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 (???? - 1799 AD) Pre-19th Century Battles
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john hayward
Allenstown NH USA
Posts: 877
Joined: 2004
Bonnie Prince Charlie and the '45
3/4/2021 9:26:02 AM
I have always been fascinated by the Stuart Kings and Queens of Scotland/England. I confess I knew very little about them until I was a graduate student and spend a semester with a Dr. Stewart studying them. At that time I also found out my wife's family was involved with the Stuarts. Her grandmother was a Blackadder. One of the family greeted Margaret Tudor when she arrived in 1503 to marry James IV, another died at James' side at Flodden in 1513, a third was the first Catholic bishop in Scotland and a 4th was involved in Lord Darnley's death.

In 1745 Boonie Prince Charlie landed in Scotland and raised the Stuart standard. He organized an Army and advanced as far as Derby only 120 miles from London. There his army halted and then retreated back to Scotland. We know of his defeat at Culloden 1746.

I have a few questions to ask. Did the Bonnie Prince have any chance at success? I have always felt the best and only chance the Stuarts had was in 1715 after Queen Anne's death and before the Hannover Kings could get settled?

Another one. Could the Stuarts' just land in Scotland, renounce the Union of 1603 and proclaim themselves the rightful kings of Scotland, not threatening England?



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"When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."
mikecmaps
CAMARILLO CA USA
Posts: 79
Joined: 2020
Bonnie Prince Charlie and the '45
3/4/2021 11:12:17 AM
Culloden
John & Group,
I think Prince out numbered by about 3-2 and more in cavalry & English armed mainly with muskets vs mostly edged weapons. & field enhanced greater English artillery. And scots on both sides. Small chance?
About two days before battle Cumberland’s army crossed the Spey River (whiskey country) not more than a mile from 6th Gr Grandpa William Collie’s (he was member) Speymouth Kirk. Not sure but possible 5th Gr Grandpa James may have been there?? But he was deported to Virginia soon after. William and church elders made resolution to support Cumberland as his army passed their farms and they had much to lose. They passed through Elgin an old Cathedral city where there is a “Collie” Street. (more like an alley) Area clans Fraser, Gordon, Innes, Grant sent men. Not sure if Collie directly linked to clans but Janet, William’s wife, was a Grant. I imagine the scene where William forbids James to go but being(?) a head-strong young man, about 26, we might guess how that turned out, but cant be sure. Today James has about 3000 descendants in US. Visited field in 2002 & Speymouth Kirk.
Mike_C
mikecmaps
Lightning
Glasgow  UK
Posts: 692
Joined: 2005
Bonnie Prince Charlie and the '45
3/8/2021 7:54:35 AM
Hi everyone,

I think it's important to not to frame the Jacobite risings as a Scotland v England affair, as it isn't how they were seen at the time. Charles Stuart came to Scotland in 1745 to supplant the Crown which rested on the head of George II; a division of Great Britain back to the situation prior to 1603 was at no point on the cards. It was a fight for control of the Union of the Crowns and also that of the Parliaments. The Stuarts wanted the whole shop, lock, stock and barrel. Whilst the Jacobites no doubt drew support from nationalist elements in Scotland, they did not share their ambition of separation.

The Stuarts struggled to gain support during their march through England (only 300 volunteers mustered at Manchester), but also in the Scottish lowlands. For example, they were only able to extract necessary supplies from Glasgow by threatening to sack the city if their demands were not met. Some notable Highland clans also refused to join the rebellion. A large part of the plan also depended upon French intervention and support, which aside from supplies of arms, never materialised.

In my opinion, Charles Stuart never had a realistic chance of any lasting success; early victories over Government forces were always going to be reversed as the Government mobilised more forces and the Jacobites failed to significantly increase their own resources. The armies that the Jacobites were British, not 'English', as they were fielding troops from across the British mainland.

The whole affair of the '45 rising was doomed to start; Charles Stuart insisted on fighting a conventional war, leaving behind meagre garrisons in towns they had 'captured' that were easily scooped up by the Government forces chasing down the main Jacobite force. A protracted guerilla campaign centred in the Highlands might have achieved two outcomes:

1) As the campaign dragged on and more British forces were drawn in, the French might have been more induced to thrown in their weight to tip the scales.
2) A negotiated settlement on future succession between the Houses of Stuart and Hanover (I concede this was unlikely).

1715 had better prospects; Stuart rule was still recent and the balance of forces was more even.

Cheers,

Colin

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"There is no course open to us but to fight it out. Every position must be held to the last man: there must be no retirement. With our backs to the wall and believing in the justice of our cause, each one of us must fight to the end."
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 4932
Joined: 2004
Bonnie Prince Charlie and the '45
3/8/2021 8:43:42 AM
Is it true that the defeat of the Jacobites at Culloden was partly attributable to a specially designed bayonet drill that Cumberland insisted his men use ?

The redcoats were taught to thrust their bayonets to the side, with the aim of penetrating the exposed area of torso of the clansman who had raised his right arm to strike ?

This entailed a high degree of discipline amongst the Government troops, who had to rely on the steadfastness of the men alongside them, and trust that they would follow the drill when their instincts might impel them to behave differently and thrust straight ahead.

This is significant, I think, because it indicates how far the use of cold steel could still be paramount even in the age of firepower.

Clearly Culloden was a very up close and personal affair.



Regards, Phil

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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
Lightning
Glasgow  UK
Posts: 692
Joined: 2005
Bonnie Prince Charlie and the '45
3/8/2021 8:57:44 AM
Hi Phil,

Indeed, Cumberland spent the winter of '45/'46 at Aberdeen training his troops in the new bayonet drill you describe. For all its effectiveness, the Jacobites were able to briefly penetrate the front line of the Government forces in the centre right, only to be pushed back by the second line troops hurried forward (shades of Pickett's Charge here, perhaps?) and flank fire.

On the left, the MacDonalds found the boggy terrain hard to get over and were met with murderous fire from the redcoats as they tried to advance. The Jacobite artillery also had little to no effect, leaving their forces woefully exposed in the futile initial artillery duel. The Jacobite forces had previously relied upon a close range shock musket volley followed by a furious charge, neither of which it really managed to do at Culloden. The Government forces were well fed, well rested and well trained, unlike their Jacobite opponents who had spent the night in a futile attempt at marching for a dawn assault which never took place.

Cheers,

Colin

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"There is no course open to us but to fight it out. Every position must be held to the last man: there must be no retirement. With our backs to the wall and believing in the justice of our cause, each one of us must fight to the end."
john hayward
Allenstown NH USA
Posts: 877
Joined: 2004
Bonnie Prince Charlie and the '45
3/8/2021 11:07:52 AM
Colin, Phil

It also seems that the Jacobite left had a longer distance to run and were subject to that murderous fire. The right had engaged before the left could make contact. There were other problems too. Lord George was placed on the right instead of the MacDonalds which led to some hard feelings. Lord George formed his men into columns to avoid some obstructions in front causing the Jacobite line to move to fill the gap and some reserves moved forward. The line formed that morning was not placed where it was planned a few days before leading to some confusion also.

Another question...If and its a big IF the night attack planned and a semi-excuted succeeded, would Bonnie Prince Charles been able to follow it up? Another question...would the French jump in with more support following a major victory?
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"When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."
Lightning
Glasgow  UK
Posts: 692
Joined: 2005
Bonnie Prince Charlie and the '45
3/8/2021 11:37:48 AM
Quote:
Another question...If and its a big IF the night attack planned and a semi-excuted succeeded, would Bonnie Prince Charles been able to follow it up? Another question...would the French jump in with more support following a major victory?


Hi John,

Good question and I agree it's a 'big' if. The Jacobites had no sources immediate replenishment, so their victory would have needed to be decisive in order to scatter the Government forces. I don't think the Jacobite commanders had a level of control over their men that would have allowed them to decisively beat Cumberland.

This may have bought time for a French intervention, but even then it relies heavily upon the French having forces immediately ready to spare, the ships to protect them and the resources to supply them.

All in all, I think the '45 rising is full of romance and whimsy, but its' chances of outright victory were remote.

Cheers,

Colin
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"There is no course open to us but to fight it out. Every position must be held to the last man: there must be no retirement. With our backs to the wall and believing in the justice of our cause, each one of us must fight to the end."
john hayward
Allenstown NH USA
Posts: 877
Joined: 2004
Bonnie Prince Charlie and the '45
3/8/2021 3:53:10 PM
Colin

The French invasion planned for 1743-44 failed mainly through an invention beyond anyone's control, the weather. Prince Charles was ready to go. There was talk of supporters within the City of London. British and Allied troops were still in Flanders. A brief but possible a window of opportunity.

The early successes of Prince Charles improvised campaign in 1745-46 caught everyone, including French King Louis XV by surprise. The French were unprepared to follow up.

The events of 1688-89 proved that a foreign invasion, supported by influential men in Britain, could topple a king.
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"When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."

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