Category: Blogs

THE DUKE OF CUMBERLAND (PART TWO – THE ’45 AND AFTERMATH)

  By the time the Duke of Cumberland arrived home from Flanders, Prince Charles Stuart had taken Scotland for his father, assembled over 5,000 followers, and was clearly intent on heading south for England. Cumberland was given a tumultuous welcome in London, and immediately set about preparing his troops to address the menace of his ambitious cousin. In November the Jacobite Army crossed into England, taking the town and castle of Carlisle within a few days before continuing southward. Cumberland took command of the forces stationed in the Midlands to intercept Prince Charles’ army, but by a series of feints […]

THE DUKE OF CUMBERLAND (PART ONE – THE EARLY YEARS)

  In the Jacobite Chronicles Prince William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland features as a villain, his personality and actions being mainly viewed from the Jacobite perspectives of Beth and Alex. In this series of blogs about the life of the duke, I try to take a more impartial view. Prince William Augustus was born on 15th April 1721 at Leicester House in England, the long-awaited second son of his parents George, Prince of Wales, and Princess Caroline. The Prince of Wales and his father King George I did not get on at all, but the king appears to have taken […]

DONALD CAMERON OF LOCHIEL, CHIEF OF CLAN CAMERON (PART TWO)

  On 19th August 1745, Prince Charles Edward Stuart sailed to Glenfinnan at the head of Loch Shiel with the 300 men of Clanranalds, which at that moment comprised the whole of the Jacobite Army. He waited there for over two nailbiting hours, before he finally heard the skirl of the pipes heralding the arrival of 300 Keppochs and 700 Camerons, led by Lochiel himself. With him were two of his brothers, Dr Archie, and the priest Alexander, who acted as chaplain.  Prince Charles gave a short but inspiring speech, and a toast was given with brandy from the Du […]

DONALD CAMERON OF LOCHIEL, CHIEF OF CLAN CAMERON (PART ONE)

  If you know anything about the ’45 you will have heard of Bonnie Prince Charlie, of Flora MacDonald and the dramatic escape over the sea to Skye, immortalised in the Skye Boat Song. You will probably heard of the Duke of Cumberland too, the Butcher of Culloden. But unless you’re a Cameron, you may not know about Donald Cameron of Lochiel, who played a crucial role in the rising, risking and losing all in the process in his support for Prince Charles Edward Stuart. He features in the Jacobite Chronicles as a minor character, but he was certainly not […]

SHOULD THE JACOBITES HAVE RETREATED AT DERBY?

  Ever since the decision was taken by Prince Charles’ council on 5th December 1745 to turn back at Derby instead of continuing on to London, a decision that ultimately led to the catastrophic defeat at Culloden, historians have debated whether or not the Stuarts could have taken the throne back had they continued. In Book Four of the Jacobite Chronicles, my hero Alex MacGregor is wholeheartedly in favour of continuing to London, and on the decision going against him, states that everything he’s fought his whole life for was for nothing. I don’t always agree with my characters’ opinions, […]

Posted May 14, 2018 by Julia in Blogs, Historical Articles / 6 Comments

WHY DID THE HIGHLAND CLANS RISE FOR PRINCE CHARLES EDWARD STUART?

If you listen to all the legends about the Jacobite Rising of 1745-6, there are two main answers to the question – firstly because they were driven purely by loyalty to the House of Stewart, which was a Scottish royal house, or secondly that Prince Charles was so incredibly charismatic that after landing in Scotland in July 1745, he managed to single-handedly persuade all the clan chiefs to bring their clansmen out for him. Either way, the image conjured up is of hordes of kilted clansmen descending on Glenfinnan from all over the Highlands, armed to the teeth and eager […]

Posted April 30, 2018 by Julia in Blogs, Historical Articles, Uncategorized / 7 Comments

BONNIE PRINCE CHARLIE PART FOUR – THE LATER YEARS

  Over the next five months as a fugitive, Charles showed himself at his very best once again. Sheltered by loyal Highlanders, he had to keep on the move constantly to elude the troops that were searching for him. He endured long walks in horrendous weather, stayed in caves, ruined bothies, and even out in the open, sleeping in the heather in torrential rain while being eaten alive by the dreaded midges. He stated happily that he preferred oatbread and whisky to the finest fare, stayed wet and often cold for days on end and was in constant danger of […]

BONNIE PRINCE CHARLIE PART THREE – THE ’45

  In my previous blogs I’ve looked at the childhood and adolescence of Prince Charles, and the events which led to his decision to mount an expedition to Scotland in the summer of 1745. Now I want to examine his decisions and behaviour during the rising itself. When he landed on Eriskay, the reception he received was not what he had hoped for. Having spent the night in a poor crofter’s cottage, which Charles endured cheerfully, he was brought the bad news that the two great Skye chiefs would not rise for him, as he had not brought French troops. […]

BONNIE PRINCE CHARLIE PART TWO – THE LEAD UP TO THE ’45

  The Jacobite Chronicles start in 1742 with Richard Cunningham returning home after his father’s death to discover that the inheritance he was expecting is only a dream, whilst his sister has been left a huge dowry, inaccessible to either of them unless she marries. His subsequent decision sets in train the events that occupy the Chronicles. In the background to all this are the actions of the real-life Prince Charles, whose decisions were as life-changing for his followers as Richard’s were for Beth. The prince had spent the years leading up to his twenty-first birthday building his physical prowess […]

BONNIE PRINCE CHARLIE PART ONE – CHILDHOOD AND ADOLESCENCE

  Throughout history there have been a number of people whose fame, long after their deaths, have not been merely consigned to the pages of dusty seldom-read history books, but have instead remained fresh in the public’s minds, their posthumous reputations, for good or ill, usually far outstripping anything they may have achieved in their lifetime. Numerous examples come to mind, from all echelons of society: Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, Richard III, Robert the Bruce, William Wallace, Dick Turpin, Abraham Lincoln, Sitting Bull, Cleopatra, to name just a very few.   Many of these figures owe their everlasting fame to […]