The Jacobite Rising 1745-46


Part One 

Loch nan Uamh to Derby


Tartan reputed to have been worn by Prince Charles at Holyrood


"Walking with Charlie" is stocked by the National Trust for Scotland and by Historic Scotland at selected locations


There were several attempts to restore the Stuarts to the throne prior to the '45 most notably the rising of 1715. All had failed. However 'King' James III never gave up hope of restoration and he passed on that ambition to his eldest son.

On 22 June 1745 the Young Pretender embarked upon Le du Teillay and sailed for Scotland. The ship made landfall on the west coast of the island of Eriskay, between Barra and South Uist, in the Outer Hebrides. The Prince arrived with few resources and only the 'Seven Men of Moidart' to accompany him. He was advised by local clan chiefs to go home but would have none of it. 'I am come home, sir, and I will entertain no notion at all of returning to that place from whence I came; for I am persuaded that my faithful Highlanders will stand by me.'


                                     Extract from "Walking With Charlie"

Prince's Cairn
Prince's Cairn 

The day after Le du Teillay arrived she sailed away from Eriskay and dropped anchor in Loch nan Uamh, a rocky inlet of sea between Morar and Arisaig. Prince Charles Edward Stuart had reached the British mainland. The rising was about to begin.

The Prince spent his first two weeks in Britain on board ship or at Borrodale, a house owned by Angus MacDonald. The time was used to gather support and the campaign was boosted enormously when the Chief of Clan Cameron, Donald Cameron of Lochiel,  pledged the 800 fighting men under his command. Lochiel was by no means certain of the Prince’s success but had a great sense of loyalty to the Jacobite cause. He also had much influence in the Highlands not least because each of his twelve sisters had married into other clans. Being determined to go forward in his mission no matter what the end might be, Charles knighted Antoine Walsh and sent Le du Teillay back to France.

Once Lochiel was committed, other local clan chiefs including MacDonald of Keppoch and Stewart of Ardshiel, the leader of the Stewarts of Appin, promised support. MacDonald of Clanranald was dubious but hedged his bets by sending his son, Young Clanranald, to lead his men to the Prince’s standard. Notable by his vacillation was Simon Fraser, Lord Lovat and Chief of Clan Fraser. Fraser sent a message to Prince Charles by way of Lochiel wishing the cause well but complaining of illness and age. At the same time he wrote to the commander of the garrison in Edinburgh warning of the uprising about to begin.

The Prince sailed around the Ardnish point and into Loch Moidart where John Murray of Broughton, King James’ Secretary of State for Scottish Affairs, joined the campaign. The next week was spent at Kinlochmoidart House collecting supplies and planning future moves. The first actions of the campaign took place while Charles was at Kinlochmoidart. Captain Swetenham of Guise’s regiment was captured and clansmen led by MacDonald of Tiendrish attacked a party of Royal Scots at Highbridge.

Charles, his close companions and fifty of Clanranald’s men marched from Kinlochmoidart to Loch Shiel on 18 August and rowed up the loch to Glenaladale. The next morning the party continued to Glenfinnan where the clans had been instructed to gather. The Prince hoped to disembark to the cheers of a great crowd of supporters. 

Banner photographed at AGM of 1745 Association

Replica Banner

Made by Pat Labistour

He was to be  disappointed. The shore was silent. At mid-day there was still no one there. At last 150 MacDonalds led by MacDonald of Morar arrived but it was not until about four o’clock that first the sound and then the especially welcome sight of Lochiel’s Camerons put a smile on the Young Pretender’s face. MacDonald of Keppoch arrived next and by late afternoon on 19 August more than 1200 loyal clansmen were assembled at the head of the loch. With the support of two men at his side the ailing Duke William of Atholl unfurled the Royal Standard to the sound of the pipes and roars of approval from the clansmen. A commission from King James appointing Charles as Prince Regent was read aloud and then the assembly heard a manifesto amounting to a declaration of war on King George II. End


To Edinburgh and Prestonpans

The forces of King George II, under the command of General Sir John  Cope, were deployed against the rebellion and troops were moving towards Fort Augustus. However, when Cope heard reports of Highlander strength, and that the Prince intended to attack as Hanoverian troops crossed the

Nice day for Steve's walk

Corrieyairack Pass

Corrieyairack pass, he  changed his plans and marched to  Inverness. The way south was now open and on 31 August, the army received an enthusiastic welcome at Blair Atholl to  where it had marched at the suggestion of Duke William who was anxious to oust his Hanoverian brother, James. While Prince Charles was at Blair, Lochiel went ahead with

Blair Atholl Castle

Blair Atholl Castle

400 men and took possession of Perth in anticipation of the Prince's arrival the following day. Wearing tartan trimmed with gold lace and riding at the head of his army, Prince Charles made a triumphal entrance to the city on the evening of 4 September.  Despite an impressive display, the Jacobite army was very short of supplies and money, as all that was brought from France had now gone. Charles spent his week in Perth raising both 'taxes' and troops. James Drummond, Duke of Perth was an important recruit but the most important of all was Lord George Murray. On 14 September and encountering no opposition Prince Charles and his army continued the march towards Edinburgh. The Prince sent a letter demanding that the city surrender to him. Its terms are quite clear and it begins:- 

‘From Our Camp, 16th September 1745Being now in a condition to make our way into the capital of his Majesty’s ancient kingdom of Scotland, we hereby summon you to receive us, as you are in duty bound to do so.’

The town council began to prevaricate, hoping for news of the arrival of Cope’s army. At about three o’ clock in the morning of 17 September Prince Charles  began to lose patience and sent Lochiel and a force of 1,000 men to attack the town.To begin with the Highlanders were unsuccessful in their attempts to have the city gates opened but eventually  Netherbow Port was opened to admit a returning negotiating party and the Highlanders rushed through to take possession of the city. Although Charles marched unopposed into Edinburgh, the castle was still in government hands and  remained so throughout the period of occupation. In preparation for the forthcoming battle of Prestonpans the Prince crossed the Esk at Musselburgh and took up a position on high ground  between Preston and Tranent. In response Cope placed his army to the north of the Jacobites a little to the east of Preston. The fearsome Highland charge at dawn on 21 September 1745 took the enemy by surprise as had been intended and the battle was over within minutes resulting in complete victory for the Highlanders.

Into England

Prince Charles proposed that success at Prestonpans indicated that they should march on Marshal Wade in Newcastle. He was surprised when his Council advised against the move, arguing that the goal of re-establishing the Stuart monarchy in Scotland had been accomplished. Charles, however, was determined to win the throne of England for his father and after much debate, eventually persuaded the clan chiefs to march south, after convincing them that help would be forthcoming from English Jacobites. Lord George suggested that instead of attacking Wade in Newcastle the army should march into north-west England where, it was argued, there was a large measure of sympathy

Carlisle Castle

Carlisle Castle

for the Jacobite cause. On 9 November  the Jacobite  army columns crossed the River Eden to camp at Rockcliff, about three miles outside Carlisle. Although Carlisle castle was once a mighty fortress, by 1745 it had fallen into a state of bad repair and was ill defended. The city and castle  were taken for the loss of one Highlander killed and one wounded. It was at Carlisle that coolness between Charles and Lord George Murray broke out into a quarrel affecting the relationship between the two for the rest of the campaign. Lord George was a proud man with more useful military experience and knowledge than the Prince. He was angry when he was ignored in favour of the Duke of Perth when the terms of the surrender of Carlisle were being arranged.

 Advancing South or Retreating North?

Prince Charles Derby

From Carlisle the Prince’s army marched without difficulty through Penrith and Shap to Kendal. The vanguard arrived in Preston on 27 November. The recruitment drive in Manchester was disappointing although a regiment of  perhaps 300 new recruits was formed under the command of Francis Townley who had joined the Prince in Lancaster. Prince Charles was determined to continue towards London and the army continued its march south through Macclesfield, Leek and Ashbourne to arrive at last in Derby on 5 December.








The Retreat

Who's who in the Jacobite Camp

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