صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

Lastly, he expects a positive answer before two o'clock in the morning, otherwise he will think himself obliged to take measures conform. At Gray's Mill, 16th September, 1745, by his highness' command, (signed,) J. Murray.”

When this letter was read the provost said there was one condition in it which he would rather die than submit to, which was the receiving the son of the pretender as prince regent, for he was bound by oath to another master. After long deliberation, they agreed to send another deputation to beg a suspension of hostilities till nine o'clock in the morning, that the magistrates might have it in their power to consult the inhabitants, most of whom were now gone to bed, and to require an explanation of what was meant by receiving Charles as prince regent.

At two o'clock in the morning this second deputation set out in a hackney coach for Gray's Mill, where, when they arrived, they prevailed upon lord George Murray to second their application for a delay of further procedure till the citizens should be consulted. This Charles positively refused, and they were commanded in his name to get them gone. To their query respecting the regency, however, they received the following answer in writing :-“ His royal highness has already given all the assurances he can, that he intends to exact nothing of the city in general, nor of any in particular, but what his character of regent entitles him to. This he repeats, and renews his summons to the magistrates to receive him as such.",

With the above answer the deputies, early in the morning, returned in the same coach by which they were carried out, which entered the city by the West Port, and set down the deputies at Mrs. Clarke's tavern, where the lord provost and others of the council were waiting to receive their report, after which it proceeded towards the Canongate and went out by the Nether Bow Port. The coach was stopped by the city guard, and an order from provost Stuart required before the gate should be opened. The coachman said he had no order from provost Stuart, but that provost Coutts had ordered him to be let out. This order the guard refused to obey, when James Gillespie, an under keeper of the Port, said he had an order to let out that coach, though he did not say from whom. The

Port was opened of course to let out the coach-Lochiel with his eight hundred Camerons was in waiting, and instantly rushed in, secured the guard, and look possession of the city, which put an end to this long and painful series of hesitating councils and doubtful deliberations.*

That the rebels should have been let in by the letting out of the coach which carried in the city deputies, has a very strange and a very suspicious appearance; yet it does not appear that suspicion has attached to any of the deputies. The probability is, that the rebels had most certain information of every thing that was transacted in the city, and the coach, by previous concert, might be taken out at the Nether Bow for the very purpose of admitting Lochiel, who must have begun to march immediately on its departure, from Gray's Mill, if not before it; and lord George Murray's whisper to Mr. Coutts, one of the deputies on the second embassy, “ I know your pinch, you want to have the consent of your principal inhabitants. Make haste to town, you'll have an hour or two to obtain it,” was undoubtedly intended to forward some such project, by courting their confidence, and lulling their vigilance asleep. Be this as it will, the rebels obtained possession of the GOOD Town with all the facility of a simple change of sentinels, and the inhabitants in the morning, as if awakening from a dream, found they were under the governance of the Highlanders.t

Having thus, not much to the credit of the metropolis of Scotland, possessed themselves of it without firing a shot, the main body of the rebels, to avoid the cannon of the castle, which, fortunately, was under better management than the city, took a circuitous course to the south, and marching by Duddingstone, halted in the hollow between Salisbury Crags, and Arthur's Seat. And Charles, vain of his person, and confident in the powers of legitimacy and hereditary right, bastened down to what is called the Duke's Walk, to show himself to the people. “ He was," says Home, who

• Second Trial of Archibald Stuart, Esq. pp. 149–152.

† Above we have stated probabilities. Our own opinion is, though circumstances have not enabled, or rather have prevented us from bringing forward statements to justify it, that the rebels entered the city by collusion, and that it was betrayed by its magistracy.

was a spectator on that melancholy occasion, “ in the prime of youth, tall, and handsome, of a fair complexion. He had a light coloured perriwig, with his own hair combed over the front. He wore the Highland dress; that is, a tartan short coat, without the plaid, a blue bonnet on his head, and on his breast the star of St. Andrew." Having exhibited himself for some time in this manner on foot, to render himself more conspicuous, and to show how well he rode, though he was very near the palace, he mounted his horse and rode slowly into it.

That the Jacobites were charmed with his appearance, and that they conceived he resembled Robert the Bruce, in his figure as well as in his fortune, according to the above quoted author, we can believe, because when their darling legitimacy was concerned, they could believe any thing; but we give him still more credit when he says, “ The whigs looked upon him with other eyes. They acknowledged that he was a goodly person; but they observed, that even in that triumphant hour when he was about to enter the palace of his fathers, the air of his countenance was languid and melancholy—that he looked like a gentleman and a man of fashion, but not like a hero or a conqueror. Hence they formed their conclusions, that the enterprise was above the pitch of his mind, and that his heart was not great enough for the sphere in which he moved.”

Charles, when he arrived at the palace, walked along the piazza towards the apartments of the duke of Hamilton. As he approached the door which stood open to receive him, a gentleman stepped from the crowd, drew his sword, and with the air of an old soldier, walked up stairs before him. This was James Hepburn of Keith, a man learned and intelligent, but bewildered by a visionary idea of Scotish independence, which led him, though he laughed at legitimacy and indefeasible right, and condemned the tyrannical government of James VII. to adopt the cause of his misguided and unfortunate family. He had been engaged in the rebellion of the year 1715, and had ever since kept himself in readiness to take arms for the same cause, and was the first person who joined Charles at Edinburgh. He was particularly averse to the Union, which

* Home's History of the Rebellion, p. 72.

he regarded as injurious and humiliating to his country, having, as he said, “made a Scotch gentleman of small fortune nobody, and he would die a thousand times rather than submit to it."

The Highlanders on entering the city, having secured the heralds and pursuivants, about mid-day surrounded the cross, and obliged them to proclaim king James VIII. with all the usual formalities—to read the commission of regency and the declaration, dated at Rome in December 1743, with a manifesto in the name of Charles, prince regent, dated at Paris, the sixteenth of May, 1745;* a great concourse of people witnessed

* For the two former of these papers, see page 133 of this volume-the latter is as follows:

“ By virtue and authority of the above commission of regency, granted unto us by the king our royal father, we are now come to execute his majesty's will and pleasure, by setting up his royal standard, and asserting his undoubted right to the throne of his ancestors.

“ We do, therefore, in his majesty's name, and pursuant to the tenor of his several declarations, hereby grant a free, full, and general pardon, for all treasons, rebellions, and offences whatsoever, committed at any time before the publication hereof, against our royal grandfather, his present majesty, and ourselves. To the benefit of this pardon, we shall deem justly entitled all such of his majesty's subjects as shall testify their willingness to accept of it, either by joining our forces with all convenient diligence; by setting up his royal standard in other places; by repairing for our service to any place where it shall be so set up; or, at least, by openly renouncing all pretended allegiance to the usurper, and all obedience to his orders, or to those of any person or persons commissioned or employed, or acting avowedly for him.

“ As for those who shall appear more signally zealous for the recovery of his majesty's just rights, and the prosperity of their country, we shall take effectual care to have them rewarded according to their respective degrees and merits. And we particularly promise as aforesaid, a full, free, and general pardon to all officers, soldiers, and sailors, now engaged in the service of the usurper, provided that, upon the publication hereof, and before they engage in any fight or battle against his majesty's forces, they quit the said unjust and unwarrantable service, and return to their duty, since they cannot but be sensible, that no engagements entered into with a foreign usurper, can dispense with the allegiance they owe to their natural sovereign. And as a further encouragement to them to comply with their duty, and our commands, we promise to every such officer the same, or a higher post in our service, than that which at present he enjoys, with full payment of whatever arrears may be due to him, at the time of his declaring for us; and to every soldier, trooper, and dragoon, who shall join us, as well as to every seaman and mariner of the fleet, who shall declare for, and serve us, all their arrears, and II.

A a

this ceremony, and there were not wanting any of the usual demonstrations of tumultuary joy. Among people of condition, however, the shouts of acclamation were confined principally to the ladies; few gentlemen were to be seen in the streets, or

a whole year's pay, to be given to each of them as a gratuity, as soon as ever the kingdoms shall be in a state of tranquillity.

“ We do hereby further promise and declare, in his majesty's name, and by virtue of the above said commissions, that as soon as ever that happy state is obtained, he will, by and with the advice of a free parliament, wherein no corruption, nor undue influence whatsoever shall be used to bias the votes of the electors or the elected, settle, confirm, and secure all the rights, ecclesiastical and civil, of each of his respective kingdoms; his majesty being fully resolved to maintain the church of England, as by law established, and likewise the Protestant churches of Scotland and Ireland, conformable to the laws of each respective kingdom; together with a toleration to all Protestant dissenters, he being utterly averse to all persecution and oppression whatsoever, particularly on account of conscience and religion. And we ourselves being perfectly convinced of the reasonableness and equity of the same principles, do, in consequence hereof, further promise and declare, that all his majesty's subjects shall be by him and us maintained in the full enjoyment and possession of all their rights, privileges and immunities, and especially of all churches, universities, colleges and schools, conformable to the laws of the land; which shall ever be the unalterable rule of his majesty's government, and our own actions.

“ And that this our undertaking may be accompanied with as little present inconvenience as possible to the king's subjects, we do hereby authorize and require all civil officers and magistrates now in place and office, to continue, till further orders, to execute their respective employments, in our name, and by our authority, as far as may be requisite for the maintenance of common justice, order and quiet ; willing and requiring them, at the same time, to give strict obedience to such orders and directions as may from time to time be issued out by us, or those who shall be vested with any share of our authority and power.

“ We also command and require all officers of the revenue, customs and excise, all tax-gatherers of what denomination soever, and all others who may have any part of the publick money in their hands, to deliver immediately to some principal commander authorized by us, and take his receipt for the same, which shall be to them a sufficient discharge; and in case of refusal, we authorize all such our commanders, to exact the same for our use, and to be accountable for it to us, or to our officers for that purpose appointed.

“ And having thus sincerely, and in the presence of Almighty God, declared the true sentiments and intentions of the king our royal father, as well as our own, in this expedition, we do hereby require and command all his loving subjects to be assisting to us, in the recovery of his just rights, and of their own liberties! and that all such, from the ages of sixteen to sixty, do forth

« السابقةمتابعة »