|The Seven Men of Moidart||Clan MacDonald|
|Cameron of Lochiel||Cluny Macpherson|
|The Duke of Perth||Lord George Murray|
|The Earl of Kilmarnock||Lord Elcho|
|Francis Townley||Donald MacLeod|
|Edward (Ned) Burke||Neil MacEachain|
|MacDonald of Kingsburgh||Felix O'Neil|
|Flora MacDonald||John Mackinnon|
|The Glenmoriston Men|
The people listed above all figure prominently in the story of the '45. The list is not complete. Some readers will feel we should have included this character or omitted that one. We make no guarantee to act upon suggestions but invite you to contribute your thoughts about this page or any part of the site.
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The Seven Men of Moidart
The Seven Men of
mentioned in every history of the period although with the exception of one man,
their presence had little bearing on the campaign.
1. William, Duke of Atholl was almost sixty. He had supported the Jacobites in both the '15 and the '19 and was deprived of his estates at Blair Atholl, in favour of his younger brother James, for his trouble. He died in the Tower of London on 9 July 1746.
2. Aeneas MacDonald, the only other of Scottish birth, was a banker. He missed Culloden having been sent to Barra to collect a consignment of Spanish money. He was captured, eventually released and died in the French Revolution.
3. Sir Thomas Sheridan, the Prince's elderly tutor who was over seventy years of age in 1745. Sheridan was sent back to Rome to keep King James up to date with events and died of a fit in 1746.
4. Francis Strickland the only Englishman of the seven. Francis Strickland is reputed to have died ‘of a dropsy’ in Carlisle.
5. Parson George Kelly who was sent to France with news of the Jacobite victory at Prestonpans. He joined the Prince in exile in Paris and died in 1762.
6. Sir John MacDonald, a cavalry officer in the French forces. Sir John was appointed ‘Instructor of Cavalry’ in the Jacobite forces. There was never much cavalry to instruct and MacDonald’s post seems to have been somewhat nominal. He kept a journal throughout the campaign and so if for no other reason it is fortunate for historians that he was there. MacDonald was captured at Culloden. He claimed French citizenship and was eventually exchanged for English prisoners.
7. John William
O’Sullivan, an Irishman whose opinions the Prince came to greatly and
perhaps foolishly value. O’Sullivan was born in County Kerry in about 1700.
His parents sent him to Paris and then Rome with a view to him entering the
priesthood. After spending some time as a tutor in a French military household
he abandoned a life in the church and took up soldiering. Quite when he met
Prince Charles is not clear but they became friends and O’Sullivan was to play
a prominent part in the ’45. He escaped to France and married
Louise Fitzgerald, a woman of some means, in 1749. He died in the early 1760s.
Clan MacDonald was generally sympathetic to the Prince's cause even if not all came out fighting.
The Prince spent his first two weeks in Britain on board ship or at Borrodale, a house owned by Angus MacDonald. During his flight from Culloden the Prince once again took up residence in Borrodale's house prior to the voyage to Benbeccula. On arriving back on the mainland in July Charles once again relied on the loyalty of Borrodale and both he, his son John and his son-in-law Angus MacEachine provided help and shelter.
MacDonald of Boisdale
Alexander MacDonald of Boisdale was the half brother of the clan chief MacDonald of Clanranald and held the island of.Eriskay on his behalf. Boisdale was shocked that the Prince had arrived with so little support and left him in no doubt as to his opinion, which was that he should return home. He also warned the Prince that neither of the great Skye clan chiefs, MacDonald of Sleat nor MacLeod of MacLeod were likely to provide the rising with support. Boisdale did not 'come out' for the Prince but both he and his wife provided Charles and his companions with some help during their fugitive period in the Hebrides.
The Clanranald MacDonalds fought throughout the campaign and were amongst the first to offer support to the rising mainly through the influence of Clanranald's son 'Young Clanranald' During the time the Prince spent on the run in the islands both Clanranald and his wife 'Lady Clan' provided shelter and food on several occasions. It was Lady Clan who provided the blue and white dress that Prince Charles wore during his escape 'Over the sea to Skye'.
The MacDonalds of Keppoch were also early supporters rallying to the standard at Glenfinnan. A little later the MacDonells of Glengarry offered men as the Jacobite army marched through their glen.
Cameron of Lochiel
Cameron of Lochiel
Cameron of Lochiel was19th Chief of Clan Cameron,
‘The Gentle Lochiel’, as he is often known, was born in 1695 and was an
ardent Jacobite. However, to begin with he was not prepared to commit his clan
to the cause unless Prince Charles landed with 10,000 French troops
and adequate supplies of arms and money.
Lochiel fought throughout the campaign and was
injured in both ankles at Culloden. He escaped from the field and made his way home only to see his lands laid waste and his house burned to the
ground. He escaped to France with Prince Charles and died there in 1748.
Ewan Macpherson of Cluny enters the story early in the campaign and remained loyal to Prince Charles to the end. He was serving in the government militia when an early raid captured him. It is possible that the event may have been arranged beforehand as Cluny does not seem to have been too upset. He quickly promised to raise his clan in support. After the victory at Prestonpans Cluny found another four hundred men Jacobite recruits.
Macphersons were the prominent clan in the Jacobite victory at Clifton, just south of Penrith on 18 Dec. The
government dragoons were driven off by the ferocity of the Highlanders’ attack. The Duke of
Cumberland lost forty or fifty dead and wounded and five Highlanders were
In March 1746 an effort was made to retake Blair Castle as it had fallen into government hands. Three hundred Macpherson made the attack along with seven hundred of the Atholl Brigade. The attack was unsuccessful and the Atholl men returned to Inverness. Cluny's men were left to guard the passes in Badenoch and as such arrived at Culloden too late to take part in the battle
the battle Cluny escaped into the wilderness of Ben Alder where he
constructed a secure hiding place now referred to as 'Cluny's Cage'.
The Cage was a primitive, two story shelter
constructed from boulders and timber. It was hidden in a thicket of trees and was reasonably comfortable.
his adventures in the western isles Prince Charles'
final hiding place was the Cage. Cluny reasoned that if no ship could be found to
take Charles to France then it would be possible to spend the winter
undiscovered in this hideout.
Lord George Murray
Murray of Atholl
Murray, at fifty
years old, was a younger brother of William, Duke of Atholl.
He was exiled after taking part in the Jacobite
risings of 1715 and 1719. When pardoned in 1725 he returned to live on his
estates at Tullibardine. In 1739 he took oaths of allegiance
to King George and for a time seemed to be sharing the views of his Hanoverian
brother James. However, Murray maintained his Jacobite sympathies and on 3
September declared his support for the Stuarts.
Prince Charles recognised Murray's value and granted him the rank of Lieutenant-General and Deputy Commander of the
Jacobite forces. However, because of his previous involvement with the
government, Murray's relationship with the Prince was never an
easy one. Murray had an
arrogant manner, a quick temper and was not well liked by others in the
Prince's inner circle. After Culloden Lord George eventually escaped to Holland
where he died at Medemblik on 11 October 1760.
The Duke of Perth
James Drummond, Duke of Perth (32) was recruited
at the same time as Lord George Murray and also given the rank of Lieutenant-General.
The Duke fought throughout the
campaign commanding the left of the front line at Culloden. His brother Lord
John Drummond also fought at Culloden.
Both escaped on a French ship on 3 May but the Duke of Perth died before the ship arrived safely in France.
Lord Elcho was a year younger than Prince Charles. They had first met as youths in Rome and enjoyed each other's company. Elcho joined the '45 in Edinburgh and was made aide de camp. Elcho escaped to France with the Prince and died in Paris in1787.
The Earl of Kilmarnock
In Falkirk Charles stayed with Kilmarnock at Callendar House. The Earl was in serious financial difficulties and, possibly feeling he had little to lose and perhaps much to gain, offered Prince Charles his support. Kilmarnock’s inability to bring men, other than his personal servants into the army, perhaps illustrates the relative lack Jacobite support in the lowlands. Kilmarnock was beheaded on Tower Hill on 18 August 1746.
In Manchester a regiment of perhaps 300 recruits was formed under the command of Francis Townley who had joined the Prince in Lancaster. The credit for recruiting many of these men goes, according to the Chevalier de Johnstone, to Sergeant Dickson who went ahead in order to generate support for the Prince's cause. Dickson had been captured at Prestonpans and come over to the Jacobite side. He marched into Manchester accompanied only by his mistress and a drummer. A crowd gathered, intent on taking him prisoner but he defied them with his blunderbuss and was rescued by Jacobite supporters. The escapade produced jokes against the city to the effect that Manchester had been taken 'by a sergeant, a drummer and a girl'.
On the retreat north the Manchester regiment
was left to garrison Carlisle but the
city fell to the Duke of Cumberland on 30
December. The defenders were taken prisoner and many of them eventually paid the
price of supporting the Jacobite cause with their
lives. Townley was hung, drawn and quartered on Kennington Common,
London on 30 July 1746. He was thirty-eight years old.
Edward (Ned) Burke
was the Prince's personal
servant and escaped from Culloden with his master. He traveled to
the Hebrides and eventually parted company with Charles towards the end of June.
Burke went to North Uist, where he almost starved. He
was never captured and eventually returned to his former occupation of carrying
one end of a sedan chair in Edinburgh. He died in the capital on November 13
Flora MacDonald was born at Milton on South Uist in 1772. Her step-father was Hugh MacDonald of Armadale in Skye. Armadale was a captain in the government militia but was a Jacobite sympathiser He proposed that the Prince be transported to Skye disguised as Flora's maid, Betty Burke and so on 28 June, Neil MacEachain, Flora and the Prince embarked for Skye. They made landfall on the Trotternish peninsula at a place now called ‘Prince Charlie's Point.' From there the group walked to Monkstadt, a house owned by Sir Alexander MacDonald of Sleat. Sleat had not ‘come out’ for the Prince but fortunately was away serving the government in Fort Augustus. Sir Alexander’s
|Low Cloud over Monkstadt|
wife, Lady Margaret, was a Jacobite but was at a loss as how to help.
A suggestion was made that the Prince should be smuggled to the neighbouring island of
Raasay and then back to the mainland where he could hope for more help.
After parting company Flora and the Prince were never to see each other again. Their association had lasted just twelve days. She was arrested and imprisoned in London. On 4 July 1747 Flora was freed and returned to Scotland where she married Kingsburgh's son, Allan MacDonald. The couple left Scotland to live in North Carolina but after some years returned to Skye. Flora MacDonald died at the age of 68 on March 4 1790 and is buried at Kilmuir on Trotternish. An imposing monument
her grave. The cross is inscribed with the words, ‘Flora
MacDonald. Preserver of Prince Charles Edward Stuart. Her name will be mentioned
in history and if courage and fidelity be virtues, mentioned with honour.
(Photograph David Simmons)
MacDonald of Kingsburgh
Alexander MacDonald of Kingsburgh helped
Prince Charles evade capture while he was on Skye. At the time Charles was
disguised as Flora MacDonald's maid 'Betty Burke'. The party reached
Kingsburgh's house where Charles slept well in a bed, the first he had slept in
for many weeks. Kingsburgh was arrested for his
part in aiding the rising and eventually ended up a prisoner in Edinburgh
Castle. After being released on July 4, 1747 he returned to the manageent of
his lands on Skye and died in 1772 at the age of eighty-three.
Captain Felix O'Neil was an Irishman in the service of France. O'Neil accompanied the Prince from the Battlefield of Culloden and was one of the party to escape with him from the mainland to the western isles. He remained with Prince Charles until His Royal Highness sailed for Skye with Flora MacDonald. O'Neil then tried to make his own escape but was captured and taken to Edinburgh Castle from where he was released on parole in 1747.
Neil MacEachain was introduced to Prince Charles by MacDonald of Clanranald. He was tutor to Clanranald's children. He guided the Prince to Corradale, a remote glen on the island of South Uist where Charles and his companions spent three fairly happy weeks in reasonable comfort. They had enough to eat and Charles had sufficient brandy to drink. MacEachain accompanied the Prince on his hazardous travels in the islands and as there was a pass provided for him and he could speak Gaelic fled 'over the sea to Skye' with Charles and Flora MacDonald. In Portree MacEachain said goodbye to the Prince and eventually made his own escape to France.
Extract from "Walking With Charlie"
Corradale is defended from the west, north and south by hefty mountains and from
the east by magnificent cliffs dropping sheer into the sea. My point of access
was to be the miniature beach at the entrance to the glen and once we were close
the dinghy was heaved over the side for the final approach. John Joseph and I
climbed in and paddled to the shore. We had to scale a short but steep incline
into the glen proper and there it was stretched out before us with the
mist-capped, magnificent mountains glowering over us as though they were irritated that we had penetrated the glen without struggling and sweating our
way over the protective peaks.
The Prince's Cave, Corradale
When Prince Charles reached the west coast after his escape from Culloden he entertained the notion that he might throw himself on the mercy of either MacDonald of Sleat or MacLeod of MacLeod the two great Skye chiefs, neither of whom had supported
Galtrigill, Isle of Skye
the rising. Donald MacLeod of Galtrigill on Skye talked him out of this course of action. It was MacLeod who piloted the boat taking Charles away from the mainland to land on Benbecula at the start of his wanderings in the Hebrides. He stayed with the Prince until 20 June and was captured on Benbecula on 5 July. MacLeod was eventually taken to London and was not released until 10 July 1747 when he returned to Skye where he died on 8 September 1749.
The Glenmoriston Men
Extract from "Walking with Charlie"
Charlie's Cave, Glenmoriston
travelled by road, east along Loch Claunie to the Ceannacroc Bridge near the
confluence of the rivers Doe and Moriston. A track through the valley of the Doe
leads four miles into the Ceannacroc Forest to a couple of bridges near the
confluence of the Allt Coire Mheadhoin and the Allt Coire Sgreumh that together
make up the Doe. The route follows the course of
the Allt Coire Mheadhoin to another bridge from where there is neither
track nor footpath but I continued to follow the burn west through sodden
moorland into the corrie containing ‘Prince Charlie’s Cave’. The corrie is
enormous and finding the cave was difficult. I searched everywhere, left to
right, high and low, searching out the most unlikely clefts in the rock face,
all to no avail. Time was running out for I had to return over the same route.
In the end I even began to doubt that I was in the correct corrie and with a
heavy heart and even heavier legs I gave up.
was not until the following spring that I had a chance to try again and this
time I took some local advice. It turned out that I had been searching for the
cave according to my preconceived and unfortunately incorrect ideas. I had
expected to find the cave in the face of the corrie and presumed I should find
its mouth facing me as I walked to the end of the glen. Wrong! The cave is
simply a large space conveniently formed by the rolling together of several huge
boulders as they split off from the cliff face thousands of years ago. Had I
read Blaikie’s ‘Itinerary’ in detail before I began my search the task
would have been easier. Before my second visit I learned that the hiding place
is ‘a cavern formed by the great masses
of rock at the bottom of a talus (scree) from
the hill above ~ in fact a cavity in a cairn of stones.’
A plaque ‘In
Memory of the Seven Men of Glenmoriston’ has been placed here in recent
years informing the visitor that the object of the hard day’s walking has at
last been discovered. The inscription names the men, with the exception of
MacMillan, and describes them as ‘hosts
and protectors of Prince Charles Edward Stuart in this cave between 28 July and
1 August 1746 and were not tempted by the rewards offered to betray him to his
enemies.’ It continues, ‘A great
sum of money or reward did not cause them to betray me. The memory of these
devoted men will go down to generations yet unborn.’ On the left of the
clump of boulders is a cleft that also offers access to the dark interior and to
the right is a hole out of which trickles the ‘finest
purling stream’ of MacDonald’s narrative. The man must have had an
ironic sense of humour for although the cave would certainly provide shelter
from wind, rain and prying redcoat eyes, it is difficult to see how Prince
Charles could be ‘as comfortably lodged
as if he had been in a royal palace.’
On July 5 John Mackinnon accompanied Prince Charles on his sea journey from Elgol on Skye to Mallaig on the mainland. He stayed with the Prince for five days during which time attempts were made to find a 'safe house'. After being refused further help by both Clanranald and MacDonald of Morar H.R.H. at last found sanctuary with Angus MacDonald of Borrodale. Mackinnon returned home but legend has it that before he left the Prince handed him the recipe for the liqueur now known as Drambuie. Mackinnon was captured as he landed at Elgol and remained in custody until July 1747.
Who's who in the Hanoverian Camp