Crieff figures in the Uprising of 1745 .On the 18th August that year, Prince Charlie raised the Jacobite standard at Glenfinnan. That very day, Sir John Cope, Commander – in – Chief of the Hanoverian army in Scotland, left Edinburgh to attack the so called rebels in the Highlands, and to dispatch Charlie back to France from whence he came. Cope’s army consisted of about fourteen hundred men, with two Regiments of Dragoons.. The latter, however, he left behind as unserviceable in the mountainous regions in what we Scots call the Highlands. He carried with him a large quantity of baggage , a drove of black cattle for food , and about a thousand stands of arms for the “ volunteers “ whom he expected to join him on the way . He marched by Stirling and Dunblane to Crieff and in Crieff remained for several days .He pitched his camp to the east of the town on what is now Crieff Golf Course or the grounds of Ferntower. Here there was a very fine well which supplied his troops with water. That well still exists and is known to this day as” Cope’s well “. According to the “Statistical Report for the Parish of Crieff”, a sword relating to Cope’s period in Crieff was found in a bog close by the camp site.
Hey! Johnnie Cope are ye waukin' yet?
Or are your drums a-beating yet?
If ye were waukin' I wad wait,
Tae gang tae the coals in the morning.
When Charlie looked the letter upon,
He drew his sword its scabbard from,
'Come, follow me, my merry men,
And we'll meet Johnnie Cope in the morning.'
Cope had assumed incorrectly that he would collect recruits from the local populous on his march north but this he found not to be the case . Although the contretemps of the ‘45 was on the surface a clash between the Catholic Stewarts fronted by Charles Edward Stewart and the Protestant Hanoverians fronted by George ll , it was very much territorial .The Stewarts were supported not only by Scottish Catholics but also by the Episcopalians . Here in Perthshire and particularly Strathearn ,most of the landed gentry were of that latter faith and their tenants would follow their laird into battle if required . With this background it was inevitable that Cope would fail to recruit additional troops . Records tell us that from Crieff Cope ordered that 700 arms be sent back to Edinburgh and it was highly likely that Cope himself would have followed suit if it were not for a command from above to proceed to Fort Augustus near Inverness . By this time Prince Charlie had gathered together some 2 000 battle hardened clansmen and by using the claim that the French were awaiting to invade across the Channel , persuaded his men and in particular his Commander in Chief , Lord George Murray to sweep south to the Lowlands and the capital city of Edinburgh in particular .
Paradoxically the speed of their move from north to south was greatly attributable to the excellent road system put in by none other than General Wade in the aftermath of the 1715 Uprising . Cope had by this time moved north and had to back pedal at a rate of knots in pursuit of the Highland hoard. The clash took place at Prestonpans in East Lothian. The Hanoverian side was made up mainly of raw recruits and was emphatically defeated by the Jacobite forces. A feature of the Jacobite victory was the employment of the “ Highland charge “. The tactic was to approach the enemy lines and hover just out of range of the muskets . The Highlanders would adopt a taunting approach by jeering , shouting and making false charges . This usually caused the enemy to discharge their muskets too early . At this period of time muskets were somewhat un reliable and took some time to reload . This of course allowed the Highlanders to take the initiative . They would fire their muskets into the heart of the enemy ,promptly discard them and charge at full speed with their broad swords swinging about them . Such was the extent of the Jacobite victory that the road south into England was now clear . Lord George Murray advised caution . The French were supposedly about to attack the Channel Ports and panic ensued in and around London . Charles failed to listen to the advice of Murray in that they should ensure that things such as coal supplies to the embattled south should be stopped . He had assumed that Jacobite support from centres in the North would be forthcoming but this did not materialise . He pressed on towards Derby , having a clear run as the Hanoverian forces were being held back to deal with what was believed to be an imminent invasion from France and Louis XV . It rapidly transpired that this was not forthcoming . The French had already experienced a disastrous failure when in March 1744 they had set out to invade Southern England and a violent storm saw twelve vessels lost out of Dunkirk , seven of them with all hands .
Lord George Murray realised that without French support the mission was going to be an inevitable failure. The retreat back to Scotland was put under way and was carried out with careful planning and en route saw victory at Carlisle . Towards the end of December they entered back into Scotland aware that they were now being pursued by the Hanoverian cavalry under the Duke of Cumberland ( the third son of George ll ) and General Wade .They proceed from Dumfries to Glasgow and thence to Stirling . The town surrendered to them and they laid siege to the castle .General Hawley advanced from Edinburgh with some 8 000 men to attack them and raise the siege. The Jacobites turned to meet the threat and the two sides clashed on the moor of Falkirk and defeated him with little loss to themselves. Hawley himself fled leaving his baggage and artillery, with 20 officers and some 500 privates killed or wounded. It was at this stage the Government appointed Cumberland to take charge .
Lord George Murray
The Jacobite Sojourn at Crieff En Route to Culloden
It was at this stage in the campaign that the Jacobite forces decided to stopover in Crieff . Bonnie Prince Charlie stayed with Lord John Drummond at Ferntower House on February 2nd 1746 . Lord John Drummond an uncle of the last Duke of Perth had purchased it in 1743 (the ’45 proved disastrous to the Perth family and their lands were forfeited with the Duke dying on board ship attempting to escape to France after Culloden) . The bedroom he occupied in the older part of the house was very much as it was right up until the eventual demolition of the building in the 1960s. It was here in Crieff at a Council of War held in premises to the rear of what is now the empty and dilapidated Drummond Arms Hotel, that the decision was taken to head north to Inverness .
It was perhaps as a retribution for Crieff having played host to the Jacobite army that Cumberland’s men entered the town and burnt to the ground the linen factory owned by the Drummond family and employing numerous Crieff citizens . I am afraid the various pieces written during the 18th and 19th Centuries by an assortment of Presbyterian clerics regarding the attitude and antagonism of the town and district to the Highland host is in all probability way off beam . I append a listing of local people who joined the Jacobite army . It is a small selection from a lengthy list from an authenticated research published in 1998 and entitled “ Jacobites of Perthshire 1745 “ by Frances McDonnell of St Andrews.
As a historian , I strongly believe that the truth cannot be covered up and ignored . I would repeat that much of the information pertaining to the '45 and what it was like in Strathearn, has suffered from the somewhat biased reporting of the incumbents of the resident Presbyterian Kirk . As a body they regarded Jacobites as a somewhat alien body comprising Catholics ( or Papists as they were referred to ) and Piscies or Episcopalians .That is blatant mistruth !
Culloden and the Aftermath
What followed was a shocking indictment of not only the King’s son but of the British Government and the London establishment. It was the Syria of yesteryear .The following is a synopsis of the savage events of the aftermath.
· The first lasting through the summer until the departure of Cumberland involved the hot pursuit of Jacobites
· “Rebels “were sought out and given no quarter as they were subjected to “arbitrary “justice.
· Known Jacobite districts were treated to longer and sustained repression.
· Coastal villages were bombarded from the sea.
· Cattle and crops were wilfully destroyed to impoverish the people.
· Soldiers roamed in search of Jacobites
· Women who helped starving or wounded prisoners were likely to be stripped searched and raped.
· Houses were searched and if arms were found, the occupier was put to death.
· Many Highlanders , Jacobites or not , fled the advancing troops fearing draconian measures .Their abandoned houses were torched or, if left intact , were used for the “ quartering “ of troops who were encouraged to live off the local inhabitants , like locusts !
Strathearn Men Recorded As Fighting For The Jacobite Cause
James Campbell ( or McGregor ) from Crieff – piper in Glengyle’s regiment , imprisoned in Carlisle , pleaded guilty at his trial on 9th September 1746 and sentenced to death He was reprieved and tried to escape the night before he was transported on Elizabeth, Master Daniel Cole from Liverpool to Jamaica but landed in Antigua .
Robert Bresdie resident of Muthill pressed out by lord Drummond but returned , now at home .
James Balnevis aged 58 imprisoned in Inverness shipped on James & Mary to the Medway , servant to Drummond of Broich ,” only on suspicion “ – may have died .
David Baxter , weaver in Murray of Niviland’s factory , Crieff . Duke of Perth’s Regiment , imprisoned , transported 20 March 1747 from Tilbury .
John Buchanan , Auchterarder , aged 22 , Duke of Perth’s Regiment , Buchanan’s Company , carried arms as a volunteer in the rebel army , imprisoned at Auchterarder 7.5.1746 , Stirling Castle and Carlisle prisons , servant to Capt Alexander Buchanan , transported 24 February 1747 from Liverpool to Virginia on the Gildart arrived at Port North Potomac , Maryland 5 August 1747 .
Barbra Campbell aged 19 spinner Perthshire , red hair, clever , imprisoned in Carlisle and Chester Castle ; transported 5 May 1747 from Liverpool to the Leeward Islands on the Veteran liberated by a French Privateer and landed Martinique June 1747
Ludovic Caw , surgeon , Crieff acted as surgeon to the Duke of Perth’s Regiment and went with the rebels , whereabouts unknown.
Duncan Comrie resident of Woodend of Mevie , Parish of Comrie carried arms but pressed thereto , whereabouts not known .
Gavin Drummond , brewer , Auchterarder was active forcing people into rebellion by the Duke of Perth’s order , whereabouts not known .
Lt William Dow , Duke of Perth’s Regiment Auchinshelloch Comrie ; imprisoned on 3.1.1747 in Perth , discharged 13.7.1747,” acted as an overseer under the French engineer; said to be pressed “ .
James Drummond ,Comrie , carried arms , said to be pressed , now at home.
James Drummond, Cochquhilie Muthill , volunteer , whereabouts not known .
James Drummond Lieutenant Colonel Master of Strathallan , escaped.
John Drummond Captain, Duke of Perth’s Regiment, Millinow Comrie , now lurking .
William Ferguson from Moevie Comrie Duke of Perth’s Regiment , imprisoned near Nairn House 11.2.146, Perth 30.3.1746, Edinburgh 8.8.1746, Carlisle . Tenant of Duke of Perth in Moevie. Does not appear in transportation lists may have died in prison .
James Lockhart wright , Crieff , volunteer in some superior station, now lurking .
Allan MacDonald, brewer, Crieff, volunteer, whereabouts not known.
Ewan McLean weaver of Tullohghallan Strathearn, Glenbucket Regiment , imprisoned 30.12 .1745 Carlisle ,Chester Castle. Taken at capture of Carlisle , transported 1747 .
Alexander McQueen from Comrie , 3rd Battalion Duke of Atholl’s Regiment , imprisoned 10.6. 1746 Perth, discharged on bail 31.7.1746. “ On suspicion “.
John McRobbie, younger of Drummond, went as a volunteer, taken prisoner at Culloden. d Muthill , Duke of Perth’s Regiment on the occasion
Lewis McRobbie, Drummond Muthill
Murray, --- younger of Dollairie Crieff volunteer, whereabouts not known. Mr Murray of Dollary, Sheriff - Depute of Perthshire is mentioned on the occasion of the arrival of the Chevalier at Perth, as having left the town along with the officers of the revenue. It is doubtless his son who is named on the list.
William Murray, Postmaster, Crieff, carried arms in some superior station, whereabouts not known.
Duncan Roy, Drummond Muthill volunteer, now at home.
Aeneas Sinclair, Comrie pressed by the rebels into their service, now at home.
James Stewart Drummond Parish of Muthill, volunteer, whereabouts not known
James Stewart of Cannband Comrie carried arms but forced out, now at home
George Taylor, Muthill. Duke of Perth’s Regiment imprisoned Muthill 23.3.1746 Stirling, Edinburgh, discharged 17.7.1747. Hireman to Duke of Perth. “On suspicion. “ “Witnesses declared he was seen driving the rebel’s cannon wearing the white cockade. After the Battle of Falkirk was seen riding a dragoon horse armed with pistols with a dragoon cloak about him.
The Duke of Cumberland : Better known in Scotland as
" Butcher " Cumberland
He was the third son of George ll ( born in Hanover ) and Caroline of Ansbach. He trained as a soldier gaining experience serving in the Low Countries in the War of The Austrian Succession .
He never commanded any forces after Culloden . After the Jacobite invasion into England and practically reaching London . The metropolitan hackles were raised against “ those barbarians from the North “.The fact that they got so far south was a humiliation in itself . Cumberland and the old hand Marshal Wade were given carte blanche to “sort them out “. A verse was added to the “ National Anthem “ :
Lord, grant that Marshal Wade,
May by thy mighty aid
May he sedition hush,
and like a torrent rush
Rebellious Scots to crush!
God save the King!
Propaganda flowed forth from London blackening the name of Highland Society . They were portrayed as bandits , thieves and a “ a savage limb of the anti Christ in Rome “ It was claimed that Highlanders were superstitious , uneducated and under the control of their chiefs and priests .
Cumberland victory at Culloden was brought about by Jacobite tactical deficiency and the inability of Charles to listen to his commanders opinions and the fact that many of his troops had deserted . It was the savage aftermath instructed by Cumberland that caused a deep hatred of the man and his attitudes . Given the soubriquet “ Butcher “ – it was something that would not be forgotten . The plant “ Sweet William “ was named after him . In Scotland it was known as “ Stinking Willie “ . The ferocity of the Butcher’s reprisals against his so called fellow country man has led to one modern historian , Allan McInnes, describing his policies as a form of ethnic cleansing .
The London Government granted him a salary in recognition of some£ 20 000 per annum ( see below ) . Cumberland’s attitude towards the so called
rebels is well documented .
He ordered his troops to show no quarter against any remaining Jacobite rebels (French Army personnel, including those who were British- or Irish-born, were treated as legitimate combatants). His troops traversed the battlefield and stabbed any of the rebel soldiers who were still alive. When Cumberland learned that a wounded soldier lying at his feet belonged to the opposing cause he instructed a major to shoot him; when the major (James Wolfe) refused to do so, Cumberland commanded a private soldier to complete the required duty.
The British Army then embarked upon the so-called 'pacification' of Jacobite areas of the highlands. All those the troops believed to be 'rebels' were killed, as were non-combatants; 'rebellious' settlements were burned and livestock was confiscated on a large scale.Over a hundred Jacobites were hanged. Women were imprisoned and droves of people were sent by ship to London for trial and as the journey took up to 8 months many of them died on the way.
Cumberland's own brother, the Prince of Wales (who had been refused permission to take a military role on his father's behalf), seems to have encouraged the virulent attacks upon the Duke. Cumberland preserved the strictest discipline in his camp. He was inflexible in the execution of what he deemed to be his duty, without favour to any man. In only a few cases he exercised his influence in favour of clemency. The Duke's victorious efforts were acknowledged by his being voted an income of £25,000 per annum over and above his money from the civil list. A thanksgiving service was held at St Paul's Cathedral, that included the first performance of Handel's oratorio Judas Maccabaeus, composed especially for Cumberland, which contains the anthem "See the Conquering Hero Comes".
There is a memorial Obelisk to the Duke's military services in Windsor Great Park. It is inscribed :
"THIS OBELISK RAISED BY COMMAND OF KING GEORGE THE SECOND COMMEMORATES THE SERVICES OF HIS SON WILLIAM DUKE OF CUMBERLAND THE SUCCESS OF HIS ARMS AND THE GRATITUDE OF HIS FATHER THIS TABLET WAS INSCRIBED BY HIS MAJESTY KING WILLIAM THE FOURTH".
According to a local park guide, the Obelisk was originally inscribed "Culloden" but Queen Victoria had "Culloden" removed.
An equestrian statue of the Duke was erected in London's Cavendish Square in 1770, but was removed in 1868 since by that time the 'Butcher of Culloden' was generally reviled. The original plinth remained.
He died unmarried and without off spring which on reflection was no bad thing !