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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. II


322 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [1745!. CEIAFTER XL. E D I N B U R G H IN 1745. Provost Stewart-Advance of the Jacobite Clans-Preparations for Defence-CapturC of the City-Lochiel?s Surprise--Entmnce of Prince Charles-Arrival at Holyrood-James VIII. Proclaimed at the Cross+onduct of the Highland Troops in the City-Colquhoun Grant- A Triumphal Procession-Guest?s Council of War-Preston?s Fidelity. WE have referred to the alleged narrow escape of Prince Charles Edward in the house of Provost Stewart in the West Bow. Had he actually been captured there, it is difficult to tell, and indeed useless to surmise, what the history of the next few years would have been. The Castle would probably have been stormed by his troops, and we might never have heard of the march into England, the fields of Falkirk or Culloden. One of the most singular trials consequent upon the rising of 1745 was that of Provost Stewart for ?( neglect of duty, misbehaviour in public office, and violation of trust and duty.? From his house in the Bow he had to proceed to London in November, 1745. Immediately upon his arrival he sent notice of it to the Secretary of State, and underwent a long and vexatious trial before a Cabinet CounciL He was taken into custody, but was liberated upon the 23rd of January, 1746, on bail to the extent of ~15,000, to appear, as a traitor, before the High Court of Justiciary at Edinburgh. Whether it was that Government thought he was really culpable in not holding out the extensive and mouldering wal!s of Edinburgh against :troops already flushed with success, and in opposition to the wishes of the majority of the inhabitants, or whether they meant only to intimidate the disaffected, we shall not determine, says Arnot. Provost Stewart was brought to trial, and the court ?fotind it relevant to infer the pains of law, that ihe panel, at the time and place libelled, being then Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh, wilfully neglected to pursue, or wilfully opposed, or obstqcted when opposed by others, such measures as were necessary for the defence of the city against the rebels in the instances libelled, or so much of them as do amount to such wilful neglect.? After a trial, which occupies zoo pages of an octavo volume (printed for Crawford in the Parlia- .merit Close, r747), on the and of November, the jury, the half of whom were country gentlemen, returned a vcrdict, unanimously finding Provost Stewart not guilty; but he would seem to have left the city soon after. He settled in London, where he became an eminent merchant, and died at Bath, in 17S0, in the eighty-third year of hisage. No epoch of. the past has left so vivid an impression on the Scottish mind as the year 1745 ; history and tradition, poetry and music, prove this from the days of the Revolution down to those of Burns, Scott, and others ; for the whole land became filled with melodies for the lost cause and fallen race ; while it is a curious fact, that not one song or air can be found in favour of the victors. Considerable discontent preceded the advent of the Highlanders in Edinburgh, which then had a population of only about 40,000 inhabitants. Kincaid tells us that thep was an insurrection there in 1741 in consequence of the high price of food; and another in 1742, in consequence of a number of dead bodies having been raised. The former of these was not quelled without bloodshed, and in the latter the houses of many suspected persons were burned to the ground; and that imaginary tribulation might not be wanting, we learn from the autobiography of Dr. Carlyle of Inveresk, that people now began to recall a prophecy of Peden the pedlar, that the Clyde should run with blood in 1744. A letter from the Secretary of State to the Town Council had made that body aware, so early as the spring of 1744, that it was the intention of Prince Charles to raise an insurrection in the Highlands, and they hastened to assure the king of their loyalty and devotion, to evince which they prepared at once for the defence of the city, by augmenting its Guard to 126 men, and mustering the trained bands. After landing in the wilds of Moidart, with only seven men, and unfurling his standard in Glenfinnan, on the 19th of August, 1745, Charles Edward soon found himself at the head of 1,200 followers, whose success in a few petty encounters roused the ardour and emulation of the Macdonalds, McLeans, and other warlike septs, who rose in arms, to peril life and fortune for the last of the old royal race. The news of his landing reached Edinburgh on the 8th of August, and it was quickly followed by tidings of the muster in Glenfinnan, and the capture of a company of the. 1st Royal Scots, at the Spean Bridge, by Major Macdonald of Teindreich. Early in July 5,000 stand of arms had been placed in the Castle, which Lieutenant-General Sir John Cope ordered to be provisioned, while he reinforced its ordinary garrison by two companies of the 47th regiment; and theLieutenant-Governor, Lieutenant- General Preston, of Valleyfield (who had been 2
Volume 2 Page 322
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