Anne Mackintosh, Scotland's 'Beautiful Rebel,'" tells the story of a
Highland lady who risked everything, including her life, for her love of
Scotland and its rightful king.
In turbulent 18th century
Scotland, "Bonnie Prince Charlie" fought to regain the Stuart throne of
Scotland and England that had belonged to his ancestor. Among the
Highlanders supporting his cause - to the death, if need be - was Lady
Anne Mackintosh, the wife of Angus, Chief of Clan Mackintosh. But her
husband, Angus, was fighting on the other side, for the English king, and
against the "Bonnie Prince." Undaunted, Anne raised Clan Mackintosh and
Clan Chattan to fight for the Prince. No wonder he called her, in the
French he spoke so well, "La Belle Rebelle," the "beautiful rebel." Had
she been a man, she would automatically have been the colonel of the
approximately 800 fighting men she enlisted. Instead, she was known
affectionately as "Colonel Anne" to her friends, to history, and to the
English - who wanted to hang her for her treasonous and rebellious deeds.
Extract from the Book
Here is the story of the
famous "Rout of Moy," a favorite tale in Clan Mackintosh legendry. Moy is
the home of the Mackintosh Chiefs. Prince Charles had once stopped briefly
at Moy early in his campaign against the English. Later in the
Prince Charles and a
guard of about 50 men reached Moy. As his forces were widely scattered,
Charles decided to stop at Moy. He would wait there until enough of his
men gathered that he could attack the English who were holding Inverness
with 2,000 men commanded by the Earl of Loudon. Very likely, Lady Anne had
at their last meeting extended a typically gracious invitation to the
Prince to visit Moy at any time. This was the time.
Lady Anne and her
household welcomed the Prince and his men with delight. The Chief of
Mackintosh was, of course, with his English military unit near Inverness,
so he was not put in the embarrassing position of having to extend
traditional Highland hospitality to his political enemy.
Lady Anne and her
household staff, however, generously extended that Highland hospitality.
Lady Anne insisted that the prince's cooking and serving staff take the
evening off and allow her and her staff to prepare and serve a repast to
the prince and his men. Game from the hills around Moy made up the main
course of the dinner, in true Highland fashion. Bread, pies, and all other
treats the Moy kitchen could produce completed the meal, and the best
Scottish usquiebaugh was passed around afterward. The long, pleasant
evening sparkled with conversation, storytelling and general merriment
before everyone retired at a late hour.
Meantime, the Earl of
Loudon and his English soldiers in Inverness had not been idle. Loudon had
learned that Charles was at Moy, and according to reports he received, the
Prince had a guard of 500 men (as compared to the 50 who were actually
with him). Loudon thought this night, when Charles and his men might be
off their guard, was a perfect time to seize the Bonny Prince and put an
end to his royal plans.
To make his plan work,
Loudon had that afternoon closed Inverness tightly, with soldiers posted
in a chain around the city so that no one could escape to warn the Prince.
Loudon's orders were that no one was to leave Inverness for any reason
Loudon then ordered 1,500
English soldiers to march. With himself at their head, the quiet
procession began, timed to arrive at Moy around midnight, when everyone in
the house would likely be asleep.
But Lord Loudon's plan
was not as secret as he thought. Historians offer differering theories as
to what happened. The most often cited one places Dowager Lady Mackintosh,
the mother of Angus, at the center of the action. She was fond of her
daughter-in-law. And, although not strongly partisan to the Prince, she
didn't want her family home to be remembered as the place where the young
royal was captured and, possibly, murdered.
contacted a young teenager, Lachlan Mackintosh, who lived in Inverness but
was probably born in or near Moybeg, the small community that surrounded
Moy Hall. Unfolding her plan to Lachlan, he eagerly agreed, and went to
find the English mounted soldier to whom Dowager Lady Mackintosh sent him.
Like her son Angus, this
soldier - whose name is not known to history - must have had strong
Highland sympathies despite serving the English king. Mounting his horse,
the soldier pulled the youth up behind him and threw his voluminous cloak
over the boy. Thus hidden, Lachlan passed through the guards around
Inverness along with the mounted soldier, who knew the right passwords to
Galloping as close to Moy
Hall as he could without running into Charles's soldiers, the soldier let
Lachlan slide off the horse near Moy. Turning his horse, and flinging a
silent salute to the boy, the soldier galloped back toward Inverness and
forever off the stage of history.
Lachlan ran at top speed
to Moy Hall. He knocked softly at the back door. It opened, and he was let
in by some of the kitchen staff who were cleaning up the last vestiges of
the feast. The moment Lachlan reported his news to the cooks, they ran
quickly to Lady Anne's room and awoke her, she had probably just gotten to
sleep, and told her about the approaching danger.
Lady Anne jumped up - in
her shift, according to one historian, and rushed about, awakening the May
staff. The historians say she didn't awake Charles and his staff. They
think she feared his military advisers might hold lengthy discussions
about what to do, and there wasn't time for that as 1,500 English marched
Lady Anne called for the
blacksmith, Donald Fraser. Together they quickly worked out a plan, and
Fraser left to put it into motion. Then she awakened Prince Charles. He
dressed in record time, and, taking his guard with him, disappeared into
the nearby woods, away from the road Loudon would take to Moy.
Meantime, Fraser armed
himself and four other Moy men with pistols. They posted themselves along
the road Loudon would have to take to arrive at Moy. Fraser cautioned the
four not to fire until he gave the signal. Then, they were to fire one at
a time rather than all at once.
Waiting quietly in the
dark, Fraser and the four heard the noise of approaching marching men.
When the first soldiers came near, Fraser called out loudly, "Here come
the villains who want to carry off our Prince. Fire, my lads! Do not spare
them! Give them no quarter!"
Fraser then shot his
pistol, which was the signal the other men awaited. Each fired his weapon,
and each called loudly on Macdonalds and Camerons to advance. They shouted
for Lords Lochiel and Keppoch, who were major chiefs with the Prince's
army. They ran back and forth in the wooded area, shouting and shooting in
hopes of convincing the English that they had blundered into the entire
In the dark, the English
were convinced. All 1,500 turned and ran at top speed to Inverness. A
great many of them deserted the next day, and the army quit Inverness for
a safer camping ground.
The event became known as
"The Rout of Moy," and Highlanders friendly to the Prince laughed about it
for weeks. Some are still laughing.
The next day Charles
entered Inverness unopposed, and took up quarters in Dowager Lady
Mackintosh's home, the finest residence in the city.
This is the second and
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A SHORT* HISTORY OF CLAN MACKINTOSH FOR
NON-NATIVE SCOTS (*DULL AND CONFUSING DETAILS OMITTED)
Any non-native Scot seeking information about
the Highlands of old times is quickly stopped by unfamiliar words and
expressions. What's a "bailie?" What does "og" or "beg" mean? And a
"tail?" Every chief had one, and you'd never mistake it for the kind borne
by Scottish terriers. Words change their meanings when they cross the
Atlantic, and the non-native Scot is soon reeling in confusion. This book
cuts through those difficult Scottish details and gets right down to what
we can understand. Swords, shields, axes and thrown rocks -- these are
what Clan Mackintosh men used to become known as "the fightingest clan in
the Highlands." The clan was born in battle at the side of the Scottish
king in the 1100s. In the last great war for independence from England, in
1745, it was the Mackintosh men who led the charge at Culloden Moor -- and
who died for their country in the greatest numbers, as shown by the size
of their mass grave on the battlefield. In between, things were rarely
quiet for the Mackintoshes. Whether it was the bizarre Battle Of North
Inch, the tragic death of young Chief William or the patriotism of
"Colonel" Anne Mackintosh in "the '45," Clan Mackintosh was always in the
thick of the battle. If you're a Mackintosh, or a member of any of the
clan's many sub-groups, this history will give you more reason than ever
to walk tall. As if, being a Mackintosh, you needed more reason! Are you a
Mackintosh? This book will help you check out the list of more than 200
families that are part of this clan.
This book is a paperback, 6x9, perfect-bound, 102 pages. Price $13.95 plus
$2.10 postage. Make out check or money order to Jean Goldstrom and mail to
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Identify yourself as an
Electric Scotland visitor and you'll get a signed copy of the book!
Here's one of the
fascinating stories from the book about this famous clan:
The Battle of North Inch
the strangest conflicts in Scotland's conflict-crowded history was the
Battle of North Inch, a battle that would have been almost comic if not
for the very real and purposeless loss of life involved.
battle climaxed ten years of bitter feuding between Clan Chattan and Clan
Macpherson. No cruel insult launched this feud, but something as mundane
as unpaid rent. The feud began when some members of Clan Cameron took up
residence on Clan Chattan lands in Lochaber. They didn't pay any rent,
which was a constant source of aggravation to Clan Chattan as well as Clan
Mackintosh, whose chief headed both clans.
these events took place hundreds of years before the invention of
landlord-tenant courts, Chief Lachlan Mackintosh decided to collect his
unpaid rent in the form of Cameron cattle. However, the Camerons'
contribution of cattle was involuntary, meaning the Mackintosh chief sent
a number of his men, probably by night, to remove enough cattle to pay the
back rent owed.
they discovered their rent had been collected in this unexpected fashion,
the Camerons took serious umbrage and gathered some 40 clansmen to look
for their cattle.
Mackintoshes heard about the Cameron plan. They called their friends, the
Macphersons and the Davidsons, to help them teach the Camerons the
rudiments of landlord-tenant relationships.
Eventually, 400 Camerons squared off against an even larger number of
Mackintoshes, Macphersons and Davidsons. But before anyone could swing a
claymore, a dispute arose on the Mackintosh-Macpherson-Davidson side,
about who would stand where in the line of battle. A trivial issue?
Certainly not in that era. Where one stood in the battle line had much to
do with the amount of honor available to those who fought. The center was
the most important -- meaning honorable -- place. There was no question
the Mackintoshes would stand at the center of the battle line. That was
the most important spot, and the Mackintoshes were the most important clan
among this group of their friends. The dispute was over whose men were
going to battle on the right-hand side of the Mackintoshes. The right-hand
side was the second-most-honored position after the center. Both Cluny of
Macpherson and Inverhavon of Davidson demanded the place of honor at the
right of the Mackintoshes.
Lachlan of Mackintosh had to settle this controversy.. He immediately made
a decision, and in practical terms it was the wrong one. Mackintosh
decided in favor of the Davidsons. What was wrong with that decision was
there were far more Macphersons that both Davidsons and Mackintoshes
combined. The Macphersons, profoundly offended by the decision,
immediately stomped off the battlefield, sat down and declared themselves
spectators rather than participants in the coming set-to.
cleared the battleground, but only for a moment. The Camerons, now in
greater numbers than their enemies, fell upon what was left of the
Mackintosh-Chattan-Davidson fighters and proceeded to reduce as many of
them as possible to small, bloody shreds.
Macphersons were too loyal to comfortably sit and watch the annihilation
of friends and kin, no matter how insulted they might be. After viewing
the progress, or lack of same, of the battle, they decided to charge the
Camerons, who were by that time exhausted from their nearly complete
wipeout of the Mackintoshes and Davidsons. The Macphersons had no trouble
overwhelming the remaining Camerons, thus bringing the victory to their
clan and the remaining Davidsons and Mackintoshes.
course, this being Scotland, it was not the end of the quarrel. Ten years
of bitter squabbling ensued between the Macphersons and the Davidsons.
involved became weary of the dispute; not weary enough to end it, but
weary enough to ask King Robert III to intervene. King Robert III, being
the sort of sovereign who made sure his own interests ranked first in any
dispute he settled, came up with an ingenious solution. Each of the two
clans, Davidson and Macpherson, were to send 30 of their best warriors
into a battle to the death. The place was a beautiful, level field (an
"inch" in Gaelic) called North Inch in Perth. This move made King Robert
IIII the first and last king in Scots history to have a
battle-to-the-death staged for his amusement.
Historians, however, have theorized that Robert may have sought more than
amusement from the grim contest. The troublesomeness of the two clans
would be greatly reduced, he is believed to have thought, if their main
warriors were permanently removed from action.
the Battle of North Inch was recorded rather sketchily, historical records
indicate no less than six clans took part in it. Who won? All six of them,
according to the various histories. But the majority of historic
references indicate those who took part in this combat were the
Macphersons and Clan Chattan, of whom the Davidsons of Invernahavon were a
part (and of which Clan Mackintosh was the main member). As to the
victor...let the story unfold.
conflict was set for the Monday before Michaelmas, October 23. As to
weapons, some historians say only the broadsword was used, but others say
that bows, battle-axes and daggers were also permitted. This view would be
supported by the following account of the event.
carpenters had been busy building a grandstand from which the king, his
queen, Annabella Drummond, Scots nobles and a number of foreign
dignitaries could view the proceedings. On the selected day, the king and
queen led a procession to the grandstand. Following them were the nobility
and honored foreign guests. With the grandstands jammed with the upper
classes, the commoners packed the sidelines behind barriers designed to
keep them off the field of battle.
combatants -- the Macphersons and the Clan Chattan-Davidsons -- marched
in, each preceded by their pipers and drummers and armed with their
swords, targes, bows and arrows, knives and battle-axes. Each side glared
at the other until something happened.
what happened depends on which historian's account is read. Some say one
of the Macphersons became sick. Others say the Macpherson in question
wasn't sick but stricken with a bout of common sense, causing him to slip
through the crowd, plunge into the nearby Tay River and swim away,
pursued in vain by thousands of screaming spectators. One historian, Sir
Robert Gordon, described it this way:
"At their entry into
the field, Clan Chattan lacked one of their number, who was privily stolen
away, not willing to be a partaker of so dear a bargain."
do, what to do? That was the question to which no answer seemed obvious.
Somebody proposed one of the Davidson men should retire. Nobody liked that
idea. For want of another, the King was about ready to break up the
assembly when a man stepped forward and spoke.
was described by a historian as "diminutive and crooked, but fierce, named
Henry Wynd, a burgher of Perth, a smith," known to readers of Sir Walter
Scott as "Hal o' the Wynd, and an armourer by trade." He was also known as
Henry Gow or Smith.
is said to have leapt the barriers onto the field and addressed the crowd:
"Here am I. Will anyone fee me to engage with these hirelings in this
stage play? For half a mark will I try the game, provided, if I escape
alive, I have my board of one of you as long as I live. Greater love, as
it is said., hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his
friends. What, then, shall be my reward, who stake my life for the foes of
commonwealth and realm?"
excited buzz of conversation likely broke out in the upper class
grandstand as well as among the commoners standing around the barriers.
Knowing the crowd was wild for entertainment, the king and nobles agreed
to the demand of "Gow Cromm," or "Crooked Smith," as he was known.
that the blood letting was on again was likely greeted with a huge cheer
from a presumably entertainment-starved crowd.
smith shot the first arrow into the Davidsons and immediately killed one
of them. According to one historian, "After showers of arrows had been
discharged on both sides, the combatants, with fury in their looks and
revenge in their hearts rushed upon one another, and a terrific scene
ensued, which appalled the heart of many a valorous knight who witnessed
the bloody tragedy. The violent thrusts of the daggers and the tremendous
gashes inflicted by the two-handed swords and battle-axes, hastened the
work of butchery and death.
were cloven asunder, limbs were lopped from the trunk. The meadow was soon
flooded with blood, and covered with dead and wounded men."
crowd loved it, naturally.
after Henry Wynd had killed his man, he supposedly either sat down or drew
aside. The Macpherson battle leader noticed this and asked Wynd why he
stopped when he was doing such a good job of slaying the opposition.
Wynd replied, probably airily, "Because I have fulfilled my bargain and
earned my wages."
Macpherson leader showed himself to be a motivator of men by observing,
"The man who keeps no reckoning of his good deeds, without reckoning shall
be repaid." Whatever this remark may have meant, it inspired Wynd to
leap into action again and take the lives of several more opponents.
the Macphersons were declared the winners. Some 29 Davidsons and 19
Macphersons were dead, with the remaining Macphersons severely wounded.
Only Henry Wynd escaped without serious injury, his excellent
swordsmanship clearly contributing to the day's victory.
receive his promised payment? History does not record this detail, but it
is hard to imagine Henry Wynd being cheated out of whatever he considered
his just desserts. Clan Chattan leadership, however, knew a good man when
they saw one. They adopted Henry Wynd (or Gow or Smith) into their clan.
As the progenitor of the Gow or Smith branch of the clan, his name remains
an honored one to this day.
several years following the Battle of North Inch, things remained quiet in
the Highlands, at least relatively quiet, for the Highlands.