Search just our sites by using our customised search engine

Unique Cottages | Electric Scotland's Classified Directory

Click here to get a Printer Friendly PageSmiley

Prince Charles Edward Stuart
Charles raises his Standard at Glenfinnan - Manifesto

Glenfinnan, the place appointed for the rendezvous, is a narrow vale bounded on both sides by high and rocky mountains, between which the river Finnan runs. This glen forms the inlet from Moidart into Lochaber, and at its groge is about fifteen miles west from Fort William. On landing, the prince was received by the laird of Morar at the head of 150 men, with whom he marched to Glenfinnan, where he arrived about eleven o'clock. Charles, of course, expected to find a large "gathering of the clans" in the vale awaiting his approach; but, to his great surprise, not a human being was to be seen throughout the whole extent of the lonely glen, except the solitary inhabitants of the few huts which formed the hamlet. Chargined and disappointed, Charles entered one of these hovels to ruminate over the supposed causes which might have retarded the assembling of his friends. After waiting about two hours in anxious suspense, he was relieved from his solitude by the distant sound of a bagpipe, which broke upon his ear, and by its gradual increase, it soon became evident that a party was coming in the direction of the glen. While all eyes were turned towards the point whence the sound proceeded, a dark mass was seen overtopping the hill and descending its side. This was the clan Cameron, amounting to between 700 and 800 men, with Lochiel, their chief, at their head. They advanced in two columns, of three men deep each, with the prisoners who were taken in the late scuffle between the lines.

If in the state of suspense in which he was kept after entering Glenfinnan, the spirits of Charles suffered a temporary depression, they soon recovered their wonted buoyancy when he beheld the gallant band which now stood before him. Without waiting, therefore, for the other clans who were expected to join, the prince at once resolved to raise his standard, and to declare open war against "the Elector of Hanover", as George II was called, "and his adherents". The Marquis of Tullibardine, to whom, from his rank, was allotted the honour of unfurling the standard, took his station on a small knoll in the centre of the vale (A monument was erected by the late Alexander M'Donald of Glenalladale, on the spot where the standard was unfurled; it bears the following inscription in Latin, Gaelic, and English:- "On this spot, where Prince Charles Edward first raised his standard, on the 19th day of August, 1745; when he made the daring and romantic attempt to recover a throne lost by the imprudence of his ancestors; this column is erected by Alexander M'Donald, Esq. of Glenalladale, to commemorate the generous zeal, the undaunted bravery, and the inviolable fidelity of his forefathers, and the rest of those who fought and bled in that arduous and unfortunate enterprise") where, supported by two men, he displayed the banner, and proclaimed the Chevalier de St. George as king before the assembled host, who rent the air with their acclamations. The flag used upon this occasion was of silk, of a white, blue, and red texture, but without any motto. After proclamtion, a commission from the Chevalier de St. George, appointing his son Prince Charles regent of these kingdoms, was read by the Marquis of Tullibardine.

The reading of this commission was succeeded by the following manifesto:-

"James VIII by the Grace of God, King of Scotland, England, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c. To all our loving subjects, of what degree or quality soever, greeting.

"Having always borne the most constant affection to our ancient kingdom of Scotland, from whence we derive our royal origin, and where our progenitors have swayed the sceptre with glory through a longer succession of kings than any monarchy upon earth can at this day boast of; we cannot but behold with the deepest concern the miseries they suffer under a foreign usurpation, and the intolerable burdens daily added to their yoke, which become yet more sensible to us when we consider the constant zeal and affection the generality of our subject of that our ancient kingdom have expressed for us on all occasions, and particularly when we had the satisfaction of being ourselves amongst them.

"We see a nation always famous for valour, and highly esteemed by the greatest of Foreign potentates, reduced to the condition of a province, under the specious pretence of an union with a more powerful neighbour. In consequence of this pretended union, grievous and unprecedented taxes have been laid on, and levied with severity in spite of all the representations that could be made to the contrary; and these have not failed to produce that poverty and decay of trade which were easily foreseen to be the necessary consequences of such oppresive measures.

"To prevent the just resentment which could not but arise from such usage, our faithful Highlanders, a people always trained up and inured to arms, have been deprived of them; forts and citadels have been built and garrisoned where no foreign invasion could be apprehended, and a military government has been effectually introduced, as into a conquered country. It is easy to forsee what must be the consequences of such violent and unprecedented proceedings, if a timely remedy be not put to them; neither is it less maifest that such a remedy can ever be obtained but by our restoration to the throne of our ancestors, into whose royal heart such destructive maxims could never find admittance.

"We think it needless to call to mind how solicitous we have ever been, and how often we have ventured our royal person, to compass this great end; which the Divine Providence seems now to have furnished us with the means of doing effectually by enabling our good subjects in England to shake off the yoke, under which they have likewise felt their share of the common calamities. Our former experience leaves us no room to doubt of the cheerful and hearty concurrence of our Scots subjects on this occasion, towards the perfecting the great and glorious work; but that none may be deterred by the memory of past miscarriages from returning to their duty, and being restored to the happiness they formerly enjoyed, we in this public manner think fit to make known our gracious intentions towards all our people.

"We do therefore, by this our royal declaration, absolutely and effectually pardon and remit all treasons, and other crimes hitherto committed against our royal father, or ourselves. From the benefit of which pardon we except none, but such as shall, after the publication hereof, wilfully and maliciously oppose us, or those who shall appear or endeavour to appear in arms for our service.

"We farther declare that we will with all convenient speed call a free parliament; that by the advice and assistance of such an assembly, we may be enabled to repair the breaches caused by so long an usurpation, to redress all grievences, and to free our people from the unsupportable burden of the malt-tax, and al other hardships and impositions which have been the consequence of the pretended union; that so the nation may be restored to that honour, liberty, and independency, which it formerely enjoyed.

"We likewise promise upon our royal word to protect, secure, and maintain all our Protestant subjects in the free exercise of their religion, and in the full enjoyment of all their rights, privileges, and immunities, and in the secure possession of all churches, universities, colleges, and schools, conform to the laws of the land.

"All this we shall be ready to confirm in our first parliament; in which we promise to pass any act or acts that shall be judged necessary to secure each private person in the full possession of his liberty and property, to advance trade, to relieve the poor, and establish the general welfare and tranquility of the nation. In all such matters we are fully resolved to act always by the advice of our parliaments, and to value none of our titles so much as that of common father of our people, which we shall ever show ourselves to be by our constant endeavours to promote the quiet and happiness of all our subjects. And we shall be particularly solicitous to settle, encourage, and maintain the fishery and linen manufacturers of the nation, which we are sensible may be of such advantage to it, and which we hope are works reserved for us to accomplish.

"As for those who shall appear more signally zealour for the recovery of our just rights and the prosperity of their country, we shall take effectual care to reward them according to their respective degrees and merits. And we particularly promise, as aforesaid, our full, free, and general pardon to all officers, soldiers, and sailors, now engaged in the service of the usurper, whether of the sea or land, provided that upon the publication hereof, and before they engage in any fight or battle against our forces, they quit the said unjust and unwarrantable service, and return to their duty, in which case we shall pay them all the arrears that shall be at that time due to them from the usurper; we shall grant to the officers the same commissions they shall then bear, if not higher; and to all soldiers and sailors a gratification of a whole year's pay for their forwardness in promoting our service.

"We farther promose and declare, that the vassals of such as shall without regard to our present declaration, obstinately persist in their rebellion, and thereby forfeit all pretensions to our royal clemecy, shall be delivered from all servitude they were formerly bound to, and shall have grants and charters of their lands to be held immediately of the crown, provided they, upon the publication of this our royal declaration, declare openy for us, and join heartily in the cause of their country.

"And having this declared our gracious intentions to our loving subjects, we do hereby require and command them to be assisting to us n the recovery of our rights, and of their own liberties; and that all our subjects, from the age of sixteen to sixty, do, upon the setting up of our royal standard, immediately to it, or join themselves to such as shall first appear for us in their respective shires; and also to seize the horses and arms of all suspected persons, and all ammunition, forage, and whatever else may be necessary for the use of our forces.

"We also strictly command all receivers, collectors, or other persons who may be seized of any sum or sums of money levied in the name or for the use of the usurper, to retain such sum or sums of money in their own hands, till they can pay them to some person of distinction appearing publicly for us, and demanding the same for our use and service; whose receipt or receipts shall be a sufficient discharge for all such collectors, receivers, or other persons, their heirs, &c.

"Lastly, we do hereby require all sheriffs of shires, stewards of stewarties, and their respective deputies, magistrates or royal boroughs, and bailies of regalities, and all others to whom it may belong, to publish this our declaration, at the market crosses or their respective towns and boroughs, and there to proclaim as under the penalty of being proceeded against according to law, for their neglect of so necessary and important a duty.

After this manifesto had been read, the Marquis of Tullibardine returned to the prince's quarters with the standard under an escort of 50 Camerons. In about an hour after the conclusion of this ceremony, Macdonald of Keppoch joined the prince with 300 of his men; and in the evening some gentlemen of the name of Macleod, displeased with the conduct of their chief, arrived at Glenfinnan, proffered their services to the prince, and offered to return to Skye, and raise all the men they could in support of his cause. On arriving at Glenfinnan, Macdonald of Tierndriech presented the prince with an excellent horse which he had taken from Captain Scott. The animated appearance of the glen, which now resounded with the martial strains of the pibroch, contrasted strongly with the solitery gloom which prevailed when the prince entered it. Instead of a small party which joined him in the morning, Charles found himself within a few hours at the head of a body of about 1,200 brave and resolute men, warmly attached to his person and cause, at least those of them who were chiefs, and ready and willing to hazard their lives in his service. Charles was exceedingly delighted at the appearance of his little army, and it has been observed that at no other time did he look more cheerful or display a greater buoyancy of spirits.

Next | Index | Previous


This comment system requires you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator has approved your comment.

comments powered by Disqus