The Newgate Calendar - THE ESCAPE OF THE PRETENDER</br>

THE ESCAPE OF THE PRETENDER
After the Battle of Culloden

   To enumerate the different trials of the rebels convicted and executed would nearly fill one of our volumes; and having given the outlines of the treason in which they were all implicated, a recapitulation of the evidence to the same tenor, is unnecessary. Let it therefore suffice to say, that numbers were executed in different parts of England, and many of their heads placed on public buildings, and others transported to America.

   Yet, we think our readers would be gratified, by a knowledge of the escape of the leading men of this French treachery and rebellion,-- the young Pretender; and to this end, we have selected the following interesting and genuine account:

   "That decisive engagement was fought on the 16th of April, 1746, in which the Pretender had his horse shot under him, by one of the troopers in the kings service, as he was endeavouring to rally his people. After his forces were entirely defeated, he retired to the house of a factor of Lord Lovat, about ten miles from Inverness, where meeting with that lord, he stayed supper. After supper was over he set out for Fort Augustus, and pursued his journey next day to Invergarry, where he proposed to have dined; but finding no victuals, he set a boy to fishing, who caught two salmon, on which he made a dinner, and continued waiting there for some of his troops, who had promised to rendezvous at that place; but being disappointed, he resolved to proceed to Lochharciage.

   "He arrived there on the 18th, at two in the morning, where he went to sleep, which he had not done for five days and nights. He remained there till five o' clock in the afternoon, in hopes of obtaining some intelligence; but gaining none, he set out from thence on foot, and travelled to the Glen of Morar, where he arrived the 19th at four in the morning. He set out about noon the same day for Arrashag, where he arrived about four in the afternoon. He remained there about seven days, waiting for Captain O'Neil, who joined him on the 27th, and informed him, that there was no hopes of drawing his troops together again in a body, upon which he resolved to go to Stornway, in order to hire a ship to go to France.

   "The person employed for this purpose was one Donald M‘Leod, who had an interest there. On the 28th he went on board an eight-oar'd boat, in company with Sullivan and O'Neil, ordering the people who belonged to the boat to make the best haste they could to Stornway. The night proving very tempestuous, they all begged of him to go back, which he would not do; but, to keep up the spirits of the people, he sang them a Highland song; but the weather growing worse and worse, on the 29th, about seven in the morning, they were driven on shore, on a point of land called Rushness, in the island of Benbicula, where, when they got on shore, the Pretender helped to make a fire to warm the crew, who were almost starved to death with cold. On the 30th, at six in the evening, they set sail again for Stornway, but meeting with another storm, were obliged to put into the island of Scalpa, in the Harris, where they all went on shore to a farmers house, passing for merchants that were shipwrecked in their voyage to the Orkneys: the Pretender and Sullivan going by the names of Sinclair, the latter passing for the father, and the former his son.

   "They thought proper to send from thence to Donald M‘Leod at Stornway, with instructions to freight a ship for the Orkneys: On the 3d of May, they received a message from him that a ship was ready. On the 4th they set out on foot for that place, where they arrived on the 5th about noon, and meeting with Donald M‘Leod, they found that he had got into company, where growing daring, he told a friend of his for whom he had hired the ship, upon which there were 200 people in arms at Stornway, upon a report that the Pretender was landed with 600 men, and was coming to burn the town; so that they were obliged to lie all night upon the moor, with no other refreshment than biscuit and brandy.

   "On the 6th they resolved to go in the eight-oar'd boat, to the Orkneys; but the crew refused to venture, so that they were obliged to steer south along the coast-side where they met with two English ships, and this compelled them to put into a desert island, where they remained till the 10th, without any provision but some salt fish they found upon the island. About ten in the morning of that day they embarked for the Harris, and at break of day on the 11th they were chased by an English ship, but made their escape among the rocks. About four in the afternoon they arrived on the island of Benbicula, where they staid till the 14th, and then set out for the mountain of Currada in South Uist, where they staid till the militia, of the isle of Sky came to the island of Irasky, and then sailed for the island of Uia, where they remained three nights, till having intelligence that the militia were coming towards Benbicula, they immediately got into their boat, and sailed for Lochbusdale; but being met by some ships of war, they were obliged to return to Lochaguart, where they remained all day, and at night sailed for Lochbusdale; where they arrived, and staid eight days on a rock, making a tent of the sail of the boat.

   They found themselves there in a most dreadful situation; for having intelligence that Captain Scott had landed at Kilbride, the company was obliged to separate, and the Pretender and O'Neil went to the mountains, where they remained all night, and soon after were informed that General Campbell was at Bernary; so that now they had forces very near, on both sides of them, and were absolutely at a loss which way to move. In their road they met with a young lady, one Miss M‘Donald, to whom Captain O'Neil proposed assisting the Pretender to make his escape, which at first she refused; but upon his offering to put on woman's clothes, she consented, and desired them to go to the mountain of Currada till she sent for them, where they accordingly staid two days; but hearing nothing from the young lady, the Pretender concluded she would not keep her word; and therefore resolved to send Captain O'Neil to General Campbell, to let him know he was willing to surrender to him; but about five in the evening a message came from the young lady, desiring them to meet her at Rushness. Being afraid to pass by the Ford, because of the militia, they luckily found a boat, which carried them to the other side of Uia, where they remained part of the day, afraid of being seen by the country people. In the evening they set out for Rushness, and arrived there at twelve at night; but not finding the young lady, and being alarmed by a boat full of militia, they were obliged to retire two miles back, where the Pretender remained on a moor till O'Neil went to the young lady, and prevailed upon her to come to the place appointed at night-fall of the next day. About an hour after they had an account of General Campbell's arrival at Benbicula, which obliged them to move to another part of the island, where, as the day broke, they discovered four sail close on the shore, making directly up to the place where they were; so that there was nothing left for them to do, but to throw themselves among the heath. When the wherries were gone, they resolved to go to Clanronald's house; but when they were within a mile of it, they heard General Campbell was there, which forced them to retreat again.

   The young Pretender having at length, with the assistance of Captain O'Neil, found Miss M‘Donald in a cottage near the place appointed, it was there determined that he should put on women's clothes, and pass for her waiting-maid. This being done, he took leave of Sullivan and O'Neil with great regret, who departed to shift for themselves, leaving him and his new mistress in the cottage, where they continued some days, during which she cured him of the itch. Upon intelligence that General Campbell was gone further into the country, they removed to her cousins, and spent the night in preparing for their departure to the Isle of Sky; accordingly they set out the next morning, with only one man-servant named M‘Lean and two rowers. During their voyage they were pursued by a small vessel; but a thick fog rising they arrived safe at midnight in that island, and landed at the foot of a rock, where the lady and her maid waited while her man M‘Lean went to see if Sir Alexander M‘Donald was at home; M‘Lean found his way thither, but lost it returning back; his mistress and her maid, after in vain expecting him the whole night, were obliged in the morning to leave the rock, and go in the boat up the creek to some distance, to avoid the militia which guarded the coast.

   They went on shore again about ten o' clock, and, attended by the rowers, enquired the way to SirAlexander's: when they had gone about two miles, they met M‘Lean; he told his lady that Sir Alexander was with the Duke of Cumberland, but his lady was at home, and would do them all the service she could; whereupon they discharged their boat, and went directly to the house, where they remained two days, they being always in her lady's chamber, except at nights, to prevent a discovery. But a party of the M‘Leods having intelligence that some strangers were arrived at Sir Alexander's, and knowing his lady was well-affected to the Pretender, came thither; and demanding to see the new comers, were introduced to Miss's chamber, where she sat with her new maid. The latter hearing the militia was at the door had the presence of mind to get up and open it, which occasioned his being the less taken notice of; and after they had narrowly searched the closets, they withdrew.

   The enquiry, however, alarmed the lady, and the next day she sent her maid to a steward of Sir Alexander's, but hearing that his being in the island was known, he removed to Macdonald's at Kingsborough, ten miles distant, where he remained but one day; for on receiving intelligence that it was rumoured he was disguised in a woman's habit, M‘Donald furnished him with a suit of his own clothes, and he went in a boat to Macleod's, at Raza; but having no prospect, of escaping thence to France, he returned back on foot to the Isle of Sky, being thirty miles, with no attendant but a ferryman, whom he would not suffer to carry his wallet, M‘Leod assuring him that the elder Laird of M‘Innon would there render him all the service in his power.

   When he arrived, not knowing the way to M‘Innon's house, he chanced to enquire of a gentleman, whom he met on the top of a mountain; this gentleman having seen him before, thought he recollected his face, and asked him if he was not the Prince. This greatly surprised him; but seeing the gentleman had only one person, a servant, with him, be answered, I am, at the same time putting himself in a posture of defence: but this person immediately discovered himself to be his good friend, Captain Macleod, and conducted him to M‘Innon's. The old man instantly knew him; but advised him immediately to go to Lochabar, and he accordingly set sail in a vessel which M‘Innon procured for that purpose.

   After remaining seven days in the glens of Morar, he received advice that M‘Donald of Lochgarrie expected him in Lochabar, where he had one hundred resolute Highlanders in arms; upon this he went over the great hill of Morar, in a tattered Highland habit, and was joyfully received by M‘Donald at the head of his men.

   With this party he roved from place to, place, till finding he could no longer remain in Lochabar, he removed to Badenoch; but being harassed by the king's troops, and losing daily some of his men in skirmishing, they dispersed; and the Pretender, with Lochiel of Barrisdale, and some others, skulked about in Moidart. Here they received advice that two French privateers were at anchor in Lochnanaugh in Moidart, in one of which, called the Happy, he embarked with 23 gentlemen, and one hundred and seven common men, and soon after arrived safe in France.

 

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