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Deeside Tales
Note IV


THE story of Colonel Anne, as given in Chapter VT., was current from about the time of the Rebellion. Scott accepted her military exploits and “ Amazonian propensities ” as true, and incorporated them in the Tales of a Grandfather. It is right, however, to state that the Higher Criticism has recently been at work on the legend, and has shown that a loyal, resolute, and high-spirited young girl has been grossly caricatured. Barring the loss of the picturesque anecdote of her husband’s surrender, the real facts concerning her are an improvement on the fiction. They may be given in the words of Mr. A. M. Mackintosh, who records his investigation into the matter in his History of the Mackintoshes:—“The romantic circumstances attending the raising of the Mackintosh regiment are well known; but the part played by the heroic wife of the Chief is usually misrepresented This was Anne, daughter of John Farquharson of Invercauld In 1745, she was only twenty years of age. Her father was now a friend of the Government, but most of her name in and about Braemar were devoted Jacobites, and it was probably through them that she became imbued with the notions which she so conscientiously and nobly followed out Sir AEneas Mackintosh’s MS. throws considerable light on the events in which she was concerned, and may no doubt be taken as trustworthy, the writer, who was her husband’s nephew, being much with her in after years. ‘Pitying the Prince for his misfortunes which he had not brought upon himself,’ she took steps soon after the commencement of the

Rising for embodying her husband’s clan. Her summons was quickly answered; a strong, well-armed battalion was formed, and placed under the command of Alexander Macgillivray of Dunmaglass, whom the lady had called to her aid. Sir Walter Scott says: ‘She rode with a man’s bonnet on her head, a tartan riding-habit richly laced, and pistols at her saddle-bow.’ Another writer speaks of her as figuring largely in the battle of Falkirk, and describes her as riding at the head of her men there in the costume mentioned by Scott. It is only just to the memory of one of the noblest and gentlest of her sex to state that she was guilty of none of these proceedings. The coarse, lying History of the late Rebellion by James Ray, a volunteer in Cumberland’s army, is perhaps the authority for some of these statements. She saw the Mackintosh regiment but once after it was raised, and was at Moy the whole time from its departure to the south till after the battle of Culloden. . . . Her portrait by Allan Ramsay, taken a few years after this period, and still in excellent condition, shows her to have been a somewhat delicate-looking girl, with a retiring, modest look, elegant figure, and rather high forehead.”

As regards “the rout of Moy,” her share in it consisted in having the perspicacity or good fortune to select an able and determined man as commander of the little party which engineered, or at least executed, the exploit Mr. Mackintosh tells that die gallant smith, known locally as Captein nan Coig—captain of the five—was made an officer in the regiment, and that his sword is still preserved in the district, “as is his memory.” His anvil, with a suitable Gaelic inscription, is to be seen at Moy Hall.


 


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