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Plan of the march of the Highland army into England-Departure of Charles from
Holyrood-house-Composition of the Highland army-Mode of fighting of the Highlanders_March of the Highland army-It crosses the borders and enters England
- Investment and siege of Carlisle-Summoned to surrender-Advance of the Highland army to Brampton-Siege of Carlisle suspended-Resumed-Surrender of Carlisle-Declaration of the Chevalier de St George for England - Dissension in the Prince's council-Character of Secretary Murray-Resignation of Lord George Murray.
When Charles's resolution to march into England was finally agreed to by his officers, the next thing to be determined was the route they should take. After some deliberation the council advised the prince to march straight to Berwick, of which town they thought he could easily make himself master, and thence to march to Newcastle and give battle to Marshal Wade, who had collected a force in the neighbourhood of that town. If victorious, the prince was to march to London by the cast coast, 'so as to favour the disembarkation of any troops that France might send over destined to land on that coast. But this plan, though unanimously approved of, was overturned by Lord George Murray, who was of a very different opinion from the rest of the council. In presence of several of the principal officers of the army he represented the plan of a march along the east coast as an affair of great difficulty, and that its advantages, if it really had any, would be more than compensated by the loss of time it would occasion, which at the present juncture was very precious. He therefore proposed that the army should march into England by the western road, and that to conceal its route it should march in two columns, one by Kelso,—a movement which would indicate as if their intention was to enter by Woolerhaughead,—and the other column by Moffat, so that both columns could easily join near Carlisle, on a day to be appointed. Finding that Lord George's arguments had prevailed with most of the officers, Charles agreed to his lordship's scheme, though he considered the route by Berwick as the better of the two.*
Preparatory to their march the insurgents removed their camp to a strong position to the west of Dalkeith, six miles south from Edinburgh, having that town on their left, the rivulet South Esk in front, the North Esk in their rear, with an opening on their right towards Polton. From this camp a detachment was sent with three pieces of cannon to
* Kirkconnel MS. Lord George Murray's Narrative, in Jacobite Memoirs, p. 47.
secure the pass of the Forth above Stirling, lest Lord Loudon should march south with the independent companies he was forming, and atteinpt to force the passage.*
In the evening of Thursday, the thirty-first of October, Prince Charles finally left Holyrood-house accompanied by his life-guards, and several of the clan-regiments, amid the regrets of a vast concourse of spectators, most of whom were never to see him again. He slept that night at Pinkie-house, and went next inorning to Dalkeith, and took up his quarters in Dalkeith-house, the seat of the duke of Buccleugh. On that day he was joined by the clau Pherson, under the command of their chief, Macpherson of Cluny, by Menzies of Shien and his men, and some small parties of Highlanders, amounting in whole to between nine and ten hundred men.
At this period the state of the army was as follows. Beginning with the cavalry: the first troop of horse-guards, which was commanded by Lord Elcho, consisted of sixty-two gentlemen with their servants, under five officers. It amounted in all to one hundred and twenty. The second troop, which was commanded by the honourable Arthur Elphinstone, afterwards Lord Balmerino, was not complete, and did not exceed forty horse. A small squadron, called the horse-grenadiers, was commanded by the earl of Kilmarnock, with which were incorporated some Perthshire gentlemen, in absence of Lord Strathallan their commander, who had been appointed governor of Perth and commander of the Jacobite forces in Scotland during the stay of the Highland army in England. These last united, amounted to nearly a hundred. Lord Pitsligo was at the head of the Aberdeen and Banffshire gentlemen, who, with their servants, amounted to about a hundred and twenty; and besides those enumerated, there was a party of between seventy and eighty hussars, under the nominal command of Secretary Murray as colonel, but in reality under the direction of one Baggot, an Irish officer, who had lately arrived from France. The infantry, all of whom wore the Highland garb, consisted of thirteen battalions or regiments, six of which consisted of the clans, properly so called ; of these six regiments, three were of the Macdonalds, and the other three were each composed of the Camerons, the Stewarts of Appin, and the Macphersons. Three regiments of Athole men, commonly called the Athole brigade, the regiments of the duke of Perth, Lord Ogilvy, Glenbucket, and Roy Stewart, made up the thirteen regiments.* Of the infantry, which aniounted to about five thousand men, about four thousand were real Highlanders. Thus the total amount of the army did not exceed six thousand men.t
• Kirkconnel MS.
+ The Highland army about the middle of November, according to a list then published was thus composed : Regimente. Colonels.
Men. Lochiel ...... Cameron, younger of Lochiel ..... 740 Appin .. .... Stewart of Arushiel.......
The clan-regiments, according to custom, were commanded by their respective chiefs ; but in some instances, in the absence of the chief, the regiment of the clan was commanded by his son, and failing both, by the nearest kinsman of the chief. In these regiments every company bad two captains, two lieutenants, and two ensigns, all of whom were generally related, by ties of blood, to the chief. The pay of a captain in the army was half-a-crown per diem ; that of a lieutenant two shillings; and of an ensign one shilling and sixpencc, without deduction. The front rank of each clan-regiment was composed of persons who were considered gentlemen by birth, though without fortune or means. The pay of these was one shilling per diem. The gentlemen in the front rank were better armed than the men in the rear rank. All the former had targets, which many of the latter had not. When fully armed, as was generały the case, every gentleman of the front rank carried a musket and broadsword, with a pair of pistols and a dirk stuck in the belt which surrounded his body. In some rare instances another dagger was stuck within the garter of the right leg, to be used in cases of emergency. A target, formed of wood and leather thickly studded with nails, covered the left arm, and enabled the wearer to parry and protect himself from the shots or blows of an assailant,
. Thus armed, the success of a Highland army depended more upon individual bravery than upon combined efforts, and their manner of fighting was, as the Chevalier Johnstone observes, adapted for brave but undisciplined troops. “ They advance," says that writer, “ with rapidity, discharge their pieces when within inusket length of the enemy, and then, throwing them down, draw their swords, and holding a dirk in their left hand with their target, they dart with fury on the enemy through the smoke of their fire. When within reach of the enemy's bayonets, bending their left knee, they, by their attitude, cover their bodies with their targets that receive their thrusts of the bayonets, which they contrive to parry, while at the same time they raise their sword-arm, and strike their adversary. Having once got within the bayonets, and into the
Athole ...... Lord George Murray ... ......
Gordon of Glenbucket..
· Duke of Perth (including Pitsligo's fout) ... Robertson . . . .
. Robertson of Strowan . . . . . . . . Maclauchlan ... Maclauchlan of Maclauchlan . . . . . Glencairnock .... Macgregor of Glencairnock ....... Nairne . . . . . . Lord Najrne . . . . . . . . . .. Edinburgh ....John Roy Stewart ......... Several small corpos ..
· · · · · · · SLord Eicho lorso . . . . . . Lord Kilmarnock S
. . . . . . . Horse . . . . . . Lord Pitsligo's . . . . . . . . . . .
1000 200 400 200 500 427 750 200 260 300 Ž00 450 1000 160
ranks of the enemy, the soldiers have no longer any means of defend ing themselves, the fate of the battle is decided in an instant, and the carnage follows; the Highlanders bringing down two men at a time, one with their dirk in the left hand, and another with the sword. The reason assigned by the Highlanders for their custom of throwing their muskets on the ground is not without its force. They say they embarrass them in their operations, even when slung behind them, and on gaining a battle they can pick them up along with the arms of their enemies; but if they should be beaten, they have no occasion for muskes. They themselves proved that bravery may supply the place of discipline at times, as discipline supplies the place of bravery. The attack is so terrible, that the best troops in Europe would with difficulty sustain the first shock of it; and if the swords of the Highlanders once come in contact with them, their defeat is inevitable." *
In entering upon such a desperate enterprise as the invasion of England with the handful of men he had mustered, Charles certainly must have calculated on being supported by a large party in that country. Indeed, his chief reason for urging such a step was the numerous assurances he alleged he had received from his friends in that kingdom, that he would be joined by a very considerable body of the people; but there seems reason to believe, that, in his expectations of support, he was guided almost solely by the reports of his agents, and that he had very little communication with any of the parties on whose support he relied. t In a memoirf which the prince presented to the king of France on his return from Scotland, he states, that, if after the battle of Preston he had had three thousand regular troops under his command, in addition to his other forces, he could have penetrated into England, and marched to London, without opposition, as none of the English troops which were on the continent had arrived ; but the case was now widely different, and without a general rising, it was next to impossible to succeed in the face of a large regular army, which was assembling at different points, supported by a numerous militia.
Pursuant to the plan of Lord George Murray, the advanced guard of the first division of the army left Dalkeith on the evening of Friday the first of November, and took the road to Peebles. The main body, consisting of the Athole brigade, the duke of Perth's regiment, the regiments of Lord Ogilvy, Glenbucket, and Roy Stewart, and the greater part of the horse followed next day. The artillery and baggage were sent along with this column. This division was under the command of the marquis of Tullibardine. The second division, which consisted of the life-guards and the clans regiments, headed by the prince in person, marched from Dalkeith on the third of November in the direction of Kelso. The guards formed the van, and the prince marched on foot at the head of the clans with his target over his shoulder. It was supposed that he would have mounted his horse after proceeding a mile or two; but, to the surprise of every person, he marched on foot the whole day, and continued the same practice during the whole of the expedition, wading through mud and snow, and it was with difficulty that he could be prevailed upon to get on horseback, even to cross a river. The example he thus set to his men, joined to the condescension and affability he displayed, endeared him to the army. Charles arrived at Lauder the same night, and took up his residence in Tbirlstane castle, the seat of the earl of Lauderdale. Hearing that some of his men had lagged behind, he got on horseback about day break, and, riding back two or three miles, brought up the most of the stragglers.
Memoirs, p. 113. | Letters from Moor and Smart, two of the agents of the Chevalier de St George, will be found in the Appendix, the originals of which are among the Stuart archives, in the possession of his Majesty. Smart held an appointment in the London post-office, and is often alluded to in the correspondence between Sempil and Druni moud of Bochaldy, and the Chevalier, as their post-office correspondent." Smart was furnished with a list of the addresses, under which the correspondence between the Chevalier's agents on the continent, and their friends in England, was carried on, and, as his duty appears to have been to examine all letters passing through the post-office, he passed the letters to such addresses without examination. When he found any letters from abroad, giving infor. mation to the government about tho Jacobile party, he always burnt them. - Letter from Drummond to the Chevalier de St George, 19th October, 1715, among the Stuart Puperi.
1 Vido, Memoir in the Appendix.
After despatching part of his men by a middle course towards Selkirk and Hawick, the prince next day marched to Kelso. As Marshal Wade was supposed to be on his way north from Newcastle, Charles sent his life-guards across the Tweed, not so much for the purpose of reconnoitering, as for amusing the enemy. After advancing several miles on the road to Newcastle, they halted at a village, and made some inquiries as to quarters and accommodation for the army, which they statcd was on its march to Newcastle. Charles even sent orders to Wooler, a town on the road to Newcastle, to provide quarters for his army. The design was to keep Wade in suspense, and draw off bis attention from the movements of the Highland army upon Carlisle. While at Kelso, Charles sent a party of between thirty and forty men across the Tweed, to proclaim his father upon English ground. Having performed the ceremony, they returned to Kelso. * The prince remained at Kelso till the sixth of November, on the morning of which day he crossed the Tweed. The river was scarcely fordable, but the men were in high spirits, and when up to the middle in the water, they expressed the ardour they felt by setting up a loud shout and discharging their pieces.t After crossing the river, the prince turned to the left, and marched towards Jedburgli, where he arrived in a few hours.
As his next route lay through a dreary waste of considerable extent, he halted at Jedburgh for the night, to refresh his men, and departed early next morning. Marching up Rule water, Charles led his men. into Liddisdale over the Knot o' the Gate, and after a fatiguing march