F Heritage History | Our Island Story by H. E. Marshall
Contents 
Front Matter Albion and Brutus The Coming of the Romans The Romans Come Again Caligula Conquers Britain The Story of Boadicea The Last of the Romans The Story of St. Alban Vortigern and King Constans Hengist and Horsa Hengist's Treachery The Giant's Dance The Coming of Arthur Founding of the Round Table Gregory and the Children King Alfred Learns to Read Alfred and the Cowherd More About Alfred the Great Ethelred the Unready Edmund Ironside Canute and the Waves Edward the Confessor Harold Godwin The Battle of Stamford Bridge The Battle of Hastings Hereward the Wake Death of the King The Story of William the Red The Story of the "White Ship" The Story of King Stephen Henry II—Gilbert and Rohesia Thomas a Becket The Conquest of Ireland Richard Coeur de Lion How Blondel Found the King The Story of Prince Arthur The Great Charter Henry III and Hubert de Burgh Simon de Montfort The Poisoned Dagger The War of Chalons The Lawgiver The Hammer of the Scots King Robert the Bruce The Battle of Bannockburn The Battle of Sluys The Battle of Crecy The Siege of Calais The Battle of Poitiers Wat Tyler's Rebellion How Richard Lost His Throne The Battle of Shrewsbury Prince Hal Sent to Prison The Battle of Agincourt The Maid of Orleans Red Rose and White Margaret and the Robbers The Story of the Kingmaker A King Who Wasn't Crowned Two Princes in the Tower The Make-Believe Prince Another Make-Believe Prince The Field of the Cloth of Gold Defender of the Faith The Six Wives of Henry VIII The Story of a Boy King The Story of Lady Jane Grey Elizabeth a Prisoner A Candle Lit in England Elizabeth Becomes Queen A Most Unhappy Queen Saved from the Spaniards Sir Walter Raleigh The Queen's Favourite The Story of Guy Fawkes The Story of the Mayflower A Blow for Freedom King and Parliament Quarrel The King Brought to Death The Adventures of a Prince The Lord Protector How Death Plagued London How London was Burned The Fiery Cross The Story of King Monmouth The Story of the Seven Bishops William the Deliverer William III and Mary II A Sad Day in a Highland Glen How the Union Jack was Made Earl of Mar's Hunting Party Bonnie Prince Charlie Flora MacDonald The Black Hole of Calcutta How Canada Was Won How America Was Lost A Story of a Spinning Wheel Every Man Will Do His Duty The Battle of Waterloo The First Gentleman in Europe Two Peaceful Victories The Girl Queen When Bread was Dear Victorian Age: Peace Victorian Age: War The Land of Snow The Siege of Delhi The Pipes at Lucknow Under the Southern Cross From Cannibal to Christian Boer and Briton List of Kings

Our Island Story - H. E. Marshall




GEORGE II.—THE STORY OF BONNIE PRINCE CHARLIE

George I. died in 1727 A.D., and was succeeded by his son, George II. Like his father he was very German, but he could speak a little English. He had a very clever wife called Queen Caroline, and she helped him to rule. He had also a very clever Prime Minister called Walpole.

Walpole had begun to be powerful under George I., and although George II. did not like him, he still remained in power. He was the first 'peace minister' Britain ever had. Instead of urging the King and people to fight, he tried in every way he could to keep the peace.

He saw that the best thing for the country was to be at peace. He saw that it was best for the people to have time to sow and reap, to build ships, to make goods, and to trade with other countries, and that they could neither have time nor money to do this if they were always fighting. So he would not fight, and Britain grew prosperous.

But the people did not all think as Walpole did. A quarrel with Spain arose and, try how he might, Walpole could not keep the peace, and war was declared. Strange to say, the people rejoiced at the news. They decorated their houses, lit bonfires, and rang bells as if some great good fortune had befallen the country. 'They may ring their bells now,' said Walpole sadly, 'but they will soon be wringing their hands.' The peace which had lasted twenty years was broken, and Walpole was quite right when he said that the people would soon be wringing their hands, for the war with Spain was a miserable failure and brought much trouble and sorrow upon them.

This war was followed by another called the War of the Austrian Succession. The Emperor of Austria died leaving his kingdom to his daughter, Maria Theresa. But some of the kings of Europe thought that they would take her lands from her and make their own kingdoms greater. To prevent this the British fought for Maria Theresa against France and Spain, and George II. and his soldiers defeated the French in a battle called Dettingen. This is the last battle in which a British King led his soldiers himself. People began to see that kings could serve their countries in better ways than by fighting.

While this war was going on the Jacobites tried again to set James Stuart upon the throne. This time it was not James but his son Charles who landed in Scotland. He came with only seven followers, and at first the people were afraid and unwilling to follow him.

But Charles was very different from his father. He was gallant and brave, and handsome. He talked and smiled and won his way to the brave Highland hearts till he was at the head of fifteen hundred men, all willing and ready to die for their King and Prince.

'Go home,' said one old chieftain to him, when he first landed, 'there is no safety for you here.'

'I have come home,' replied Prince Charlie.

'Charles Stuart,' he said to another chief, called Cameron of Lochiel, 'has come to claim his own and win the crown of his ancestors, or die in the attempt. Lochiel, if he chooses, may stay at home and learn the fate of his Prince from the newspapers.'

'No,' replied Lochiel, 'no, I will share the fate of my Prince, and so shall every man over whom I have power.'

So in a dark Highland glen the standard of the Prince was raised. It was red silk, and on it were the proud words, Tandem Triumphans, which means 'Triumphant at last.' And as the red silk folds fluttered out on the mountain breeze it was greeted by the sounds of bagpipes and the shouts of the people.

'Then raise the banner, raise it high,

For Charles we'll conquer or we'll die:

The clans a' leal and true men be,

And show me who will daunton thee.

Our good King James will soon come hame,

And traitors a' be put to shame;

Auld Scotland shall again be free;

There's nane on earth can daunton thee.'

After the raising of his standard Charles marched south till he reached Edinburgh, his army growing as he went. Lochiel and his followers marched into Edinburgh, and there, at the Market Cross, amid the cheering of some of the people and the sullen silence of others, James VIII. was once more proclaimed King of Scotland. A beautiful lady on horseback, with a drawn sword in her hand, gave the white cockade to those who crushed round her, impatient to enter the service of the Prince.

Later in the day, Charles himself rode into the town and the people crowded to meet him, cheering and weeping, eager to kiss his hand or touch his clothes, covering even his boots with tears and kisses.

The castle of Edinburgh was held by the soldiers of King George, and as the Prince reached Holyrood, the old palace of the Stuarts, a cannon from the castle thundered out, and a shot struck the wall of the palace not far from where Charles stood. But he was neither startled nor afraid and, turning, walked quietly into the palace.

That night the Prince gave a ball. The old palace, which had stood so long empty and silent, was gay with lights and flowers. The sounds of laughter and music were heard there, perhaps for the first time since the days of the beautiful Mary, Queen of Scots.

Lovely ladies and brave men crowded to see and do honour to their Bonnie Prince Charlie, and they went away happy if they had touched his hand or heard his voice.

But there were other things to do besides dancing. The army of King George, under Sir John Cope, had landed at Dunbar and was marching to Edinburgh. Charles decided to march out to meet him.

Early on the morning of the 20th September, the Highlanders rose and made ready for battle. Prince Charlie placed himself at their head and, drawing his sword, cried, 'Gentlemen, I have thrown away the scabbard.' By that he meant that there was no turning back, and that his sword would never again be sheathed until he conquered or died, and the men, hearing the words, shouted and cheered as they followed him.

Next day a battle was fought at Prestonpans, near Edinburgh. Prince Charlie and his men were up so early that they were ready to attack before Sir John Cope and his soldiers were prepared. The Highlanders gave them no time to prepare, but charged so fiercely and quickly that in about five minutes the battle was over. The soldiers of King George ran away and Charles won a complete victory. Sir John ran away too, and was the first to bring the news of his own defeat to Berwick.

'Cope sent a challenge frae Dunbar,

"Charlie, meet me an ye daur,

And I'll learn ye the art of war,

If ye'll meet me in the morning.'"


'Hey! Johnnie Cope, are ye waking yet?

And are your drums a-beating yet?

Oh, haste ye up, for the drums do beat,

Oh fye, Cope, rise up in the morning.


'When Charlie looked the letter upon,

He drew his sword the scabbard from,

"Come , follow me, my merry merry men,

And we'll meet Johnnie Cope in the morning.'"


'When Johnnie Cope to Berwick came

They speired at him, "Where's a' your men?"

"In faith,' say he, "I dinna ken,

I left them a' this morning."


'Now Johnnie, troth ye were na blate,

To come wi' the news o' your ain defeat,

And leave your men in sic a strait

So early in the morning.'

A few hours after the battle the Highlanders were back in Edinburgh marching up and down the streets playing, 'The King shall enjoy his own again,' on the bagpipes. All the Jacobites rejoiced and thought that they had really triumphed at last.