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Prince Charles Edward Stuart
Charles proceeds to Raasay


In consequence of the resolution to proceed to Raasay, Donald Roy had been despatched from Mugstot by Kingsburgh the preceding day, in quest of John Macleod, the young laird of Raasay, to ascertain from him the place of his father's concealment, in order to communicate to the latter Charles's design of placing himself under his protection. When it was considered, that Macleod, the laird of Raasay, was himself a fugitive for the part he had taken in the insurrection, such a design may appear singular; but the prince had only a choice of difficulties before him, and the little island of Raasay, which was then clear of troops, appeared to offer the securest retreat. Donald Roy met young Raasay or Portree, who informed him that his father was skulking in Knoydart; but offered to send an express for him, being certain his father would run any risk to serve the prince in his distress. Donald Roy then proposed that he should conduct Charles to the mainland, to the place where old Raasay was; but young Raasay said that such a step would be too dangerous at that time, and that it would be better to conceal the prince in the isle of Raasay till his father should be informed of Charles's intention to put himself under his protection. As they could not trust a Portree crew, the difficulty of transporting the prince to Raasay, without observation, occurred. Dr Murdoch Macleod, a brother of young Raasay, who had been wounded at the battle of Culloden, being informed of this dilemma, said he would risk his life once more for the prince, and it having occurred to him that there was a little boat upon a fresh water lake in the neighbourhood, the two brothers, with the aid of some women, by extraordinary exertions, brought the boat to sea, over a Highland mile of land, one half of which was bog, and the other a steep precipice. The two brothers, with the assistance of a little boy, rowed the boat, which was very old and leaky, to Rassay.

Malcolm Macleod, young Raasay's cousin, who will be frequently mentioned in the sequel, was then in the island. He had been a captain in the prince's service, and was considered by his cousin a proper person to accompany them on their expedition. They accordingly waited on Malcolm, who offered to provide a boat; but he proposed, that as his cousin, young Raasay, had not been engaged in the insurrection, he should not run any risk by holding communication with the prince, more particularly as Charles could be brought over without his assistance. Young Raasay declared his resolution to see the prince, if the result should be the loss both of his estate and his head; and Malcolm, seeing that any further attempt to dissuade him would be fruitless, exclaimed, "In God's name then let us proceed". Malcolm Macleod pitched upon two strong men, named John Mackenzie and Donald Macfriar, to row the boat; but, when they came to the beach, they declined to leave the shore till informed of their destination. They were then sworn to secrecy, and being told the object of their voyage, professed the utmost aclarity to go to sea. The whole party accordingly set off from Raasay on Monday evening, the 30th of June, and landed about half a mile from Portree. By this time Miss Macdonald had arrived at the inn, where Donald Roy was in waiting to receive her and the prince. Leaving young Raasay and his brother in the boat, Malcolm Macleod, accompanied by Macfriar, went toward the inn, and in walking from the shore he observed three persons proceeding in the direction of the inn, who happened to be the prince, Neil Mac Eachan, and a little boy who had served as Charles's guide from Kingsburgh.

Donald Roy Macdonald had left the inn shortly after Miss Macdonald's arrival, for the purpose of meeting Charles; but, after remaining out about twenty minutes without seeing him, returned to the house, afraid lest the rain, which fell in torrents, might fester a wound in his foot which he had received at the battle of Culloden, and which was still open. He had scarcely entered the inn, when Macnab, the landlord, informed him that a boy wanted to see him. The boy, whose name was Macqueen, having informed Donald Roy that a gentleman who as waiting a little above the house wished to speak with him, he went out and met the prince, who caught him in his arms. Donald then conducted him into the inn. Charles was wet to the skin, and the water poured down from his clothes. The first thing he asked for was a dram, on taking which he proceeded to shift for himself. He put on a dry shirt; but before he had replaced the other habiliments which he had thrown off, a supply of roasted fish, bread, cheese, and butter was brought into the room, which the prince attacked with such avidity that Donald Roy could not help smiling; and being observed by the prince, he remarked that he believed the prince was following the English fashion. "What fashion do you mean?" said the prince. "Why", replied Donald Roy, "they say the English, when they are to eat heartily, throw off their clothes". The prince smiling, said, "They are in the right, lest anything should incommode their hands when they are at work". Asking for some drink, Charles was told that there were no liquids of any sort in the house but whisky and water, not even milk, of which he had desired a little. The only substitute in the room for a tumbler or jug was a dirty looking bucket, which the landlord used for throwing the water out of his boat, and the mouth of which was broken and rough from the frequent use to which it had been thus applied. Donald Roy, who had previously quaffed out of the bucket, handed it to Charles, who took it out of his hand, and after looking at it, stared Donald in the face. As the landlord was in the room, Donald was afraid that, from the shyness of Charles to drink out of a dish to which no objection perhaps had ever before been stated, he might think he had a visitor of distinction in his house, and he therefore went up to Charles, and in a gentle whisper desired him to drink out of the obnoxious vessel without ceremony. Charles taking the hint, put the pail to his head, and took a hearty draught of water.

Malcolm Macleod, on being informed of the prince's arrival at the inn, had returned to the boat, and with his cousins waited anxiously for the prince. On the landlord of the inn leaving the room, Donald Roy, who had grown impatient to get away, urged the prince to depart; but Charles showed no inclination to leave the inn, and even proposed to remain there all night, as the rain was still heavy. Donald told him that as the house he was in was frequented by all kinds of people, he would incur danger by remaining; for the very appearance of a stranger would excite speculation among the country people, who were always desirous to know who the persons were that came among them. Charles assented to the correctness of Donald's observations, but called for some tobacco that he might smoke a pipe before his departure. There being no tobacco in the house but roll or pigtail, Charles said it would answer very well; and the landlord, at the request of Donald Roy, brought in a quarter of a pound in the scales in which it had been weighed. The price was fourpence halfpenny, and Charles have the landlord a sixpence. Donald Roy desired him to bring in the difference. The prince smiled, and on the change being brought he refused to receive it. Donald, however, insisted that he should take the three halfpence, because he considered that in his present situation he might find "bawbees" very useful.

When about to leave the inn, Charles solicited Donald Roy to accompany him to Raasay, observing that he had always found himself safe in the hands of the Macdonalds, and that as long as he had a Macdonald with him he would still think himself safe. This faithful attendant, whilst he stated his inclination to serve the prince in his distress, represented to him the impossibility of following him from place to place, in consequence of the wound in his left foot, which rendered him incapable of enduring fatigue; and that as he would be obliged from his lameness to travel occasionally on horseback, his presence would only endanger the safety of the prince. He agreed, however, to meet Charles in Raasay in a few days, and stated that, in the mean time, he would remain in Skye, and collect for the future guidance of the prince such information as he could, in relation to the movements and plans of his pursuers.

Before leaving Portree Charles had a most painful task to perform, that of parting with the amiable and high-minded young woman, who, during three eventful days, had with generous sympathy, and at the imminent hazard of her own life, watched over him with the tenderest solicitude and affection, and rescued him from the may perils with which he had been invironed. He repaid Miss Flora a small sum of money he had borrowed from her, and, presenting her with his own portrait in miniature, saluted her. He then returned her his sincere thanks for the great assistance she had afforded him, and taking leave, expressed a hope that, notwithstanding the present unfavourable aspect of his affairs, he should yet meet her in St James. He also took farewell of Neil Mac Eachan, who certainly at that time had no expectation that he was to be one of those who were afterwards to accompany the prince to France.

Charles had brought along with him from Kingsburgh, four shirts, a cold fowl, some sugar, and a bottle of brandy. To this small stock he added at Portree a bottle of usquebaugh. He tied this bottle to his belt at one side, and at the other the bottle of brandy, and the shirts and cold fowl which were put up in a handkerchief. Thus provided, Charles left the inn, accompanied by Donald Roy, on the morning of the 1st of July, while it was yet dark. The landlord, surprised perhaps at the early departure of his guests, cast a look after them as they went out at the door, which being observed by Charles's conductor, he led the prince off in a direction opposite to that they had to go, till out of view of the landlord, and then making a circle they went down towards the shore, and in their way met Malcolm Macleod, who conducted the prince to the boat. He then took leave of Donald Roy, who he enjoined not to mention the place of his destination to any person, not even to his fair protectress. Donald returned to the inn, and was immediately accosted by his host, who expressed a strong desire to know the name of the gentleman who had left his house. Donald told him, with apparent unconcern, that the stranger who had gone away was Sir John Macdonald, an Irish gentleman, and a brother rebel, who, having got free of his enemies, had been skulking among his friends, the Macdonalds of Skye; and that, tired of remaining in one place, and afraid of being discovered in the island, he had set out for the mainland to seek an asylum among the other Macdonalds. The landlord, whom he enjoined to secrecy, apparently satisfied with this explanation, said that he was strongly impressed with an idea that the gentleman was the prince in disguise, as he observed some thing about him that looked very noble.


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