On this day in 1745 the standard of Charles Edward Stuart, also known as Bonny Prince Charlie or the Young Pretender, was raised on a hill near Glenfinnan.
Sailing from France Charles had initially landed in Scotland on Eriskay in the Western Isles on the 23rd July and made his way to Glenfinnan by sea and on foot via Loch nan Uamh. Here he was met by a small number of MacDonalds and remained there for several days as more clansmen arrived. By the 19th August he felt that he had enough support and as the standard was raised he announced that he was there to claim the British throne in the name of his father James Stuart ('the Old Pretender').
The Glenfinnan Banner, as Charles' standard would be know, is depicted as being a white square on a dark red background and the raising of it marks its first recorded appearance. Interestingly, the banner's pattern is identical to the Royal Navy's signal flag for the number nine, which raises the distinct possibility that it was a hastily found makeshift option plundered from the Doutelle signal box.
Another interesting fact is that among those present at Glenfinnan were a handful of government troops who had been captured in an earlier skirmish with some MacDonalds'. One of these, Captain John Sweetman was released and was able to rendezvous with General Cope's force at Dalwhinnie and report on the arising threat.
The Jacobites would leave Glenfinnan and march south via Corrieyairack, made easily traversable by General Wade's new road. They would set a course that would see them reach as far south as Derby before returning north to face defeat on Culloden Moor in April 1746. Charles went into hiding and left Scotland's mainland via Loch nan Uamh not far from the place where just eight months before he had launched his rising.
Our model The Jacobite Risings: The Fight for Britain's Throne explores the history of the Risings and particularly that of the 'Forty-five'. It will be next on display at the Great Western Brick Show in October, why not come and see it there?
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