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.
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