Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

soliciting the aid of their services. Both chieftains replied to the message of His Koyal Highness, that they considered his cause a desperate one, and that they would not engage in it. On the 3d August 1745, Macleod of Macleod addressed a letter to the Lord President Duncan Forbes at Culloden, and Sir Alexander did the samo a few days afterwards, intimating the arrival of the Prince at the Western Isles, and assuring his lordship of their loyalty to Government* This was the first intimation that the Government received that the Prince had actually arrived. Meantime Sir Thomas Sheridan, the Marquis of Tullibardine, and other parties of influence, were using their utmost endeavours for raising the various Clans, who were supposed to be well affected, and who might raise in all from ten to twelve thousand men.

After passing so many days on board the Doutelle, the Prince and his retinue came on shore at Borrodale, on the south shore of Lochnanuagh, where they were all treated with great hospitality by Mr Macdonald of Borrodale. Glenfinnan, the place appointed for the gathering of the Clans, is a narrow valley forming an inlet to Lochaber from Moydart. There, in that contracted valley, the Prince, amid loud acclamations and shrill Piobaireachd,t unfurled his father's standard, and declared war against the Elector of Hanover (as George II. was called) and all his adherents.

The arrival in Scotland of His Boyal Highness was an event that took the Government by great surprise. For several months previously reports were flying about the Highlands, and indeed in Edinburgh and other places that he was to visit this country during the season, but little or no credit was given to them. King Georgo II. was at the time in Hanover, and the Government ministers were scattered in all directions. President Forbes was the first to inform Sir John Cope, then commander-inchief in Scotland, that tho Prince had arrived in tho Western Isles. Sir John was ordered to march immediately to the Highlands to crush the insurrection at its commencement; but unfortunately his expedition was a total failure. About this time Government had offered £30,000 to any' party who would apprehend tho Prince, and get possession of his person dead or alive. On seeing this, the Prince in return, issued a similar proclamation, offering the same amount of reward to such as would procure the head of the Elector of Hanover.

As matters had become very serious, and the Government much alarmed, Sir John Cope, with the forces under his command, announced his intention of marching to the Highlands with all possible speed. In pursuance of this resolution, he ordered a camp to be formed at Stirling, and commanded all the officers of regiments to be ready at their posts. On the 19th of August Sir John and his forces set off for Stirling, and arrived there in the evening. By a remarkable coincidence the Prince and his adherents were in readiness for their march on the same day! Sir John, however, pushed forward untd he reached Dalwhinnie, where he received a letter from President Forbes, written at Culloden, stating that the rebel army, said to be three thousand strong, were in full march to Corrieghearraig, where they intended to give battle to the Boyal

* Vide Journal and Memoirs j Lockhart's Papers; Home's Works; Jacobite Memoirs.

t The principal piper was John MacOregor from Fortingall, of whom an account U given in No. 58 of Otitic Magazine, page 404.

forcos. Sir John Cope, greatly alarmed at the intelligence, called a council of war at Dalwhinnie, whereupon it was resolved to march to Inverness, whero he arrived on the 29th of August. Receiving hut little support in the Highland capital, he resolved to march speedily to Aberdeen, and then make his way to the south. Ho wrote a letter from Inverness to Milton, the Lord Justice Clerk, in which he stated his grievances in theso words :—" In this country the rebels will not let us get at them, unless wo had some Highlanders with us; and as yet not a single man has joined us, though I have lugged along with us three hundred stand of arms. No man could have believed, that not one man would take arms in our favour, or show countenance to us; but so it is." —(Jacobite Memoirs.)

In the meantime the rebels having marched across the Blair-Athole hills, arrived at Perth. Intellegeucc of this sooii reached Edinburgh, and created universal alarm among all the citizens. The Provost and Magistrates met on the 27th August, resolved to repair the city walls, to raise a regiment of a thousand men, and resolutely to oppose the entrance of a hostile army into the city. The Prince left Perth on the 11th of September, passed through Dunblane, where he was joined by James Macgregor of Glengyle, son of the celebrated Rob Eoy Macgregor, with nearly three hundred powerful men of his clan. The Prince was overjoyed at their appearance, and ordered his favourite piper, John Macgregor, to play a welcome salute, saying, "Seid suas do phiob, Iain." The rebel army passed through Stirling, and moved forward towards Falkirk. Charles was here informed that Gardiner's dragoons were at Linlithgow, and that they were determined to dispute his entrance into the capital. The rebel army, however, marched slowly on, while Gardiner and his dragoons thought proper to retire, as if afraid to encounter the Highlanders. The Prince arrived within two miles of Edinburgh on the 16th, and fixed his head-quarters on a field called Gray's Park, and left his troops for the pight in the Hunter's Bog, near Arthur's Seat. The Jacobites among the citizens rejoiced at his appearance, and went in crowds to meet him. That graphic writer, Dr Chambers, says, "that he received their homage and congratulations with smiles, and bowed gracefully to the huzza which immediately after rose from the crowded plain below." The next business of his adherents was to proclaim his father at the cross of the city, a ceremony which was done with great solemnity in presence of a vast multitude of enthusiastic citizens.

Expecting the speedy arrival of Cope, Charles made no delay in obtaining possession of the capital, and scarcely had he done so when Sir John Cope with his troops landed at Dunbar. After many meetings of council by the friends of the Royalists and rebels, the battle of Prestonpans or Gladsmuir was fought on the 21st of September, where the rebels displayed great bravery, and where Cope and the Royal forces were defeated. Charles, thereby inspired with fresh courage, resolved to increase his array by sending messengers to France and to the Highlands to solicit the needful aid. It would be out of place to attempt to give an account hero of the various movements of the Prince and his adherents. He resolved to march with his army to England, and departed accordingly from Holyrood Palace. In the meantime Government became greatly alarmed at the unexpected success of his Royal Highness, and made all possible baste to prepare forces to resist his progress. A strong body of tToops wasordered to Scotland, under the command of Marshal Wade. The King deeming his forces too small for the emergency, ordered home from Flanders a portion of his army, under the command of his second son William, the youthful Duke of Cumberland, who fought so bravely at the battle of Fontenoy, Cumberland was only twenty-five years of age, being of the same age with his opponent and relative, Prince Charles Edward, When his Royal Highness with his " Highland host" left Holyrood, he marched to Carlisle and besieged it, then advancing to Brampton and thence to Manchester, he arrived at Derby, within 127 miles of London. The intelligence of these movements caused the King to tremble on his throne, as unquestionably the danger was imminent and alarming. Owing to various reasons, the Prince was urged to return to the Highlands, much against his will, and to relinquish the idea of advancing to the Capital of the British Empire. On the arrival of the Highland arm}' in Scotland, where several small skirmishes were fought, Charles received intelligence that General Hawley had reached Edinburgh with his forces from England, and was making his way to Falkirk. There Hawley was met by the Highlanders and defeated after a bloody engagement, called the battle of Falkirk. When this misfortune of the Royalists under Hawley's management became known at headquarters, the Duke of Cumberland was immediately ordered to advance with all speed to Scotland, in order to counteract the further successes of Prince Charles and his faithful adherents. From Edinburgh the Duke marched to the west by Stirling, then by Perth to Aberdeen and the north; while the Prince and his army hastened by quick stages to Inverness.

When at Moyhall, the residence of the Mackintosh of Mackintosh, within twelve miles of Inverness, the Prince had a very narrow escape from falling into the hands of the enemy. The Chief of the Clan Mackintosh himself was loyal to the Government, and was greatly guided in his movements by his neighbour, President Forbes of Culloden. Lady Mackintosh, on the other hand, like many others of her sex, was warmly favourable to the pretensions of the Prince. By her influence she privately induced many of her clan to support his cause. At that time, as related by Cameron in his "Traditions of Skye," "the Earl of Loudon was at Inverness with nearly 2000 men, and he resolved to secure the Prince as prisoner before he could be joined by his army, which was marching from the south. The Earl advanced towards Moy with 1500 men, the advance guard of 70 men being commanded by Macleod of Macleod. Lady Mackintosh received private information of the contemplated attack, and sent the Prince to a place of safety. In the meantime she sent out a patrolling party of five men armed with muskets to watch the road from Inverness, of whom the blacksmith, a clever fellow of the name of Fraser, assumed the command. On the approach of the Earl of Loudon's army, during the night of the 16th February 1746, the smith placed his men at intervals along the roadside, and they then fired at the head of the advancing column, raising a shout, and calling on the "Camerons" and "Macdonalds" to advance—thus giving Loudon's men to understand that they were confronted by a large body of the Prince's army! Donald Ban Maccrimmon, Macleod of Macleod's piper, was killed by the blacksmith's shot, close by Macleod's side. Loudon's men, thinking that they had to contend against a superior force, made a hasty retreat to Inverness, which is known in history as the "Rout of Moy," The poor piper was the only person killed, and the Macleods carried his hody with them to Inverness. Donald Ban Maccrimmon was reputed as the best piper of his day in the Highlands. When leaving Dunvegan, he had a presentiment that he would never return from the expidition, and on that occasion he composed that plaintive air, "Cha till mi tuilleadh," or "Maccrimmon's Lament," which he played on the pipe as the independent companies of the Macleods were leaving Dunvegan, while their wives and sweethearts were waving a sorrowful farewell to them. To this air Maccrimmon composed a feeling Gaelic song, the sentiments of which are brought out in the English imitation by Sir Walter Scott, which is as follows:—

Macleod's wizard flag from the grey castle sallies,
The rowers are seated, unmoored are the galleys;
Gleam war-axe and broadsword, clang target and quiver,
As Maccrimmon plays "Farewell to Dunvegan for ever."

Farewell to each cliff, on which breakers are foaming,
Farewell each dark glen in which red deer are roaming,
Farewell lonely Skye, to lake, mountain, and river,
Macleod may return, but Maccrimmon shall never.

Farewell the bright clouds that on Cullin are sleeping;
Farewell the bright eyes in the Fort that are weeping;
To each minstrel delusion farewell! and for ever—
Maccrimmon departs to return to you never!

The Banshee's wild voice sings the death dirge before me,
And the pall of the dead for a mantle hangs o'er me;
But my heart shall not fly, and my nerve shall not quiver,
Tho' devoted I go—to return again never!

Too oft shall the note of Maccrimmon's bewailing
Be heard when the Gael on their exile are sailing;
Dear land! to the shores whence unwilling we sever,
Return, return, return, we shall never 1

A female bard at Dunvegan, on hearing "Maccrimmon's Lament" played, is said to have composed the following beautiful song in response :—

Dh' iadh ceo 'nan stuc mu aodann Chuilinn,
'TJs sheinn a' bhean-shith a torman mulaid,
Tha suilean gorm ciuin 'san Dun a' sileadh,
O'n thriall thu bh' uainn, 's nach till thu tuilleadh.

Cha till, cha till, cha till Maccruimein,
A'n cogadh no sith, cha till e tuilleadh,
Le airgiod no ni cha till Maccruimein,
Cha till gu brath gu la na cruinne.

Tha osag nan gleann gu fann ag imeachd;
Gach sruthan 's gach allt gu mall le bruthaich;
Tha ialt' nan spew feadh gheugan dubhach,
A' caoidh gu'n d' fhalbh 'b nach till thu tuilleadh.
Cha till, cha till, &c.

Tha'n fhairge fa dheoidh Ian broin 'ub mulaid,
Tha'm bata fo sheol, ach dhiult i siubhal;
Tha gair nan tonn le fuaim neo-shubhach,
Ag radh gu'n d' fhalbh 's nach till thu tuilleadtu
Cha till, cha till, &c.

Cha chluinnear do cheol 'sail Dun mu fheasgar,
'S mac-talla nam mur le muirn 'ga fhreagairt;
Gach fleasgach 'ua aigh, gu'n cheol, gu'n bheadradh,
O'n thriall thu bh' uainn, 's nach till thu tuilleadh.
Cha till, cha till, &c.

The Maccrimmona were for many ages the distinguished pipers of the Macleods of Punvegan, and had in consequence a free gift of the extensive farm called "Borevaig," which they enjoyed for many ages from sire to son. The Macdonalds of the Isles had likewise their own race of pipers —the Macarthurs, to whom was granted a perpetual gift of the farm of "Peingowen," near the castle of Duntulm. Great rivalry existed between these two races of pipers, as each strove for the superiority. Both the Maccrimmons and the Macarthurs noted down their "piobaireachds" by a sort of syllabic vocables, somewhat like the "sol-fa" system of noting music; and by this process they preserved their tunes, and could play them off at pleasure. They made large collections of their " piobaireachds" in this way, and tradition says that Donald Ban, who was killed at the "Rout of Moy," excelled most of his race by the beauty and neatness with which he noted the "salutes" and "laments," which he composed and played so exquisitely well.

(To be Continued.)

[merged small][ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »