Friday, July 1, 2011

Jacobite Rebellion, 1715

After Queen Anne died and the Hanovers took over what had become the British throne, despite the fact that Anne had many closer blood relatives with the Stuarts than the Hanovers, the Jacobites again took up the Stuart cause. The fact that George I didn't speak English didn't help, of course. At least they say he didn't speak English. And so, shortly thereafter, the Scots again came arising.

This "Rising" was called "The Fifteen" because it took place in 1715. That summer, the latest James Stuart, "The Old Pretender," (there would later be a "Young Pretender") put out the word to the Earl of Mar to raise the Clans. He did. In early September, Mar declared, again, that James (who was wanting to be James III and VIII by virtue of the fact he was the only surviving legitimate son of James II and VII, whose desertion/abdication was conveniently now being forgotten by the Jacobites) was the true and lawful sovereign. He (Mar) dusted off the old Scottish standard and prepared to go a-German-hunting. His clans-army grew to about 8,000 men and he captured Perth. If you can call visiting a friendly house "capture." The fighting was all in Scotland, though, with the aim (I deduce) of taking over Scotland and negating the Act of Union. For starters.

However, Perth alone did not Scotland make, and a fair number of clans were by now loyal to the established government down south, so Jacobite traction was a bit slow. Planned simultaneous Risings in Wales, Devon (rhymes with heaven) and Cornwall sort of fizzled out - mostly on account of the fact that George began arresting all the local Jacobites down there. But, in the north of England, a Northumberland man named Thomas Forster raised about 300 horse soldiers for the Stuart cause. On the other side, those in that general area who were loyal to George became known as "Geordies" and are still called that today, although few of those Geordies and Geordettes know why, I'd wager. Maybe they will read this post and find out they aren't called that just because of the way they speak. I digress.

Mar was loath to venture from the safety of Perth, and very little headway was made. A battle here, a skirmish there. In December, Ol' James himself arrived in Scotland, supposing (I'm guessing) that his mere presence would make the clans go wild with adoration and begin fighting in earnest. But the Old Pretender was a bit tetched in the head by then, I think - although they called it "deep melancholy" which probably sounds better, and, in the end, he wasn't that keen on dying in the Scotland winter of December 1715. Turning to one of his pretend ministers he coughed something to the effect of, "You really need to get me the hell out of here now," and so it was. This is my personal vision. Wikipedia's is more drawn out and hard to understand whereas mine could just as well have been the way it happened. Although, being Catholic, he probably would have said heck instead of hell. Moving on.

Accordingly, off to France sailed the would be James III and VIII, not personally to ever fight another day. But from his loins had come a "Young Pretender" so, even as the Firth of Forth slowly got smaller in James' rear view mirror, the die-hard Jacobites vowed, as they disbanded, being deserted by their would-be king, who wanted to show them just how much he cared for them, that they would encourage their sons and grandsons to rise to the cause sometime in the future. Why? I'm starting to lose track.

Those future Risings will be the subject of our next post. I have a feeling you already have guessed how this all turns out. (Hint: the current ruler of the UK is still descended from Electress Sophia. Of Hanover.)


  1. Oh yes!, I'm the great pretender
    Pretending that I'm doing well
    My need is such I pretend too much
    I'm lonely but no one can tell

    Oh-oh, yes I'm the great pretender
    Adrift in a world of my own
    I've played the game but to my real shame
    You've left me to grieve all alone

    Too real is this feeling of make-believe
    Too real when I feel what my heart can't conceal

    Yes I'm the great pretender
    Just laughin' and gay like a clown
    I seem to be what I'm not, you see
    I'm wearing my heart like a crown
    Pretending that you're still around

    Too real is this feeling of make-believe
    Too real when I feel what my heart can't conceal

    Yes I'm the great pretender
    Just laughin' and gay like a clown
    I seem to be what I'm not, you see
    I'm wearing my heart like a crown
    Pretending that you're still around.

  2. On a more serious note, I have to thank you for the explanation of the term 'Geordie', esp as a geordie appears in my most recent post, it's something I'd been vaguely curious about but never quite got around to trying to track down. Without looking for further evidence, I'd say it sounds a good enough explanation.
    When I was a lad, one of my great books of adventure and derring-do was "A Scout of the '45" by E C Vivian, a rollicking tale, written in 1923.
    That's the Young Pretender though.
    I am, so far as the family archives can tell, partly descended from a scot, who stayed behind in Yorkshire as his prince's army retreated north. Family legend tells that he was wounded and sick, and taken in, hidden and nursed by a farmer's family in Wharfedale, where, as he grew fit again, he fell in love with the farmer's daughter, and chose to stay.

  3. This time you've brought to mind "The Earl of Mar's Daughter":
    It was intill a pleasant time,
    Upon a simmer’s day,
    The noble Earl of Mar’s daughter
    Went forth to sport and play.
    As thus she did amuse hersell,
    Below a green aik tree,
    There she was a sprightly doo
    Set on a tower sae hie.
    ‘O Cow-me-doo, my love sae true,
    If ye’ll come down to me,
    Ye’se hae a cage o guid red gowd
    Instead o simple tree:

    I did have to look it up but I remembered the name. The story reminds me of "The Birds".

    By the way, the one you have labelled as St. Nicholas is very clearly Sean Connery.

    I suppose you know there's another rebellion in the offing at the moment but it will involve a referendum instead of anything more bloody. The Queen was in Scotland the other day where they explained to her that she will still remain Queen even after Scotland has become independent.

  4. @ Soubriquet. You don't remember the Platters. Don't pretend you do.

    The subject of Geordies is a more serious note?


    You forgot to mention that James Taylor is happy and gay like a clown. But the song you posted brought tears to my eyes and made me long for... ummm... the Rio Grande.


    oooo! ooooo! The very next masterful American inimitable interpretation of the gay Jacobite Risings will treat the "45"! Imagine that. If you dare.

    Jumping ahead, I can tell you that my research has confirmed your farmer's daughter ancestor did indeed nurse back to health (and other vitality) one wounded Scott soldier far from home, and they begat. And, eventually, little soubriquet arrived on the scene. I'm so proud. :)

    Too bad they never married. A crying shame, that. Happily, hardly anyone knew they were only pretending.

    @A. - Ye’se hae a cage o guid red gowd doesn't begin to do justice to the awesomeness of your background in Scottish literature. You are amazing. Ye're fekkin amazin Lass! No pretense of me keeping up with you, so I'll not even try. O Cow-me-doo!!!

  5. So.... let me get this straight, turd brain. You just publicly insulted one of the most loyal readers this sorry blog has ever had? And for what? A temporary giggle? A chance to force-use the word "pretender" again? Now you are down to 2 and a half readers. You used to have six readers in your heyday. Way to go.

  6. @A. - Are you sure? They would still let her be queen? Surely there is a baby pretender out there somewhere who aspires to be James XXI and LXIV? There must be. Ah, well.

    Well, d'ye think they will at least behead a Charles fer th' 'Merican Vegas crowd to watch on the TV?

  7. I see on the Fox News last night that the Duke and Dutchess of Cambridge are on a 4th of July visit to Canada. In respect, Canada has suspended (for 3 days) all outward bursts of America-bashing and naked bicycle-riding, and have set the royal couple up in their own private igloo. They had a short video clip of the charming youngsters, and I saw that the most gorgeous Kate was sporting a tiny red hat, which, I'm guessing was a play on a maple leaf. Much bowing and scraping and maple syrup wrestling in the background of the clip.Someone said - I may have heard this wrong or Fox News may have outright lied - that the couple will also pay a brief visit to the cesspool south of the border after some visits to schools and the obligatory polar bear riding and hockey yawning.
    It all reminds me of another governor-general in better times, his fairiness the Duke of Connaught in those Canadian days of yore and wonderment and empire. Doesn't it you? Arthur was my man. I wish I had lived then just to have breathed in the same planetary air as he. The dude had style. Yo.
    I do hope (all kidding aside) that the young royal couple will find time to visit south of the Montana- Saskatchewan line, after allowing the embarrassing 4th of July celebrations to recede. They would truly honor us.

  8. @A. - I'm guessing NOT "The Birds" of Alfred Hitchcock and Tippi Hedren.

  9. @A. - After Scotland becomes independent, the Queen, all her descendants, and all the birds on earth will be long dead. If this is not true, may God strike Tal E Wacker dead with lightening.

  10. "I'm guessing NOT "The Birds" of Alfred Hitchcock"

    Sort of (from Wikipedia):

    The Earl of Mar's daughter saw a lovely bird, and promised it a golden cage if it would come to her. It did, and that night transformed into a prince in her bedroom. His mother had transformed him to that form. They lived together; she bore seven sons, but the prince carried them safe to his mother. A wooer came for the daughter, and she said she did not want to marry but to live with her bird. Her father swore to wring its neck, and the prince fled. He got his mother to transform many of his men, his sons, and himself to larger birds, and they attacked the wedding party and bore away the bride.

  11. The Earl of Mar fought the Duke of Argyll at the Battle of Sherrifmuir. According to Wikipedia this is near Dunblane. Personally, I think it's nearer Bridge of Allan, but I may well be wrong. What I do know is that it's a wonderful spot for picnics with small boys who like to wade in rocky streams and make dams. As an added bonus, there's a tummy tickler bridge on the way there. Or there was, a considerable number of years ago.

  12. I could have sworn I'd left a comment and I no longer leave your sites before I see them up.

    Oh well. Interesting period in history though I'm pretty familiar with this already.



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