|During the prince's short stay at Falkirk, a
misunderstanding took place between a party of the Camerons and Lord Kilmarnock, which had
nearly proved fatal to that nobleman. As this incident affords a remarkable illustration
of clanship, the particulars cannot fail to be interesting.
Lord Kilmarnock, having passed the evening of the battle in his house at
Callander, came next morning to Falkirk with a party of his men, having in their custody
some Edinburgh volunteers, who, having fallen behind Hawley's army in its march to
Linlithgow, had been taken and carried to Callander House. Leaving the prisoners and their
guard standing in the street, opposite to the house where the prince lodged, his lordship
went up stairs and presented to him a list of the prisoners, among whom was Mr Home, the
author of the Tragedy of Douglas and the History of the Rebellion. Charles opened the
window to survey the prisoners, and while engaged in conversation with Lord Kilmarnock
about them, as is supposed, with the paper in his hand, a soldier in the uniform of the
Scots Royals, carrying a musket and wearing a black cockade, appeared in the street, and
approached in the direction of the prince.
The volunteers who observed this man coming up the street
were extremely surprised, and, thinking that his intention in coming forward was to shoot
the prince, expected every moment to see him raise his piece and fire. Observing the
volunteers, who were within a few yards of the prince, all looking in one direction,
Charles also looked the same way, and seeing the soldier approach appeared amazed, and,
calling Lord Kilmarnock, pointed towards the soldier. His lordship instantly descended
into the street, and finding the soldier immediately opposite to the window where Charles
stood, the earl went up to him, and striking the hat off the soldier's head, tramped the
black cockade under his feet. At that instant a Highlander rushed from the opposite side
of the street, and, laying hands on Lord Kilmarnock, pushed him violently back. Kilmarnock
immediately pulled out a pistol, and presented it at the Highlander's head; the Highlander
in his turn drew his dirk, and held it close to the earl's breast.
They stood in this position about half a minute, when a
crowd of Highlanders rushed in and drove Lord Kilmarnock away. the man with the dirk in
his hand then took up the hat, put it on the soldier's head and the Highlanders marched
off with him in triumph.
This extraordinary scene surprised the prisoners, and they
solicited an explanation from a Highland officer who stood near them. The officer told
them that the soldier in the royal uniform was a Cameron: "Yesterday,' continued he,
"when your army was defeated he joined his clan; the Camerons received him with joy,
and told him that he should wear his arms, his clothes, and every thing else, till he was
provided with other clothes and other arms. The Highlander who first interposed and drew
his dirk on Lord Kilmarnock is the soldier's brother; the crowd who rushed in are the
Camerons, many of them his near relations; and, in my opinion," continued the
officer, "no colonel nor general in the prince's army can take that cockade out of
his hat, except Lochiel himself."