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Prince Charles Edward Stuart
Prince Charles at Glasgow and surrender of Stirling


To return to Charles. On his arrival at Glasgow, his first care was to provide for the necessities of his men, who were in a most pitiable plight from the want of clothing. He ordered the magistrates to furnish the army with 12,000 shirts, 6,000 cloth coats, 6,000 pairs of stockings, and 6,000 waistcoats. Enraged at the conduct of the citizens for having subscribed to the fund for raising troops against him, the prince sent for Buchanan the provost, and demanded the names of the subscribers, and threatened to hang him in case of refusal: but the provost, undismayed, replied that he would name nobody except himself, that he had subscribed largely, as he thought he was discharging a duty, and that he was not afraid to die in such a cause. The provost had to pay a fine of 500 as the penalty of his refusal.

The mansion which Charles occupied during his residence in Glasgow belonged to a rich merchant named Glassford. It was the best house in the city, and stood at the western extremity of the Trongate, but has long since disappeared. While in Glasgow he ate twice a-day in public. The table was spread in a small dining-room, at which he sat down without ceremony with a few of his officers in the Highland dress. He was waited upon on these occasions by a few Jacobite ladies. Charles courted popularity, and, to attract attention, dressed more elegantly in Glasgow than at any other place; but the citizens of Glasgow kept up a reserve, which made Charles remark, with a feeling of mortified disappointment, that he had never been in a place where he found fewer friends. Though dissatisfied with the people, he seemed, however, greatly to admire the regularity and beauty of the buildings.

Having refitted his army, Charles, within a few days after his arrival, reviewed it on Glasgow Green, in presence of a large concourse of spectators, and had the satisfaction to find that, with the exception of those he had left at Carlisle, he had not lost more than 40 men during his expedition into England. Hitherto he had carefully concealed his weakness, but now, thinking himself sure of doubling his army in a few days, he was not unwilling to let the world see the handful of men with which he had penetrated into the very heart of England, and returned in the face of two powerful armies almost without loss.

Abandoning, in the mean time, his project of returning to England, Charles resolved to lay siege to the castles of Stirling and Edinburgh. He depended much for success upon the artillery and engineers brought over by Lord John Drummond, and looked confidently forward for additional succours from France in terms of the repeated assurances he had received. Having determined on beginning with Stirling, he sent orders to Lord Strathallan, Lord John Drummond, Lord Lewis Gordon, and other commanders in the north, to join him forthwith with all their forces.

To accelerate a junction with the forces at Perth, the prince marched his army from Glasgow on the 4th of January, 1746, in two divisions; one of which, commanded by the prince, took the road to Kilsyth, where it passed the night. Charles himself took up his quarters in Kilsyth house, then belonging to Mr. Campbell of Shawfield. Mr. Campbell's steward, it is said, was ordered to provide every thing necessary for the comfort of the prince, under a promise of payment, but was told next morning that the bill should be allowed o his master at accounting for the rents of Kilsyth, which was a forfeited estate.

Next day Charles marched towards Stirling, and encamped his division at Denny, Bannockburn, and St. Ninians. He passed the night at Bannockburn-house, the seat of Sir Hugh Paterson, where he was received with Jacobite hospitality. The other division, consisting of six battalions of the clans, under Lord George Murray, spent the first night at Cumbernauld, and the next at Falkirk, where they fixed their quarters.

Preparatory to the seige of the castle, Charles resolved to reduce the town of Stirling. The inhabitants, encouraged by General Blakeney, the governor of the castle, determined to defend the town; and a body of about 600 volunteers, all inhabitants of the town, was supplied by the governor with arms and ammunition from the castle, and promised every assistance he could afford them. He told them, at the same time, that if they should be overpowered they could make a good retreat, as he would keep an open door for them. Animated by the activity of the magistrates and the clergymen of the town - among whom the Rev. Ebenezer Erskine, the father of the Secession, who commanded two companies of Seceders, was particularly distinguished - the inhabitants proceeded to put the town in a posture of defence.

On the afternoon of Saturday the 4th of January, the Highlanders had nearly surrounded the town; but they did not complete the investment till next day, which was partly occupied in cutting down some trees intended for fascines, on which they meant to construct a battery. About eight o'clock in the evening they sent a drummer to the east gate with a message; but, being fired upon by the sentinels, he threw away his drum and fled. The insurgents fired several shots into the town during the night, which were responded to by the volunteers, who were all under arms, and posted in different parties at the different by-ways and paths into the town, and at such parts of the wall as were deemed insufficient. During the night the utmost alarm prevailed among the inhabitants, and few of them went to bed. Some fled from the town, and others retired into the castle; but the magistrates and the other principal inhabitants remained all night in the council chamber in which they had assembled, to give such direction and assistance as might be necessary, in case an assault should be attempted during the night.

Next morning the insurgents were discovered erecting a battery within musket-shot of the town, almost opposite to the east gate, in a situation where the cannon of the castle could not be brought to bear upon them. The volunteers kept up a constant fire of musketry upon them; but, in spite of this annoyance, the Highlanders completed the battery before noon. Charles, thereupon, sent a verbal message to the magistrates, requiring them instantly to surrender the town; but , at their solicitation, they obtained till ten o'clock next day to make up their minds. The message was taken into consideration at a public meeting of the inhabitants, and anxiously debated. The majority having come to the resolution that it was impossible to defend the town with the handful of men within, two deputies were sent to Bannockburn, the head-quarters of the Highland army, who offered to surrender to terms; stating that, rather than surrender at discretion, as required, they would defend the town to the last extremity. After a negotiation, which occupied the greater part of Tuesday, the following terms of capitulation were agreed upon: viz., that no demand should be made upon the town revenues,- that the inhabitants should not be molested in their persons or effects, - and that the arms in the town should be returned to the castle. Pending this negotiation, the Highlanders, to terrify the inhabitants into a speedy submission, as is supposed, discharged twenty-seven shots from the battery into the town, which, however, did no other damage than beating down a few chimney tops. After the arms were carried into the castle, the gates were thrown open on Wednesday the 8th, and the Highlanders entered the town about three o'clock in the afternoon.


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