Scotland in The Early Modern Era - Political History - Early Eighteenth Century - Jacobite Risings

Jacobite Risings

Jacobitism was revived by the unpopularity of the union. In 1708 James Francis Edward Stuart, the son of James VII, who became known as "The Old Pretender", attempted an invasion with a French fleet carrying 6,000 men, but the Royal Navy prevented it from landing troops. A more serious attempt occurred in 1715, soon after the death of Anne and the accession of the first Hanoverian king, the eldest son of Sophie, as George I of Great Britain. This rising (known as The 'Fifteen) envisaged simultaneous uprisings in Wales, Devon, and Scotland. However, government arrests forestalled the southern ventures. In Scotland, John Erskine, Earl of Mar, nicknamed Bobbin' John, raised the Jacobite clans but proved to be an indecisive leader and an incompetent soldier. Mar captured Perth, but let a smaller government force under the Duke of Argyll hold the Stirling plain. Part of Mar's army joined up with risings in northern England and southern Scotland, and the Jacobites fought their way into England before being defeated at the Battle of Preston, surrendering on 14 November 1715. The day before, Mar had failed to defeat Argyll at the Battle of Sheriffmuir. At this point, James belatedly landed in Scotland, but was advised that the cause was hopeless. He fled back to France. An attempted Jacobite invasion with Spanish assistance in 1719 met with little support from the clans and ended in defeat at the Battle of Glen Shiel.

In 1745 the Jacobite rising known as The 'Forty-Five began. Charles Edward Stuart, son of the Old Pretender, often referred to as Bonnie Prince Charlie or the Young Pretender, landed on the island of Eriskay in the Outer Hebrides. Several clans unenthusiastically joined him. At the outset he was successful, taking Edinburgh and then defeating the only government army in Scotland at the Battle of Prestonpans. The Jacobite army marched into England, took Carlisle and advanced as far as south as Derby. However, it became increasingly evident that England would not support a Roman Catholic Stuart monarch. The Jacobite leadership had a crisis of confidence and they retreated to Scotland as two English armies closed in and Hanoverian troops began to return from the continent. Charles' position in Scotland began to deteriorate as the Whig supporters rallied and regained control of Edinburgh. After an unsuccessful attempt on Stirling, he retreated north towards Inverness. He was pursued by the Duke of Cumberland and gave battle with an exhausted army at Culloden on 16 April 1746, where the Jacobite cause was crushed. Charles hid in Scotland with the aid of Highlanders until September 1746, when he escaped back to France. There were bloody reprisals against his supporters and foreign powers abandoned the Jacobite cause, with the court in exile forced to leave France. The Old Pretender died in 1760 and the Young Pretender, without legitimate issue, in 1788. When his brother, Henry, Cardinal of York, died in 1807, the Jacobite cause was at an end.

Read more about this topic:  Scotland In The Early Modern Era, Political History, Early Eighteenth Century

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