Tales of a Grandfather, by Walter Scott

Chapter 82

THE insurgents did not reap such advantages from the battle of Falkirk as might have been expected. The extreme confusion of their own forces, and their consequent ignorance respecting the condition of the enemy, prevented their pursuing Hawley’s army, which might, in all probability, have been an easy prey. Had they done so, they might, on the spur of the moment, have again obtained possession of the capital, with all the eclat attendant on such success.

But the Chevalier, who had kept his word in convoking no councils since the retreat from Derby, saving that held on the field of battle, acted only by the advice of his secretary Mr Murray, his quartermaster John Hay, Sir Thomas Sheridan, and the Irish officers, who were suspected of being less ready to give unbiassed advice to the young Prince, than willing to echo back his own opinions. On this occasion he conceived, that raising the siege of Stirling would be a disgrace to his arms, and resolved, therefore, to proceed with it at all events. This proved an unlucky determination.

M. Mirabelle de Gordon, the French engineer who conducted the siege, was imperfectly acquainted with his profession. He constructed a battery upon the Gowan Hill; but opening it when only three guns were mounted, they were speedily silenced by the superior fire of the castle. Some skirmishing took place at the same time between the English armed vessels, which endeavoured to force their way up the Forth, and the batteries which were established on the sides of the river; but these events were of little consequence. The progress of the siege seemed protracted, and was liable to interruption by the advance of the Duke of Cumberland and his army.

On the other hand, the Highland army had suffered great diminution since the battle of Falkirk, less from loss in the action, than from the effects of the victory, which, as usual, occasioned a great desertion among the privates of the clans, who, according to their invariable practice, went home to store up their plunder.1 An accident also, which happened the day after the battle of Falkirk, cost the Chevalier the loss of a clan regiment of no small distinction. A private soldier, one of Clanranald’s followers, was tampering with a loaded musket, when the piece went off, and by mishap killed a younger son of Glengarry, major of that chiefs regiment. To prevent a quarrel between two powerful tribes, the unlucky fellow who had caused the mischief was condemned to death, though innocent of all intentional guilt, and was shot accordingly.2 This sacrifice did not, however, propitiate the tribe of Glengarry; they became disgusted with the service on the loss of their major, and most of them returned to their mountains without obtaining any leave, a desertion severely felt at this critical moment. The chiefs of clans, and men of quality in the army, observing the diminution of their numbers, and disgusted at not being consulted upon the motions of the army, held a council, by their own authority, in the town of Falkirk, and drew up a paper addressed to the Prince, which was signed by them all, advising a retreat to the north. The purport of this document expressed, that so many of their men had gone home since the last battle, that they were in no condition to prosecute the siege of Stirling, or to repel the army of the Duke of Cumberland, which was advancing to raise it. They concluded by advising the Prince to retreat with his army to Inverness, there to annihilate the forces of Lord Loudon, with his other enemies in that country, and to take or demolish the Highland forts, thus making himself complete master of the north. This being effected, they assured him they would be ready to take the field next spring, with eight or ten thousand Highlanders, to follow him wherever he pleased. This advice, which had, in the circumstances in which it was given, the effect of a command, came upon Charles like a clap of thunder. He had concluded that a battle was to be fought; and the sick and wounded, with the followers of the camp, had been sent to Dunblane with that view. Lord George Murray had also been at headquarters, and showed to Charles a plan which he had drawn of the proposed battle, which the Prince had approved of, and corrected with his own hand. When, therefore, this proposition for a retreat was presented to him, he was at first struck with a feeling of despair, exclaiming, “ Good God! have I lived to see this?” He dashed his head with such violence against the wall, that he staggered, and then sent Sir Thomas Sheridan to Falkirk, to reason against the resolution which the chiefs had adopted. But it was found unalterable, and their number and importance were too great for Charles to contend with.

The Prince, after yielding to the measure of retreating, concerted with Lord George Murray, that, on the 1st of February, all the army should be ordered to cross the Forth at the fords of Frew, very early in the morning; that the heavy cannon should be spiked; that the ammunition which could not be carried along with the army, should be destroyed; and, finally, that a strong rearguard, composed of 1200 picked Highlanders, and Lord Elcho’s body of horse, should protect the retreat of the army.

None of these precautions were, however, resorted to; and the retreat, attended with every species of haste and disorder, resembled a flight so much, that there was nowhere one thousand men together. The army passed the river in small bodies, and in great confusion, leaving carts and cannon upon the road behind them. There was no rearguard, and Lord Elcho’s troop, which had been commanded to wait at the bridge of Carron till farther orders, was totally forgotten, and had nearly been intercepted by a body of troops from the town and castle of Stirling, ere they received orders to retreat. This confusion was supposed to have arisen from the recklessness with which the Prince altered the order of retreat, after it had been adjusted betwixt himself and Lord George Murray; a recklessness which seemed to show that he was so much vexed at the measure, as to be indifferent with what degree of order or confusion it was carried into execution. Accident added to the damage which attended this hasty movement. In destroying their magazine at St Ninians, the Highlanders managed so awkwardly as to blow up at the same time the church itself, by which several lives were lost. This was represented, by the malice of party spirit, as having been an intentional act on the part of the Prince’s army; a thing scarcely to be supposed, since some of themselves, and particularly the man who fired the train, were killed by the explosion. The retreat from Stirling was, nevertheless, conducted without much loss, except from temporary dispersion. The march of the Highland army was by Dunblane and Crieff. On the 3d of February, a council of war was held at a place called Fairnton, near the latter town. Here the argument concerning the necessity of the retreat from Stirling was renewed, and those officers who were hostile to Lord George Murrav, took care to throw on him the blame of a measure, which, however necessary, was most unpalatable to the Prince, and had been in a great degree forced upon him. It was now said that the desertion was not half so great as apprehended, and did not exceed a thousand men; and that the Prince need not, on account of such a deficiency, have been forced into a measure resembling flight, which, in a contest where so much depended on opinion, must, it was said, lower his character both with friends and foes. But the resolution had been finally adopted, and it was now necessary to follow it out.

At Crieff, the army of Charles separated. One division, chiefly consisting of west Highlanders, marched northward by the Highland road. Another, under Lord George Murray, took the coast road, by Montrose and Aberdeen, to Inverness. It consisted chiefly of the Lowland regiments and cavalry, the latter of whom suffered much, having lost many of their horses by forced marches at that inclement season of the year. The troopers, being chiefly gentlemen, continued to adhere with fidelity to their ill-omened standards. A small part of the army, belonging to that part of the Highlands, went by Braemar.

The Duke of Cumberland followed the Highlanders as far as Perth, and found that, moving with rapidity and precision amid their disorder, they had accomplished their purpose of retreating to the Highlands, and carrying off their garrisons from Montrose and elsewhere. The presence of Charles in Inverness-shire, was likely to be attended with advantages which might protract the war. It is a mountainous province, giving access to those more western Highlands of which the Jacobite clans were chiefly inhabitants, and itself containing several tribes devoted to his cause. It was also thought the Prince would obtain recruits both in Caithness and Sutherland.

The Chevalier’s only enemy in the north was the small army which Lord Loudon had raised by means of the Grants, Monros, Rosses, and other northern clans, with whom he had united the MacDonalds of Skye and the MacLeods. Their number, however, was not such as to prevent the Prince’s troops from spreading through the country; and, to indulge the humour of the Highlanders, as well as for their more easy subsistence, they were suffered to stroll up and down at pleasure. Prince Charles retaining only a few hundreds about his person. He appeared, indeed, to be everywhere master in the open country; and the little army of Lord Loudon, amounting at the utmost to 2000 men, remained cooped up in Inverness, which they had in some degree fortified with a ditch and palisade. In these circumstances, Charles found it easy to attack and take the barracks at Ruthven of Badenoch, which had resisted him on his descent from the Highlands; and after this success, he went to reside for two or three days at the castle of Moy, the chief seat of the Laird of MacIntosh, a distinction which was well deserved by the zealous attachment of the Lady MacIntosh to his cause. The husband of this Lady, AEneas, or Angus MacIntosh of that Ilk, appears to have had no steady political attachments of his own; for at one time he seems to have nourished the purpose of raising his clan in behalf of the Chevalier,1 notwithstanding which, he continued to hold a commission in Lord Loudon’s army. Not so his lady, who, observing the indecision, perhaps we ought to say the imbecility, of her husband, gave vent to her own Jacobite feelings, and those of the clan of MacIntosh, by levying the fighting men of that ancient tribe, to the amount of three hundred men, at whose head she rode, with a man’s bonnet on her head, a tartan riding-habit richly laced, and pistols at her saddle-bow. MacGillivray of Drumnaglass commanded this body in the field as colonel. The spirit excited by this gallant Amazon called at least for every civility which, could be shown her by the Prince, and that of a visit at her castle was considered as the most flattering. Charles Edward was living there in perfect security, and had not more than three hundred men about his person, when Lord Loudon made a bold attempt to end the civil war, by making the Adventurer prisoner. For this purpose, he proposed to employ chiefly the Highlanders of MacLeod’s clan, as well qualified to execute a swift and secret enterprise. They were accompanied by several volunteers. It is said that Lady MacIntosh had private intelligence of this intention; at any rate, she had employed the blacksmith of the clan, a person always of some importance in a Highland tribe, with a few followers, to patrol betwixt Inverness and Moy castle. On the night of the 16th of February, this able and intelligent partisan fell in with the vanguard of the MacLeods, bending their course in secrecy and silence towards Moy. The party thus advancing consisted of one thousand five hundred men. The smith and his followers, not above six or seven in all, divided into different parts of the wood, and fired upon the advancing columns, who could not discover the numbers by which they were opposed. The MacIntoshes, at the same time, cried the war-cries of Lochiel, Keppoch, and other well-known sounds of the most distinguished clans; and two or three bagpipers played most furiously the gathering tunes of the same tribes.

Those who are engaged in an attempt to surprise others, are generally themselves most accessible to surprise. The sudden attack astonished the MacLeods, who conceived that they had fallen into an ambush consisting of the Chevalier’s whole army. The consequence was, that they turned their backs, and fled back to Inverness in extreme confusion, incurring much danger and some loss, not from the fire of the enemy, but from throwing down and treading upon each other. The confusion was so great, that the Master of Ross, a gallant officer, who was afterwards in many perils, informed Mr Home, that he had never been in a condition so grievous as what was called the Rout of Moy. Some accounts state, that the Prince was never disturbed from sleep during all the confusion attending this attack, which, but for the presence of mind of the lady so admirably seconded by her retainer, might have put an end to his enterprise and to his life. It is at any rate certain, that early on the following day Charles assembled his army, or such part of it as could be immediately got together, and advanced upon Inverness, with the purpose of repaying to Lord Loudon the unfriendly visit of the preceding night. Neither the strength of the place, nor the number of Lord Loudon’s forces, entitled him to make any stand against an army so superior to his own. He was therefore compelled to retreat by the Kessoch ferry; and having carried the boats with him, he prevented for a time the pursuit of the rebels. But Lord Cromarty, having marched round the head of the ferry, dislodged Lord Loudon from the town of Cromarty, afterwards pursued him to Tain, and compelled him finally to cross the Great Ferry into Sutherland.

The Highland army took possession of Inverness on the 18th, and on the 20th, the citadel, called Fort George, was also yielded to them. By these movements, it was proposed to follow up the plan of tactics recommended in the Address of the chiefs at Falkirk; that on retiring to the north, they should employ the winter season in destroying Lord Loudon’s power, and reducing the forts held in the Highlands. With the latter purpose, the siege of Fort Augustus was formed by Lord John Drummond’s regiment, and the French picquets. The battering cannon proving too small for the purpose, cohorns were employed to throw shells, by means of which the garrison, being only three companies, was compelled to surrender. It was determined by the Prince to send the officers to France, to remain as hostages for such of his own followers as had already fallen into the hands of the Government, or might have that fate in future. We have seen that such a scheme had been proposed after the battle of Preston, and was refused by the Prince from motives of generosity; and that the prisoners were dismissed into Angus-shire upon their parole of honour. At the time of General Hawley’s movement upon Stirling, some risings had taken place in support of Government in the county of Angus, of which the prisoners of war had availed themselves, under the idea that they were thus liberated from their parole. The Highlanders were of a different opinion, and expressed their sentiments in a singular manner, after the battle of Falkirk. General Hawley had, previous to that action, been pleased to foresee occasion for an extraordinary number of executioners in his camp. As some of these functionaries became prisoners to the insurgent army after the battle, they endeavoured to express their scorn of the behaviour of the regular officers who had, as they alleged, eluded their parole, by liberating these hangmen on their word of honour, as if equally worthy of trust with those who bore King George’s commission. The scheme of sending the captive officers to France might have operated as some check on the Government’s judicial proceedings after the close of the rebellion, had it been adopted in the early part of the insurrection. As it was, the current of the insurgents’ success had begun to turn, and there was no further prospect of succeeding by this method, which was adopted too late to be of service. While the Highlanders were pushing their petty and unimportant advantages against the forts in the north, the Duke of Cumberland, advancing on their rear, and occupying successively the districts which they abandoned, was already bringing up important succours, by which he hoped to narrow their quarters, and, finally, to destroy their army. Following the track of the Highlanders; he had arrived at Perth on the 6th of February, and detached Sir Andrew Agnew, with 500 men, and 100 of the Campbells, to take possession of the castle of Blair-inAthole, while Lieutenant-colonel Leighton, with a similar force, occupied castle Menzies. These garrisons were designed to straiten the Highland army, and to prevent their drawing reinforcements from the countries in which their cause had most favour.

About the same time, the Duke of Cumberland learned that a body of auxiliaries, consisting of 6000 Hessians, had disembarked at Leith, under the command of Prince Frederick of Hesse–Cassel. These troops had been sent for, because a dilemma had occurred, which occasioned the withdrawing of the 6000 Dutch troops originally destined to assist the King of England. So soon as Lord John Drummond had arrived with the French auxiliaries, a message had been despatched to the Dutch commandant, formally acquainting him, that the colours of France were displayed in the Chevalier’s camp, and that as troops upon their parole not to serve against that country, the Dutch were cited to withdraw themselves from the civil war of Britain. They recognised the summons, and withdrew their forces from Britain accordingly. In order to replace these auxiliaries, the King of Great Britain concluded a subsidiary treaty with the Prince of Hesse–Cassel, which was confirmed in Parliament, and it was in consequence of this engagement that the Hessian troops had now arrived at Leith. The Duke of Cumberland made a hasty visit to Edinburgh, where he held a council with the Prince of Hesse and the principal officers. A general opinion was entertained and expressed, that the Highlanders would break up and disperse, and never venture a battle against the Duke of Cumberland and his army. Lord Milton, a Scottish judge, being asked to deliver his sentiments, was of a different opinion. He declared himself persuaded, that the Highlanders would, according to their ready habits, again unite in a large body and make another struggle for the accomplishment of their enterprise.

This opinion of Lord Milton made a deep impression upon the Duke of Cumberland’s mind, who resolved to proceed upon the probability that a battle would be necessary, and to move northwards slowly, but with an overpowering force. For this purpose he returned to Perth, and sending three regiments of infantry to Dundee, proceeded with the main body of his army to the north, and reached Aberdeen on the 27th of February. The Hessian troops, with their Prince, arrived at Perth after the Duke of Cumberland’s departure. Their mustaches and blue dress occasioned some surprise to the Scottish people, who were greatly edified, however, by their quiet and civil behaviour, which formed a strong contrast to the profligate language and demeanour of the English soldiery. The country between Perth and Aberdeen, including Blair-inAthole, and some posts still farther north, were occupied by parties, both of the Campbells and of the regular troops. The Duke of Cumberland’s headquarters were at Aberdeen, where it was generally believed by the rebels he intended to remain till summer. In the mean time, the clans resolved to proceed in subjecting the forts upon the chain, of which Fort–William still remained in possession of the regular troops. General Campbell had taken care that it should be provided with every thing necessary for a siege, and had reinforced the garrison with some companies of his own followers, so that it amounted to about six hundred men, under a commandant named Campbell. Lochiel and Keppoch formed the blockade, but could not cut off the garrison’s communications by sea, as two sloops of war supported them with their guns. General Stapleton soon after came up with the French picquets, and formed a regular battery against the fort; but, as we shall hereafter see, to little good purpose. About this time Charles heard news of the succours from France, which he had expected so anxiously. On the 23d of February, he received a letter from Captain Shee of Fitz–James’s dragoons, acquainting him that he made part of an armament commanded by the Marquis de Fimarion; that he had landed with a part of the above regiment; that the rest of the squadron conveyed about eight hundred men, and that each of the ships brought a certain sum of money.

In confirmation of this news, the Prince was informed that one of the squadron announced by Captain Shee, having appeared off Peterhead, had landed two thousand louis-d’or for his service, but had declined to land the soldiers who were on board, without an order from the Marquis D’Eguilles, called the ambassador of France. Prince Charles despatched Lord John Drummond and the Marquis D’Eguilles, with a strong body of troops to superintend the landing of this important reinforcement; but they came too late. The Duke of Cumberland, moving with all his forces, had arrived at Aberdeen on the 27th; and Moir of Stonywood, who commanded there for the Prince, was compelled to retreat to Fochabers, where he, and Captain Shee who accompanied him, met with Lord John Drummond, who had advanced so far to protect the disembarkation. A picquet of Berwick’s regiment was also safely landed at Portsoy, but no other troops of the embarkation afterwards reached the Prince’s army. The remainder of Fitz–James’s cavalry were taken by Commodore Knowles, and sent to the Thames. The Marquis de Fimarion, having held a council of war, thought it most prudent to return to France. Thus unpitiably rigorous was fortune, from beginning to end, in all that might be considered as the chances from which Prince Charles might receive advantage. The miscarriage of the reinforcements was the greater, as the supplies of treasure were become almost indispensable. His money now began to run short, so that he was compelled to pay his soldiers partly in meal, which caused great discontent. Many threatened to abandon the enterprise; some actually deserted; and the army, under these adverse circumstances, became more refractory and unmanageable than heretofore.

Yet their spirit of military adventure was still shown, in the instinctive ingenuity with which they carried on enterprises of irregular warfare. This was particularly evident, from a series of attacks planned and executed by Lord George Murrav, for delivering his native country of Athole from the small forts and military stations which had been established there by the Duke of Cumberland. This expedition was undertaken in the middle of March, and Lord George Murray himself commanded the detachment destined for the service, which amounted to 700 men; one half of these were natives of Athole, the other half were MacPhersons, under the command of Cluny, their chief. They marched from Dalwhinny when daylight began to fail, and halted at Dalspiddel about midnight, when it was explained to them, that the purpose of the expedition was to surprise and cut off all the military posts in Athole, which were occupied either by the regular troops or by the Campbells.

These posts were very numerous, and it was necessary they should be all attacked about the same time. The most important were gentlemen’s houses, such as Kinnachin, Blairfettie, Lude, Faskallie, and the like, which, in the Highlands, and indeed throughout Scotland generally, were of a castellated form, and capable of defence. Other small posts were slightly fortified, and commanded by non-commissioned officers. Lord George Murray’s force of 700 men was divided into as many small parties as there were posts to be carried; and in each were included an equal number of Athole-men and MacPhersons. Each party was expected to perform the duty assigned to it before daybreak, and all were then to repair to the bridge of Bruar, within two miles of the castle of Blair-inAthole. The various detachments set out with eagerness upon an enterprise which promised to relieve their country or neighbourhood from invasion and military occupation; and Lord George and Cluny, with only 25 men, and a few elderly gentlemen, proceeded to the bridge of Bruar, being the rendezvous, there to await the success of their undertaking and the return of their companions.

It had nearly chanced, that, in an expedition designed to surprise others, they had been surprised themselves. For, in the grey of the morning, a man from the village of Blair came to inform Lord George Murray, that Sir Andrew Agnew, who commanded at Blair castle, had caught the alarm, from an attack on a neighbouring post; had got a great proportion of his garrison of 500 men under arms, and was advancing to the bridge of Bruar, to see what enemies were in the neighbourhood. Lord George Murray and Cluny were in no condition to engage the veteran; and it was proposed, as the only mode of escape, to betake themselves to the neighbouring mountains. Lord George Murray rejected the proposition. “ If,” he said, “ we leave the place of rendezvous, our parties, as they return in detail from discharging the duty intrusted to them, will be liable to be surprised by the enemy. This must not be. I will rather try what can be done to impose upon Sir Andrew Agnew’s caution, by a fictitious display of strength.” With this resolution Lord George took possession of a turf-dyke, or wall, which stretched along a neighbouring field, and disposed his followers behind it, at distant intervals from each other, so as to convey the idea of a very extended front. The colours of both regiments were placed in the centre of the pretended line, and every precaution used to give the appearance of a continued line of soldiers, to what was in reality only a few men placed at a distance from each other. The bagpipers were not forgotten; they had orders to blow up a clamorous pibroch, so soon as the advance of the regulars should be observed, upon the road from Blair. The sun just arose when Sir Andrew’s troops came in sight; the pipers struck up, and the men behind the turf-wall brandished their broadswords, like officers at the head of their troops preparing to charge. Sir Andrew was deceived into the idea that he had before him a large body of Highlanders drawn up to attack him, and anxious for the safety of his post, he marched back his garrison to the castle of Blair-inAthole.

Lord George Murray remained at the bridge to receive his detachments, who came in soon after sunrise; they had all succeeded more or less completely, and brought in upwards of 300 prisoners, taken at the various posts, which, great and small, amounted to thirty in number. Only one or two of the clansmen were killed, and but five or six of the King’s troops; for the Highlanders, though in some respects a wild and fierce people, were seldom guilty of unnecessary bloodshed. Encouraged by this success. Lord George Murray was tempted to make an effort to possess himself of the castle of Blair, notwithstanding its natural strength, and that of its garrison.1 With this view he invested the place, which was a very large, strong old tower, long a principal residence of the Athole family. There was little hope from battering with two light field-pieces a castle whose walls were seven feet thick; the situation was so rocky as to put mining out of the question; but Lord George, as the garrison was numerous, and supposed to be indifferently provided for a siege, conceived the possibility of reducing the place by famine. For this purpose he formed a close blockade of the place, and fired with his Highland marksmen upon all who showed themselves at the windows of the tower, or upon the battlements. And here, as in this motley world that which is ridiculous is often intermixed with what is deeply serious, I may tell you an anecdote of a ludicrous nature.

Sir Andrew Agnew, famous in Scottish tradition, was a soldier of the old military school, severe in discipline, stiff and formal in manners, brave to the last degree, but somewhat of an humourist, upon whom his young officers were occasionally tempted to play tricks, not entirely consistent with the respect due to their commandant. At the siege of Blair, some of the young wags had obtained an old uniform coat of the excellent Sir Andrew, which, having stuffed with straw, they placed in a small window of a turret, with a spy-glass in the hand, as if in the act of reconnoitring the besiegers. This apparition did not escape the hawk’s eyes of the Highlanders, who continued to pour their fire upon the turret window, without producing any adequate effect. The best deer-stalkers of Athole and Badenoch persevered, nevertheless, and wasted, as will easily be believed, their ammunition in vain on this impassible commander. At length Sir Andrew himself became curious to know what could possibly induce so constant a fire upon that particular point of the castle. He made some enquiry, and discovered the trick which had been played. His own head being as insensible to a jest of any kind as his peruke had proved to the balls of the Highlanders, he placed the contumacious wags under arrest, and threatened to proceed against them still more seriously; and would certainly have done so, but by good fortune for them, the blockade was raised after the garrison had suffered the extremity of famine. The raising of the blockade was chiefly owing to the advance of a body of Hessians from Perth, together with the Earl of Crawford. Lord George Murray on this occasion sent an express to the Prince, that if he could spare him 1200 men, he would undertake to engage the Prince of Hesse and Lord Crawford. Charles returned for answer that he could not spare the men, being in the act of concentrating his army. Lord George Murray was therefore obliged to relinquish the blockade of Blair, and withdraw his forces into Strathspey, and from thence to Speyside. He himself went to the Chevalier’s headquarters, where he found that his exploits in the field had not been able to save him from enemies, who had made a bad use of their master’s ear.

We have seen that, from the very first meeting at Perth, Mr Murray, the secretary, had filled the Prince’s mind with suspicions of Lord George, as a person who, if disposed to serve him, was not inclined to do so upon the pure principles of unlimited monarchy. The self-will and obstinacy of this nobleman, a brave soldier, but an unskilful courtier, gave all the advantage which his enemies could desire; and in despite of his gallant achievements, the Prince was almost made to believe that the best officer in his army was capable of betraying him at least, if not actually engaged in a conspiracy to do so.

Thus prepossessed, though usually eager for fighting, the Chevalier, both at Clifton and on the present occasion, declined intrusting Lord George with a separate command of troops, to avail himself of a favourable opportunity for action.

On the present occasion, Charles entertained the opinion that Lord George might have taken the castle of Blair, had he been so disposed; but that he abstained, least by doing so he might injure the house of his brother, the Duke of Athole. Lord George was altogether undeserving of such a suspicion, there being perhaps no man in the Prince’s army who had fewer indirect motives to decide his political creed than this nobleman. If the Prince succeeded in his enterprise, his eldest brother would recover the dukedom, now held by the second. But it does not appear that Lord George Murray could be thus personally benefited. It is no small merit to him, that, faithful while suspected, and honest though calumniated, he adhered to the tenor of his principles, and continued to serve with zeal and fidelity a master by whom he knew he was not beloved, nor fully trusted. It is even said by Lord Elcho, that the Prince told some of the French and Irish officers that he suspected Lord George; and it is added, that being requested to watch whether his conduct in battle authorized such a suspicion, they undertook to put him to death if such should appear to be the case.


Last updated Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 22:29