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Thomas McDonald
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PostPosted: Mon 02 Aug, 2004 4:25 pm    Post subject: Who was Bonnie Prince Charlie         Reply with quote

Who was Bonnie Prince Charlie?

This article will describe the life of Bonnie Prince Charlie the 'Young Pretender' to the English throne.
The politics of the time will also be highlighted.




Bonnie Prince Charlie is one of the best-known historical Scottish heroes. He was not, however, Scottish, but was born into the Stuart Dynasty in Rome, Italy on December 31, 1720. His grandfather, James II of England had ruled that country from 1685-1689 at which time he was deposed by the Dutch protestant, William III of Orange. James II had aimed to bring England back into the Catholic fold and in the process had irritated and alarmed the powerful statesmen of the day. Since the exile of James II the so-called 'Jacobite Cause' had striven to return the Stuarts to the English and Scottish thrones. Bonnie Prince Charlie was to play a major part in this ultimate goal.


Christened Charles Edward Louis Philip Casimir Stuart, Bonnie Prince Charlie was the son of the 'Old Pretender' James Stuart, James II and Mary of Modena's son. His father was called the 'Pretender' because many believed he was not the King's true son - fearing a Catholic dynasty in England, his birth had seemed too convenient and was viewed with great suspicion. Charles Edward was also called the Young Pretender, the Young Chevalier, and later, Bonnie Prince Charlie.


His childhood in Rome was one of privilege. Brought up a catholic in a loving but argumentative family, the talk of seizing back the thrones of England and Scotland for the Stuarts was a constant topic of conversation in the household, principally reflected in his fathers' often morose and combative moods. The young Prince was trained in the military and from an early age was a pawn in the Jacobite Cause. His father managed to obtain the support of the French government in 1744, and Charles Edward traveled to France with the sole purpose of commanding a French army, which he would lead in an invasion of England.


The invasion never materialized, principally due to the fact that the French were afraid of the strong British army and because of poor weather that prohibited sailing. Undeterred, Charles Edward was determined to carry on in his quest for reinstatement of the Stuarts regardless.


So, in 1745 he traveled to Scotland, with a few supporters (possibly less than a dozen), and arriving on the Isle of Eriskay he set about rousing the Highland Clans to support his cause. Many of the Scottish people believed in the 'divine right of Kings', in other words, the unquestioning right of the Stuarts, chosen by God, to regain the thrones they had lost. William III's successors were from the German House of Hanover, and the current King, George II, was regarded by many as a foreigner. The fact that Charles Edward was born in Italy, his mother Maria Clementina Sobieski was Polish, and was therefore also technically a 'foreigner' escaped them. Bonnie Prince Charlie was embraced by some, but not all, of the Scottish Clans.


The Prince raised his father's (the Stuarts) standard at Glenfinnan in Scotland on the 19th August 1745, and so initiated what was to be referred to as the "'45", effectively the last Jacobite Uprising. Among his supporters were 300 from the Macdonald Clan and 700 from the clan Cameron. The rebels quickly took control of Edinburgh and by September 1745 had defeated the King's army (led by John Cope) at Prestonpans. Several victories followed and Bonnie Prince Charlie's' army grew in number, at one point reaching over 6000.


Spurred on by the victories they crossed the border into England and got to within 130 miles of the capital London. Unfortunately, the English Catholics failed to support the Jacobite rebellion, the expected French support was non-existent and many of the English were content with the stable, placid rule of George II. This apathy and lack of support plus the might of the King's army forced the Jacobites to withdraw back to Scotland. They had only managed to reach Derby.


The Battle of Culloden, near Inverness, followed on the 16th April 1746 and the Jacobite army suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of the 'Butcher of Cumberland', William Augustus the Duke of Cumberland. The Battle itself lasted for only about one hour but a widespread massacre of Scots, many of whom were not even involved in the Jacobite Uprising, followed.


Thousands were killed and the Battle of Culloden Moor went down as one of the bloodiest in Scottish history. The defeat effectively put an end to the last Jacobite Uprising and the Prince was now a fugitive. On the run he spent the next five months in hiding in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland assisted by his supporters. A ransom of 30,000 pounds (equivalent to $1 million in today's currency) was placed on his head but despite this no one betrayed him to the authorities.


The defeat at Culloden had wide-reaching implications for the Scots. The English government imposed strict laws, especially targeting the Clans. These included making it illegal for Highlanders to carry instruments of War (e.g. swords, targes and bagpipes) or to wear the tartan and the kilt. Jacobite supporters were either executed or forced to emigrate and their land was turned over to George II who distributed it amongst his English supporters.


The 'Highland Clearances' also became law, where landowners now found it more profitable to keep sheep on land that had always been used for farming. Many Highlanders now found themselves without a home and there was a surge of people moving from the country to the new, emerging cities.


Culloden thus changed the ancient Clan system forever. Emigration resulted in Scots scattered all over the world and intermarriages with other cultures and races became inevitable. Thus, Bonnie Prince Charlie's' failed attempt to regain the thrones for the Stuarts had a wide-reaching and long-lasting impact on Scottish culture and on suppression of the Scots by the English.


The greatest manhunt in history culminated when Bonnie Prince Charlie arrived on the Island of Benbecula, and when he met Flora Macdonald. Flora was not an ardent Jacobite supporter but felt that she could not betray the Bonnie prince. They met in the summer of 1746; the islanders aware of the Prince's presence on the island were frightened of British Government reprisals.


Flora helped to spirit him away to the Island of Skye, dressed in disguise as her maid 'Betty Burke'. Legend has it that Flora and Bonnie Prince Charlie fell in love that summer - she did keep a lock of his hair to remember him by - but the reality was probably that she felt sorry for the handsome Prince. He was assisted by supporters to escape to France where he lived a life of transient wandering throughout Europe before finally settling in Rome under the alias of the 'Duke of Albany'.


Flora was captured for her part in the Prince's escape and spent some time in the Tower of London before being released. She became famous for her role in the Jacobite matter, subsequently marrying her childhood sweetheart Alan Macdonald. They emigrated to North Carolina where her husband served on the British side during the American Revolution. When he was captured she returned to Scotland and Alan followed her back there when he was released. She died in 1790 and is buried on Skye. Legend has it that she was wrapped in the Prince's bed sheet.


Bonnie Prince Charlie spent the rest of his life in Europe, enjoying many affairs. None of his relationships with women lasted however including his 10-year late marriage to Louise de Stolberg. An alcoholic he was given to violent rages and was said to beat his female lovers. He had only one surviving child - 'Queen' Charlotte.


The Prince spent his life fighting for the Jacobite Cause, even returning to London in 1750 and 1754 but could not find support in his goal to be King. Even the Highland Clans deserted him in the end irritated with his temper; his poor leadership, his lack of political tack and the harsh laws the English had opposed on them were blamed on Charlie. A charismatic but supremely selfish man he died where he was born, in Rome, on January 31st 1788 and so ended the chapter on the Stuarts quest to regain the Crown.


In conclusion, Bonnie Prince Charlie was a sad and tragic figure. Haunted throughout his life by the passion for Stuart kingship he ultimately ended his life as a pathetic drunk. He is remembered however as a Scottish hero, a reminder of bygone times when the Clans roamed the Highlands and his life is portrayed in many stories and folk songs which are recounted and sung across Scotland. A monument erected by Alexander Macdonald at Glenfinnan commemorates the Prince and the myth and romanticism that surround him to this day.

http://nc.essortment.com/whowasbonniep_rlhk.htm

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Michael L Smith




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PostPosted: Mon 02 Aug, 2004 6:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

NIce introductory article about the Prince. However, to say he wasn't Scottish is about as accurate as saying an American born in Rome isn't really an American. The Stuarts were kings in Scotland (1371) long before the Tudors ruled in England (1485), the Hapsburgs in Spain (1516), or the Bourbons in France (1589). Really a strange statement.

Regards
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Thomas McDonald
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PostPosted: Tue 03 Aug, 2004 3:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Smith wrote:
NIce introductory article about the Prince. However, to say he wasn't Scottish is about as accurate as saying an American born in Rome isn't really an American. The Stuarts were kings in Scotland (1371) long before the Tudors ruled in England (1485), the Hapsburgs in Spain (1516), or the Bourbons in France (1589). Really a strange statement. Regards


I hear ya, Michael ..... kinda like saying Mel Gibson is a New Yorker *g*

On the left flank of Charles’ front line, the MacDonalds, having witnessed the advance of Clan Chattan also began to move forward. Because of the lie of the land however, they had an additional one hundred yards to endure the constant hail of shot and grape. When they were still a hundred yards from Cumberland’s right, the orders were given to "Make ready ……. Present ……. Fire!!" About one third of the MacDonalds fell, either dead, dying or severely wounded. Three times they made to advance in the hope of enticing the redcoats to break formation and attack, and three times they failed, the line held steady and the MacDonalds died. It was too much, and they fell back in disarray. Pulteney’s and the Royals suffered no casualties, but they inflicted many. The highlanders were granted grudging admiration from some of the soldiery opposing them. But they ran, they ran past the second line and continued to run. The second line held briefly but the panic became widespread and a tartan tide flooded away from the killing place. The ceasefire was ordered in the Hanoverian ranks. What lay in front of them were heaps of dead and dying where the fighting and gunfire had been most effective. The Bonnie Prince had gone, he left his supporters to their individual fates and made his escape, a story, which in its self, has become legend. It is reported that the commander of Charles’ Life Guards shouted after him as he departed "Run, you cowardly Italian!!" Lord George Murray still remained, his aides, thinking he might make a solo charge, took hold of his bridle (he had found a remount) and led him from the field in tears.

http://www.ttforumfriends.com/battlefields_culloden.htm

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Kenneth Enroth




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PostPosted: Tue 03 Aug, 2004 8:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Why is this guy considered a hero? Based on this I think he did more damage than good. What was he thinking charging into England? The french who were a lot stronger didn't want to face the english army so what chance would the scots have? Maybe his allies saw that as none wanted to support him.
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Thomas McDonald
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PostPosted: Tue 03 Aug, 2004 9:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kenneth Enroth wrote:
Why is this guy considered a hero? Based on this I think he did more damage than good. What was he thinking charging into England? The french who were a lot stronger didn't want to face the english army so what chance would the scots have? Maybe his allies saw that as none wanted to support him.


The fate of the empire and his own destiny may be said to have now depended upon the next resolution which Charles was to take. He had, after a most triumphant career, approached within 127 miles of London, and there seemed to be only another step necessary to complete the chivalrous character of his adventure, and to bring his enterprise to a successful termination. This was, to have instantly adopted the bold and decisive measure of marching upon and endeavouring to seize the capital. The possession of the metropolis, where Charles had a considerable party, would have at once paralysed the government; and the English Jacobites, no longer afraid of openly committing themselves, would have rallied round his standard. The consternation which prevailed in London when the news of the arrival of the Highland army at Derby reached the capital, precludes the idea that any effectual resistance would have been offered on the part of the citizens; and it was the general opinion, that if Charles had succeeded in beating the Duke of Cumberland, the army which had assembled on Finchly Common would have dispersed of its own accord. Alluding, in a number of the True Patriot, to the dismay which pervaded the minds of the citizens of London, Fielding says, that when the Highlanders, by "a most incredible march", got between the Duke of Cumberland's army and the metropolis, they struck terror into it, "scarce to be credited". The Chevalier Johnstone, who collected information on the spot shortly after the battle of Culloden, says, that when the intelligence of the capture of Derby reached London, many of the inhabitants fled to the country, carrying along with them their most valuable effects, and that all the shops were shut, - that there was a prodigious run upon the bank, which only escaped bankruptcy by a stratagem, - that although payment was not refused, the bank, in fact, retained its specie, by keeping it continually surrounded by agents of its own with notes, who, to gain time, were paid in sixpences; and as a regulation had been made, that the persons who came first should be entitled to priority of payment; and as the agents went out by one door with the specie they had received, and brought it back by another, the bona fide holders of notes could never get near enough to present them; - that King George had ordered his yachts - on board of which he had put all his most precious effects - to remain at the Tower stairs in readiness to sail at a moment's warning, - and that the Duke of Newcastle, secretary of state for the war department, had shut himself up in his house a whole day, deliberating with himself upon the part it would be most prudent for him to take, doubtful even whether he should not immediately declare for the prince.

The only obstacle to Charles's march upon the capital was the army of the Duke of Cumberland, which was within a day's march of Derby. From the relative position of the two armies, the Highlanders might, with their accustomed rapidity, have outstripped the duke's army, and reached the capital at least one day before it; but to Charles it seemed unwise to leave such an army, almost double his own in point of numbers, in his rear, whilst that of Wade's would advance upon his left flank. Of the results of an encounter with Cumberland, Charles entertained the most sanguine hopes. His army was small, when compared to that of his antagonist; but the paucity of its numbers was fully compensated by the personal bravery of its component parts, and the enthusiastic ardour which pervaded the bosom of every clansman. At no former stage of the campaign were the Highlanders in better spirits than on their arrival at Derby. They are represented by the Chevalier Johnstone as animated to the highest pitch of enthusiasm, breathing nothing but a desire for the combat; and were to be seen during the whole day waiting in crowds before the shops of the cutlers to get their broadswords sharpened, and even quarrelling with one another for priority in whetting those fearful weapons. It was not without reason, therefore, that Charles calculated upon defeating Cumberland; and although there was a possibility that that bold and daring adventurer or his army, and perhaps both, might perish in the attempt to seize the capital, yet the importance of the juncture, and the probability that such a favourable opportunity of accomplishing his object might never come again occur, seem to justify Charles in his design of advancing immediately upon London. However, whatever might have been the result of the advance of the rebel army, other counsels prevailed, and Charles reluctantly yielded to the entreaties of his friends, who advised a retreat.

http://electricscotland.com/history/charles/40.htm

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Scott Bubar




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PostPosted: Thu 05 Aug, 2004 4:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thomas McDonald wrote:
... They are represented by the Chevalier Johnstone as animated to the highest pitch of enthusiasm, breathing nothing but a desire for the combat; and were to be seen during the whole day waiting in crowds before the shops of the cutlers to get their broadswords sharpened, and even quarrelling with one another for priority in whetting those fearful weapons ... ]


Fascinating little anecdote. It raises as many questions as it answers.
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Alex McCracken




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PostPosted: Thu 05 Aug, 2004 9:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thomas McDonald wrote:


However, whatever might have been the result of the advance of
the rebel army, other counsels prevailed, and Charles reluctantly
yielded to the entreaties of his friends, who advised a retreat.


To follow up on this, let's not forget that Lord George Murray had
a plan to pull back into the Highlands and fight a guerilla war until
the French showed up and the size of the Highland army increased.
Prior to Culloden, Murray fought a number of guerilla battles and won
nearly all of them, so he might have been on to something. Unfortunately,
"that damned Italian" Prince Charles simply didn't have the patience for
such a campaigne, amazing considering what he went through physlcally
both during and especially after Culloden.

Alex

Pray, n:. To ask that the laws of the universe be
annulled in behalf of a single petitioner
confessedly unworthy.

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)
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Thomas McDonald
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PostPosted: Thu 05 Aug, 2004 9:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Scott Bubar wrote:
Thomas McDonald wrote:
... They are represented by the Chevalier Johnstone as animated to the highest pitch of enthusiasm, breathing nothing but a desire for the combat; and were to be seen during the whole day waiting in crowds before the shops of the cutlers to get their broadswords sharpened, and even quarrelling with one another for priority in whetting those fearful weapons ... ]


Fascinating little anecdote. It raises as many questions as it answers.


Indeed, Scott !

I'm constantly plagued by the "what if's" in all of this !

Mac

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Gabriel Stevens




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PostPosted: Thu 05 Aug, 2004 11:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very interesting Mac, I appreciate the book suggestions that you gave me some months back on just this subject.
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Zach Stambaugh





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PostPosted: Thu 05 Aug, 2004 4:05 pm    Post subject: here's a what if....         Reply with quote

had scotland remained independant it is unlikely that he would have written this article in english since his ancestors woulld have likely stayed in scotland and spoken gaelic.
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Scott Bubar




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PostPosted: Fri 06 Aug, 2004 7:30 pm    Post subject: Re: here's a what if....         Reply with quote

Zach Stambaugh wrote:
had scotland remained independant it is unlikely that he would have written this article in english since his ancestors woulld have likely stayed in scotland and spoken gaelic.


Zach, to which "he" are you referring? The author of the piece Mac cites is Ruth Mark.

In any event, it is likely that the ancestors of the person to whom you refer stayed as they laid. That is, wherever they were buried.

Perhaps you meant descendants?

I don't know if Ms. Mark has offspring, but if so, it's possible they may speak Gaelic. I believe she is a native of Northern Ireland, currently living (?) in the Netherlands.
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