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Battle of Falkirk


Pursuant to the plan of march fixed upon at crossing the Esk, the Highland army separated, and Lord George Murray, at the head of the low country regiments, proceeded to Ecclefechan where he arrived on the night of the 20th, and marched next day to Moffat. The prince, at the head of the clans, marched to Annan, where he passed the night of the 20th. The horse of the prince's division under Lord Elcho were, after a short halt, sent to take possession of Dumfries, which they accomplished early next morning, and the prince with the clans, came up in the evening. In no town in Scotland had there been greater opposition displayed to the restoration of the house of Stuart than in Dumfries, from the danger to which the inhabitants supposed their religious liberties, as presbyterians, would be exposed under catholic sovereign. This feeling, which was strongly manifested by them in the insurrection of 1715, had now assumed even a more hostile appearance from the existence of the new body of dissenters called "Seceders," which had lately left the bosom of the established church of Scotland, and which professed principles thought to be more in accordance with the gospel than those of their parent church.

A body of dissenters has volunteered for the defence of Edinburgh shortly after Charles had landed, and, on his march for England, a party of them had taken up arms, and had captured and carried to Dumfries thirty waggons belonging to the Highland army, which had been left at Lockerby by the escort appointed to protect them. To punish the inhabitants for their hostility, Charles ordered them to pay 2,000 in money, and to contribute 1,000 pairs of shoes. About 1.100 only were raised; and, in security for the remainder, Mr. Crosbie, the provost, and a Mr. Walter Riddel, were carried off as hostages. The prince also levied the excise at Dumfries, and carried off some arms, horses, &c. Some outrages were committed in the town by the Highlanders, who told the inhabitants that they ought to think themselves gently used, and be thankful that their town was not burned to ashes.

After halting a day at Dumfries, the prince proceeded with his division up Nithsdale on the evening of the 23rd, and passed the night at Drumlanrig, the seat of the Duke of Queensberry. Next day he entered Clydesdale, and halted at Douglas. The prince slept that night in Douglas castle. He reached Hamilton on the 25th, and took up his residence in the palace of the Duke of Hamilton. Next day the Chevalier occupied himself in hunting, an amusement of which he was uncommonly fond, and to which he had been accustomed from his youth.

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