To bring you up-to-date, Jacobite-wise, if you haven't been following this saga, the Stuarts were shut out of the throne because they were Catholic. The Hanovers, German but Protestant, were now in power. Many people in Scotland (and elsewhere) believed the Stuarts should be on the throne, and their supporters rebelled from time to time, especially when the kings of the south changed and reminded them. You should know by now that Jacobus is Latin for James, so I am not going to tell you that again.
There were several Jacobite Risings through the years, but we are about to come to a close on that.
In July of 1745, Charles (Todd LeRoy, if you prefer) and 7 friends sailed to Scotland to retake the throne. He had 2 ships. He had hoped for help from the French Fleet, but there was a storm and they had to turn back. Right. Charles landed at Eriskay on July 23. His father was still alive, but Charles had his agency (the Old Pretender had named Charles regent. Or regent-pretender, if you are a stickler for the truth) to act to recover the throne.
Two old ships and 7 friends. That oughtta do it.
The Hanovers, never completely asleep at any time, smelled the French fleet and the Royal Navy restationed itself in the channel. Not on the Sands, one assumes. So, when the French regrouped after the "terrible storm" (wink wink nudge nudge) they decided to just stay in France. After all, Bonnie Todd had 7 guys with him.
Isn't it one of the amazing coincidences of history that whenever there was an attempt by the Stuarts to come back from France with a French army, they always ran into a storm? Could be July, could be December, didn't matter. I guess only an American would think about things like that. Jesus, it's only about 20 miles or so. C'mon.
But, of course, Charles expected support from the Clans again, and he wasn't disappointed. The Clans did rally (both Catholic and Protestant, btw) and when they marched on Edinburgh, they were let in. That is to say Edinburgh "surrendered."
Charlie and the Clans then defeated the only British army in Scotland at the battle of Prestonpans. The losing commander was John Cope.
I have been astounded at the knowledge of the followers of this blog with regard to old songs of the Risings, and poetry, so I feel REALLY obligated to print some song lyrics here, just to try and keep up with them.
Some of you are doubtless skeptical or werena blate or whatever and think I probably wrote those words myself, just to fit in with the rest of you, but I did not. I dinna. Had it been me, I would probably have just rapped something like Johnny getcher gun getcher gun gun Johnny getcher gun... but of course it would sound much better than what I just said.
By November, Charles was getting serious. His army by then numbered 6,000. He entered England. He took Carlisle. East of Eden (not really. That's just the name of one of the rivers that confluxate there) and stopped at the famous Swarkestone Bridge there in Derbyshire. It wasn't famous then, but it is now because that's where he stopped and went back to Scotland.
The decision to stop in Derby wasn't Charles' idea. Nosiree. He wanted to go all the way to Londontown(e) and degermanize it, but his chicken councilors forced the retracement upon him. Had Bonnie Prince Charlie had his way, I tell you, Americans would still be speaking English today. And wearing kilts and skirling with the best of them. There wouldna been no George III to go mad or anything else. But some of you already know that didn't happen alas.
Instead, history tells us the Duke of Cumberland, representing his father, King George II, caught up with Charles at Culloden and suddenly it was put up or shut up time for the Young Pretender. When one faces a vastly superior force, what should one do? Charge, of course. Charlie ordered his boys to charge and the Redcoats' muskets cut them to pieces. Followed by grapeshot from what must have seemed like two million leveled-downed cannon for dessert. Clearly, England and the Hanovers had had about enough of the Jacobites.
Cumberland's troops committed a fair number of atrocities, as one does, as they hunted down the Jacobite stragglers, and that, coupled with the aforementioned extra-large portions of grapeshot, earned the Duke the title of "Butcher of Culloden." From the Highlanders, at least. Scots say that is true, English say it is only loser-whine.
When you order a hopeless charge in open swampy territory, it takes almost unbelievable arrogance to believe you were betrayed by your brave troops, but Charlie believed that and used it as an excuse to eventually abandon the Jacobite cause. For a while he ran hither and yon upon the moors of Scotland, never very far ahead of his pursuers. His followers finally helped him escape the country aboard a French ship. With few exceptions, Bonnie Prince Charlie spent most of the rest of his life in exile. The cause of the Stuarts had come to an end.
On a brighter note, the womanizing Charlie DID manage to add another mistress to his harem during the brief "45" conflict - Clementina Walkinshaw. He took her with him to France where such things were not only accepted, but encouraged. Perhaps even scored.
Okay, I will admit the following is an American simplification. But here's how I see it: You had all these wars and bloodshed and all the fighting and killing and in the end the Hanovers won out anyway. My question: Why in the world didn't one of them, James II or anyone after him, just one day stand up and say, "Hey - I've decided to become a Protestant, by golly! You win. I can live without the Pope. I still believe in Jesus. I'm not going to go to hell if I convert. I'm just going to start attending another church this Sunday." He could even have stayed Catholic in his heart if he wanted.** I guess I am just not as religious as they were back then. More blood in the name of religion.
I know. Too easy.
Incidentally, the National Anthem of the United Kingdom was written in 1745 during these battles. Composed by Thomas Augustine Arne (his other big hit was the ever-popular "Rule Britannia" - a little short for my taste) and first sung in 1745 during the Jacobite "invasion" of England. It wasn't the official national anthem yet, of course. And some of the grossly anti-Scots lyrics were later deleted, but the tune was the same as now.
Ok, ok, here is what was deleted:
Lord, grant that Marshal Wade,
May by thy mighty aid,
May he sedition hush and like a torrent rush,
Rebellious Scots to crush,
God save the King
Here is the current authorized version, best as I can find:
I suppose it would be safest just to learn the first verse and sing it over and over. That's what I'm going to do.
**Oddly, Charles DID offer to do just that - rule as a Protestant. It has been said on some pretty good authority and with some pretty high up witnesses that he returned to London in 1750 incognito (Charles was good at disguises and fake names, but that's another story) and conformed to Protestantism by receiving Anglican communion. Dunno. A little late.
Below is a picture of "princess" Marie-Victoire, Charles' "secret" granddaughter. How do you have a secret granddaughter? Wouldn't your son or daughter-in-law have to know about her? Well, she looks harmless enough. I keep finding more things to add to this post but must stop now.
Update: I have found out the story of the secret granddaughter now. I was going to post the interesting story here as an update, but none of you commented, so I'm not going to tell you.