GEORGE II.—THE STORY OF HOW PRINCE CHARLIE
‘Wha hae we gotten for a King,
But a wee wee German lairdie !
And when we gaed to bring him hame,
He was delving in his kail-yairdie.
He’s pu’d the rose o’ English loons,
And broken the harp o’ Irish clowns,
But our Scots thistle will jag his thumbs,
The wee wee German lairdie.
Come up amang the Highland hills,
Thou wee wee German lairdie,
And see how Charlie’s lang-kail thrive,
That he planted in his yairdie.
Our hills are steep, our glens are deep,
No fitting for a yairdie ;
And our norlan’ thistles winna pu’,
Thou wee wee German lairdie. ’
In 1716 a.d. James Stewart fled back to France, a hope
less man. Nearly thirty years later, in 1745 a.d., his son
Charles returned, full of youth and hope, ready to fight
once more for the crown. He was just twenty-five ; he
was gay and handsome, and for many a year he had made
up his mind to win the kingdom for his father. Once
when he was walking by the shore, his hat blew off into
the sea. Some of his friends began to get a boat out to
go after it, but Charles stopped them. ‘ It is not worth
while,’ he said, with a laugh, ‘ I shall soon have to go to
England to fetch my headpiece.’
But when Charles landed in the north of Scotland one
July day in 1745 a.d., he had no money, and very few
followers. At first the Highland chiefs, remembering the
misfortunes of thirty years before, were unwilling to help
‘ Go home,’ said one old chief, ‘ for here you can do
‘ I have come home,’ replied Charles. ‘ I will rather
skulk among the mountains of Scotland, if I have only six
men with me, than return to France.’
‘ Lochiel,’ he said to another unwilling chief, ‘ may
stay at home and learn his Prince’s fate from the news
‘ But no,’ cried Lochiel, ‘ if you are resolved to fight, I
will fight too. I will share the fate of my Prince, and so
shall every man over whom I have power.’
So with brave words and smiles, and winning ways,
the young Prince made his way to the hearts of the fierce
Highland chiefs. Little by little the Jacobite army grew,
and once more the Stewart standard was set up. To
the sound of the pipes it fluttered out on the Highland
breeze. It was of red silk, and bore the words Tandem
Triumphans, which mean, triumphant at last.
‘ The dark hours of night and of slumber are past,
And morn on our mountains is dawning at last ;
Glenaladale’s peaks are illumed with the rays,
And the streams of Glenfinnan leap bright in the blaze.
O high-minded Murray !—the exiled—the dear !—
In the blush of the dawning the standard uprear !
Wide, wide on the winds of the north let it fly,
Like the sun‘s latest flash when the tempest is nigh.’
As the standard was raised, the Highlanders cheered, and
HOW PRINCE CHARLIE CAME HOME 401
threw their bonnets in the air, till it seemed as if the sky
was darkened with them. The white-haired Jacobite
Marquis—the ‘high-minded Murray’—who held the
standard, was so old that he had to be supported by a
friend on either side. But, although he was so feeble,
he loved the Stewarts. He had begged to have the
honour of rearing the standard, and was ready to lose his
life and all that he had for his Prince.
When King George heard that Prince Charlie had
landed in Scotland, he ordered one of his generals, called
Sir John Cope, to march against him. He also offered a
great reward to any who would take the ‘ Pretender ‘
prisoner. Charles replied to this by offering a reward to
any one who would seize the ‘ Elector of Hanover.’
After the setting up of the standard, Prince Charles
and his army marched southward. At five o’clock one
morning, Lochiel and his men marched into Edinburgh,
and amid the sullen silence of some, and the cheers of
others, ‘ James VIII.’ was once more proclaimed.
A few hours later the Prince himself rode to Holyrood.
The air rang with cheers, and crowds of people crushed
round him, eager to touch his hand, or even to kiss his
boots. That night, the old state rooms of the palace,
silent so long, rang again with sounds of music and
laughter. For Charles gave a ball, and all the lovely
ladies and gallant men of Edinburgh gathered to do
honour to their Prince.
Two days later, in the grey of early morning, Charles
placed himself at the head of his troops, for Sir John and
his army were not far off.
‘ Gentlemen,’ he cried, drawing his sword, ‘ I have
thrown away the scabbard.’
By that he meant, that having now drawn his sword
to fight for the crown, he would never sheathe it again
402 SCOTLAND’S STORY
until he conquered or died, and cheer upon cheer rent the
air as the men heard his brave words.
That night Prince Charles slept upon the field among
his followers. Very early next morning they were up, and
before the royal troops were ready they attacked them.
In about five minutes, the King‘s army was utterly de
feated, and was flying from the field, their leader with
The Highlanders lost very few men, but the slaughter
of the royal troops was dreadful. ‘ See your enemies at
your feet, sir,’ said one of his officers to Charles.
‘Alas,’ replied the Prince sadly, as he turned away,
‘ they are my father‘s subjects.’
After the battle of Prestonpans, as this battle was
called, from the name of the place near which it was
fought, Charles returned to Edinburgh. There he spent
a few days, gathering men and money, giving balls and
parties, and winning hearts with his smiles. Bonnie
Prince Charlie he was called. The women loved him for
his bonnie face and winning ways, and the men because
he was daring and manly, ‘ he could eat a dry crust, sleep
on pease-straw, take his dinner in four minutes, and win
a battle in five,’ they said.
Ladies danced with him and prayed for him, and sold
their jewels to get money for him, and every man who
had a sword laid it at his feet.
At last Charles made up his mind to march into
England and fight for his crown there. But the High
land chieftains did not wish to go. They wanted to stay
in Scotland, and fight for Scotland only, and they tried
hard to persuade the Prince not to go either.
‘1 see, gentlemen,’ said Charles at last, ‘ that you are
determined to stay in Scotland and defend your country ;
but I am not the less resolved to try my fate in England
HOW PRINCE CHARLIE CAME HOME 403
though I go alone.’ So the chieftains gave way, and the
march into England began.
But, although Charles met with little opposition, the
English Jacobites did not rise to join his standard as he
had expected. No one resisted him ; he took several
towns as he marched along, but there was no excitement,
no enthusiasm, as there had been in Scotland. After a
long, weary march, the Jacobite army reached Derby, and
there the chieftains insisted on turning back. In vain
Charles urged and implored them to go on. ‘ Rather
than go back,’ he cried, ‘ I would wish to be twenty feet
below ground.’ But they would not listen to him.
So the long weary march back began.
Meanwhile, had the Prince only known it, London
was awaiting his coming in fear. The King was ready
to flee. And if the King had fled there is no doubt that
many who now quietly looked on, waiting to see what
would happen, would have taken sides with the Prince,
and Britain might once more have had a Stewart King.
But for good or ill the Prince turned back.
On the march south he had been cheerful and merry,
gladly sharing every hardship with his men. Now he was
gloomy, sullen, and broken-hearted. And the men them
selves, when they heard that they were to march back,
were full of grief and rage. After many hardships, after
two months’ march through bitter winter weather, the
wearied army reached Glasgow. But the Stewart cause
was lost, and the Prince a broken man.
At Glasgow the hopes of the Prince revived a little,
and he marched northward, intending to take Stirling
Castle. King George had sent another general to replace
Sir John Cope, who had run away from Prestonpans, and
at Falkirk another battle was fought in which the King‘s
soldiers were again defeated. But the Highland chieftains,
instead of following up this victory and besieging Stirling,
advised the Prince to march northward. And again,
sorely against his will, the Prince was obliged to listen
When the King heard that Charles had beaten another
general, he was very angry and resolved to send his own
son, the Duke of Cumberland, to fight the rebels.
On Culloden Moor the two armies met. On Culloden
Moor the last hope of the Stewart cause was lost. The
royal army was rested and fresh, well drilled and well
armed. The Jacobite army was weary, hungry, ragged,
In a few minutes Prestonpans had been won. In a
few minutes Culloden was lost. But after Prestonpans
Charles had been pitiful to the wounded—‘ they are my
Father’s subjects,’ he said. After Culloden, Cumberland
treated the fleeing and the wounded with such merciless
cruelty that ever after he was called the ‘ Butcher.’ Yet
the men he slaughtered were his father’s subjects too.
Charles would have been glad to die on Culloden with
his faithful followers, but two of his officers took his horse
by the bridle and led him from the field. His life was
saved, but his cause was lost, and he was a hunted man
with the price of thirty thousand pounds upon his head.
This rebellion is called ‘ The ‘45,’ because it took place
in 1745 a.d.
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