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Battle of Falkirk


To return to Charles. On his arrival at Glasgow, his first care was to provide for the necessities of his men, who were in a most pitiable plight from the want of clothing. He ordered the magistrates to furnish the army with 12,000 shirts, 6,000 cloth coats, 6,000 pairs of stockings, and 6,000 waistcoats. Enraged at the conduct of the citizens for having subscribed to the fund for raising troops against him, the prince sent for Buchanan the provost, and demanded the names of the subscribers, and threatened to hang him in case of refusal: but the provost, undismayed, replied that he would name nobody except himself, that he had subscribed largely, as he thought he was discharging a duty, and that he was not afraid to die in such a cause. The provost had to pay a fine of 500 as the penalty of his refusal.

The mansion which Charles occupied during his residence in Glasgow belonged to a rich merchant named Glassford. It was the best house in the city, and stood at the western extremity of the Trongate, but has long since disappeared. While in Glasgow he ate twice a-day in public. The table was spread in a small dining-room, at which he sat down without ceremony with a few of his officers in the Highland dress. He was waited upon on these occasions by a few Jacobite ladies. Charles courted popularity, and, to attract attention, dressed more elegantly in Glasgow than at any other place; but the citizens of Glasgow kept up a reserve, which made Charles remark, with a feeling of mortified disappointment, that he had never been in a place where he found fewer friends. Though dissatisfied with the people, he seemed, however, greatly to admire the regularity and beauty of the buildings.

Having refitted his army, Charles, within a few days after his arrival, reviewed it on Glasgow Green, in presence of a large concourse of spectators, and had the satisfaction to find that, with the exception of those he had left at Carlisle, he had not lost more than 40 men during his expedition into England. Hitherto he had carefully concealed his weakness, but now, thinking himself sure of doubling his army in a few days, he was not unwilling to let the world see the handful of men with which he had penetrated into the very heart of England, and returned in the face of two powerful armies almost without loss.

Abandoning, in the mean time, his project of returning to England, Charles resolved to lay siege to the castles of Stirling and Edinburgh. He depended much for success upon the artillery and engineers brought over by Lord John Drummond, and looked confidently forward for additional succours from France in terms of the repeated assurances he had received. Having determined on beginning with Stirling, he sent orders to Lord Strathallan, Lord John Drummond, Lord Lewis Gordon, and other commanders in the north, to join him forthwith with all their forces.

To accelerate a junction with the forces at Perth, the prince marched his army form Glasgow on the 4th of January, 1746, in two divisions; one of which, commanded by the prince, took the road to Kilsyth, where it passed the night. Charles himself took up his quarters in Kilsyth house, then belonging to Mr. Campbell of Shawfield. Mr. Campbell's steward, it is said, was ordered to provide every thing necessary for the comfort of the prince, under a promise of payment, but was told next morning that the bill should be allowed o his master at accounting for the rents of Kilsyth, which was a forfeited estate.

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