صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

his men before the battle of Culloden, and another body of eight hundred Argyleshire men under General Campbell, afterwards duke of Argyle, spread themselves over Lochaber, all eager to secure the person of the prince. In short, no means were neglected to attain this object; and the blood-thirsty pursuers required no other stimulus to urge them on than the splendid reward of thirty thousand pounds, which had been offered for the capture of the royal fugitive.

The departure of Charles from Lochnanuagh was not known at Inverness till some days after he had sailed, and the supposed place of his destination become a matter of interesting speculation. No doubt could exist that he designed to seek refuge among the western islands, and as St Kilda is the most distant and the least frequented of the whole, it was supposed that Charles had repaired thither. Acting on this supposition, General Campbell collected some sloops of war and transports, and having embarked a considerable body of troops, set sail for St Kilda. After touching at Barra and some other islands, and searching for the prince, he approached St Kilda, the inhabitants of which, alarmed at the sight of the fleet, fled and concealed themselves in the cliffs of the rocks. Landing with some of his forces, the general inquired at some of the inhabitants, whom he discovered in their recesses, what had become of the “ Pretender;" but these people answered, with great simplicity, that they had never heard of such a person,—that they had indeed been informed that their laird (Macleod) had lately been at war with a woman a great way abroad, and that he had overcome her. This, they added, was all they knew of the affairs of the world. General Campbell, however, not satisfied with this statement, made a search over the island, but not finding any strangers, returned to the main lạnd, after visiting South Uist.*

Anticipating the utter ruin which awaited them and their followers, if no attempt was made to resist the meditated designs of the duke of Cumberland, several chiefs and otherst held a meeting at Mortlaig on the eighth of May, at which they entered into a bond for their mutual defence, and agreed never to lay down their arms, or make a general peace, without the consent of the whole. They may be supposed to have come to this resolution the more readily, as a sum of thirty-five thousand louis-d'ors had been received a few days before by two French frigates which had arrived on the west coast. By the bond of association, the chiefs agreed, and solemnly promised, with the utmost expedition, to raise in behalf of the prince and in defence of their country, as many able-bodied armed men as they could on their respective properties, and they farther promised and agreed that the following clans, viz. Lochiel, Glengary, Clanranald, Stewarts of Appin, Kep

. Genuine and True Journal, p. 7. Home's Works, vol. iii, p. 232.

+ There were twelve or thirteen gentlemen present; among whom were Lochiel, young Clanranald, Barisdale, Dr Cameron, John Roy Stewart, old Glenbucket, Secretary Mur. ray, and Cameron of Dungallon. Lord Lovat was also present, but by accident.

of Man of the dite Aird and in the peotick, the


poch, Barisdale, Mackinnons and Macleods, should assemble on Thursday the fifteenth of May at Auchnicarry, in the braes of Lochaber. To facilitate the junction of the different corps with all possible speed, it was agreed that the Frasers of Aird and the other Jacobite clans on the north side of the river Ness, should join the people of Glenmoriston and Glengary, and that the Frasers of Stratherrick, the Mackintoshes and Macphersons, should assemble and meet at the most convenient place in Badenoch on the same day ;—that the Macgregors, and Menzies' and Glenlyon's people should march to Rannoch and join the Rannoch and Athole men, and be kept in readiness to receive intelligence and orders to meet the main body in the braes of Mar, or at any other place that might be considered convenient,—that Gordon of Glenbucket and Colonel Roy Stewart should intimate the resolutions of the meeting to Lord Lewis Gordon, Lords Ogilvy and Pitsligo, the Farquharsons, and the other principal gentlemen in the north, who were to be directed to fix a place of rendezvous among theinselves, and that Macpherson of Cluny and Colonel Roy Stewart should advertise the principal gentlemen of the Mackintoshes of the resolutions adopted by the meeting. The better to conceal their designs from the duke of Cumberland, the assembled chiefs agreed not to discover or reveal to any of their men or inferior officers, the agreement they had entered into, nor the day and place of rendezvous, till they had assembled their respective corps. It was finally agreed, that should any one engaged in the association make separate terms for himself, he should be looked upon as a traitor to the prince, and be treated by his associates as an enemy.*

The associated chiefs had been too sanguine in their expectations, not one of them being able, for various reasons, to meet on the day appointed. Clanranald's people refused to leave their own country, and many of Glengary's had delivered up their arms. Lochgary came with a small party to Invermely on the twentieth of May; but, after staying one night, he crossed Loch Arkaig and did not return. Lochiel and Barisdale met at Auchnicarry, the place of rendezvous, on the twentyfirst or twenty-second of May, but with very few men, and they were almost surprised by a large party of the government forces on the morning of the twenty-third, who took an officer and two of Lochiel's men prisoners. The Highlanders immediately dispersed, and Lochiel, seeing no chance of making an effectual stand under existing circumstances, wrote a circular to his brother chiefs, advising them to disperse their people; but, as great expectations were entertained that the French king would send assistance, he requested them to preserve their arms as long as possible.t

Conceiving that the only effectual mode of suppressing the rebellion was to march into the Highlands with the whole of his army, the duke

• Appendix to Home's Works, vol. iii. No. xlvii.

t Ibid. No. La

of Cumberland began, about the middle of May, to make preparations for his journey. He had in the beginning of that month issued a proclamation, ordering the insurgent clans to deliver up their arms; but little attention was paid to this mandate, and the continuance of considerable armed parties convinced him that the Highlands could never be reduced without the presence of a considerable army stationed in a central district. Having pitched upon Fort Augustus for his new headquarters, the duke left Inverness, on the twenty-third of May, with eleven battalions of foot and Kingston's horse, and reached Fort Augustus next day. Charles had intended to make this place a rallying point in case of a defeat; but his plan was rejected by the chiefs, and, that it might not be serviceable to the royal troops, the buildings had been blown up. No accommodation being therefore found for the duke's army, a camp was formed in the neighbourhood, and a turf hut with doors and windows, and covered with green sods and boughs, was erected by Lord Loudon's Highlanders for the use of his royal highness.*

Resolving to inflict a signal chastisement upon the rebels, the duke sent, from his camp at Fort Augustus, detachments of his troops in all directions, which devastated the country with fire and sword, and committed excesses scarcely paralleled in history, resembling, though perhaps on a minor scale, those committed by the hosts of Hyder Ali, when that merciless destroyer burst into the Carnatic. The seats of Lochiel, Glengary, Kinlochmoidart, Keppoch, Cluny, Glengyle, and others, were plundered and burnt to the ground, and great numbers of the houses of the common people shared the same fate.t Major Lockhart, whose name by his cruelties on this occasion has obtained an infamous notoriety, marched with a detachment into the country of the Macdonalds of Barisdale, and laid waste and destroyed their dwellings. Some of these poor people had obtained protections from Lord Loudon ; but the major disregarded them, and told the people who had them, that not even a warrant from Heaven should prevent him from executing his orders. Another corps, under Lord George Sackville, ravaged the country about the glens of Moidart, while others carried fire and desolation through other districts. Not contented with destroying the coun. try, these blood-hounds either shot the men upon the mountains, or murdered them in cold blood. The women, after witnessing their husbands, fathers, and brothers murdered before their eyes, were subjected to brutal violence, and then turned out naked with their children to starve on the barren heaths. A whole family was inclosed in a barn, and consumed to ashes. So alert were these ministers of vengeance, that in a few days, according to the testimony of a volunteer who served

• Boyse, p. 169. + The booty taken must have been considerable, as in one instance, that of Glengary House, the party who plundered it, consisting of two hundred men, had the following allowances made as their shares, viz. every captain, fll 5s. ; each subaltem, £5 18s.; a sergeant, £i 10s. ; a corporal, £1; and every common soldier, 15s., clear of all deductions. - Boyse, p. 169.

the expedition, neither house, cottage, man, Dor beast, was to be seen within the compass of fifty miles: all was ruin, silence, and desolation. Deprived of their cattle and their small stock of provisions by the rapacious soldiery, the boary-beaded matron and sire, the vidoved mother and her helpless offspring, were to be seen dying of banger, stretched upon the bare ground, and within view of the smoking ruins of their dwellings. .

It may seem surprising that the Highlanders did not avenge them. selves upoo their oppressors, by assassinating such stragglers as fell in their way. It cannot be supposed that men in whose bosoms the spirit of revenge must bave taken deep root, would have spared their relent. less adversaries from any scruple as to the mode of despatching them; nor can it be imagined that the Highlanders could not have selected fit occasions when they might bave inflicted vengeance upon individuals. The reason of their forbearance probably was, that such a system of warfare, if adopted, would lead to acts of retaliation on the part of the military, and thus increase their calamities. Only one instance is known where an injured person attempted to avenge himself. This was the case of a Highlander who had his house burned, his cattle plundered, and his son killed, while defending his family, who were turned out in the snow. Vowing revenge, he watched the officer who was the author of this inhuman outrage, and who, he was informed, was to be distinguished by a cloak of a particular kind. This officer riding one day with Captain George Munro of Culcairn in a shower of rain, lent him his cloak; and while marching in it with a party of men along the side of Loch Arkaig, the captain was shot by the enraged Highlander, who 'perceived the cloak, but could not distinguish the difference of person. · The. man escaped, and although he was well known, and might have been afterwards apprehended, he was allowed to pass un. punished.. .0,

Of the immense quantity of cattle carried off by Cumberland's troops, some idea'may be formed from the fact mentioned in a journal of the period,t that there were sometimes two thousand in one drove. Intelligence of such a vast accumulation of live stock reaching the ears of the graziers of the south, numbers of them went to Fort Augustus well provided with money, which they laid out to great advantage. Some of the people, impelled by starvation, repaired to the camp to solicit from the spoilers some of their flocks, to preserve an existence; but their' supplications were unheeded, and they were doomed to behold

“ Colonel Grant of Moy, who died in April, 1822, in his 90th year, was walking along the road with a gun on his shoulder whep Culcairn was shot. A turn of the road concealed him from the soldiers at the moment, but when he came in sight with his gun, they immediately seized him upon suspicion, and carried him to Fort William. Aller a short confinement he was released. Colonel Grant entered the 42d as a volunteer, or soldier of fortune, and afterwards got a cadetship in India, from which he returned with a handsome fortune nearly fifty years ago."-Stewart's Sketches, vol. i. nole, p. 250.

+ Scots Magazine, vol. viii. p. 287.

« السابقةمتابعة »