Search just our sites by using our customised search engine
Unique Cottages | Electric Scotland's Classified Directory

Click here to get a Printer Friendly PageSmiley

The Life and Diary of Lieut. Col. J. Blackader
Chapter XIX


REBELLION IN SCOTLAND, 1715—1716.

Preliminary Remarks—Extracts—General Assembly—Rumour of Invasion—Death of Louis XIV.—Preparations to repel the Invasion —Colonel Blackader commands the Glasgow Regiment—Rebels seize Leith-Fort—Battle of Sheriffmuir— Flight of the Pretender, and suppression of the Rebellion.

This year has been rendered memorable in British history, by the unsuccessful attempt of the Jacobites to replace the young Pretender on the throne of his father. Negotiations for his restoration had heen secretly carried on between the Courts of England and St. Germains, for some time prior to the Rebellion. During the Tory administration, in the last years of Queen Anne, his interest was warmly espoused by the ruling faction, and even the Queen herself privately declared her inclination to take measures in his favour, on condition of his abjuring the Catholic religion, which was now become an insuperable barrier to the British throne. Could he have been induced to make this sacrifice, which every maxim of policy and prudence urged him to make, his friends professed their readiness to attempt the repeal of the Act of. Settlement, and to recover by law, those rights which they subsequently attempted in vain by arms. But such was his infatuated bigotry, or weakness, that he was willing to renounce the hopes of an empire for a speculative point of faith.

Notwithstanding these, and other discouragements, his adherents prosecuted their schemes and intrigues with ardour; entertaining the most sanguine expectations of seeing the Hanoverian succession subverted, and the crown transferred to the hereditary line. The sudden death of the Queen, as was noticed, rather disconcerted their plans which were then not ripe for execution; and the peaceable accession of the new King, tended for a while to increase their-confusion and dismay. Their enmity against the existing government was doubly exasperated, when they saw themselves, immediately cast out of favour and trust, and their political adversaries again become the ascendant faction. This exaltation of their opponents to power and place, contributed to swell the number of the disaffected. The usual artifices of disappointed ambition were resorted to, for exciting clamour and discontent in the country. They seized every incident that could inflame the. populiace, or flatter their prejudices. To the malecontents in Scotland they held out the hope of procuring a dissolution of the Union, which had been always regarded as . a national' grievance. In England, disaffection was fomented by various machinations. Riot and tumult, always favourable to revolutions, were encouraged with the design of making these unhappy divisions subservient to their main purpose.

But all these arts and intrigues were baffled by the vigilance and activity of the government. Measures were adopted for the public safety, and the nation put in a posture of defence. New regiments were levied; and several disaffected officers were dismissed from the army. The Dukes of Marlborough and Argyle, the Earl of Stair, and others who had heen disbanded under the late administration, were restored. Of the chief abettors of those intrigues, some were committed to custody, and others retired into banishment to escape the penalties of the law. The death of Louis, the great supporter of the Stuart dynasty, was a final blow to the interests of the Pretender in France, and should have taught his friends to moderate that enthusiasm which was ultimately to bring ruin on their cause. But they had gone too far to recede; and with a fatal temerity, they resolved to erect the standard of rebellion, and try the fortune of war. The unsuccessful result of this experiment is well known, and cannot here be enlarged upon; we shall, however, advert again to the subject, when we have brought up our extracts from the Diary, to the date when the Highlanders took arms under their Commander-in-chief at the Castleton of Braemar.

In quelling this rebellion, Colonel Blackader, though not called to action, rendered his country some service ; and his exertions were not overlooked by the government. He was still residing as a private gentleman in Stirling, but ready to obey the call of honour, when the religion and liberties of the kingdom were threatened with extinction. He volunteered to take the command, and submitted to the drudgery of training a regiment that was raised in the west, and posted at Stirling to guard the bridge of that town, one of the most important passes of the Forth. Of this, however, more hereafter.

March 9. Came to Edinburgh. Sat with the Assembly’s Commission. Lord direct and guide men of all spirits. Warm the cold, and make men of hot and zealous tempers as much concerned and zealous for the peace of the church, for unity and charity, as they are for redressing grievances and reforming abuses.

March 14. In the morning I was with our Society, and afterwards about business, recommending a young friend to one of the Boards. When I see people hanging on and depending, I cannot be thankful enough, and admire the goodness of God who has provided for me without a life of dependence upon any but himself. I see plainly that bread is not to the wise, nor favour to men of skill. Others may fawn upon the great; I have nothing to ask of them but civility.

March 26. Returned home to Stirling; all going well.

April 7. Dined at home with much young company, and very merry. In the evening went to a concert, and was innocently diverted for two or three hours; but when they were going to turn it into a frolic by dancing, I shewed my dislike, and stopped it. I think music, right timed, an innocent amusement. It lays our humours and turbulent passions; makes the mind serene, and the temper sweet; at least I find these effects. But I prescribe not to others.

May 3. Went to Edinburgh, the Assembly being to sit this day. Was pleased, and I hope edified by the Moderator’s (Mr. Carstairs) speech to the Commissioner, Earl of Rothes.

May 6. The Assembly taken up in answering the King’s letter. I see two parties, the hot and the moderate, and these side themselves according to their light and temper. Lord, guide both to the same end, thy glory and the church’s good. I hope it is the end of both, though they take different means. Let there be a right temperament made out of both; the zeal and heat of the one, to spur and stir up the cold and backward; and the prudence and moderation of the other, to check the rash and forward.

May 9. The Assembly deposed two ministers for not praying for the King. They gave great reason to suspect their disaffection to the government. Dined with the Commissioner.

May 11. This day they transported a minister, Mr. Black from Lesmahego, to go for Rotterdam. There was much heat and debate, and the evil of division and unwarrantable separation much exposed. I did all I was able in this affair.

May 12. An act was voted recommending unity, love, and charity, and against separation. I was sorry, and told publicly that I thought it a shame that in this venerable house there should be so much spoken against an act for unity, &c. I see too much of party-spirit and humour on all sides. There are some hot people that, in my opinion, would put us all in confusion. I bless God there‘are also wise and sober men who, I hope, have the wisdom that cometh from above.

May 20. This day I came home to Stirling, and dined with the Lords of the Circuit.

July 24. Alarmed with accounts of an intended invasion. Surprised and damped with it at first. But the name of the Lord is a strong tower. I desire to flee to it in an evil day. What time I am afraid I’ll trust in thee. O that my heart were fixed, and then I shall not be afraid of evil tidings. Lord, turn the counsels of our enemies to foolishness. Give a spirit of judgment to them that sit in judgment, and strength to those who turn the battle from our gates. Our sins indeed make us obnoxious to thy wrath, but, Lord, pardon, and pour out a spirit of repentance and humiliation upon all ranks. I went out to see a rendezvous of some honest countymen who are hearty for the cause; but our help must come from thee,, for vain is the help of man. Some trust in horses, and some in chariots, but our surety aud sufficiency is in Jehovah. In him will we boast all the day.

August 8. Fast-day before the sacrament, and hearing very suitable sermons to the occasion. We get fair warning of our danger. O that we might take it. I desire, for my part, to take it, to flee from the wrath to come, to flee to the covert of blood, into the chambers of his attributes provided for his own to hide them in till these calamities pass over. This is a time I should be searching and trying my ways; and I find many things wrong. A falling from my first love, and first works: a decay of grace; indolence, and security; unprofitable mispending of time; vain lightness of heart, &c. I desire to have a humble frame, confessing my sins, and resolving through grace to be more watchful, and improve time better, to have more zeal for the glory of God and the interest of his gospel. Lord, give me strength to perform, else my resolutions signify nothing.

August 7. Sabbath. A sweet communion. Earnest in prayer in behalf of myself and the public. I wish a company of the righteous were raised up to wrestle against the designs of an Antichristian party, to stand in the gap and turn away thy wrath, which is the thing we have most to fear. They are busy raising troops for our defence; but a troop of wrestlers with God would do us more service than ten thousand armed men. And I trust, on this occasion there have been strong batteries of prayer raised against the Pretender and his Antichristian host, by which heaven may be prevailed with to defeat their projects. I bless God that we can still go about this work in peace. We were kept very late, till my spirits were fatigued. I cannot approve of this way of managing the affair, and lengthening out the public exercises, till we are made unfit for private duty. It is too like the opus operatum. But custom bears down all.

August 24. The alarms are renewed again of the invasion. I cannot say but it casts a damp upon my spirits always when I hear of it; though it need be no surprise, considering the mad schemes of confusion, blood, and all the calamities of a barbarous intestine war. God can in mercy disappoint our fears, as he has many times done; but we are a sinful people, and have reason to think God is angry with us. The staff in their hand is the rod of God’s indignation; but do thou say to us, Yet a very little while and mine indignation shall cease. We have got account of the death of the King of France. We have been long looking for it, but God’s time is the best time; and it has happened favourable at this crisis, when he had been laying designs, and was upon the point of sending a Pretender to invade us. Perhaps this intervention of Providence may defeat their designs ; it certainly casts a great damp upon the spirits of the Jacobites, whose plight-anchor he was. And we bless God for it, follow what will; he was the main pillar and support of Antichrist’s kingdom. We hope it is a good omen. Antichrist will get a blow, and is near his end. But this should learn us to he humble and modest in judging. We make too homely in applying God’s providences and judgments according to our own humours and passions. People thought, and I thought myself, ..that he would not go off the world without some remarkable judgment; and yet he died in peace, and without any horror, as we hear, but with composure and great presence of mind. God’s ways are not as ours. We measure infinite wisdom by our own foolish and limited understanding.

September 3. Hearing good news from France. We hope the Pretender’s measures will be broken, and that he will not get assistance there, now that the old oppressor hath ceased to deal treacherously. He is now no more a terror to the land of the living, but gone down to the sides of the pit; lying among the uncircumcised, his sword under his head. Where is now the fury of the oppressor, and who art thou that shouldest be afraid of man that shall die, and the son of man that shall be made as grass? I bless God that I have lived to see this great event which I wished so much, and was afraid never to see. There is also some glimpse of a reformation in France by the encouragement of Jansenism. Thou canst carry on these weak beginnings to a perfect reformation, and- make a conquest of Antichrist within his own kingdoms.

September IT. There is now a great deal of company and military in this town, which obliges me to live more publicly than I incline. I visit the camp in the park here almost every day, and dine with the General (Wightman.) In the afternoon went out to meet the. Duke of Argyle. I was with him next day at the review, and dined with him. Sensible of the too great freedom I took in conformity to the world, but I bless God I am now more seldom exposed to these temptations. When I see the army again, I am thankful that he has brought me out of that way of living, and given me a quiet habitation.

September 20. This day spent with the great folk; in the evening went out to see some honest people come from the west.

These honest people were a body of the citizens of Glasgow which was zealously attached to the Hanoverian succession. This city, as we noticed above, made an early stand for the preservation of their rights both sacred and civil: and on the present occasion they were equally ready to manifest a similar attachment to their King and country. They had watched narrowly the progress of the insurrection,— provided the town with guards and ammunition,— trained themselves regularly to the use of arms, and established a correspondence with various parts of the kingdom, by means of which they had timely advice of the Pretender’s motions and designed invasion. Upon the first news of the rising in the North on the 7th of September, they offered to raise a body of 600 men, and to maintain them for sixty days at their own expense ; and on the 17th, when the Duke of Argyle arrived in Edinburgh to take the command of his Majesty’s forces, which he found much inferior in number to the Rebels, he wrote instantly to the city of Glasgow to assemble and march the above corps of volunteers towards Stirling, for the defence of that place, as the Highlanders were on their way thither, having already seized and fortified the town of Perth. In compliance with this request, the Lord Provost put himself at the head of three battalions of well-armed citizens, making in all ten companies. is mentioned in their address that they prevailed with Mr. Bruce, younger of Kennet, to be their Major, and the Honourable Colonel Blackader to accept of the office of Colonel, for the better ordering their discipline; a task which, as we shall find, he cheerfully performed.

September 21. Providence has brought a business to my hand that I was not expecting. I was desired to take charge of these honest men come from the West. I did it cheerfully. Lord, I devote both' myself and them to thy care; let thy presence be with us. Next day I had another proposal of the same kind, but was already engaged.

September 23. Exercising my new battalions, and very well pleased with them. I hope God. will bless and reward their zeal and forwardness, who have so willingly offered themselves. Let it not be the worse for them that I am put at their head. Let God be our Captain, and through him we shall do valiantly. Without his commission, the best and strongest troops are but broken reeds. He can save by many or by few, and often works his purposes by feckless and unlikely instruments.

October 11. Exercising every day. The evening spent with my Glasgow friends; it was out of kindness to me. I bless God who gives me gifts and talents to make me any way useful and acceptable.

October 14. Rode out with the Duke the length of Doun; all things going well. I was afterwards with the Duke of Roxburgh. Many of them are now leaving this town. I have been much delighted with the fine qualities and charming sweet disposition of my guest the Duke, and the other gentlemen I have had the honour to have with me this month. It made me sad at parting with them; but this is a time to possess and enjoy as if we possessed not.

The occasion of the Duke’s departure was an express from Provost Campbell of Edinburgh, requesting his immediate assistance with a detachment of the regular troops; as a party of the Highlanders had made a descent on the coast of Lothian, and were marching towards Edinburgh, hoping to make themselves masters of the metropolis before the army at Stirling could prevent or be apprised of their design. This was a body of above 1600 men, under Brigadier Macintosh, detached by the Earl of Mar to join the Rebels in Northumberland who were in danger of being attacked by General Carpenter. They coasted along the south shore of Fife, and crossing the Frith under cover of night about Crail and Ely, they landed before daybreak at North Berwick, Gulan, and Aberlady.

Having stayed at Haddington next night, (14th) instead of directing their course to the Borders, they marched suddenly towards Edinburgh, and were advanced to Piershill, within a mile of the town, when the approach of the Duke compelled them to alter their rout. They turned. to Leith, and seized the citadel, an old dismantled fort without gates; but the ramparts were entire. In this post they fortified themselves with beams of wood, carts, and other materials; having plundered the ships in the harbour of their provisions, ammunition, and cannon. They kept possession of the fortress for one day; and while the Duke was in Edinburgh making the necessary preparations to dislodge them, they took the opportunity to decamp at night. Favoured by the ebb of the tide, they marched off in silence round the Pier-head, along the sands, and established their next quarters at Seaton Castle, belonging to the Earl of Wintoun. Thence they took their rout toward the Borders, by Dunse and Coldstream, and joined the English Rebels at Kelso. Meantime the Duke got notice, that the Earl of Mar, then at Perth, had given out that he intended to pass the Frith with his whole army, .either at the bridge of Stirling or Doun, and that the van-guard was already advanced to Dunblane. This intelligence occasioned his immediate return, and he found the report confirmed by several countrymen whom the approach of the enemy had frightened from their homes. The arrival of the Duke stopt the career of the Rebels, and obliged them to retreat hack to Perth.

October 18. Got accounts that the Rebels have quitted Leith. Hearing also that the enemy arc now coming nearer us : but the Duke is returned. I keep exercising my battalions. Help us, O Lord, to look to thee in troublous times, for vain is the help of man. We are. using the means, but safety and victory are from the Lord.

November 11. This day we got account that the enemy are advancing. I went out in the afternoon with the battalions, and was making ready for the battle; for I am willing to venture my life with them. But at night I was told we were to stay, and defend the town and the bridge. I was composed and submissive, though I would rather have gone ; but I do not wish to be positive against Providence, for he knows infinitely better what is good for me than I do myself.

November 12. This morning our army marched out. I got my orders from the Duke, and was much complimented; but if I know myself right I have no reason to be vain. I went out with the army a short way, and sent my best wishes and prayers along with them. O thou, Lord of Hosts, go forth with our armies; and thou great Judge of right, judge between them and us. Plead the cause that is thine own. I have more fatigue with business than if I had been out with.the army; but the post that Providence allots me is always the best. Alarmed at night by the enemy, and putting all the town in arms. I went down to the bridge with the Glasgow battalion, and continued there all night. It was a peaceable night, and I bless God for it.

This was the day before the battle of Dunblane or Sheriffmuir took place, which, although a victory, did not prove decisive, part of the King’s troops being put to flight. Matters had been for some time ripening for action. The Earl of Mar being joined by most of the Chiefs of the Northern Clans, had seen his army augmented to above 10,000 effective men. Leaving a garrison in Perth, he set out on the 10 th, in order to give battle. The two armies drew out upon an irregular piece of ground near Dunblane, and had scarcely time to form, when the action commenced. On the right wing, where the Duke was in person, the King’s troops completely defeated the Rebels. But the left, commanded by General Whetham, was thrown into confusion; many of them were cut to pieces, and the rest with their General, ignorant of their success on the right, and apprehensive of being surrounded, fled towards Stirling, where they arrived about three in the afternoon, to the great dismay of the inhabittants. The Duke and General Wightman having put the left wing of the enemy to flight, and pursued them to the river Allan, more than two miles distant, returned to the field, and learning the fate of Whetham’s division, prepared to attack the other wing which had formed on the top of a hill, to the number of 4000 men. But on his approach, the Rebels began to disperse ; upon which the Duke retired to Dunblane, where the soldiers lay on their arms all night, expecting next day to renew the battle. The enemy, however, having preferred retreating to fighting, he marched for Stirling, carrying with him the standards, colours, and prisoners he had taken. The killed and wounded were nearly equal on both sides, being reckoned between six and seven hundred each. We now return to notice how the Glasgow battalion acquitted themselves at their post.

November 13. Sabbath. Being under arms all night, I slept two hours this morning, and then went to church. At the dismission we were alarmed; and, upon going out, I saw one of the most melancholy sights ever I beheld in my life—our army flying before their enemies! O Lord, what shall we say when Israel turn their backs and fly before the enemy? But we have sinned. I went down to the bridge with a heavy heart, the runners away coming fast in, and every one giving a worse account than another, that all was lost and gone. Indeed seeing is believing; all the fields were covered with our flying troops, horse and foot, all had the appearance of a routed army. O what dismal views we had, expecting to see the rebel Highland army at their heels. These and such thoughts filled my mind. Lord, thou hast turned our swords’ edge, and hast not made us to stand in battle; thou hast poured shame and contempt upon us; thou goest not forth with our armies. Give us help from trouble, for vain is the help of man.

I took down all the Glasgow battalion to the bridge* and posted them in some intrenchments there; but indeed I had no great hopes of keeping the Rebels out; for thinking our army was routed, I expected they would pass the Forth at some ford, and soon become masters of Stirling. Thus we spent all the afternoon Very melancholy, till the evening when a better scene began to open. We got intelligence that the Duke was still on the field of battle, after having been victorious, where he first was. O what a surprising turn ! We could not believe it; we were as men that dreamed; but it was soon confirmed to us by eye-witnesses. O how hast thou turned our fears and griefs into joy arid songs of praise ! Providence has managed it so, that no flesh shall boast. Our right wing did heat their left; but our left was attacked before the line of battle was formed; and so every regiment upon the long march, broke and drove back one upon another. We were too vain and conceited, and despised the enemy too much, and rested too much upon the arm of flesh. God humbles us, and lets us see all flesh is grass; yet he takes care of his own cause, and lets not our enemies triumph; at the same time he humbles our pride, and mortifies our vanity. I now see also that Providence was kind to me, and those Who remained here. We would have been posted on the left or centre, and so have heen surprised and broken as the rest were, and perhaps lost both life and honour. My prayer was, If thy presence go not with me> carry me not up hence. Thou hast heard me. Success was not to attend the left wing. I was not to be there. All is well Ordered; thou takest care both of my life and reputation.

November 14. This day it is expected there will be another engagement; that the Duke will attack them if they remain where they are.

November 15; We hear the rebels are retired. Lord be blest, who puts a bridle in their nose, and a hook in their jaws, and turns them back by the way they came. O what a merciful surprising turn of Providence ; yesterday we were expecting a barbarous and cruel enemy at our gates by this time, and to be flying before them. God is our defence, our shield and buckler. The army came back in the afternoon, in much better condition than we expected. Lord be blest for this respite, and sanctify this providence,— this check to make us humble,—to repent and turn to thee. The regiments are cantoned round about us, and consequently the company here is very bad. No wonder though our carcases be made to dung the face of the earth. God can be glorified upon us, and work his own work without such vile instruments.

November 17. Yesternight we escaped a great danger from fire, by those sad neighbours of ours. Lord, thou keepest us from terrors by night, as well as dangers by day; thou puttest a hedge about us, and allow-est no evil to befal us.

November 18. We got the news of the entire defeat of the rebels at Preston in England. Lord, thou rebukest them every where,—breakest their power, and crushest their designs.

November 19. In the morning I saw the Duke review the regiments of foot. Some of them are sore shattered. They who stood and did their duty best, have suffered least. It generally happens so. But it was less the fault than the misfortune of the regiments on the left; they were attacked by surprise before they had formed.

November 22. The Glasgow regiment marched home. I convoyed them part of the way, and we parted with much affection on both sides. I bless the Lord who has. sent them home safe, and that they were not exposed, nor suffered as others. They were committed to my charge, I committed them to thine, and thou hast been their defence. Thou also takest care of all that concerns me; even my name and reputation has been increased by their coming here. Lord, to thee be the praisej I lay all down at thy feet.

This body of volunteers, on their leaving Stirling, were handsomely complimented by the Duke of Argyle, as well as in the following letter which Colonel Blackader addressed to the Provost and Magistrates of Glasgow.

Stirling, November 29, 1715.

My Lord, and Gentlemen,

I am honoured with yours by Captain Rodgers. I assure you it is a very sensible pleasure to me that I have had the opportunity put in mine hand I have long wished for, of doing any service to the good town of Glasgow. They have shewn so much zeal and forwardness for these valuable interests that ought to be dearest to us, that honest men should be ambitious to serve them: But, my Lord, with submission, you put the debt upon the wrong side: It is I that am laid under great obligations; it is I that owe my hearty thanks, which I do hereby with gratitude return to you, Gentlemen, to Provost Aird, and the other honest Gentlemen with him, who were pleased to choose me to be their Colonel. And indeed, if my capacity for that post had been equal to the pleasure and zeal I had to serve them, and the interest they appeared here for, their choice had not been bad. I took the charge of them the more cheerfully, that I knew they were men that came out in the integrity of their hearts to offer themselves willingly in this good cause; and being resolved to venture my own life, I thought I could not do it in better company, than with those I was assured would fight from principle, in the defence of our sacred and civil concerns. And I am very well satisfied I had made a good choice; and that, if they had been called out to action, which they seemed much to desire, I doubt not but they would have fully answered the expectation his Grace the Duke of Argyle, and every body else, had conceived of them.

Providence, that manages all well, did order it otherwise ; and, I doubt not, for the best. They did good service while here, both by their own good behaviour, and the good example they gave to others, of zeal for the service. For the pains I was at with them, it was so far from being a fatigue, that the tractable disposition, alacrity, and keenness they shewed to learn every thing of our military art, made it a very great pleasure and diversion to me: And what I taught them to do in jest, I doubt not but they would, if try’d, have practised to good purpose, in earnest. The officers that came here were generally such as might, with reputation, have carry’d the King’s Commission; And indeed, I do but justice to your whole body of volunteers to say, That, if I have any credit by taking the charge of them, it is owing to their good behaviour. I hope there shall be no further occasion for you to put yourselves to such expense and trouble, as you have been at, in shewing your great concern for the government; tho’ I doubt not but that, in case of necessity, the same zeal that put you on to make this handsome and seasonable appearance, would make you to do it again; which, if it should happen, I offer you, , my Lord and Gentlemen, my hearty service and assistance in whatever I am capable of. I shall add no more, but to wish all happiness and prosperity to you and your good town; and that, as I have the favour of your good-will and affection, I may have yet a further occasion to shew how much I desire to deserve it. I am, my Lord and Gentlemen,

Your much obliged,

Most obedient, and humble servant,

JO. BLACKADER.

November 24. Hearing that the old regiment I was in has suffered much, and that the officer who succeeded me is wounded.

This was at the battle of Preston in Lancashire, where the Cameronian Regiment, which had been recalled from Ireland, behaved with great gallantry. More than half of the killed and wounded was sustained by this regiment alone. Their Lieutenant-Colonel, Lord Forrester, Major Lawson, and several others were wounded.

November 28. Rode out this morning convoying the Duke of Roxburgh on his way. I was very sorry to part. I have hardly known any man with finer qualities, more sweetness of temper, meekness, probity, and integrity, which I most admire and am most charmed with. I am glad of this opportunity I have had of knowing him, and enjoying his friendship, which I do very much value. At night with honour-^ able company, and very diverting, perhaps too much mirth. There should always be a check, for the mind grows vain and light by too much jollity, and loses its sober, spiritual sett. .

November 30. This day riding out and convoying away the Earl of Haddington. The guests I have had here have much enlarged my heart, there has been so much good humour, easiness, and I hope innocence.

December 13. Went out in the morning with the Duke and the Generals to view the field of battle. It is folly to lay the blame upon each other, right wing or left wing. Time and chance happen to all. They who fled would likely on another occasion have behaved well and done their duty; and those who stood might, in the same circumstances, have fled as well as they did. The glory and praise of all belongs to God; and no cause of boasting to man. The General and great company were at our house in the evening.

The battle of Preston may be said to have quelled the rebellion in England and the south of Scotland; most of the disaffected noblemen and gentlemen there being either killed or taken prisoners : the Highlands only remained to be reduced, and this was accomplished early in the next year by General Cadogan, the British Plenipotentiary in the Netherlands, who arrived in the end of November with 6000 Dutch troops. Meantime the Pretender himself, upon the repeated solicitations of his friends, embarked for Scotland, and on the 22d of December landed at Peterhead. Soon after, he made his public entry into Perth, and solemnly took upon himself the functions of Majesty, by conferring titles and ecclesiastical dignities, appointing prayers and thanksgiving throughout the churches for his safe arrival, and issuing proclamations for all fencible men to repair forthwith to his royal standard. The deep snows and inclemency of the season prevented the King’s troops for a time from giving him any interruption in the exercise of these assumed prerogatives. But the scene speedily changed; for the Duke of Argyle, being joined by the Dutch troops, and a considerable train of artillery, set out (January 29.) for Perth to dislodge the Rebels^ The intelligence of his approach was very unwelcome and very unseasonable, as it prevented the ceremony of the Pretender’s coronation, and the meeting of his Parliament. Their greatest concern being now to secure a retreat, they deserted the place and retreated to Dundee, and thence to Montrose. The royal army went in pursuit; and on their rout to Perth, seized the garrisons of Braco, Tullibardine, and Auchterarder, which had been deserted. Perth, the metropolis of the Rebels, was taken possession of, as was Dundee also. But on reaching Montrose, they found the Pretender had made his escape, having slipped out privately on foot, accompanied only by one of his domestics ; and finding a fishing boat, which carried him and the Earl of Mar on board a French ship, they put to sea, and in a few days landed near Dunkirk. 3 His deluded followers were obliged to disperse and fly to their hills. Some of them escaped to France, and others were taken in their wild concealments among the mountains. General Cadogan soon after reduced Inverness and the rest of the Highlands, and thus extinguished the last sparks of the rebellion.

When the Glasgow regiment were dismissed, Colonel Blackader joined the royal army under the Duke, and marched to Perth, which the Rebels had fortified, and were expected to offer battle in defence of their King and capital. He was very willing to have drawn his sword once more in the service of his country; but on this occasion he was disappointed by the sudden flight of the Pretender and his followers.

(1716,) January 3. Visiting a person dying of his wounds. I had a conviction, that I should have taken more pains with him. I spoke seriously to him; Lord, bless it, and give me such a sight of Christ myself, such desires after him, such delight in him, that I may with warm and fervent affections hold out his usefulness and loveliness to others, to make them fall in love with him. Lord, pluck him as a brand from the burning; let free grace triumph and be magnified in redeeming and saving him.

January 6. Went to Glasgow with the Duke, and was very kindly treated there, all the people in the town shewing a great affection for me. In the evening I was with my friends at a ceremonial entertainment. # It is thou, O Lord, who givest me honour and riches in abundance. Providence brought the occasion of my obliging this good town, just to my door without my asking for it. I am desired to come and live here among them; their kindness invites me, but I do not yet determine.

January 9. Came back to Stirling. We got there the certain account of the Pretender’s being come over. This determined me to go with the Duke to Perth. Lord, let thy presence go with us. I put my, trust in thee, hide not thy face from me.

January 29. In hurry and confusion by the army’s marching away. We got an alarm at Ardoch, and heai’d some firing. I recommended myself to God, and was easy, being on my duty. When we came to Tullibardine the business was over, and the house had surrendered. I supped with the General, and lay all night at a country house.

January 31. Marching onward, we got the agreeable news that the Rebels had quitted Perth. About six in the evening we marched again, and came to Perth at three next morning. It was a cold, but pleasant moonshine night.

February 3. Finding the Rebels flying before us,

I took leave of the army and returned home. Getting great promises of friendship both from the Duke and the General.


Return to Book Index Page


 


This comment system requires you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator has approved your comment.

comments powered by Disqus

Quantcast