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Prince Charles Edward Stuart
The Prince arrives safely in France


These vessels arrived in Lochnanuagh early in September, and Captain Sheridan, a son of Sir Thomas Sheridan, and a Mr O'Beirne, a lieutenant in the French service, immediately landed and waited upon Glenaladale, who, they were informed, knew where Charles was. This faithful friend, happy at the prospect of escape which now offered, set off the same night for the place where he expected to find Charles, to communicate to him the agreeable intelligence; but to his great sorrow he found the prince gone, and he could fall in with no person who could give him the least information of his route. Clunes, from whom Genaladale expected to get tidings of Charles, had, in consequence of the destruction of his hut, gone to another quarter, and was not to be found. Whilst ruminating over his disappointment, a poor woman accidentally came to the place where he was, and he had the good fortune to ascertain from her the place of Clune's retreat. Having found him out, he and Clunes instantly despatched a messenger to Charles with the joyful intelligence; and Glenaladale then returned to Lochnanuagh, to notify to Colonel Warren that Charles might be speedily expected in that quarter.

The messenger arrived at Benalder on the 13th of September, on which day Charles left his romantic abode, and, after taking leave of Cluny, set off on his journey for the coast accompanied by Lochiel and others. He at the same time sent off confidential messengers in different directions, to acquaint such of his friends as he could reach, announcing the arrival of the ships, that they might have an opportunity of joining him if inclined. As Charles and his friends travelled only by night, they did not reach Borodale, the place of embarkation, till the 19th. On the road Charles was joined by Lochgarry, John Roy Stewart, Dr Cameron, and other gentlemen who intended to accompany him to France. Besides these, many others had left their different hiding places on hearing of the arrival of the French vessels, and had repaired to the coast of Moidart, also waiting for the arrival of him for whose sake they had forfeited their lives, intending to adopt the bitter alternative of bidding an eternal adieu to their native land. The number of persons assembled was about a hundred.

The career of Charles in the hereditary dominions of his ancestors was now ended. Attended by seven persons only, he had, with daring hardihood, landed about fourteen months before on the spot where he was destined to depart as a fugitive, and, with a handful of men, had raised the standard of insurrection and set the whole power of the government at open defiance. The early part of his progress had been brilliant. With a few thousand undisciplined mountaineers, he had overrun land, in the face of three hostile armies, had carried dismay to the capital. The retreat from Derby, the merit of which belongs to Lord George Murray exclusively, quieted for a time the apprehensions of the government; but the defeat at Falkirk again convinced it that the succession settlement was still in danger; and that, perhaps, at no distant day, the young and daring adventurer might place the son of James II upon the throne from which his father had been expelled. Even after his retreat to Inverness, the supporters of the house of Hanover could have no assurance that the Duke of Cumberland's army might not share the fate of its predecessors, in which event the new dynasty would probably have ceased to reign; but the triumphs of Charles were at an end, and the fatal field of Culloden, after witnessing the bravery of his troops, became the grave of his hopes. Then commenced that series of extraordinary adventures and wonderful escapes, of which some account has been given, and which could scarcely have been credited had they not been authenticated beyond the possibility of dispute. During the brilliant part of his career Charles had displayed great moderation and forbearance; and though his spirits sank when compelled to retreat, yet in the hour of adversity, when beset with perils and exposed to privations, which few princes could have endured, he exhibited uncommon fortitude, strength of mind, and cheerfulness.

In his wanderings Charles laid down a rule to himself, to which he scrupulously adhered, never to intrust any person from whom he was about to depart with the secret of his route, so that, with the exception of the few friends who were about him for the time being, none of those to whom he had been formerly indebted for his preservation knew the place of his retreat. This was a wise precaution, but as attended with this disadvantage, that it prevented him from acquiring early information of the arrival of the French vessels upon the coast. But no means he was able to take for his own security could have saved him, had he not had a guarantee in the incorruptible fidelity of the persons into whose hands he committed himself. At the risk of their own destruction they extended to him the aid of their protection, and relieved his necessities. Many of these persons were of desperate fortunes, and there were others in the lowest ranks of life; yet, among nearly 200 persons to whom Charles must have known during the five months he wandered as a fugitive, not one ever offered to betray him, though they knew that a price of 30,000 was set upon his head. History nowhere presents such a splendid instance of disinterested attachment to an unfortunate family.

Accompanied by Lochiel, Lochgarry, John Roy Stewart, Dr Cameron, and a considerable number of other adherents, Charles departed from Lochnanuagh on the 20th of September, and had a favourable passage to the coast of France, where he landed on Monday the 29th of September. He immediately proceeded to Morlaix, whence he despatched Colonel Warren the same day to Paris, to announce his arrival to the French court. He also sent at the same time a letter to his brother Henry, to the same effect, and enclosed a similar one to his father.


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