Our Island Story - H. E. Marshall




GEORGE II.—THE STORY OF FLORA MACDONALD

To your arms! to your arms! Charlie yet shall be your King.

To your arms! all ye lads that are loyal and true.

To your arms! to your arms! his valour nane can ding,

And he's on to the south wi' a jovial crew.


For master Johnnie Cope, being destitute of hope,

Took horse for his life and left his men;

In their arms he put no trust, for he knew it was just

That the King should enjoy his own again.


To your arms! to your arms! my bonny highland lads.

We winna brook the rule o' a German thing.

To your arms! to your arms! wi' your bonnets and your plaids,

And hey for Charlie and our ain true King.'

After the battle of Prestonpans, Charles returned to Edinburgh and remained there for some days gathering men and money. It was a gay time. There were constant balls and parties, and Bonnie Prince Charlie was loved more and more each day. The Bonnie Prince, who 'could eat a dry crust, sleep on peas-straw, take his dinner in four minutes, and win a battle in five,' was toasted everywhere.

At last Charles and his army were ready and marched into England. But although no one resisted him, although he took several towns without a blow being struck, hardly any of the English joined him. The Highlanders grew weary of marching through strange country, and home-sick for their mountains, and many of them deserted and went home. By the time Charles reached Derby, the leaders were so disheartened that they persuaded him to turn back to Scotland. Yet the people in London were awaiting his coming in terror, and King George was ready to run away.

It is difficult to guess what might have happened had the Prince gone on. But he did not. He turned again towards Scotland, and began the long, sad march homeward.

The wearied army reached Glasgow at last, having marched six hundred miles through snow and rain and wintry weather in less than two months.

Charles now decided to take Stirling Castle. He met the King's army at Falkirk and defeated them, but after that, instead of trying to take Stirling, as he had intended, he listened to the advice of some of the Highland chiefs and marched northward.

As Charles had defeated two generals, King George now sent his own son, the Duke of Cumberland to command his army. At Culloden, near Inverness, the last Jacobite battle was fought. The royal army was much larger than the Jacobite one, and although the Highlanders fought with all their usual fierce courage, they were utterly defeated. Charles would have been glad to die with his brave followers, but two of his officers seized the bridle of his horse and forced him against his will to leave the field. The battle was turned into a terrible slaughter, for the Duke of Cumberland behaved so cruelly to the beaten rebels that ever after he was called the Butcher.

The Stuart cause was lost, and Bonnie Prince Charlie was a hunted man. The King offered 30,000 to any one who would take him prisoner. But although the money would have made many a poor Highlander richer than he had ever imagined it possible for any one to be, not one of them tried to earn it. Instead, they hid their Prince, fed him, clothed him, and worked for him. At last, after months of hardships and adventures, he escaped to France.

Many people helped Prince Charles, but it was a beautiful lady, called Flora Macdonald, who perhaps helped him most. She served him when he was most miserable and in greatest danger. The whole country round was filled with soldiers searching for him. He scarcely dared to leave his hiding-place, and was almost dying of hunger. No house was safe for him, and he had to hide among the rocks of the seashore, shivering with cold and drenched with rain.

With great difficulty and danger to herself, Flora Macdonald reached the place where the Prince was hiding, bringing with her a dress for him to wear. The Prince put it on, and together they went to the house of a friend, where Flora asked if she and her maid 'Betty' might stay that night. This friend was very fond of Flora, and very glad to see her. She was a Jacobite, and when she was told who 'Betty' was she made ready her best room for the Prince. A little girl belonging to the house came into the hall while Betty was standing there, and ran away frightened at the great tall woman, but no one suspected who she was.

Disguised as Flora Macdonald's maid, Prince Charlie travelled for many days, escaping dangers in a wonderful way. For the Prince made a very funny-looking woman. He took great strides, and managed his skirts so badly that, in spite of the danger, his friends could not help laughing. 'They do call your Highness a Pretender,' said one. 'All I can say is that you are the worst of your trade the world has ever seen.'

Young Pretender and Flora Macdonald
They took a sad farewell of each other.


When there was no need for Flora to go further with the Prince, they took a sad farewell of each other. 'I hope, madam,' said he, bending over her hand and kissing it, 'we shall yet meet at St. James's.' By that he meant that he still hoped to be King some day, and welcome her in his palace of St. James's in London. Then he stepped into the boat which was waiting for him, and Flora sat sadly by the shore, watching it as it sailed farther and farther away.

'Far over yon hills of the heather so green,

And down by the corrie that sings to the sea,

The bonnie young Flora sat sighing her lane,

The dew on her plaid and the tear in her e'e.

She looked at a boat which the breezes had swung,

Away on the wave like a bird on the main;

And aye as it lessened, she sighed and she sang,

Farewell to the lad I shall ne'er see again;

Farewell to my hero, the gallant and young,

Farewell to the lad I shall ne'er see again.


'The target is torn from the arm of the just,

The helmet is cleft on the brow of the brave,

The claymore for ever in darkness must rust,

But red is the sword of the stranger and slave;

The hoof of the horse and the foot of the proud

Have trod o'er the plumes in the bonnet of blue.

Why slept the red bolt in the heart of the cloud

When tyranny revell'd in blood of the true?

Farewell, my young hero, the gallant and good!

The crown of thy fathers is torn from thy brow.'

This rebellion is called 'The Forty-five' because it took place in 1745 A.D.

Prince Charlie reached France safely, but the rest of his life was sad. He was a broken, ruined man, and he lived a wanderer in many lands. At last, he died in Rome, on 30th January 1788 A.D., the anniversary of the day on which Charles I. had been beheaded.

In St. Peter's at Rome there is a monument, placed there, it is said, by King George IV., upon which are the names, in Latin, of James III., Charles III., and Henry IX., kings of England. They were kings who never ruled, and are known in history as the Old Pretender, the Younger Pretender, and Henry, Cardinal of York, brother of the Young Pretender.



Contents

Front Matter
Review

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