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somewhat their own masters, they would have become more wealthy than their high-born superiors, whose arrogant assumptions must of course have vanished, and to prevent such an issue, every part of their economy seems to have been carefully adjusted. Every individual was a tenant at will upon the few foot breadths of the soil that was allotted him, and though his rent was perhaps but a few shillings sterling, a pound or two of butter, a little oatmeal, and an eighth or a sixteenth part of a sheep, from his want of industry, want of skill, and from his attendance on the laird, matters were so managed, that without some inroads upon an obnoxious clan, or, what was infinitely more productive, levying every now and then a creagh from the Lowlands, it could never be paid. A Highland chieftain, in short, when divested of those factitious glories with which he has been clothed by interested and ignorant rhymers and romancers, was neither more nor less than a public robber, who by the strength of his fastnesses, and the number of his retainers, thought himself warranted to set the law at defiance; and imbecile and corrupt. administrations had, by hiring his forbearance with handsome pensions, when they ought to have repressed his rapacity by the arm of the law, fostered his pride, and guaranteed his insolence.
Such were the men upon whom the pretender's son was taught to depend for restoring him to the throne of his fathers, and who fancied themselves, with a little foreign aid, perfectly competent to the task-men who had embroiled the government in every preceding age, and men who claimed rights, and exercised functions, utterly incompatible with the exercise of any regularly constituted government. They were, however, very fit for the purpose of creating confusion in the country, and by the folly of the measures that had been adopted regarding them, much more so at this time than at any former period. From their situation and circumstances, any monarch, be his family or his character what it would, must have been to them an object of suspicion, and his complete establishment an event they must have deprecated. The principles of the Stuarts, however, if they took time to consider principles, or at least their practices, must have been preferred by them as much more congenial to their own, than those which had hitherto guided the new dynasty;
at all events, in the tumult that behoved necessarily to ensue, they were certain of carrying off some portion of the spoil, with which they could retire again to their fastnesses, and the day of their complete subjugation, which they had no doubt government had determined upon would be at least retarded, and for the wrongs they supposed they had already endured, they would have some measure of revenge. i New and extraordinary proofs of the negligence of the ministry, and of their entire ignorance of the state of Scotland, were now exhibited. Though the whole of the disaffected clans, to the number of twelve thousand men, were prepared to second the invasion, had it taken place in the previous year, this blundering and bullying administration seem not so much as to have suspected it, and but for the interference of the elements, George, while he was anxious to secure a crown to the queen of Hungary, would in all probability have lost his own. Nor, though the earlier part of the present year had been wholly employed in forming arrangements for making new attempts upon the peace of the kingdom, do they appear to have had the smallest suspicion of any such thing, till the foreign journals informed them that the pretender's son had actually embarked for Scotland. Even the lord president himself, who it would appear had always a watchful eye turned to that quarter, seems to have been taken altogether by surprise, though, fortunately, he had not been negligent in giving sound advice to his friends, in case any such unlooked for attempt might be made.
66 I consider the report,” says he, in reply to some communications on the subject of the pretender's son having embarked for Scotland, “ as improbable, because I am confident that young man cannot with reason expect to be joined by any considerable force in the Highlands. Some loose, lawless men of desperate fortunes may indeed resort to him, but I am persuaded that none of the Highland gentlemen who have ought to lose, will, after the experience which the year 1715 furnished them, think proper to risk their fortunes on an attempt which to them must appear desperate, especially as so many considerable families amongst themselves have lately uttered their sentiments, unless the undertaking is supported by an armed power from abroad, or
seconded by an invasion on some other part of his majesty's dominions.” *
Such was undoubtedly the opinion of all the Jacobites whose opinions were worth hearing, and it was no new opinion, as we have already seen in the course of this history. It had often been expressed to the pretender himself, though he never willingly listened to it, and it could not be expected to be more palatable to his son, who, full of the pride of ancestry, had now determined to assert his rights, and to conquer his fortune, independent of allies, whose procrastinating policy seemed only to mock his impatience, and to delude his expectations.
He accordingly embarked, according to Mr. Home, in a small fishing boat at Nantes, on the twentieth of June, and proceeded to St. Nazaire, where he went on board the Doutelle, a frigate of sixteen guns, and was joined by the Elizabeth, of sixty guns, off Belleisle. These vessels he obtained from two merchants of Irish extraction, the sons of refugees, who had followed the fortunes of James II., and had settled, the one, whose name was Routledge, at Dunkirk, the other, whose name was Walch, at Nantes. Engaged in a privateering speculation, they obtained from the French court an old sixty gun ship, and purchased a frigate of sixteen guns, both of which they had fitted up for a cruise in the North Sea. Being introduced to the pretender's son by lord Clare, afterwards marshall Thomond, they agreed to lend him their ships for this expedition. In addition to the ships, they accommodated him with three thousand eight hundred pounds, which was afterwards repaid by the old pretender, and all the arms they could procure.
The above was not the only service lord Clare performed for Charles. He also, under pretence of the East India service, raised one hundred men, who were styled Grassins de Mer, and were handsomely clothed in blue, faced with red, and put aboard the Elizabeth for his service.t From the purpose for which they were raised, we may reasonably presume that they were men superior to those who commonly fill the ranks as
* Culloden Papers, p. 204. + Home's History of the Rebellion, p. 26. Ray's History of the Rebellion,
common soldiers, and though they were driven back in the Elizabeth, must have followed him by some other conveyance. We meet, however, in course of the following history, with no mention of their achievements, further than that Ray says, he had the pleasure of seeing them afterwards prisoners of war at Carlisle.
Besides these one hundred men, Charles was accompanied by the following individuals, viz. Sir Thomas Sheridan, an Irishman, who had formerly been his tutor, the marquis of Tullibardine, attainted since 1715, Sir John Macdonald, an Irishman, who had been in the service of Spain, Kelly, likewise an Irishman, formerly secretary to Atterbury, bishop of Rochester, Sullivan, an Irishman, Eneas Macdonald, a Scotsman, and a banker at Paris, Strickland, his country doubtful, and Michel, an Italian, who acted to the pretender as valet de chambre. To these Home adds Buchanan, a Scotishman, who had acted as cardinal de Tencin's messenger to the pretender at Rome, during the time he had been employed in preparing for this extraordinary expedition. Aboard the two ships were about two thousand musquets, and a few hundreds of French broadswords. Such was the outfit of an armament which had for its object to overturn the throne of Great Britain--a throne founded upon the will of the people, and every day taking deeper root in their affections. But the small quantity of military stores provided, and the paucity of the hands employed in this invasion, are by no means the most remarkable circumstances attending it. Though their number was small, had it comprised men of approved worth and talent, men respected at home, or celebrated abroad, there might have been some hope that they would be seconded much more effectually than a superficial thinker might at first have been ready either to see or believe. But there was not one really respectable individual among them, if we except the marquis of Tullibardine; and from the circumstances of his having been attainted, and an exile, ever since Marr's year, and his brother James inheriting the honours and the estate of Athol, and at the very time personally in the service of king George, his influence could not be very great. Charles himself, to be sure, was the idol of the Scotish Jacobites; but he was a very young man, totally devoid of experience either in civil or military affairs, and by supposing, that with his Scotish friends, under
the direction of a few vagabond Irishmen, although he had been sure of their rising to a man, he would be able to overcome the whole body of presbyterians in Scotland, together with the kingdom of England, he showed himself possessed of a mind upon which, it might safely have been presumed, all experience would in the end be found to be thrown away.
Scarcely had they put to sea when they began to experience what an arduous affair they were engaged in, and how inadequate their means were for its accomplishment. Their purpose was to steer for the Highlands of Scotland by the Æbudæ or Western Islands, but they were met, a little to the westward of the Lizard Point, by the Lyon man of war, an English ship of sixty guns, who engaging the Elizabeth, after an action of six hours, crippled her to such a degree, that she with difficulty regained the port whence she had sailed, having lost her captain and sixty men killed, with upwards of an hundred and thirty wounded. The Doutelle in the meantime pursued her voyage, and as she approached the coast of Scotland, seeing a large ship, which was supposed an English man of war, off the south end of the Long Island, she ran along the east side of Barra, and came to anchor between South Uist and Erisca, the largest of a cluster of rocky isles that lie off South Uist.
On this almost barren island, Erisca, Charles immediately landed in the character of an Irish priest, and was conducted to the house of the tacksman of these small islands, from whom he learned that Clanronald and his brother, Boisdale, were upon the island of South Uist, while young Clanronald was at Moidart, upon the mainland. Charles having despatched a messenger for Boisdale, remained on the island all night, and in the morning returned to his ship. Boisdale followed soon after, and Charles proposed that he should go with him to the mainland to be assisting in persuading his nephew, young Clanronald, to take arms, and afterwards that he should go ambassador to Sir Alexander Macdonald and Macleod of Skye. Boisdale, however, with great firmness, and good sense, declared that he would do his utmost to prevent his brother and nephew from engaging in so hopeless an enterprise, and assured him, that an embassy to Skye was out of the question, as he had seen Sir Alexander Macdonald and Macleod but very