodale


Charles remained on board the Doutelle till the 25th of July, the interval between which day and that of his arrival in Lochnanuagh, was spent in despatching letters and receiving communications from his friends, and in consultations with his companions and the adherents who visited him, as to the means to be adopted for raising the clans that were favourably disposed. During the same interval, all the arms, ammunition, and stores were landed; and every thing being in readiness for his reception on shore, Charles, accompanied by his suite, landed at Borodale, a farm belonging to Clanranald, and took up his abode in the house of Angus Macdonald, the tenant of the farm, who received him and his companions with a hearty welcome. By orders of young Clanranald, Macdonald of Glenalladale and another gentleman of the clan, had collected about 100 of their men to serve as a bodyguard to the prince, all of whom were hospitably entertained at Borodale.

No situation could have been any where selected more suitable for the circumstances and designs of Charles than the abode he had chosen. Besides being one of the most remote and inaccessible places in the western Highlands of Scotland, it was surrounded on all sides by the territories of the most devoted adherents of the house of Stuart, by the descendants of the heroes of Kilsyth and Killiecrankie, in whose breasts the spirit of revenge had taken deep root, for the cruelties which had followed the short-lived insurrection on 1715, and the affronts to which they had been subjected under the disarming act. These mountaineers had long sighed for an opportunity of retaliation, and they were soon to imagine that the time for vengeance had arrived.

As soon as the landing of Charles was known, the whole neighbourhood was in motion, and repaired, "without distinction of age or sex", to the house of Borodale, to see a man with whose success they considered the glory and happiness of their country to be inseparably associated. To gratify his warm-hearted and generous visitors, and to attain a full view of the assembled group, Charles seated himself in a conspicuous part of the room where a repast had been laid out for him and his friends. Here, amid the congregated spectators who feasted their eyes with the sight of the lineal descendant of a race of kings, endeared to them by many sorrowful recollections, the prince partook of the fare provided by his kind host, with a cheerfulness which banished all reflection of the past or care for the future. At the conclusion of the repast, Charles drank the grace-drink in English, which, of course, was understood only by a few of the persons present. The guest, to whom we are indebted for this account, says, that when his turn came to propose a toast, wishing to distinguish himself, he gave, "the king's health" in Gaelic in an audible voice, "Deoch slaint an Righ". When the prince was informed that his father's health had been drunk, he requested the gentleman who had proposed it to pronounce the words again in Gaelic, that he might repeat them himself. This being done, Charles repeated the words, and understanding that the proposer was skilful in Gaelic, the prince intimated to him that he would henceforth take instructions from him in that language. The same individual, afterwards, by desire, gave also the health's of the prince, and his brother, "the duke", in Gaelic. Such condescension and familiarity on the part of Charles were highly gratifying to the feelings of all present, and were better calculated to secure the affections of the unsophisticated people, into whose arms he had thrown himself, than all the pomp and circumstance of regal splendour.

Though the extreme rashness of young Clanranald and his friends, in thus exposing themselves to almost inevitable destruction, be quite inexcusable on the score of sober reason, yet it is impossible not to admire the daring intrepidity of the men, who, at the call of a friendless and unprotected youth, could commit themselves in a struggle with the government even before they had ascertained that a single clan, except their own, would join. Their devotedness to the cause of the Stuarts did not blind them, however, to the dangers to which they were about to expose themselves by declaring for the prince; but having now thrown away the scabbard, they resolved to cling to the cause which a feeling of fidelity prompted them to espouse, reckless of the consequences. "All may judge (says a gentleman of the clan), how hazardous an enterprise we were now engaged in, being for some time quite alone; but we resolved, notwithstanding, to follow our prince, and risk out fate with his".

Charles, before landing, had despatched messengers to several of the chiefs who were favourably disposed. From Borodale he again sent off fresh messengers to all the chiefs from whom he expected assistance, requiring their attendance. Some of his friends, aware of his arrival, had, it is said, already held a meeting to consult as to the course they should pursue; a which Macdonald of Keppoch had given is opinion, that as the prince had risked his person, and generously thrown himself into the hands of his friends, they were bound, in duty at least, to raise men instantly for the protection of his person, whatever might be the consequences; but it does not appear that any such resolution was at that time adopted.

The person pitched upon to visit Lochiel on this occasion, was Macdonald, younger of Scothouse, who succeeded in inducing that chief to visit the prince at Borodale, but he went with a determination not to take up arms. On his way to Borodale he called at the house of his brother, John Cameron of Fassefern, who, on being told the object of his journey, advised Lochiel not to proceed, as he was afraid that the prince would prevail upon him to forego his resolution. Lochiel, form in his determination, as he imagined, told his brother that his reasons for declining to join the prince were too strong to be overcome, and pursued his journey.

Donald Cameron of Lochiel, on whose final determination the question of a civil war was now to depend, (for it seems to be universally admitted, that if Lochiel had declined to take up arms the other chiefs would have also refused), though called young Lochiel by the Highlanders, from his father being still alive, was rather advanced in life. His father, for the share he had taken in the insurrection of 1715, was attainted and in exile. In consequence of the attainder, young Lochiel had succeeded to the family estates upon the death of his grandfather, Sir Ewan Cameron, in 1719. Sir Ewan, the reader knows, had served with distinction under Montrose and Dundee, and his son and grandson had inherited from the old warrior a devoted attachment to the house of Stuart, which no change of circumstances had been ever able to eradicate. The Chevalier de St. George, sensible of the inflexible integrity of the young chief, and of the great influence which he enjoyed among his countrymen on account of the uprightness of his character, and as being at the head of one of the most powerful of the clans, had invested him with full powers to negotiate with his friends in Scotland, on the subject of his restoration. Knowing the confidence which was so deservedly reposed in him, he was consulted on all occasions by the Jacobites in the Highlands, and, as has been elsewhere observed, was one of the seven who, in the year 1740, signed the bond of association to restore the Chevalier. Upon the failure of the expedition of 1743, young Lochiel had urged the prince to continue his exertions to get another fitted out; but he was averse to any attempts being made without foreign assistance, and cautioned the prince accordingly.


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