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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
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323 *la.] ADV.4NCE OF THE * HIGHLANDERS, -__ appointed thereto in 1716), mustered the outpensioners of Chelsea, and officered them, locally, from the half-pay list. Doubtful of the faith of Preston, as a Scotsman, the Government superseded him in command, and sent in his place Lieutenant-General Joshua Guest, an Englishman, who proved a staunch Jacobite, and on the approach of the Highlanders he was the first to propose a capitulation, a measure vigorously opposed by Preston, a resolute Whig 01 the old King William school, who thereupon undertook the defence, with a gamson which consisted only of the old Castle company, the two companies of the 47th, each mustering about seventy bayonets, under Major Robertson, the Chelsea Pensioners, and Lieutenant Brydone?s artillery company, which had landed at Leith on the 4th of September, and marched in with a great quantity of the munitions of war. The other troops in Scotland at this time consisted only of the 13th and 14th Light Dragoons at Edinburgh, the company of the Royals captured at Spean Bridge, the 6th Foot at Aberdeen, two companies of the 21st Scots Fusiliers at Glasgow, the 25th Edinburgh regiment in Fifeshire, two companies of the 4znd at Crieff, five of the 44th in the West, and another five at Berwick, the 46th (known as ?? Murray?s Bucks ?) scattered over the Highlands, Loudon?s Highlanders (disbanded in 1749) stationed in the north ; in all not quite 4,ooc men ; but, collecting these, Sir John Cope prepared to bar the Prince?s way into the Lowlands. Quitting Perth at the head of little more than 2,000 men,* only the half of whom had arms, the latter, on the 11th September, resumed his adventurous march southward, and crossing the Forth by the perilous fords of Frew, to avoid the guns of Stirling, he held on his way by the Scottish Marathon, by the Torwood and Linlithgow, traversing scenes that he, the heir of the ancient regal line, could not have beheld without emotion, engaged, as he was, on an enterprise more daring and more desperate than had ever been undertaken by any of his ancestors since Bruce fought the battle of Dalry. On the 1,gth he was at Corstorphine, less than A true account of thestrengthof the Highland army, aph August, 1745. Lochiel ........................... 700 Clanmnald, having men of his Islands ...... 050 The Stewarts of Appin under Ardsheil ...... a50 Keppoch ........................... 260 and the Grants of Glenmorriston ...... 600 , Glengawy?s men, induding Knoydart, Glencoe. 2 . h (? Culloden Papers. ?3 ?The Highlanders were not more than 1,800, and the half of them only Were armed.? (?Autobiography of Dr. Carlyle of Inveresk?) lour miles distant from the capital, and to avoid exposing his troops to the Castle guns in advancing, he wheeled southward towards Slateford, and fixed his quarters at Gray?s Mill, two miles from the city. Great was now the excitement within the walls. The militia, called the trained bands, consisted of sixteen companies, or 1,000 men, entirely undisciplined, and many of them entirely disloyal to the Hanoverian cause. In their own armoury the citizens had 1,259 muskets and zoo bayonets, 300 sets of accoutrements, a considerable quantity of ammunition, with seventy-five stand of arms and Lochaber axes belonging to the City Guard. On Sunday, 16th September, Hislop, keeper of this arsenal, issued 500 rounds of ball ammunition and sixty firelocks to each company of the trained bands, thirty-nine firelocks to the additional company of the City Guard, and twenty-four to the company of the Canongate-head, 500 rounds of ball to the Seceders, whose muster-place was the Infirmary, and 450 Ibs. of powder for the cannon on the walls. All the rest he sent to the Castle. The banner borne by the Seceders is now in the Museum 3f Antiquities, and was once used at Bothwell Brig. It is blue, with a white St. Andrew?s saltire, charged with five roses, and the motto, Cmenanfs, Ueligion, Kin& and Kingdoms. Towards the end of the preceding month the nore zealous citizens had proposed to raise a regiment 1,000 strong for the defence of the town ; but the royal permission therefor was not accorded till the 9th of September, and by the time that the Prince drew near only zoo men had been enrolled, all of the most dissolute character, and tempted by the proffered pay alone. In addition to these was the regiment of Edinburgh Volunteers, 400 strong, divided into six companies, and drilled regularly twice daily. Cannon from the ships at Leith were mounted on the walls together with swivels or pateraroes (i.e., small cannon). The ports were barricaded ; there was much military bluster, with much Singing of psalms ; but as the Highlanders drew nearer all this show of valour died away. When the Prince?s vanguard was at Kirkliston, it was proposed by General Guest that the two Light Dragoon regiments, supported by the City Guard, the so-called Edinburgh Regiment, and 250 volunteers, should march out and give battle to the insurgents ! The signal was given ; on the forenoon of Sunday the 15th of September the clang of the alarm bells came during sermon, and the people rushed rorth from the churches to find the detailed force &-awn up under arms ia the High Street; but the
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