Rebellion of 1745-46

The Pretender had married, in 1719, the Princess Clementina, Sobieski of Poland, and was now the father of two sons in the bloom of youth, the the elder of whom has been distinguished in history by the title of Prince Charles Stuart. The misfortunes of the British arms on the continent, and the dissensions which prevailed among the people and the Parliament, encouraged this prince to make an attempt to recover the throne of his ancestors. In 1744, he had been furnished by France with a large fleet and ample stores to invade the British dominions, but had been driven back by a storm, and prevented from again setting sail by a superior fleet under Sir John Norris. Though the French monarch would not grant him any further supply, Charles resolved to make the proposed attempt, trusting solely to the generosity and valor of his friends in Britain. He therefore landed from a single vessel, with only seven attendants, on the coast of Inverness-shire, where the clans most . attached to his family chiefly resided. By merely working upon the ardent feelings of the Highland chiefs, he soon induced several of them to take up arms, among whom were Locheil, Clanranald, Glengarry, and Keppoch.

On the 19th of August 1745 he raised his standard at Glenfinnan, within a few miles of the government station of Fort William, and found himself surrounded by about 1500 men. The government was at first inclined to disbelieve the intelligence of these proceedings, but was soon obliged to take steps for its own defense. A reward of thirty thousand pounds was offered for the head of the young prince, who with all his family, was under attainder by act of Parliament; and Sir John Cope, commander of the forces in Scotland, was ordered to advance with what troops he had into the Highlands, and suppress the insurrection. Cope proceeded on this mission with about 1400 infantry; but on finding the Highlanders in possession of a strong post near Fort Augustus, he thought it necessary to go aside to Inverness. Charles, taking advantage of this ill-advised movement, immediately poured his motley followers down into the Lowlands, gaining accessions everywhere as he advanced; and there being no adequate force to oppose him, he took possession successively of Perth and Edinburgh.

Cope now transported his troops back to Lothian by sea, and on the 21st September, a rencontre took place between him and Charles at Prestonpans. Seized with a panic, the royal troops fled disgracefully from the field, leaving the prince a complete victory. With the lustre thus acquired by his arms, he might have now, with four or five thousand men, made a formidable inroad into England. Before he could collect such a force, six weeks passed away, and when at length (November 1) he entered England, a large body of troops had been collected to oppose him. After a bold ad vance to Derby, he was obliged by his friends to turn back. At Stirling he was joined by considerable reinforcements, and on the 17th of January 1746, a battle took place at Falkirk between him and General Hawley, each numbering about 8000 troops. Here Charles was again successful; but he was unable to make any use of his victory, and soon after found it necessary to withdraw his forces to the neighborhood of Inverness, where he spent the remainder of the winter. The Duke of Cumberland now put himself at the head of the royal troops, which had been augmented by 6000 auxiliaries under the Prince of Hesse. During the months of February and March, the Highland army was, cooped up within its own territory by the Hessians at Perth, and the royal troops at Aberdeen. At length, April 16, Prince Charles met the English army in an open moor at Culloden, near Inverness, and experienced a total overthrow. He had himself the greatest difficulty in escaping from the country, and the Highlands were subjected for several months to the horrors of military violence in all its worst forms.