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PRINCE CHARLIE'S PILOT. 




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PRINCE CHARLIE'S 
PILOT. 

A RECORD OF LOYALTY AND DEVOTION. 



BY 



Mi: ED BY 
UNI\ ' . ' -"0 
LIBR/ 
MASTER NEGATIVE NO.: 

..3.5.9.. 1 ..?.?! W 


AN MACLEOD BARRON. 

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488374 


ZS. 3. 43 

INVERNESS: 



ROBT. CARRUTHERS & SONS, 



33*7 



CONTENTS. 



Map Inidfi Front Cover 

PAGE. 

Introductory 3 

How Donald Maoleod and Murdoch Maoleod came to Serv 

Prince Charlie 11 

On Stormy Seas 27 

Among Friends and in Danger from Foes 35 

What Befel at Stornoway 43 

Wanderers Once More ... ... ... ... ... ... 53 

On a Desert Island Gl 

Chased by a Ship of War 73 

How Donald and Murdoch Met John Murray of Broughton 

and Heard of the Loch-Arkaig Gold 85 

Perils by Land and Perils by Sea 101 

The Net Tightens .. ... Ill 

A Woeful Parting ; The Net Closes on the Prince's Pilot .. 119 

The Tender Mercies of the Hanoverians 129 

The Blackest Page in British History ... ... 141 

How it Fared with the Highland Prisoners in London ... 151 

Feted in London ; Returning Home 161 

Bishop Forbes and Donald Maoleod Meet .. 173 

Edinburgh Outdoes London ; Donald and Ned Burke Meet 

Again 187 

Home with Honour... 199 



NOTE. 



THIS story of Prince Charlie's Pilot first appeared 
in the " Inverness Courier," and in response to 
numerous requests is now published in book 
form. 



INTRODUCTORY. 



PRINCE CHARLIE'S PILOT. 



-* 



I. 

HIGHLAND History, Highland story, and 
Highland legend have for more than a 
century now presented a fertile field to the poet, 
the romancist, and the novelist, but the field is 
not yet nearly exhausted, and he who digs deep 
enough may still find rich stores of material. 
To the serious student of Highland history the 
field, indeed, seems merely to have been stripped 
of its more obvious treasures, while others quite 
as valuable, though not so apparent, have been 
passed by. No one who examines these treasure- 
houses of Highland history, "The Lyon in 
Mourning " and " The Wardlaw Manuscript," to 
name only two out of a large number of similar 
publications, can doubt the truth of this, for 
often though these have been raided to provide 
material for the story- writer and the enthusiast, 
yet in their pages are still to be found treasures 
innumerable. Of the Wardlaw Manuscript 
especially is this true, for it deals with a period 
which does not make the same appeal to the 



4 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

imagination as does the '45, and in consequence 
few save those historically inclined have taken 
the trouble to read it for themselves. Yet it 
is a book which to the lover of the curious, the 
picturesque, the romantic, and the herioc, is a 
veritable gold-mine, and a book which, thanks 
to the admirably edited volume by Mr William 
Mackay in the Scottish History Society's Publi- 
cations, is easily accessible to anyone who desires 
to dip into its pages. 

The same may be said, though with reserva- 
tions, of the three volumes of "The Lyon in 
Mourning," published by the same Society. 
Into these there is packed a record of heroism 
and a tale of romance, to which there is 
no parallel in the whole field of literature. 
But unfortunately, so far as the ordinary reader 
is concerned, the editing is rather inadequate ; 
and invaluable as the book in its present form is, 
both its interest and its value would have been 
very much enhanced had it been supplied, for 
example, with notes of the copiousness and of 
the accuracy of those which form so important 
a part of the Society's three volumes of " Papers 
relating to the Scots Brigade in Holland." It is 
certainly somewhat curious that the two volumes 
of the Society's publications most in demand 
should be the least adequately edited of the 



Introductory. 5 

whole series, and should both relate to the '45, 
viz., "The Lyon in Mourning" and the " List of 
Persons concerned in the Rebellion." The latter, 
in addition to the editor's analysis and notes, 
has a preface by Lord Rosebery, in which he 
finds it necessary to warn the reader against 
certain conclusions of the editor, conclusions 
which it may be said are so palpably absurd 
that they ought never to have appeared in a 
volume issued by a learned Society. But while 
the editing of these publications leaves some- 
thing to be desired, the matter contained in the 
books themselves is of incalculable value, and 
the Scottish History Society in publishing them 
has put all lovers of the Highlands, all lovers of 
the heroic and the romantic, and all lovers of 
the History of their own land, under a deep debt 
of gratitude. 

A supplementary volume to the " Lyon in 
Mourning" is "The Itinerary of Prince Charles 
Edward Stuart, 1745-46," compiled by that most 
erudite of living writers on Jacobite subjects, Mr 
W. B. Blaikie. It is a marvel of careful and 
painstaking work, and is edited with a skill 
which is beyond praise. It is somewhat of a 
pity that the Itinerary should be available only 
in the form of a Society publication. Unlike 
the other books I have mentioned, it makes its 



6 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

appeal as forcibly to the everyday reader as to 
the student, and as it is not a large volume, the 
Scottish History Society would confer a boon on 
large numbers of people if they would for once 
depart from their rules and issue it in a manner 
and at a price which would make it available to 
that large public to whom the adventures of 
Prince Charlie are of perennial interest. 

The volumes of the Scottish History Society 
are not, however, the only volumes in which in- 
formation of historic and romantic value regard- 
ing the Highlands abounds. There is, for ex- 
ample, Sir ^Eneas Mackintosh's little-known 
" Notes on Strathdearn, and the Town and 
Neighbourhood of Inverness," a volume small 
but full of interest from the first page to the 
last ; there are the late Dr Fraser-Maekintosh's 
publications, "Antiquarian Notes" and "Letters 
of Two Centuries" in particular, which cast 
many a side-light on men and manners of bye- 
gone days ; there are the numerous Tours in the 
Highlands, most of them comparatively well- 
known ; there is the less well-known Journal of 
Bishop Forbes, the compiler of " The Lyon in 
Mourning;" there are the hundred and one clan 
histories, all more or less interesting in their own 
way ; there are books like the valuable and ex- 
tremely rare life of Duncan Forbes of Culloden, 



Introductory. 1 

published in London in 1748, and the Manu- 
script of Major Fraser of Castle Leathers ; and 
there are collections of Family Papers, of which 
by far the most interesting to a Highland reader 
is the famous " Culloden Papers." Then, too, 
there are the Transactions of learned societies 
like the Inverness Gaelic Society and the Inver- 
ness Field Club, the usefulness of the former of 
which, by the way, would be very greatly en- 
hanced if the Society were to issue a complete 
index to the twenty odd volumes which now 
stand to its credit. 

It has recently fallen to my lot to examine 
for certain definite purposes most of the above- 
mentioned books, as well as many others of a 
more accessible, and therefore of a more popular 
nature, and various unpublished records and 
manuscripts. The wealth of unused material 
which I came upon suggested to me the idea of 
utilising some of it in compiling a series of 
articles which, while preserving strict historical 
accuracy, should aim at presenting the more 
romantic or the more picturesque side of High- 
land history. That, briefly, is the raison d'etre, 
the why and the wherefore, of the present 
volume ; and, as the most romantic period of 
Highland history is udoubtedly the '45, I make 
no apology for devoting this book to the tale of 



8 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

a grey-haired old hero and his gallant schoolboy 
son, both of whom played a not unremarkable 
part in that fascinating drama a drama which 
Lord Rosebery, with his usual felicity of expres- 
sion, has described, not unfairly, as the last burst 
of chivalry. 




HOW DONALD MACLEOD AND 
MURDOCH MACLEOD CAME 
TO SERVE PRINCE CHARLIE. 



II 

HOW DONALD MACLEOD AND 
MURDOCH MACLEOD CAME 
TO SERVE PRINCE CHARLIE. 

THE tale begins in Inverness in the expiring 
days of Prince Charlie's brief glory, and, 
in order to get the correct setting for the story, 
it is necessary to glance for a moment at the 
stirring happenings which kept Inverness in a 
perpetual state of excitement and enthusiasm 
during the weeks which preceded the grim 
tragedy of Culloden. 

On the 18th of February 1746 the army of 
Prince Charles Edward Stuart entered Inverness. 
As his troops, with pipes playing, marched into 
the town from one side, the Hanoverians, under 
Lord Loudon, made a hasty exit from the other, 
and speedily placed Kessock Ferry between 
themselves and the triumphant Jacobites. From 
then until just before the Battle of Culloden, 
the Prince's troops made Inverness their head- 
quarters, and from the 3rd of March to the 10th, 
and from the 21st of March to the 13th of April, 
Prince Charlie himself lived in the town in the 






12 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

house of the Dowager Lady Mackintosh in 
Church Street. 

Feeling in Inverness was divided. Some 
of the more prominent townsmen were staunch 
Hanoverians, others were enthusiastic Jacobites, 
but, so far as the bulk of the populace were con- 
cerned, their sympathies were almost entirely on 
the side of the Prince. As usual, Prince Charlie 
cast the glamour of his personality over every- 
one with whom he came in contact, and as 
several gallant sous of Inverness had shared the 
glories of the campaign, it did not require much 
to blow the fire of Jacobitism, always pretty 
strong in the town, into a fierce flame. For 
many months Inverness had known the presence 
of a half-hearted Hanoverian army, an army to 
many of whose leaders the cause in which they 
were engaged was distasteful, and an army whose 
sympathies, so far as the rank and file were con- 
cerned, were mainly with the Prince they were 
in arms against. To them succeeded the Jacobite 
army, ardent and devoted, and the romantic 
figure of the Prince himself, the young chevalie^ 
gallant, debonair, and charming. And we may 
be sure his cause lost nothing from the tales of 
those townsmen who had borne a part in the 
great adventure, or who, on his appearance in 
Inverness, hastened to throw in their lot with him. 



A Martial Atmosphere. 13 

There was Captain Cuthbert, a member of 
the old Inverness family of the Cuthberts of Castle- 
hill, a brother, indeed, of the then Laird, though 
an officer in the service of France. He had 
served throughout the campaign in Lord John 
Drummond's Regiment. There were the Erasers 
of Fairfield, father and son, the former an ex- 
Provost of the town, and a Major in the Prince's 
army ; the latter, Charles, at one time a Lieuten- 
ant in Cornwallis's Regiment, from which he sold 
out, joined the Prince, and became Adjutant- 
General to the Jacobite army. There was, too, 
Lachlan Mackintosh, a merchant of Inverness, 
who, abandoning the counter for the field of 
war, had become Lieutenant-Colonel of the Clan 
Chattan Regiment. An active and enthusiastic 
Jacobite, he is reported to have enlisted many 
men. Then, there was Bailie John Stuart, al- 
ways an ardent Jacobite, who, probably on 
the Prince's appearance at Inverness, put his 
fortune to the touch, joined the Jacobite army 
as a volunteer, and made himself " very 
active" in the Prince's service. These were 
all men well known in the town, but there 
was many another besides. We know, for 
example, of John Gumming, described as a 
"Residenter" (a good old word still happily 
with us), who volunteered and got an officer's 



14 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

commission ; of Hugh Fraser, a merchant in the 
town, who acted as an Adjutant, and was killed, 
probably at Culloden ; of Alexander Grant, a 
writer, who laid aside the pen for the sword, and 
received a Captain's commission ; of John Mac- 
arthur, a brewer, who marched with the army 
into England, and was subsequently taken 
prisoner and cast into Carlisle gaol ; of Donald 
Macdonald, also a brewer, who, though a Chelsea 
pensioner, did not hesitate to carry arms as a 
Lieutenant in the Prince's army ; of John Mac- 
lean, another writer who found an officer's sword 
more to his liking than the pen ; and of Alex- 
ander Macdonald, another residenter, who served 
as a volunteer. But, truth to tell, the good folk 
of Inverness required no encouragement to show 
their Jacobite sympathies. The coming of the 
Prince's army enabled them to come out in their 
true colours, and the presence of their fighting 
fellow-townsmen only served to stimulate the 
enthusiasm for the Jacobite cause which the 
great majority of them undoubtedly felt. 

The boys of the Grammar School, needless 
to say, were among the most ardent of Prince 
Charlie's supporters. The fathers of many of 
them were out with the Prince, hardly one of 
them but had a brother or uncle or cousin 
carrying arms in his service. Day by day as 



The Coming of the Pilot. 15 

they went down Church Street to the Grammar 
School in Dunbar's Hospital they passed the 
Prince's lodging, and many a time, doubtless, 
they saw him and cheered him to their heart's 
content. Among them, probably, was young 
Lachlan Mackintosh, who had made an adventu- 
rous journey to Moyhall to warn the Prince on 
the night of Lord London's attempted surprise, 
and among them certainly was Murdoch MacJeod, 
son of Donald Macleod, tenant of Gualtergill, on 
Loch-Dunvegan in the island of Skye. Murdoch's 
father had not gone out, nor had his chief, and 
only a few weeks before many of Murdoch's 
friends and relations were in Inverness with 
Lord London's army. But that did not damp 
the boy's enthusiasm. If his chief and his own 
people had not gone out there were many gallant 
Macleods serving with the Prince, and, doubt- 
less, when Lord London's army was in Inverness 
Murdoch knew as well as anybody that if the 
rank and file of the clan had their way they 
would have been fighting for the Prince, not 
against him. 

Then one fine day, when Lord Loudon's 
army was still in Inverness, Murdoch's father 
came to town. He had come to take a cargo of 
meal to Skye, but the weather proving stormy, 
and the company in which he found himself 



16 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

doubtless proving vastly entertaining, he pro- 
longed his stay until the day of the Jacobites' 
arrival. Even then he betrayed no desire to go 
away. Meeting his own chief, the Laird of 
Macleod, on the bridge, he resisted even his 
commands to leave Inverness. They argued the 
matter until, when near the gate of the bridge, 
they began to hear the pipes of the Prince's 
army playing very briskly. Whereupon the 
Laird thought it well to argue no longer, and 
betook himself hastily away. 

Donald proceeded into the town, where 
presently he met the Macdonalds of Glencoe, 
who took him prisoner and demanded his broad- 
sword. Donald was not very willing to part 
with his trusty weapon, and, luckily for him, the 
old Laird of Mackinnon came up when the 
argument was still in progress. Mackinnon 
recognised him at once, took him by the hand, 
asked very kindly for his welfare, assured the 
party that Donald was an honest man, and 
offered to go bail for him. Whereupon Donald 
was allowed to keep his claymore and depart 
with his friendly neighbour. After this, accord- 
ing to his own story, he had no great inclination 
to leave Inverness, but sauntered about among 
his good friends and acquaintances in the army. 



The Pilot's Son. 17 

From all of which it is very plain to see on 
which side his sympathy lay. 

Early in April ^Eneas Macdonald, brother 
of Kinlochmoidart, was sent by the Prince to 
Barra in order to recover and transport to Inver- 
ness about 380 in gold, which had been landed 
on the island in the previous December. For 
his companion and pilot he chose Donald, and 
a week or two before the Battle of Culloden the 
two set out on their dangerous mission across a 
sea "swarming with sloops of war, boats and 
yawls full of militia." The die was now de- 
finitely cast. Donald had for good or ill made 
up his mind to join his fortunes with those of 
the Prince. 

There was one person at least who regarded 
Donald's decision with enthusiastic approval, and 
that was his son Murdoch. No doubt he chafed 
greatly at being left at school in Inverness when 
his father departed on such high adventure in 
the Prince's cause, but after all he had his com- 
pensations. There was first and foremost the 
Prince himself, whom Murdoch worshipped with 
all a boy's fervid devotion. Then there was the 
army, the continual going and coming of armed 
men, the tales of the fights of Prestonpans and 
Falkirk, the talk of the doings at Edinburgh, 
ard of the wonders of England, the expectation 






18 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

of coming battle, and all the glow and anticipa- 
tion of coming victory. And there were his own 
friends and neighbours from Skye with the army, 
and his clansmen who had risked all for the 
Prince the gallant Old Trojan, Macleod of 
Bernera, and the brave sons of Raasay among 
others. It was all one long round of excitement 
for Murdoch, and we may be sure he did not 
trouble the Grammar School very much just 
then. 

At last came news that the enemy was 
really approaching, that the decisive battle could 
not long be delayed. Inverness was afire with 
excitement, armed men hurried through her 
streets, the sound of the great war-pipes filled 
the air. Murdoch could no longer be restrained. 
The good Macleod blood in him was roused to 
boiling point, the prospect of immediate battle 
swept him away in a frenzy of enthusiasm, and 
so the boy of 15, in the quaint expressive words 
of his father, " got himself provided in a clay- 
more, dirk, and pistol, ran off from the school, 
and took his chance in the field of Culloden 
Battle." 

There is something in the picture of the 
gallant young school-boy that strikes the im- 
agination. We feel we should like to know how 
he got himself provided " in the claymore, dirk, 



The Flight from Culloden. 19 

and pistol," and how he conducted himself in the 
field of battle. There is something both of boy 
and of Highland warrior in that touch which 
tells us of the claymore, the dirk, and the pistol, 
and we may be sure that in the adventures 
which befell him after the battle, the treasured 
weapons were not suffered to be cast aside. For 
if we do not know what Murdoch did on Drum- 
mossie Moor, we do know of the adventures that 
came his way thereafter. 

The day was lost and won, and Prince 
Charlie was in flight with 30,000 on his head. 
We know how he crossed the Nairn at Faillie, 
and how, riding by Aberarder and Farraline, he 
reached Gortuleg House, and met for the first 
and last time the arch-plotter, Lord Lovat. 
Thence, by Fort- Augustus, he rode to Invergarry 
Castle, which he reached in the small hours of 
the morning after the battle, and, after some 
hours' rest, proceeded by Loch Arkaig to Glen- 
Pean, where he spent the night. Next day, the 
18th of April, late in the afternoon, he started 
on foot across the hills for Glen-Morar, and 
arrived on the following day, utterly tired out, 
at a small house near a wood on the Braes of 
Morar. On the 20th he walked by Glen- 
Beasdale to Borrodale, and either at Borrodale 



20 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

House or in the woods in the vicinity he spent 
the next five days in comparative safety. 

Meanwhile JEneas Macdonald and Donald 
Macleod had safely, though not without in- 
numerable adventures, run the gauntlet of the 
sloops of war, and the boats and yawls full of 
militia, and landed with the gold in Kinloch- 
moidart. There they remained for four or five 
days, and were thinking of setting out for Inver- 
ness with the treasure, when a letter arrived from 
the Prince conveying the news of Culloden, and 
ordering ^neas Macdonald to meet him at 
Borrodale. Thither, accordingly, ^Eneas hurried, 
and thither, on April the 21st, Donald Macleod, 
in answer to a summons from the Prince, also 
betook himself. When he came to Borrodale, 
the first man he met was the Prince in a wood 
all alone. On seeing Donald approaching 

" Are you Donald Macleod of Gualtergill in 
Skye ? " asked the Prince. 

" Yes," answered Donald, " I am the same 
man, may it please your Majesty, at your service. 
What is your pleasure with me ? " 

" Then," said the Prince, " you see, Donald, 
I am in distress. I therefore throw myself into 
your bosom, and let you do with me what you 
like. I hear you are an honest man and fit to 
be trusted." 



Prince and Pilot. 21 

In after days when Donald told this story 
to Bishop Forbes, the worthy Bishop says, " he 
grat sore, the tears came running down his 
cheeks," and he said, " Who the deil could help 
greeting when speaking on such a sad subject." 

Is it any wonder that Prince Charlie was 
served with fervid devotion when he inspired in 
his followers such a spirit as that ? And served 
by Donald Macleod with a devotion and whole- 
heartedness that knew no discouragement he 
was. 

The Prince wished Donald to carry letters 
from him to Sir Alexander Macdonald and the 
Laird of Macleod. Donald was staggered, as he 
well might be. The Prince explained that he 
was really convinced that these gentlemen, in 
spite of all they had done (and they had done a 
good deal), would do all in their power to pro- 
tect him. This was altogether too much for 
Donald, and he told the Prince plainly that he 
would not carry the letters. He would not 
undertake the task if he were to be hung for 
refusing. " What," said he, " does not your 
Excellency know that these men have played the 
rogue to you altogether, and will you trust them 
for all that! No, you mauna do it." 

In the end Donald's arguments prevailed, 
and abandoning his intention of throwing himself 



22 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

upon the protection of Sir Alexander Macdonald 
and Macleod, the Prince agreed to seek refuge in 
the Hebrides in the hope that there a ship might 
be found to carry him to France, or, failing that, 
to Orkney. To Donald the care of the expedi- 
tion was entrusted, and he straightway set about 
finding a boat suitable for the purpose. A 
better and a trustier guide could not have been 
found. He had known the West Coast and the 
Islands all his life, he was a sailor born and bred, 
and he had already given ample proof of his 
devotion. In spite of all that had happened he 
was still ready, as he said, to do anything in the 
world for the Prince, and to run any risk ; and 
so, " he most willingly undertook to do his best 
in the service he now proposed." 

Meanwhile, what of young Murdoch, whom 
we left with claymore, dirk, and pistol, bravely 
taking his chance in the field of Culloden Battle? 

Like young Kinlochmoidart, who declared 
for Prince Charlie when his brother and Clan- 
ranald and others of the chiefs still held back, 
Murdoch's devotion was personal to the Prince 
himself. It was Prince Charlie of the glamorous 
personality, the romantic leader of a gallant 
campaign, the beau-ideal of chivalry and daring, 
who had captivated his young imagination, and 
now, when the battle was irretrievably lost, it 



A Dramatic Meeting. 23 

was to him he turned. Others might seek safety 
in flight hither and thither, but for Murdoch 
where the Prince was there would he be. And 
so he found means to trace the road the Prince 
had taken, and followed him from place to place, 
with a courage and a devotion that have some- 
thing in them at once pathetic and sublime. 
How he did it unfortunately we do not know. 
But one likes to imagine the hero-worshipping 
youngster, still clinging to his claymore, his 
dirk, and his pistol, following in the footsteps of 
his Prince, and coming at last to his idol's feet. 
For so it was. Whether on foot or on horse, 
whether trudging manfully over mountain and 
moor, or riding perchance on the horse of some 
unfortunate who lay in death on Culloden 
battlefield, Murdoch made his way to distant 
Borrodale, and when his father went to arrange 
for a boat to carry the Prince to safety, he was 
startled to find the son whom he had left, as he 
thought, at his books in the Grammar School at 
Inverness. 

It must have been a dramatic meeting, the 
father, who had already put all to the touch for 
the Prince, meeting on this desolate part of the 
West Coast his son in arms and a fugitive, yet 
inspired by the same spirit which was at that 
very moment leading the father to risk life and 



24 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

fortune in a desperate effort to save the Prince 
from his enemies. "And this was the way," 
said Donald to Bishop Forbes, " that 1 met wi* 
my poor boy." 



HOW THE PRINCE AND HIS 
COMPANIONS FARED ON 
STORMY SEAS. 



III. 

HOW THE PRINCE AND HIS COM- 
PANIONS FARED ON STORMY 
SEAS. 

DONALD, on whom the life and fortunes of 
the Prince now depended, lost no time 
in obtaining a boat. Borrodale's son John, who 
had taken part in the rising, had not been heard 
of since the Battle of Culloden, but a stout eight- 
oared boat which belonged to him was put at the 
disposal of the Prince and his companions. 
Then a crew had to be found. Here was 
Murdoch's opportunity, and of course he jumped 
at it. If he could serve Prince Charlie in no 
other capacity, he could at least pull an oar in 
the boat which was to bear him to safety, so he 
became a member of that gallant little company 
which served the Hope of the Stuarts so faith- 
fully, and to whom he owed so much. Their 
names deserve to be remembered so long as the 
story of the '45 has power to stir men's blood. 
The oarsmen were Roderick Macdonald, Lachlan 
Macmurrich, Roderick Maccaskill, John Mac- 
donald, Duncan Roy, Alexander Macdonald, 



28 Prince Charlie s Pilot. 

Edward Burke, and the intrepid boy of fifteen, 
young Murdoch Highlanders all inspired by 
the true Highland spirit. At the helm was 
staunch old Donald Macleod, with the snows 
of 68 winters on his head ; at his feet lay 
Prince Charlie, and scattered about the boat 
were the Prince's companions, Captain O'Sulli- 
van, Captain O'Neil, and Allan Macdonald, of 
the family of Clanranald, a clergyman of the 
Church of Rome, who had abandoned the paths 
of peace for the fields of war. 

It was in the twilight of a Saturday even- 
ing, the 26th of April 1746, that the little 
company entered on the first stage of their 
adventurous voyage. Donald Macleod had made 
every preparation for the journey, and knpwing 
what manner of perils they had to encounter 
had taken the precaution of laying on board a 
firlot of meal, and a pot wherein to boil it should 
the necessity arise. From which it is clear that 
Donald, at least, was entering on the adventure 
with his eyes open to all its risks. 

As evening drew on Donald began to dislike 
the looks of the weather, and by the time the 
moment came for embarking, he was so certain 
a wild storm was brewing that he begged the 
Prince not to set out that night. "I see it 
coining," said he, in answer to the Prince's 



A Night of Tempest. 29 

question, but Prince Charlie not being endowed 
with the weather lore of the Highlander saw it 
not, and insisted on embarking. So as darkness 
was falling the little party went on board the 
boat, which lay hard by Borrodale House in 
Loch-nan-Uamh, a spot full of memories for 
the Royal fugitive, for here he had landed just 
nine months before. Fate surely never played 
an unkinder trick than when she led the Prince, 
who had gambled so bravely for a crown, to leave 
in desperate flight the land whose throne he had 
shaken, at the very spot where, full of high hopes 
and on high adventure bent, he had first set foot 
in the kingdom of his fathers. 

Donald Macleod's fears of a wild night were 
soon justified. They had not rowed very far 
when a violent tempest arose, the worst, said 
Donald afterwards, he had ever experienced on 
the coast of Scotland. The wind blew a hurri- 
cane, rain came down in torrents, thunder roared 
incessantly, and flash upon flash of lightning 
illumined the storm-tossed scene. As time went 
on the storm grew worse and worse, till it seemed 
as if nothing could save them. In this strait 
the Prince " wanted much to be at land again," 
and asked Donald to steer directly for the rock 
which runs for three miles along the shore of 
Loch-nan-Uamh. " For," said he, " I had rather 



3.0 Prince Charlie's Pilot 

face cannons and muskets than be in such a 
storm as this," 

But to accede to his request was impossible. 
It would have meant turning right in the teeth 
of the gale, and if, by any chance, they succeeded 
in reaching the neighbourhood of the rocks, 
nothing could save the boat from being stove in 
and themselves from being dashed to pieces. 
Donald, good old sailor that he was, was going 
to take no risks of that kind. He saw clearly 
where alone their hope of escape lay, though a 
slender hope it was. To the Prince's anxious 
question what had he a mind to do, Donald 
made fine answer 

" Why," said he, "since we are here we have 
nothing for it, but, under God, to set out to sea 
directly. Is it not as good for us to be drowned 
in clean water as to be dabhed in pieces upon a 
rock, and to be drowned too ? " 

So out to sea they set, with Donald, a vigi- 
lant heroic figure, steadfast at the helm. All was 
now "hush and silence" in the boat. Not one 
word was uttered as they were carried tempestu- 
ously along " expecting every moment to be 
overwhelmed with the violence of the waves, and 
to sink down to the bottom." To make matters 
worse they had neither pump, nor compass, nor 



In Wretched Plight. 31 

lantern with them, and the night turned so pitch 
dark that for the greater part of the way they 
knew not where they were. Their course, too, 
was a perilous one. To the left lay in succession 
the islands of Eigg, Rum, and Canna. To the 
right, for many miles, was Skye. In the pitch 
darkness that prevailed they might find them- 
selves at any moment flung on one or other of 
these inhospitable coasts. But, " as God would 
have it," said Donald in all reverence, " by peep 
of day we discovered ourselves to be on the coast 
of the Long Isle, and we made directly to the 
nearest land, which was Rossinish, in the Island 
of Benbecula," 

It was not, perhaps, the landing-place 
Donald would have chosen, but their plight was 
such that there was nothing else for it. For 
eight hours they had been tossed about at the 
mercy of wind and wave ; they were, everyone 
of them, soaked to the skin, cold, hungry, wet, 
and miserable ; and the gale had not yet blown 
itself out. In such weather and on such a coast 
to effect a safe landing was no easy task, but, 
thanks to Donald's skill, it was at last, though 
with great difficulty, accomplished, the whole 
party getting safely ashore, and the boat being 
hauled up on dry land out of reach of the sea. 
Eight hours had passed since they had embarked, 



32 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

and in that time they had been driven a distance 
of 80 miles. 

The storm continued to rage for four hours 
after they landed, but, luckily, they found an 
uninhabited hut into which they crowded. A 
fire of driftwood was quickly lighted, round 
which they dried their soaking clothes and 
warmed their chilled bodies, while an old sail 
was spread on the bare ground to serve as a bed 
for the Prince, who, after all he had come 
through, " was very well pleased with it, and 
slept soundly." Then was old Donald's foresight 
in providing a pot and a firlot of meal abund- 
antly justified. Other food there was none, but 
by and bye some of the party, going out to 
forage, came on a cow grazing peacefully not 
very far away, and in no long time there was 
beef as well as meal for the pot. 



HOW THEY FELL AMONG 
FRIENDS AND WERE IN 
DANGER FROM FOES. 



IV. 



HOW THEY FELL AMONG FRIENDS 
AND WERE IN DANGER FROM 
FOES. 

THE day passed quietly. They were in Clan- 
ranald's country ; they must for the 
time being have given the slip to their pursuers ; 
and it was the Sabbath. After such a night of 
storm they might, therefore, well be excused if 
they thought their presence was not likely to be 
observed. As it happened, however, a herd of 
Clanranald's had seen the strangers, and he 
hastened to his master's house, seven miles away, 
with the news. Unfortunately there was that 
day enjoying the hospitality of the chief a Pres- 
byterian minister, in whose narrow soul the 
chivalry of his race found no abode the Rev. 
John Macaulay, minister of South Uist, and 
grandfather of Lord Macaulay. The herd came 
in full of his news. A band of richly dressed 
strangers had landed at Ros&inish and taken 
refuge in the empty hut. So ran his tale, and 
neither Clanranald nor Macaulay had much 
difficulty in guessing who the strangers were. 



36 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

But each kept his suspicions to himself, and 
each, unknown to the other, sent a messenger 
to enquire who the storm-tossed wayfarers 
might be. 

Macaulay's messenger, passing himself off 
as coming from Clanranald, learned that the 
strangers were the Prince and his party. He 
also discovered that there was a plan afoot to 
procure a ship at Stornoway, whence, in the 
guise of shipwrecked mariners, the fugitives were 
to sail for France or Orkney. Back to the 
minister he hastened with the news, and Mac- 
aulay, unworthy scion of a gallant clan, straight- 
way hastened to make arrangements for the 
capture of the Prince. It was not his fault that 
he escaped the eternal disgrace which success 
would have attached to his name. 

As soon as Clanranald's messenger returned 
with his tidings the old chief set out hot foot for 
Kossinish. As companion he had the parish 
schoolmaster, his children's tutor, Neil Mac- 
Eachainn, who was bye and bye to render the 
Prince devoted service, and who was in the after 
days to give to the service of his adopted 
country, France, his son, the gallant Marshal 
Macdonald. 

Clanranald found the fugitives deep in the 
discussion of their plans, and was forthwith ad- 



Friends and Foes. 37 

mitted to their confidence. The old chief ap- 
proved of the Stornoway scheme, and as it was 
advisable to lose as little time as possible, it 
was arranged to set sail as soon as evening 
began to fall. It was now Tuesday, the 29th 
April. Nearly a fortnight had elapsed since the 
fatal day of Culloden, and the seas were known 
to be alive with Government vessels on the look- 
out for fugitives. So Clanranald bade the Prince 
farewell, and the little party embarked once 
again in the eight-oared boat which had served 
them so bravely. It was Donald's intention to 
make for the Island of Scalpa, where he had 
good friends with whom he hoped the Prince 
might lie in safety until the ship at Stornoway 
was ready. Accordingly they bore northwards 
through the night, and two hours before day- 
break they landed on Scalpa. 

According to the agreed-on plan 'Sullivan 
now became the figurehead of the party. He 
was the master of the shipwrecked vessel and 
the Prince was his son. Donald's friend, whose 
hospitality they were now to seek, was a Camp- 
bell and a Hanoverian, but Donald vouched for 
him, and to his house accordingly they went 
with their tale of shipwreck. They reached it a 
little before break of day, tired and cold and 
hungry after their all-night journey, and cer- 



38 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

tainly to that extent at least looking their part. 
They were received with true Highland hospi- 
tality, Donald's immediate request for a large 
fire being at once granted, and the best enter- 
tainment the house could provide being placed 
before them. Campbell was married to a sister 
of a staunch Jacobite, Donald Roy Macdonald, 
brother of Baleshair. She certainly knew who 
her visitors were, and it would have been strange 
if her husband had remained in ignorance. In- 
deed, in Buchanan's "Travels in the Western 
Hebrides" (1793) it is stated that he did much 
more than merely close his eyes to their identity. 
" It was well known," says Buchanan, " that this 
gentleman was strictly loyal and well attached 
to the reigning family, yet the enormous sum of 
30,000 could not bribe him to act the infamous 
part required." According to Buchanan, an 
armed party, accompanied by the Rev. Aulay 
Macaulay, father of the beforementioned Rever- 
end John of evil memory, landed on the island 
determined to secure the person of the Prince. 
"Mr Campbell scorned the bribe, and expostu- 
lated much against the infamous attempt .... 
But when he found that they still persisted in 
spite of reason he assured them that he himself 
would fall in his cause rather than give up the 
man that entrusted him with his life, or entail 



Highland Chivalry. 39 

shame on his posterity. With that view he 
despatched his son to give them intelligence of 
their danger." Whereupon the minister and his 
friends " sneaked off from the island, ashamed 
and disappointed at the loss of the money, which 
they already had devoured in their thoughts, and 
divided to every man in his due proportion." 
The story bears the stamp of truth upon it, and 
is quite in keeping with all we know of Camp- 
bell and the Macaulays. 

Donald Macleod stayed only one night in 
Scalpa. On the 1st of May he borrowed a sail- 
ing-boat from Campbell, and taking with him 
young Murdoch and the rest of the crew, he set 
out for Stornoway. It certainly says a lot for 
the confidence he reposed in his Hanoverian 
friend that he was not afraid to leave his preci- 
ous charge, whether his identity was known or 
unknown, in his keeping. 

But of a truth Donald was a sound judge, 
and moreover he knew his own people. It should 
never be forgotten that Prince Charlie owed his 
escape to Hanoverian as well as to Jacobite, that 
men who had refused to carry arms for him 
when fortune seemed to smile on the great ad- 
venture, risked their all to save him when he 
was a hunted, helpless, fugitive ; that women 
whose nearest and dearest were in arms for the 



40 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

Government, risked life and reputation, risked 
home and fortune, in order that for him a way 
of escape might be found. It was to political 
foes, as much as to political friends that Prince 
Charlie owed his escape. Nay, it was to political 
foes even more than to political friends, for when 
the doors were closing inexorably upon him it was 
Hugh Macdonald of Armadale and Flora, his 
step-daughter, who opened them, and it was 
Kingsburgh who gave him asylum in the hour 
of his dire need. That is the supreme fact in 
the story of Prince Charlie's wanderings. It is 
that which lifts the tale of Highland chivalry to 
its greatest heights. That his friends should 
aid him, should risk life and all that life held is 
grand but not surprising ; that among the poor 
and the outcast and the hunted no man should 
have been found to betray him in spite of the 
offer of wealth untold or the threat of savage 
vengeance, is an eternal tribute to the nobility 
of the Highland nature. But that those who 
were his political foes should save him, in the 
full knowledge of the price they might have to 
pay, is sublime. It is when judged by that 
standard that the Macaulays arid their like fail 
dismally, it is when judged by that standard 
that they stand condemned at the bar of High- 
land history. 



WHAT BEFEL AT STORNOWAY. 



V. 
WHAT BEFEL AT STORNOWAY. 

WE left Donald and his son Murdoch voy- 
aging to Stornoway. The latter rau&t 
have had adventures enough during the fort- 
night that had elapsed since he had taken his 
chance in the field of Culloden Battle to satisfy 
even the most romantic boy. But Murdoch 
was of the true heroic breed. Never once did 
the youth of 1 5 flinch in the face of the dangers 
which beset him, and he stuck by his father and 
the Prince through good and ill report in a 
manner and with a courage which are beyond 
praise. 

They arrived in Stornoway in due time, and 
Donald straightway set about his business. A 
ship was after some trouble found, a bargain 
was struck, and on the evening of the 3rd of 
May the Prince received by the hand of a trusty 
messenger the joyful news of the success of the 
mission. Next day, accordingly, he left Scalpa, 
accompanied by O'Sullivan, O'Neil, Edward or 
Ned Burke, and a guide. They landed at the 
head of Loch-Seaforth, whence a long walk lay 



44 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

before them to Stornoway. In good spirits they 
set out ; but the guide lost his way, night came 
down, and in the darkness they wandered into a 
tangle of rivers and mosses and bogs, from which 
they were unable to extricate themselves until 
many weary hours had passed. At last, utterly 
worn out and soaked to the skin, they reached a 
spot two miles from Stornoway, where they took 
shelter under a rock on the moor of Arnish, 
while the guide hurried to the town to find 
Donald Macleod and inform him of their plight. 
Donald lost no time in hastening to the aid of 
the fugitives with a welcome supply of refresh- 
ments, and straightway conducted them to the 
house of Mrs Mackenzie of Kildun, hard by 
IStornoway, where they were received with true 
Highland hospitality. At last their troubles 
seemed well-nigh over, the hour of escape was 
close at hand. 

But it was not to be. At almost the last 
moment the door closed in their faces, and they 
became wanderers by sea and land once more. 
It happened in this wise. The Rev. Aulay 
Macaulay, minister of Harris, whose attempt to 
seize the Prince at Scalpa had so signally mis- 
carried, had warned the Rev. Colin Mackenzie, 
minister of Lewis, of the fugitives' intention to 
obtain a ship at Stornoway, an intention which 



In the Midst of Alarms. 45 

he had learned from his spying son, the minister 
of South Uist. Thus it was that Donald Mac- 
leod experienced much difficulty in obtaining a 
vessel, but when he sent word to the Prince on 
the 3rd of May he had succeeded in purchasing 
a small brig for the exorbitant sum of 500. 
When he returned from Kildun in the forenoon 
of the 5th of May, however, to make the final 
arrangements, he found that his plans had gone 
agley, and that Stornoway was in an uproar. 
The streets were full of excited people, two or 
three hundred Mackenzies had assembled in 
arms in front of the principal inn, and a drum 
was beating the assembly. To use his own 
words he " could not understand at all what was 
the matter that occasioned such a sudden rising 
of men," but shrewdly guessing that it had 
something to do with the Prince, he went boldly 
into the room where the gentlemen were " that 
had taken upon themselves the rank of officers," 
and demanded to know what was amiss. 

His reception was not pleasant. He was 
greeted with an outburst of abuse and reproach ; 
he had brought "this plague" upon them; and 
" everyone of them cursed him very bitterly and 
gave him very abusive language." Donald was 
amazed, as well he might be, but at last he 
gathered that they had been " well assured that 



46 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

the Prince was near at hand with five hundred 
men ; that he intended to seize by force a vessel 
at Stornoway, and that this would expose the 
good people of the town to the hazard of losing 
both their cattle and their lives." Donald was 
filled with righteous wrath, but he kept himself 
in hand, and very gravely asked how such a 
notion could ever have entered into their heads. 

" Where, I pray you," said he, " could the 
Prince, in his present condition, get 500 or 
100 men together ? I believe the men are mad ! 
Has the devil possessed you altogether ? " 

The devil had not, but the Macaulays, 
father and son, had, as he was very plainly told. 
Whereupon Donald, in vast indignation, cursed 
these informers very heartily, " and spared not 
to give them their proper epithets in strong 
terms." Then, his feelings slightly relieved, he 
bent himself to the task of persuasion. 

"Well, then," said he, " since you know 
already that the Prince is upon your island, I 
acknowledge the truth of it ; but then he is so 
far from having any number of men with him 
that he has only two companions with him, and 
when T am there I make the third. And let me 
tell you further, gentlemen, if Seaforth himself 
were here, by God, he durst not put a hand to 
the Prince's breast." 



Attitude of the Mackenzies. 47 

It must have been a picturesque scene. 
Donald, stern and indignant with flashing eye 
and bitter words, fronting the roomful of Mac- 
kenzies, while outside the drum beat and the 
townspeople stood to arms. Truth to tell the 
Mackenzies were in a difficult position, veritably 
between the devil and the deep sea They had 
had enough of rebellion in the '15, when the title 
and estates of Seaforth had been forfeited ; and 
though the latter had been restored to the Earl's 
son, Lord Fortrose, the ancient title was still in 
abeyance, though Lord Fortrose was known all 
over the north as Seaforth. Moreover, the clan 
had remained loyal during the '45 ; it had even 
supplied men to Lord London's Northern Army, 
and however much the secret sympathy of the 
Mackenzies might be with the Stuart cause, they 
were committed to the support of its enemies. 
Their chief, too, had issued stringent orders to 
them to remain loyal. He had far to much at 
stake to do anything, or even to connive at 
anything, which might be construed into re- 
bellion. Old Donald was quite well aware of 
this and appreciated the difficulty in which the 
men of Stornoway found themselves. With true 
Highland chivalry he desired Bishop Forbes " to 
remark particularly for the honour of the honest 
Mackenzies in the Lews (notwithstanding the 



48 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

vile abusive language they had given him) that 
they declared they had no intention to do the 
Prince the smallest hurt, or to meddle with him 
at present in any shape." They were merely 
" mighty desirous he might leave them and go 
to the Continent (i.e., to the mainland), or any- 
where else he should think convenient." And 
Ned Burke was equally emphatic. " The Mac- 
kenzies," he said, " proved very favourable and 
easy, for they could have taken us if they 
had pleased." 

It is impossible not to sympathise with the 
Mackenzies. So far, much against the grain 
probably, they had kept clear of the rebellion, 
and now they feared, with good reason, that they 
were to be made the unwilling instrument of 
the Prince's escape. They did not wish the 
Prince to be captured, but they had no desire to 
feel the weight of the Government's wrath for 
supplying him with the means of escape. In 
those days the most innocent actions were too 
often construed into complicity with rebels, and 
the Mackenzies judged they were doing enough 
when they disregarded the golden opportunity 
which offered of capturing the Prince. Here he 
was, a helpless fugitive, in their very grasp, witli 
30,000 on his head. They had but to stretch 
forth their hands and the great prize was theirs. 



The Honour of the Mackenzies. 49 

But they made no effort in that direction. They 
were nominally his foes. In one sense, to cap- 
ture him was their manifest duty. By letting 
him go they were running the risk of the 
Government's wrath. But to their honour they 
took that risk. They would not aid his escape ; 
they would not permit the bargain about the 
ship to be carried out; they would not even 
lend Donald a pilot to conduct him over to the 
mainland. But no Mackenzie would go a yard 
to capture him, not even though 30,000 and a 
Government's favour awaited the doer of the 
deed. Well might Donald ask Bishop Forbes 
to remark this particularly "for the honour of 
the honest Mackenzies." They were the Prince's 
enemies, but they let him go. And with good 
reason did Donald curse, in the bitterness of his 
spirit, " that devil of a minister who did us a' the 
mischief in his power," for had the Macaulays, 
father or son, acted according to the principles of 
the religion they professed, or had they even 
acted up to the standard of their poorer neigh- 
bours in the Islands, there cannot be any doubt 
that no obstacle would have been placed in the 
way of Prince Charlie's sailing from Stornoway. 
Thus, by the strange irony of circumstances, the 
Macaulays are unconsciously responsible for the 
halo of romance which has grown round the 



50 



Prince Charlie's Pilot. 



head of the man they sought to hound to his 
death, and for a tale of heroism, of devotion, and 
of chivalry to which there is no parallel in 
history. 




HOW THEY BECAME WANDERERS 
ONCE MORE. 



VI. 

HOW THEY BECAME WANDERERS 
ONCE MORE. 

WHERE meantime was young Murdoch, 
and what part was he playing in the 
troubles of the 5th of May ? He had been left 
with the boat when his father had gone to 
Arnish, and soon he had worries enough of his 
own to absorb all his energies. The men who 
had manned the oars throughout the adven- 
turous voyage consisted, as we have seen, of 
Murdoch himself, six Highlanders from Borro- 
dale, and Edward or Ned Burke. The last named 
deserves special mention. A native of North 
Uist, with but a scanty store of English, he had 
betaken himself to Edinburgh, there to earn his 
living as a carrier of sedan chairs. When the 
Jacobite army entered the city, Ned Burke, 
eagerly answering to the call of his blood, joined 
the Prince, served throughout the rest of the 
campaign, and after the Battle of Culloden acted 
as Prince Charlie's guide from the battlefield to 
the West Coast, a duty which he performed with 
great gallantry and devotion. 



54 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

Ned remained thereafter with the Prince, 
sharing his dangers for upwards of two months, 
until at last, on the 20th of June, it was deemed 
advisable for the little company, who had gone 
through so much together, to separate, and 
Burke, the Macleods, and the other companions 
of Prince Charlie's Island wanderings bade him 
a sad farewell. Ned succeeded in eluding cap- 
ture, and after the Act of Indemnity was passed, 
he returned to Edinburgh and resumed his occu- 
pation of carrying the city bucks and dames in 
sedan chairs. He died in 1751 while still 
engaged in this humble work. "Honest Ned 
Burke," Bishop Forbes calls him, and as "Honest 
Ned Burke " he lives in history. No man ever 
deserved the proud title better. Think of this 
man, a humble Highland chair man in the city 
of Edinburgh, unable either to read or to write, 
the guide and companion of a Prince on whose 
head was a price of 30,000, the sharer of his 
arduous toils and his pressing dangers, carrying 
often the fugitive's life in the hollow of his hand, 
yet never faltering in his devotion, never failing 
in the hour of danger, and returning in the end 
to finish his days at the lowly occupation which 
he had deserted to follow Prince Charlie's 
fortunes. Times without number he had but 
to stretch forth his hand, and wealth beyond the 



Doubts and Fears. 55 

dreams of avarice was his. Times without num- 
ber he had the opportunity of stepping from 
days and nights of dire danger to years of safety 
and comfort. Yet he wavered not, and he died, 
as he had lived, a poor, lowly man. There is a 
simple grandeur in the picture of this friend and 
companion of a Prince, this Bayard sans peur et 
sans reproche if ever there was one, carrying the 
beaux and belles of Edinburgh in their chairs 
like any ordinary poverty-stricken mortal, before 
which the imagination can only bow in rever- 
ence. 

Ned Burke, however, had riot accompanied 
Donald Macleod in Campbell's boat from Scalpa 
to Stornoway. He had stayed with the Prince, 
probably because neither O'Sullivan nor O'Neil, 
Prince Charlie's remaining companions, spoke 
Gaelic, and throughout the anxious hours of the 
5th of May he was with the Royal fugitive at 
Kildun. To young Murdoch, therefore, fell the 
task of looking after the boat and the boat's 
crew in Stornoway, and a difficult task he soon 
found it to be. His father had gone in the 
early hours of the morning, and very soon after 
his departure Stornoway was in a tumult. Men 
were rushing about with arms in their hands, 
drums were beating, noisy groups were gathering 
in the neighbourhood of the boat, excited Mac- 



56 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

kenzies kept accusing Murdoch and his com- 
panions of bringing the Prince and 500 men 
down upon them, and all manner of wild talk 
and threats was being indulged in. In the midst 
of such excitements, the day drew on. On 
Murdoch's young shoulders a grave responsibility 
rested. That some serious hitch in their plans 
had occurred was only too apparent, and if the 
worst came to the worst the boat was their only 
means of escape. So he lay all day in the 
harbour a prey to conflicting doubts and fears. 
Rumour succeeded rumour, men came and went, 
definite news of his father or of the Prince there 
was none, and sudden and deadly danger seemed 
never far away. 

Then came what must have appeared to 
Murdoch as the crowning misfortune. Some of 
the boatmen began to show signs of weakening. 
They had passed through dangers enough during 
the past ten days, and now they had hundreds 
of armed Mackenzies threatening them with 
open violence, and filling their ears with fear- 
some tales of what would befal them if they con- 
tinued with the Prince. By this time tales of 
the awful atrocities committed by Cumberland's 
men had penetrated to the islands, and we may 
be sure they lost nothing in the telling to the 
men of Borrodale. It was little wonder some of 



To Sea once more. 57 

them began to wish they were well out of the 
adventure. After all they had done their share 
nobly. They had faced danger by sea and land, 
they had already had far more of hardship and 
of peril than they had counted on. They had, 
too, their wives and families to think of, to say 
nothing of themselves. And now they were 
faced with unknown dangers, greater probably 
than any they had passed through. In vain 
Murdoch expostulated. Two of the Borrodale 
men were past persuading. They had done all 
that could fairly be demanded of them, and as 
the day drew to its close they took themselves 
quietly away. 

Donald meanwhile had returned to Kildun 
with his ill news, and there he found the Prince 
in a fever of expectation, which had prevented 
him from taking the sleep he so sorely needed. 
His disappointment at having the cup dashed 
from his lips at the last moment was naturally 
great, but urgent though the necessity was for 
immediate flight, tired nature could no longer be 
denied, and he resolutely refused to set out 
again until he had had a night's repose. Donald 
reluctantly was compelled to agree, and hardened 
old warrior that he was, straightway set about 
getting things ready for an early start. To 
Murdoch, waiting anxiously in the fast- falling 



58 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

darkness in Stornoway, word was brought 
perhaps by Donald himself, that they were safe 
from danger for the moment, but that they must 
take to the boat again at daybreak. So at mid- 
night the boat, with its attenuated crew, was 
brought round to just below Kildun House ; a 
cow which had been killed during the day was 
cut up, and its head and various other portions 
placed on board ; two pecks of meal and plenty 
of sugar and brandy \vere added to the store ; 
and at the last moment their hospitable hostess 
handed Ned Burke "a junt of butter betwixt 
two fardles of bread." Thus provisioned, and 
with a companion of their former voyage in the 
shape of a wooden plate for making the meal 
into dough, they set out on their travels once 
more, at 8 o'clock on the morning of Tuesday, 
the 6th of May. But whereas formerly they 
had voyaged northward to Stornoway and 
hope, they were now returning southward to 
Benbecula, and they knew not what. 



ON A DESERT ISLAND. 



VII. 
ON A DESERT ISLAND. 

Now began for Murdoch the most desperate 
stage of his adventures in the Prince's 
cause. He had faced death in many forms in the 
field of Cullodeu Battle, he had since run great 
risks by sea and land, but he had not yet known 
what it was to be in constant danger by day and 
night, to be the quarry of eager, cruel men, to 
know no respite from relentless pursuit, and to- 
feel the toils ever tightening round his com- 
panions and himself, and especially round the 
Prince, whose safety was their chief concern. 
For the hunt was now up in earnest : the blood- 
hounds had scented the quarry from afar, and to 
the Western seas were hastening sailors and 
soldiers, ships of war, and companies of redcoats r 
all fired by the one ambition, that of capturing 
the fugitive on whose head were 30,000 pieces 
of gold. Everywhere the hunters swarmed. 
Their ships and boats covered the waters round 
the islands, soldiers and militia spread them- 
selves in eager search over the face of the land. 
The Prince and his companions carried their 



62 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

lives literally in the hollow of their hands. Only 
by the most unceasing vigilance, the most un- 
remitting skill, and the most unfaltering courage 
could they by any possibility win through. It 
was a situation which called for qualities of the 
highest, and in it the intrepid boy of 15 proved 
himself a man among men. 

The little company was reduced to ten, 
when, after trying to fling their foes on a false 
scent by giving out that they were bound for 
Seaforth's country on the mainland, they left 
the hospitable house of Kildun. The Prince, 
O'Sullivan, O'Neil, Donald Macleod, Murdoch, 
Ned Burke, and the four remaining boatmen 
made up the party, but Donald Campbell's boat 
was lighter and easier to handle than the old 
eight-oared boat, so the two runaways were not 
missed unduly. Indeed, so superior to the old 
did the new boat prove, "such a fine, light, 
swift-sailing thing," that the Prince would not 
part with it when at last they came to Scalpa, 
where their old craft lay, and it continued to be 
their ark of safety so long as the little band of 
fugitives remained together. 

The start from Kildun was unpropitious. 
Once again the elements were against them, 
and they set out in the teeth of a contrary wind 
and a very hard gale. Great caution was neces- 



An Island Refuge. 63 

sary, and a strict look-out was kept, for no less 
than four ships of war were known to be in their 
near neighbourhood. So southward they sailed, 
with Murdoch, Ned Burke, and the boatmen 
at the oars, keeping as close to the land 
as the weather permitted, in the hope that 
they would thus elude the notice of any vessel 
lying out at sea. For some hours the voyage 
proceeded uneventfully, nothing occurring to 
alarm them. Then, as they rounded Kebock 
Head, the four ships came into view lying off 
the point, but the boat, stealing along under the 
shelter of the land, escaped observation, and pre- 
sently they were able to breathe freely again. 
The close proximity of the warships, however, 
showed them the danger of holding on their 
southward course in the meantime, and old 
Donald, on whose shoulders the responsibility 
rested, steered the boat for the deserted island 
of luhbard, which lies low and desolate in the 
mouth of Loch-Shell. 

The island was a place much used by fisher- 
men for drying fish, and as the boat drew near 
its occupants could see several men engaged 
in this occupation. Luckily, however, a very 
healthy fear of the press-gang pervaded those 
parts, and the fishers, taking the approaching 
boat for a man-o' -war's, departed so hastily that 



64 Prince Charlies Pilot. 

they left all their fish behind. This proved a 
veritable godsend to the wanderers, for with 
plenty of " good, dry fish," and a sufficiency of 
brandy and sugar to mix with the water of the 
" very good springs " which they found upon 
the island, they were in no danger of starvation, 
even should they be compelled to stay there for 
some time. Two things were necessary for the 
safe continuance of their journey favourable 
weather and an offing clear of the enemy's ships, 
Accustomed as they now were to the bufferings 
of the wind and sea, they were ready to take 
their chance of the former, but they could 
take no risks with the latter. The days were 
lengthening rapidly and the hours of darkness 
becoming ever shorter, so that the chances of a 
hostile ship espying them were by no means 
slight. 

Four days and nights were spent upon " the 
desert island" before it was judged safe to 
continue the voyage. For shelter the party 
slept in the rude huts which had been erected 
by the fishers, " little huts of houses like swine's 
huts," Ned Burke calls them. The best of these 
was of course selected for the Prince, but even it 
was " a low pityful thing," and " so ill-roofed 
that they were obliged to spread the sail of the 
boat over the top of it." Bedding or furni- 



The Fugitive Prince. 65 

ture of any description, there was none, and 
they had only the bare ground to stretch them- 
selves on, " without any covering upon them at 
all," when they lay down to sleep. Luckily, 
however, they found heath and turf enough to 
make a fire, and on the first night they were 
able to warm still further their chilled bodies by 
converting some of their treasured brandy and 
sugar into hot toddy. An earthen pitcher left 
behind by the fishers in their sudden flight was 
utilised for the purpose, but on the second night, 
says Donald regretfully, it " by some mischance 
or other was broken to pieces, so that we could 
have no more warm punch," a remark which 
illustrates as well as anything the straits to 
which they were reduced. 

It is difficult sometimes for the casual 
reader to understand the difference between the 
Prince Charlie of the days before Culloden and 
the Prince Charlie of the months of wandering 
which followed the fatal battle. Though much 
has been written of the Prince's bearing in the 
days of his first success and in the days of his 
bitter retreat, it is round the personality of the 
wanderer that the web of romance has woven 
itself, and it is Prince Charlie the hunted 
fugitive, whose memory lingers still in the High- 
lands, and who has cast a spell which will last 



66 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

as long as time itself. The reason is simple. 
Prince Charlie, the leader of the Highland army, 
the head of an armed rebellion, carried great 
responsibilities on his shoulders, and was in the 
eyes of most of his followers, however gay and 
debonair he might sometimes be, a man apart, 
a Prince to be treated only with respect and 
reverence. Prince Charlie, the fugitive, cast care 
and responsibility from him like a discarded 
cloak, and with them cast the outward trappings 
of royalty. Henceforth he was far more man 
than Prince, and though his faithful Highlanders 
never forgot that he was their Prince, yet it was 
the man himself who laid them under that spell 
which has given to the world the most alluring 
of all its romances. For the Prince, a fugitive, 
forgot that he was a Prince, and remembering 
only that he was a man in whom the blood of 
youth coursed generously, gave full rein to all 
the gay recklessness in the face of danger, all 
the spirit of camaraderie, all the joy of living, 
which went to form so large a part of the 
mysterious personal charm which was the gift 
of the unhappy Stuart race. 

Already Murdoch and his companions had 
obtained many glimpses of this new Prince, but 
it was on the desert isle of luhbard that they 
saw him come to full fruition. During the four 



A Princely Cook. 67 

days and four nights of their stay, he threw him- 
self heart and soul into every little happening. 
He helped Ned Burke with the cooking, he con- 
cocted new dishes out of their scanty store of 
food, he kept up their spirits with story and 
jest. When on the first night the brandy punch 
circulated, he called for toasts, giving himself 
" the Black Eye," Louis the Fifteenth's second 
daughter, for whom he seemed to have a special 
affection, and discoursing freely on the Court of 
France. A semblance of royalty was kept up at 
meals, it is true, but it was only a semblance, 
the Prince and his friends sitting on the bare 
ground round one large stone, which served as a 
table, and the boatmen squatting round another. 
But it was the Prince who cooked a meal of fish 
when all the others save Ned Burke were asleep, 
and it was he who, less fastidious than Ned, 
made him produce Mrs Mackenzie of Kildun's 
junt of butter from its resting-place "betwixt 
two fardles of bread." Ned thought the butter 
would not serve the purpose at all, for " it was 
far from being clean, the bread being crumpled 
into pieces and wrought in amongst it, and there- 
fore he thought shame to present it." But the 
Prince laughing at him made him produce it, and 
when the fish were sufficiently cooked the rest of 
the company were awakened to share in the 



68 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

entertainment. Donald, like Ned, did not like 
the look of the butter even in its cooked condi- 
tion, "for it was neither good nor clean. But 
the Prince told him he was very nice indeed, 
for that the butter would serve the turn very 
well at present, and he caused it to be served 
up." Whereupon " they made a very hearty 
meal of the fish and the crumbs of bread 
swimming among the butter." 

On another occasion, when Ned was pre- 
paring to bake some bannocks, the Prince, who 
was an interested onlooker, said he would have a 
cake of his own contriving. He told Ned " to 
take the brains of the cow and mingle them well 
in amongst the meal when making the dough," 
and this they would find to be very wholesome 
meat. His directions were obeyed, and, said 
Donald, " he gave orders to birsle the bannock 
well, or else it would not do at all." When the 
cake was fully fired, the Prince himself divided 
it among his friends, and, according to Donald, 
the novel royal bannock " made very good bread 
indeed." 

Thus four days and nights slipped past in 
an atmosphere of camaraderie and good fellow- 
ship which did much to restore the spirits of 
the little company and bind them more closely 
to one another and to the Prince for whom they 



A Princely Intention. 69 

were daring so much. But their situation was 
very far from being secure, for at any moment 
one of the ships, whose sails they could descry 
in the distance, might think fit to land a party 
on the island. So when on the fifth day, the 
1 Oth of May, they gazed out on a sea on which 
no sail was visible, they eagerly got ready for a 
renewal of their voyage. The boat was launched, 
the sail was taken from " the low, pityful hut " 
to which it had made a roof for the royal head ; 
as their provisions were nearly exhausted, two 
dozen of the dried fish were put on board, and 
after another long eager look round the horizon, 
the wanderers put out to sea once more. South- 
ward they bore, Scalpa their destination, for the 
Prince insisted on steering their course directly 
to that island, as he was determined to return 
thither " in order to pay his respects to honest 
Donald Campbell for the remarkable civilities he 
had shown him." 

Scalpa was reached without misadventure, 
but, as they were about to land, four men were 
seen coming towards them. Ned jumped ashore 
to reconnoitre the strangers, but not liking their 
looks " he thought fit to return with speed to 
the boat," and putting his hand on the gunwale 
jumped aboard, "and stayed not to converse 
with them." It turned out that honest Donald 



70 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

Campbell was not at home, he having, in the 
expressive words of Donald Macleod, " gone a- 
skulking for fear of being laid up, an account 
or rumour having passed from hand to hand that 
the Prince had been in his house, and that the 
landlord had entertained him kindly." So 
Prince Charlie's princely intention of turning 
aside in the midst of pressing danger to pay his 
respects to honest Donald Campbell for his re- 
markable civilities was defeated, and he sailed 
away from Scalpa full of regrets " at missing his 
hospitable friend." 



HOW THEY WERE CHASED 
BY A SHIP OF WAR. 



VIII. 

HOW THEY WERE CHASED BY A 
SHIP OF WAR. 

As the presence of the fugitives in the 
neighbourhood of Scalpa would now be 
suspected, it behoved them to make what speed 
they could away from its shores. But the wind 
had fallen completely, and Murdoch and his 
companions had to bend to the oars and row 
with vigour. Night had now fallen, and all 
through the hours of darkness the oarsmen toiled 
strenuously, till, when day broke, they found 
themselves many miles south of Scalpa. It was, 
perhaps, during this arduous night's rowing that 
the Prince kept up the hearts of the rowers by 
singing them songs, an incident which certainly 
happened at least once, and probably frequently, 
during his voyaging with Donald Macleod. 
Another gallant Macleod, Captain Malcolm Mac- 
leod of Brea, tells of how, on a subsequent 
occasion, the Prince sang "a merry Highland 
song" to encourage another crew, and Flora 
Macdonald, of immortal memory, has placed on 
record that on the voyage from the Long Island 
to Skye he sang " The King shall enjoy his own 



74 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

again," " The twenty-ninth of May," and various 
other songs. So in the darkness of this May 
night, when the weary rowers toiled at the oars, 
we may imagine the Prince, sitting in his usual 
place at the feet of old Donald, whom neither 
weariness nor storm nor danger could tear from 
his place at the helm, trilling lightsome songs to 
cheer the oarsmen on their way. 

As day broke the wind luckily rose, and 
the sail being hoisted, the rowers were able to 
get a welcome rest. They were all quite worn 
out and faint for lack of food, and the only food 
remaining was a little meal. But to tired and 
hungry men this was better than nothing, and 
they proceeded to make it into dramach or 
stapag by mixing it with salt water. The Prince 
was greatly interested in the operations. Re- 
marking that this was a kind of meat he had 
never seen before, "he behoved to try it how it 
would go down," and, according to old Donald, 
ate of it very heartily, " and much more than he 
could do for his life." Moreover, added the old 
man, " Never any meat or drink came wrong to 
him, for he could take a share of everything be 
it good, bad, or indifferent, and was always 
cheerful or contented in every condition." The 
stapag, at any rate, he termed no bad food, and 
when he had finished it, he opened one of the 



A Stern Chase. 75 

few remaining bottles of brandy, and gave to 
every one of the delighted boatmen a dram. 

The dawning day had brought wind, but 
it also brought clanger. The brighter it grew, 
the more risk they ran of being espied, and as 
they careered along under full sail every eye was 
on the alert for the first sign of a vessel. Soon 
their fears were realised. As they were passing 
Loch -Fin isbay, in Harris, a warship, with all 
sails set, hove in view. She sighted the little 
boat, and immediately a long and stern chase 
began. Things looked to go hard with the 
fugitives, for a space of only two musket shots 
separated them from their pursuer. So Murdoch 
and the boatmen seized the oars again, and 
strained every nerve to increase the distance 
between them. But the warship was tenacious, 
and the chase went steadily on. Their chance of 
escape looked small. Their pursuer did not 
seem to be gaining on them, but neither were 
they shaking her off, and they could not row for 
ever. In this extremity the Prince cheered 
them greatly by his courageous words and bear- 
ing, and urged them to desperate efforts by 
assuring them that he would never be taken 
alive. Hours passed and miles slipped away, 
till, as they neared the Point of Rodel, Donald, 
with his usual skill, steered them into shallow, 



76 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

broken water, where the warship dared not 
follow. The pursuit for the moment was baffled, 
but it had lasted for nearly three leagues, and all 
danger was not yet passed. 

The pursuing vessel, though it had aban- 
doned the chase, had no intention of letting the 
fugitives escape altogether, and, as the boat stole 
along among the rocks and creeks, the warship 
followed in deeper water. To land was to invite 
capture. There was nothing for it but to hold 
on, and trust to the now fast-ebbing tide driving 
the warship farther out to sea, and so enabling them 
to lose themselves among the rocks and shallows. 
The warship, apparently saw this possibility, for 
altering her course again, she clapped on sail, 
and endeavoured a second time to make up with 
them. But the ebbing tide foiled her, and 
presently, to the fugitives' infinite relief, she 
gave up the attempt and stood out to sea. 

They had now to cross the Sound of Harris, 
a place where it would go hardly with them if 
they were sighted. But by the time it was 
necessary for them to leave the shelter of the 
land, the warship had disappeared, and they were 
able to make the dangerous crossing in safety, 
Benbecula was their objective, and in Clan- 
ranald's country they thought they could find a 
safe hiding-place until a sure means of escape 



Another Desert Island. 77 

for the Prince was found. So along the east 
side of North Uist they coasted and past Loch- 
maddy, where, to their horror, another warship 
came into view lying inside the mouth of the 
loch. Again the oars were seized, and the sail 
stretched to its uttermost, but by this time 
night was beginning to fall, and the vessel, 
apparently, did not see them, for she made no 
effort to follow them, and rowing desperately 
they were soon out of sight. This was, for the 
time, their last peril ; and it was well it was, for 
even that gallant crew could hardly have stood 
the strain of another chase. So, taking full 
advantage of the welcome hours of darkness and 
of every shelter afforded by the land, they stole 
quietly along, until, on the following day, May 
the eleventh, they ran into Loch-Uskavagh, and 
landed on a small island lying close to the shore 
of Benbecula. 

Here they spent three nights in considerable 
discomfort, for they had scarcely landed when 
the wind veered round and blew a hard gale, 
and a deluge of rain came down. For shelter 
they had only a poor grass-keeper's bothy, 
" which had so laigh a door," says Ned Burke, 
" that we digged below the door and put heather 
below the Prince's knees, he being tall, to let 
him go the easier into the poor hut." But they 



78 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

bore with their discomfort philosophically even 
though the hut was so wretchedly small that the 
Prince asserted the devil had left it because he 
had not room enough in it for the gale which 
brought the rain likewise drove the enemy's 
ships off the coast, and as long as it lasted they 
were safe from unwelcome attentions from that 
quarter. The respite was only temporary, how- 
ever, and it was of urgent importance that a 
secure place of retreat should be found until a 
means of escape to France or elsewhere presented 
itself. Accordingly a messenger was sent to Clan- 
ranald to acquaint him of their condition, and 
the period of waiting was spent in providing 
themselves with food by shooting and fishing. 
The results were eminently satisfactory, and 
though they lacked the wherewithal for the 
proper cooking of the proceeds of their skill, 
they " dressed them in the best shape they 
could, and thought them very savoury meat." 
into these diversions the Prince threw himself 
heartily, and Donald Macleod relates how he 
even indulged in the joys of crab-catching. " It 
happened then to be low water," he says, " and 
one of the boatmen went in among the rocks, 
where he caught a large partan, and taking it 
up in his hand he wagged it at the Prince, who 
was at some distance from him. The Prince 



In Glen Corodale. 79 

then took up a cog in his hand, and running 
towards the lad desired to share in his game." 
Unfortunately a leaf of the manuscript is missing 
at this point, and when the narrative resumes, 
Donald is engaged with more weighty matters 
than the tale of the Prince and the partan. 

Late on the second day of their stay on the 

island Clanranald arrived, accompanied by the 

laithful companion of his former visit to the 

Prince, Neil MacEachainn. Neil was tacksman 

of Glen Corodale, a small valley lying between 

the two highest hills in South Uist. Though it 

could be approached both by land and sea, it 

was very difficult of access either way, and had 

this advantage, that in the event of the Prince's 

hiding-place being discovered, there were two 

doors of escape. So after some discussion Glen 

Corodale was decided upon ; word was sent by 

Neil to his brother Ranald to have the place 

prepared for the Prince's coming ; and when 

darkness had fallen on the evening of May, the 

14th, the Prince and his personal attendants set 

out with Neil as their guide to walk the 15 or 

20 miles which lay between them and their 

place of retreat. The boat, however, was not 

abandoned. Donald undertook to bring it safely 

round to Corodale, and so he and Murdoch, 

while the Prince was tramping wearily over 



80 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

mountain and moor and bog, brought it, with 
the boatmen's aid, to the beach below the glen. 

It was with a feeling of supreme content 
that Prince Charlie arrived, at 6 o'clock in the 
evening of the 15th of May, at Neil Mac- 
Eachainn's house in Glen Corodale. Here, for 
the time, he was safe. In the centre of Clan- 
ranald's country he need fear no sudden danger, 
and his quarters, plain though they were, were 
palatial compared with the places in which he 
had been compelled to lay his head of late. His 
spirits in consequence went up with a bound, 
and with them came a renewal of the hope that 
all might yet be well. We have it, on Neil 
MacEachainn's own authority, that " he always 
flattered himself that the Highlanders were still 
upon foot to hinder the enemy from harassing 
their country, and conceived great hopes that 
they would be able to stand it out until they got 
a relief from France." So now that his own 
most pressing danger was past for the time, he 
yearned for tidings of what was befalling on the 
mainland, and eventually Donald Macleod, trusty 
and dependable always, whose stout old heart 
knew no fear, departed in honest Donald 
Campbell's boat in search of Lochiel and Murray 
of Broughton, with instructions to deliver certain 
letters, to ascertain how affairs stood, and to 



Donald goes to the Mainland. 81 

bring back with him a much-needed supply of 
money and brandy. With Donald, of course, 
went Murdoch and the hired boatmen, but Ned 
Burke stayed with the Prince to attend to his 
personal needs in Corodale. So the greyhaired 
father and his schoolboy son embarked on yet 
another adventure in the Prince's cause, an 
adventure which was to bring them under the 
shadow of the Loch-Arkaig gold, and into con- 
tact with Murray of Broughton, who had not 
yet sold his honour for his life. 




HOW DONALD AND MURDOCH 
MET JOHN MURRAY OF 
BROUGHTON. AND HEARD 
OF THE LOCH-ARKAIG 
GOLD, 



IX. 

HOW DONALD AND MURDOCH MET 
JOHN MURRAY OF BROUGHTON, AND 
HEARD OF THE LOCH-ARKAIG GOLD. 

OF the details of Donald's voyage in quest 
of Lochiel and Murray we unfortunately 
know little, but Donald was a modest 
man where his own exploits were concerned. 
It was, however, an adventurous voyage, for he 
had to make his way over a sea swarming with 
hostile boats ; and the fact that he took eighteen 
days on the journey from Corodale to Loch- 
Arkaig and back speaks volumes for the perils 
he had to encounter and the care he had to 
exercise in order to avoid capture. He landed 
in Moidart, and there Murdoch was left in 
charge of the boat, while Donald, accompanied 
by a cadet of Clanranald's, James Macdonald, 
started in search of the Prince's friends. 

Now it must be remembered that the 
fugitives during their wanderings had received 
no news of the fate of the leaders of the 
Rebellion, or of how matters stood on the main- 
land. So Donald, when he landed, had a diffi- 
cult task before him. He had to ascertain the 



86 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

whereabouts of Lochiel and Murray, and he had 
to convey to them the Prince's letters. Neither 
was easy of accomplishment, for the whole 
country-side was terror-stricken, the redcoats 
having swept over it and left a trail of devasta- 
tion behind them. Everywhere there was deso- 
lation, houses burned down, crops destroyed, 
fertile fields laid waste, and everywhere there 
were companies of redcoats eager to kill or 
capture on the slightest excuse. Lochiel, the 
true stainless hero of the '45 on the Jacobite 
side, as was President Forbes on the Hanoverian 
side, had witnessed from the wilds, whither he 
had been compelled to betake himself, the whole 
of his fair country swept with fire and sword, 
and had seen the smoke of the burning homes of 
himself and his clansmen ascending to Heaven. 
Keppoch, Kinlochmoidart, and many another 
district had shared the same fate, and so it was 
that the Prince's messenger found himself in a 
land, which he had left six weeks before fair, 
peaceful, and smiling, now given over to desola- 
tion and horror. But Donald was not the man 
to flinch in the face of difficulty or danger. He 
had undertaken to see Lochiel and Murray, and 
see them, if they were in the flesh, he would. 

In no long time he picked up traces of their 
whereabouts. He heard how a number of the 



A Ruined Cause. 87 

Jacobite leaders had been seen in the district ; 
how Lovat was rumoured to be in hiding in the 
neighbourhood of Loch-Morar or Loch-Arkaig ; 
how Lochiel, young Clanranald, Lochgarry, Bar- 
risdale, Mackinnon of Mackinnon, Colonel Roy 
Stuart, and various others were in the country of 
the Camerons or Clanranald with a small body 
of men ; how a bare fortnight after he had left 
Borrodale with the Prince two French war 
vessels had arrived oft' Arisaig, had fought and 
driven off", after a fierce battle, three British war- 
ships, and had landed a fabulous sum of money 
in gold ; and how a few days later they had 
sailed for France carrying with them the gallant 
Duke of Perth sick unto death, Lord John Drum- 
moncl, Lord Elcho, Sir Thomas Sheridan, and 
one or two others. He learned also how Lochiel 
had refused the proffered means of escape, choos- 
ing rather to share the dangers and sufferings of 
his clansmen, and how others fired by his spirit 
had followed his example. In all probability at 
this juncture he fell in with Bishop Macdonald, of 
the family of Morar, who was lurking in the woods 
between Loch-Morar and Borrodale, and from 
his lips learnt that the men for whom he was 
seeking were gathered in desperate plight at the 
head of Loch-Arkaig. At anyrate find them he 
at last did, and just in time. They had endea 



88 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

voured to rally the clans again and had failed ; 
they had been hunted and harassed by the 
enemy ; they had a few days earlier been nearly 
surprised by a vastly superior force ; they were 
slowly but surely being hemmed in by their pur- 
suers ; " they had the melancholy and dismal 
prospect of the whole country on fire ;" and they 
had only a small body of men quite insufficient 
to defend them. So reluctantly, and with heavy 
hearts, they had determined to accept the inevit- 
able and disperse. The game was played out, 
the Prince was gone, the power of the clans was 
broken, and nothing now remained but flight. 
So the irrevocable decision was made, and 
" whilst every one was consulting what corner of 
the country would be the most proper where to 
conceal themselves," Donald Macleod arrived 
with the Prince's message. 

It was Lochiel Donald sought, and it was 
Lochiel he found. To Lochiel he told the tale 
of the Prince's plight, and how he was then in 
the Island of Uist eagerly waiting for a chance 
of procuring a vessel in which to escape to 
France. So far no vessel had been found, and 
Donald was charged to enquire if one could be 
provided on the mainland. Lochiel hastened to 
Murray with the news, and soon the little com- 
pany were deep in discussion of the situation. 



The Loch-Arkaig Gold. 89 

The letters which Donald and his companion, 
James Macdonald, carried made it clear that if 
the Prince stayed much longer in the Isles, " he 
would in all probability be taken." Murray, not 
yet traitor, was greatly stirred by the thought 
of such a possibility, and determined to cross to 
Uist at once to endeavour to bring the Prince to 
the mainland, where, he thought, he would be 
safer. Lochiel approved of the design, and after 
talking the matter over with Donald and his 
companion, it was arranged that they should 
meet at the spot in Moidart where the boat lay. 
The journey thither was not without danger, so, 
in order to lessen the chance of attracting 
attention, Murray, his secretary, and Major 
Kennedy went by one route, while Donald and 
his companion, Donald carrying a letter from 
Lochiel to the Prince, went by another. 

It is clear that at this stage Donald knew 
nothing of the Loch-Arkaig gold, or rather he 
was not aware that the gold which had been 
landed from the French vessels had been trans- 
ported to Loch-Arkaig. For he had been charged 
by the Prince to bring back a supply of money, 
and it was not until he returned to Moidart that 
he asked Murray to provide him with it. But 
the Loch-Arkaig gold had already begun to cast 
its baneful shadow over all who had anything to 



90 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

do with it, and though Donald and Murdoch 
never came under its influence, they saw its 
shadow, and came in contact with the men who 
laid the beginnings of that spell of such evil 
omen in Highland history. 

To Murdoch, waiting anxiously by the boat 
on the shore of Moidart, came, on the evening 
of the second day after his father had left Loch- 
Arkaig, three strangers, one gallant and 
chivalrous in bearing, one weary and ill, with 
care stamped on every line of his face and on 
the very carriage of his figure, one evidently in 
some way the servant of the other two. They 
were Major Kennedy, John Murray ofBroughton, 
and Murray's secretary, Stewart. They were 
astonished to find only Murdoch and the boat- 
men, where they had expected to find Donald 
Macleod and James Macdonald, for they had 
been detained a night on the way by a sharp 
attack of the illness from which Murray had 
suffered since before the Battle of Culloden. 
Murdoch's surprise was equally great. Here 
were three strangers claiming to be friends of 
his father, and by whose showing his father 
should have been there at least a day before. 
If their story was true, what had befallen his 
father ? If it was not true, who were they, and 
what danger did it portend ? So the night 



Murray of Broughton. 91 

passed in anxious doubt and fear, the three 
strangers sleeping in the hut of one of Clan- 
ranald's men, who, either knowing or guessing 
who they were, and seeing in their possession a 
strong box, jumped to the conclusion that they 
were trying to make away with the treasure 
whose arrival was known to all the countryside, 
and to the custody of which young Clanranald 
had preferred a special claim. 

Luckily the next morning brought Donald, 
and with his arrival most of the atmosphere of 
suspicion vanished. It lingered only in the 
mind of the Clanranald man, who still suspected 
they were trying to deprive his chief of his just 
rights, though later in the day Murray of 
Broughton, ill and broken, began to suspect in 
Donald's belated request for money for the 
Prince, an attempt to obtain some for himself. 
The suspicion, of course, was absurd, but as 
Murray himself pled afterwards, he knew neither 
Donald nor his companion, he believed that the 
Prince had plenty of money, and he himself had 
with him barely sufficient for his own needs. 
But perhaps his best excuse is that he was a 
broken man, whose judgment and fortitude had 
alike been shaken by severe illness and pro- 
longed hardship. Be that as it may, he refused 
the request for gold, and angrily demanded why 



92 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

he had not been asked for it at Loch-Arkaig, 
where there was a plentiful supply. To which 
the sufficient answer is that Donald knew no- 
thing then of the Loch-Arkaig gold, or if he did 
doubtless imagined that to ask for any of it was 
unnecessary, seeing he was to convey Murray 
himself to the Prince. 

On the shore of Moidart, however, Murray's 
plan fell through. His breakdown on the short 
journey from Loch-Arkaig had shown how unfit 
he was for the trials and dangers of the voyage 
to Uist, and reflection seems also to have con- 
vinced both Donald and Major Kennedy, that to 
take him would be to expose the whole party to 
unnecessary risks. For he knew no Gaelic, and 
in the extremely likely event of the boat being 
challenged or its occupants examined, his pre- 
sence would be fatal. They could serve the 
Prince best by returning speedily and safely, and 
Murray's presence would not conduce to either. 
The argument is clearly Donald's. He had had 
enough of non-Gaelic speakers in the case of 
O'Neil, and repeatedly in the course of his con- 
versations with Bishop Forbes, he expresses him- 
self strongly on the subject. Moreover if the 
Prince, as was almost certain, would have to take 
to flight again, Murray's presence would be both 
an incubus and a positive danger. There was 



Donald and Murray. 9$ 

also a possibility that when they returned ta 
Corodale they would find the Prince gone, for 
" when they were coming away there was a meal 
ship on the coast, which a gentleman of the 
country (Macdonald of Boisdale) was endeavour- 
ing to engage to carry him off." Boisdale's 
attempt, as it turned out, failed, but Murray 
must have marvelled at the spirit which led 
Boisdale who not only had not come out him- 
self, but throughout the whole campaign had 
successfully prevented Clanran aid's men in Uist 
from joining the Prince to risk life and fortune 
for the royal fugitive, whom he had declined to 
help in the noonday of his glory. For his 
chivalrous behaviour Boisdale, his other services 
forgotten, suffered imprisonment at the hands of 
the Government, from which Murray was shortly 
to buy life at the cost of honour. 

At the moment, however, these things were 
still on the knees of the gods. Boisdale was 
still at liberty, and Murray was still a man of 
honour, ready to risk life itself for the Prince he 
had served so faithfully and so well. So, con- 
vinced that to go in person to his master was in- 
advisable, he wrote him a letter acquainting him 
with the position of matters, pointing out the 
danger he ran of being taken in Uist, and begging 
him, if he were still on the island, to come over to 



94 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

the mainland on receipt of the letter. Donald 
and his companion agreed to return immediately 
with the Prince if he were willing to come, and 
if not to communicate with Murray, but circum- 
stances rendered this impossible, and Murray 
eventually left the West Coast in the belief that 
the Prince had succeeded in escaping in the ship 
which Boisdale had been endeavouring to obtain 
lor him. 

Before sailing Donald asked for money for 
the Prince, and it was then that Murray's un- 
worthy suspicions were aroused. Donald him- 
self dismisses the episode briefly. He says he 
" got no money at all from Murray, who said he 
had none to give, having only about sixty louis 
d'ores to himself, which was not worth the while 
to send." But that Murray afterwards felt his re- 
fusal required some defence, the long explanation 
in his " Memorials," already referred to, shows. 
Donald was more successful in his quest for the 
other necessity desired by the Prince. He 
failed to get any cash, but he managed to obtain 
some brandy. It was a more plentiful com- 
modity on the West Coast than gold, and he 
" found means, without much ado, to purchase 
two anchors of brandy at a guinea per anchor." 
Then they took leave of Murray and Major 
Kennedy, and while the boat sped on its way to 



Traitor or Avenger? 95 

Uist and Prince Charlie, John Murray turned 
his weary footsteps back to the path of hardship 
And suffering, which was to break the last rem- 
nants of his spirit, and bring him in the end to 
lasting infamy. But on that June evening when 
Murdoch, with the wondering eyes of a boy 
gazed on the stricken figure of the Prince's secre- 
tary, on the man who was deep in all the 
Prince's secrets, and whom his royal master re- 
garded as " one of the honestest, firmest men in 
the whole world," he saw only a man who had 
served the Prince with courage and devotion, 
and who, but a few short weeks before, had de- 
clined with Lochiel the opportunity of safe 
escape to France, because the Prince he loved 
was still a hunted fugitive. 

In after years when the name of John 
Murray of Broughton was held in horror by all 
good Jacobites, and by many another who had 
more cause to blush for shame than the man 
they affected to despise, Murdoch's thoughts 
must often have gone back to that farewell scene 
on the shores of Moidart. Perhaps he found it 
in his heart to pity the man for whom fate had 
been too strong, but it is not likely that he, more 
than any other Jacobite, regarded him as any- 
thing save the worst of mankind. And yet 
there is something to be said for Murray of 



96 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

Broughton. Though he turned King's evidence, 
he brought no loyal Jacobite to the block. No 
man who had followed Prince Charlie was one 
whit the worse for anything the ex-secretary did 
or said. As the late Mr Fitzroy Bell points out 
in his introduction to Murray's " Memorials," it 
was those who had betrayed his Prince that he 
in turn "betrayed." "The English Jacobites 
had caused, in Murray's eyes, the ruin of the 
whole campaign. Their failure to rise and join 
the Prince had, day after day, from Carlisle to 
Derby, caused the bitterest disappointment, and 
at last resulted in the disaster of the retreat ; 
and this after all the plottings and promises of 
years. Again, Murray argued, his country, 
through them, was the scene of cruelties un- 
exampled in civilised warfare, his Prince was a 
fugitive, his friends dead or exiled, and nothing 
was left but revenge on the false friends, for the 
open enemies were unassailable." Prominent 
among these false friends was Lovat, and him 
Murray helped to bring to the block, but " he 
did nothing to bring into jeopardy any single 
individual who had borne arms with Prince 
Charles." So when, in reading the tale of 
heroism which has gathered round Prince 
Charlie's wanderings, the figure of Murray of 
Broughton flits across the page, it is well to 



Murray's Devotion to the Pvince. 97 

remember that the man whose name has been 
bracketed with that of Judas for a hundred and 
fifty years betrayed neither his own nor the 
Prince's friends, and refused to save his own 
life, when he might have done so with honour, 
because of the duty he felt he owed to his 
master. These things do not excuse his conduct, 
but they lighten the blackness of the picture ; 
and while we follow the two Macleods and those 
others who, cast in more heroic mould, stood by 
their faith to the last, we may spare a thought 
for the weaker vessel who under storm and stress 
went down. 




OF PERILS BY SEA AND 
PERILS BY LAND. 



X. 

OF PERILS BY SEA AND PERILS 
BY LAND. 

THE return journey to Corodale was accom- 
plished without misadventure, and on 
the second or third of June Donald was with the 
Prince once more. He found him in good 
spirits. His place of refuge had not been dis- 
covered, he had received visits from many of his 
friends in the Islands, and he had spent the days 
of waiting in shooting and fishing, a welcome 
change after the hardships he had endured. 
Donald returned at an opportune moment, how- 
ever. The hunt was closing in on the royal 
fugitive. The remoter isles had been searched 
and drawn blank, and the hunters were now 
concentrating their forces on the Southern 
Hebrides. About the time of Donald's return 
Hugh Macdonald of Baleshair an officer in the 
Hanoverian Militia and Macdonald of Boisdale 
arrived with alarming tidings of the enemy's 
movements. Baleshair had been sent by Lady 
Margaret Macdonald, the wife of Sir Alexander 
Macdonald, to warn the Prince that a number of 
companies had been sent to each end of the Isles 



102 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

with orders to sweep the country before them 
until they met, while Boisdale brought news of 
the landing of two parties of Hanoverian troops 
on Barra, a bare 20 miles away. 

Baleshair, not knowing definitely where the 
Prince was to be found, had gone direct to 
Boisdale, and the two had set out by different 
routes for Corodale to warn the Prince of his 
danger. But Prince Charlie was not greatly 
perturbed by the news. On learning that the 
troops landed in Barra consisted, for the most 
part, of Macleods and Macdonalds, " he said he 
was not in the least concerned, as they were 
Highlanders, and more especially such" (i.e., 
Macleods and Macdonalds). So instead of taking 
to flight immediately, he insisted on Baleshair 
and Boisdale staying the night, and then took 
place the famous carouse which lasted three days 
and three nights, and ended with Charles 
merrily chanting a de profundis over the sleep- 
ing forms of his friends. It is Baleshair himself 
who tells the story, and though he does not 
mention the names of all who were present, we 
gather indirectly that Donald Macleod and James 
Macdonald were of the party, and that it was 
the brandy they had brought from Moidart 
which provided the materials for the jollification. 

In spite of the Prince's unwillingness to 



The Hanoverian Militia. 103 

believe that any danger was to be apprehended 
from the Macleod and Macdonald Militia, his 
situation was extremely serious. Not all the 
Macleods and Macdonalds \*ere animated by the 
same spirit as those who had befriended him, 
and moreover they were stiffened in their duty 
to the Government by the presence of detach- 
ments of redcoats and companies of Campbell, 
Grant, and Munro Militia. It was the Camp- 
bells, the Grants, and the Munroes, indeed, 
whom Donald most dreaded, for, unlike the 
Macleods and Macdonalds, they were not un- 
willing Hanoverians, and were as anxious to lay 
the Prince by the heels as any redcoat. "The 
Militia were the worst of all," said Donald, " for 
they knew the country so well. He was positive 
that the redcoats could have done but little, 
particularly in taking those that were skulking, 
had it not been for the Militia, viz., Campbells, 
Munroes, Grants, &c., &c., who served to scour 
the hills and woods, and were so many guides 
for the redcoats to discover to them the several 
corners of the country, both upon the continent 
and on the islands." And now a large force, 
Ned Burke says fifteen hundred, had landed in 
Benbecula, and were guarding the fords ; another 
contingent was daily expected to cross from 
Barra to Boisdale, only a few miles away, and 



104 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

two ships of war were cruising off the coast in 
the vicinity of Corodale, while hostile vessels of 
many sorts and sizes patrolled the waters be- 
tween them and Skye. It was only a matter of 
days before South Uist would be over-run and 
their hiding-place discovered, and then nothing 
could save them, for every avenue of escape 
would be closed. So on the sixth of June, 
reluctantly and in low spirits, " committing our- 
selves to Providence, the Prince, O'Sullivan, 
O'Neill, Donald Macleod, Edward Burke, and 
the boatmen went on board the barge, to be sure 
melancholy enough, having none to trust in but 
the Providence of God only, we escaped narrowly 
by Ouia Island to Benbecula in Clanranald's 
country." Thus says Ned Burke, and it must 
have been a desperate situation indeed which 
brought his reckless spirit so low. 

Their barge was still Campbell's boat, and 
the oarsmen were the same who had borne 
themselves so manfully since their departure 
from Stornoway. The Island of Ouia, on which 
they now found themselves, is a little rocky 
island off the south-east corner of Benbecula, a 
place bare of cultivation and without cover of 
any sort. Their only shelter was a large cave in 
the side of a cliff, and here they concealed them- 
selves for foar days and nights. But the hunters 



Two Narrow Escapes. 105 

did not leave even Ouia unvisited, and " one 
Hamar Macleod landed near our quarters, which, 
the Prince being informed of, asked of Edward 
Burke, ' Is this a friend or foe T To which Ned 
answered, * He never was a friend to your 
family/ But by good providence Hamar 
happened to go off without making any search, 
and we did not think proper to go the same way 
with him, not knowing what the event may have 
been." Whether Hamar's visit was the cause or 
not we do not know, but a day or two later, on 
the 10th of June, the Prince and O'Neill left 
Ouia and made their way to Rossinish, where 
Lady Clanranald was, and where they would be 
less exposed to sudden danger than on the island. 
But the enemy were now everywhere, and the 
Prince had only been at Rossinish three nights 
when " he got information that it was advisable 
he should go back again to the place from which 
he had come. But he knew not well what to 
do, as the boats of the Militia had been all the 
time in the course between Ouia and Rossinish." 
In this strait Donald Macleod came again to the 
rescue. He and O'Sullivan had remained in Ouia 
with the boat, and had managed to keep them- 
selves well informed of the enemy's movements. 
So they speedily learned of the Prince's pre- 
carious situation at Rossinish, and setting sail 



106 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

under cover of night they eluded the vigilance of 
the patrols and brought him safely away. 

They now hardly knew where to turn. It 
was no longer safe to remain in the neighbour- 
hood of Benbecula ; escape to North Uist or 
Skye was impossible, and they had no know- 
ledge of what had happened in South Uist since 
their flight from Corodale. In their desperation 
they decided to take their chance of the last, and 
accordingly, when they left Rossinish, the boat 
was headed for Corodale. The hours of darkness 
were few, so the oars were called to the aid of 
the sail, and throughout the night Murdoch and 
the boatmen rowed strenuously. If any en- 
couragement to their labour was necessary, they 
received it in the shape of two men-of-war which 
hove in view, but luckily they were not pursued, 
and so escaped that danger. Then a very 
violent storm, accompanied by a heavy rain, 
came on, which forced them to abandon the 
attempt to make Corodale, and put into a small 
creek at Uishness Point, two and a half miles 
north of their destination. There, in a narrow 
cleft in the rock a few yards above the beach, 
they spent the whole of the 13th of June, the 
storm raging furiously all day. But they could 
not linger where they were a moment longer 
than was necessary, for the enemy were less than 



A Precarious Situation. 107" 

two miles away ; so as soon as darkness had 
begun to fall and the wind to moderate, they 
got on board the boat again. But Corodale was 
not now their objective. They had determined 
to make for Loch-Boisdale, in the hope that 
Macdonald of Boisdale would be able to find 
them a safe hiding-place in his country, So past 
Corodale they bore, and through the narrow 
channel of Kyle Stuley, three miles north of 
Loch-Boisdale, 

Day was breaking when they emerged from 
the narrow waters, but they had not gone far 
when one of the party swore he saw a boat full 
of marines right across their course. Donald, 
laughing at his fears, declared it was a boat- 
shaped rock which he knew well, but neither the 
Prince nor his companions being convinced, the 
boat put about, and headed again for Kyle 
Stuley. As it turned out, it was well that the 
false alarm had been raised, for Donald himself 
tells us that as it got lighter they saw three 
vessels within cannon shot of the shore, while 
Ned Burke says that fifteen sail in all were 
espied before they reached the welcome shelter 
of Kyle Stuley. 

Their situation was now precarious in the 
extreme. They had not only the numerous 
ships and boats to fear but a number of the 



108 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

enemy were upon the land hard by, and it is not 
surprising to read that in the circumstances the 
fugitives " knew not what to do." Kyle Stuley 
is a narrow, rocky channel between South Uist 
and the small island of Stuley, and if by any 
chance a party landed on the island or a boat 
went up the channel, their discovery was certain. 
But it was the only shelter available, and as 
they lay all day close under the island, striving 
so to merge the boat in the rough contour of 
the shore as to render it invisible to a casual 
passer-by or to keen eyes on the land opposite, 
they could only hope that the Kyle would escape 
the enemy's visitation, and pray for night to 
come. And so the long day drew slowly to a 
close, till as the shadows began to lengthen they 
breathed freely once more. But in June in the 
Hebrides there is little real darkness, and so 
when at last they were able to leave the shelter 
of Kyle Stuley, they had to steal along carefully 
lest by an evil chance any of the enemy's boats 
should be keeping a sharp lookout. But fortune 
favoured them, and in the small hours of the 
morning of the 15th of June they ran into Loch- 
boisdale, and landed in safety on the island of 
Calvay. 



THE NET TIGHTENS. 



XL 
THE NET TIGHTENS. 

CALVAY is a small rocky islet with a ruined 
castle perched on the topmost rocks, and 
to the castle the wanderers made their way. 
Then, as now, the castle was a tumbled ruin, but 
its walls provided a welcome shelter, and a fire 
was soon blazing merrily. The pot, that faithful 
companion of their voyagings, was brought up 
from the boat, and while it was boiling Ned 
Burke went out to pull some heath for the 
Prince's bed. The whole party were very much 
fatigued, and as they waited for the food to cook, 
they looked forward with pleasurable antici- 
pation to a much-needed rest. But it was not to 
be. Donald Macleod, who, vigilant as always, 
had been keeping a sharp eye on the sea, 
suddenly startled his companions by announcing 
that two French ships of war were approaching. 
In great excitement everybody rushed to see 
them. Expectation and hope surged in the 
Prince's breast, every eye was fixed excitedly 
on the distant vessels. They drew nearer. Hope 
began to give way to doubt, doubt to fear, fear 
at last to the certainty that the ships were 



112 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

English, not French. Gone was the hope of 
safety, and as it went came the realisation of 
immediate danger. No longer was Calvay a 
safe resting-place. Weary and hungry as they 
were they must take to flight at once. So the 
Prince and three companions crossed to the 
mainland of South Uist, and took to the 
mountains and the heather, while the others 
got hastily into the boat and rowed up the loch. 
Happily the ships of war had seen nothing to 
excite their curiosity, and by-and-by they stood 
away from the loch. But the fugitives dare not 
return to the island, and it was only when night 
fell that they all met again by the side of the 
boat " wherein they had still some small provi- 
sions." 

Their outlook was now of the blackest. 
They had good cause to know that they were 
environed on every side by enemies, and now, 
crowning misfortune of all, they learned that 
Boisdale, to whose skill and friendship they had 
looked to save them, was taken. Suspected in 
some way of complicity in the Prince's escape, 
he had been seized shortly after leaving Coro- 
dale, and was even now a prisoner in his captor's 
hands in Barra. Well may the Prince have 
imagined that all his efforts were in vain. With 
Boisdale taken his last hope seemed to vanish, 



In Desperate Plight. 113 

and now any day might see the end. But while 
there was life there was hope, and though the 
net looked tight round him he was not yet in 
the hands of his enemies. 

Meanwhile there seemed no chance of escap- 
ing from the neighbourhood of Loch-Boisdale. 
So the Prince and his three companions, taking 
with them the sails of the boat, retired again to the 
hills, and for two nights slept in the open fields, 
with only the sails for covering. On the third 
night it was judged safe to return to the boat, 
and, rowing further up the loch, the next two 
days were spent partly on the hills and moors 
and partly on the loch. In spite of the rigour 
of the pursuit the Prince was not without friends 
in the district, and Mrs Macdonald of Boisdale, 
among others, contrived to send him four bottles 
of brandy, " and every other thing she could 
procure that was useful for him and his attend- 
ants." He and Donald had hopes, too, that 
Boisdale would be set at liberty, but these were 
doomed to disappointment, for after they had 
been four or five days in the neighbourhood, 
" one came and told the Prince (to his great 
sorrow) that Boisdale was still to be detained 
a prisoner, and that there was no appearance of 
his being set at liberty. This," continues 
Donald, " with other distresses that were still 



114 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

increasing upon him, made the Prince resolve 
upon parting with his attendants for the greater 
safety. There were at that time two ships of 
war in the mouth of Loch-Boisdale, for whom 
they durst not make out of the loch to the sea. 
Besides, there was a command of above five 
hundred redcoats and militia within a mile and 
a-half of them. All choices were bad, but 
(under God) they behove to remove from the 
place where they then were, and to do their 
best." Good cause indeed had Captain Alex- 
ander Macdonald, the famous Gaelic bard, to 
say, as he said afterwards to Bishop Forbes, " the 
Almighty only knows, and the divine dispenser 
of human providence allenarly knows, what in- 
expressible perplexity of mind, and anguish of 
soul and body, his Royal Highness and his small 
retinue laboured under when taking it into their 
serious consideration that they were now encom- 
passed by no less than three or four thousand 
bloody hounds by sea and land, thirsting for the 
captivity and noble blood of their Prince, the ap- 
parent heir of Great Britain, France, and Ireland." 
It was when matters were in this state, 
when the end seemed only a matter of hours or 
days, that a way of escape, a dangerous, desper- 
ate way, suddenly presented itself. Among the 
officers of the Skye Militia who were engaged, 



Flora Macdonald to the Rescue. 115 

though half-heartedly it is true, in the hunt for 
the Prince, was Hugh Macdonald of Armadale, 
in Skye, whose step-daughter, Flora, lived with 
her brother at Milton, on the west coast of South 
Uist, only a few miles away from Loch-Boisdale. 
Flora herself sympathised with the Prince, while 
Armadale, like most of the Skye Macdonalds, 
was at heart on the side of the fugitive, whom 
nominally he was in arms against. Armadale was 
even then in the Long Island in command of one 
of the parties who were searching for the Prince, 
and it was he who conceived the plan which 
enabled the Royal fugitive to evade his pursuers, 
and brought immortal renown to Flora Macdonald. 

To the depressed little company came one 
day a messenger with Armadale's proposal. 
Briefly, it was that Charles, in the guise of 
an Irish serving-woman, should accompany Flora 
Macdonald to Skye, where her mother lived, and 
whither Flora was to proceed on the pretext that 
the presence of so many soldiers in the neigh- 
bourhood of Milton made her nervous. Arma- 
dale in his official capacity would provide passes 
for Flora, her serving-woman, and a man-servant, 
which last was to be Neil MacEachainn, who 
would act as guide and escort. 

The Prince at the moment the plan was 
communicated to him was on the top of Ben Gill 



116 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

Choinnech, which he had ascended with his 
companions to " consult for the most expeditious 
methods to leave South Uist," this lofty place of 
conference being chosen because " from its emi- 
nence they might have an ample prospect," and 
thus run little risk of being taken unawares. To 
Charles, weary, harassed, and well-nigh despair- 
ing, the proposal came like a breath from heaven, 
and we hardly need Neil MacEachainn's assur- 
ance " that the scheme pleased the Prince 
mightily, and he seemed very impatient to put 
it in execution " It was a gambler's chance it is 
true, but it was the only chance, and the man 
who had gambled so daringly for a kingdom was 
not likely to fear to stake his life on one last 
desperate throw of the dice. Accordingly no 
time was lost in falling in with Armadale's pro- 
posal and making the arrangements necessary 
for putting it into instant execution. It was in 
the morning of the 21st of June that the plan 
was mooted, and soon after sunset on the same 
day the Prince was on his way to meet the 
gallant girl whose name was soon to ring over 
the world as the heroic saviour of the last hope 
of the Stuart line. The hour for the parting of 
the Prince and the men who had served him so 
well through seven weeks of peril by sea and 
land had come. 



OF A WOEFUL PARTING, AND 
OF HOW THE NET CLOSED 
ON THE PRINCE'S PILOT. 



XII. 

OF A WOEFUL PARTING, AND OF HOW 
THE NET CLOSED ON THE PRINCE'S 
PILOT. 

IT was on the evening of the 21st of June 
that Prince Charlie bade farewell to his 
faithful followers on the shores of Loch-Boisdale. 
For seven long adventurous weeks they had 
borne hardship and privation together, had faced 
death in many forms together, had dared greatly 
and struggled manfully together, and now that 
the hour of parting had come, the Prince and 
the peasant alike were filled with sorrow. 
The humblest boatman among them all could 
scarce refrain from tears, while gentlemen like 
O'Sullivan and Donald Macleod thought it no 
shame to show their grief openly. Donald 
himself tells us that it was a woeful parting, 
and even after the lapse of two years he wept 
sorely when he spoke of it to Bishop Forbes. 
But not even at the hour of parting did the 
Prince forget the duty he owed those who had 
stood by him so nobly. Calling the boatmen, 
he ordered O'Sullivan to pay to each of them a 
shilling sterling, a large sum in those days, for 



120 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

every day they had been with him, and as they 
went from his presence they carried with them, 
as a material reminder of the perils they had 
endured and the Prince they had succoured, more 
money than they had ever possessed in their 
lives. To Donald he gave a draft of sixty 
pistoles to be paid by John Hay of Restalrig " if 
he should happen to be so lucky as to meet with 
him ; " and then, the final farewells at last said, 
Donald, O'Sullivan, and the rest walked slowly 
away, leaving the Prince and O'Neil gazing 
silently after them ere setting their faces towards 
Flora Macdonald and the frail hope of safety she 
offered. 

It is easy to picture that farewell scene, for 
it has been described more than once by those 
who were actors in it, and by those who heard 
of it at first-hand. It was the dusk of a June 
night, with a full moon shining from a summer 
sky, when, with tears running down their faces, 
Donald, O'Sullivan, and Murdoch, and the rest 
looked, most of them for the last time, on the 
Royal features they had come to know so well, 
and then, with laggard step and many a back- 
ward glance at the two fading figures standing 
so silently amid the heather, disappeared slowly 
and one by one in the soft Hebridean twilight. 
And as Prince Charlie and they vanish from each 



The Fugitive Prince. 121 

other's sight amid the silence and the gloom, the 
Prince likewise vanishes from the story of the 
two Macleods, the gallant father and the no less 
gallant son. But before we leave him standing 
there amid the slow-gathering darkness, we may 
glance at two pen-pictures, which will serve to 
convey to us some idea of his personality and 
appearance as these appeared to Donald and his 
son during their weeks of sojourning with him. 

Bishop Forbes is the authority for the first. 
" Donald Macleod," says he, " said the Prince 
used to smoke a great deal of tobacco ; and as, 
in his wanderings from place to place, the pipes 
behoved to break and turn into short cutties, he 
used to take quills, and putting one into 
another, and all, said Donald, into the end of the 
cuttie, this served to make it long enough, and 
the tobacco to smoke cool. Donald added that 
he never knew, in all his life, any one better at 
finding out a shift than the Prince was when he 
happened to be at a pinch ; and that the Prince 
would sometimes sing them a song to keep up 
their hearts." 

The other is Hugh Macdonald of Baleshair's 
description of the Prince as he appeared when 
Baleshair came upon him without warning at 
Corodale early in June. " His dress was then a 
tartan short coat and vest of the same got from 



122 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

Lady Clanranald, his night-cap linen all patched 
with soot drops, his shirt, hands, and face 
patched with the same, a short kilt, tartan hose, 
and Highland brogues, his upper coat being 
English cloth." 

The very simplicity of these two pictures, 
chosen almost at random out of numbers which 
exist of Prince Charlie during the period of his 
wanderings, shows us more vividly than many a 
much more elaborate description could do what 
manner of man it was that won for himself such 
tried and devoted service. Murdoch had seen 
the Prince in all the glory of his Koyal state in 
Inverness ; he had seen him amid the noise and 
smoke and turmoil of Culloden Battle ; he had 
seen him a hunted, desperate fugitive with a 
price on his head ; he had seen him wretched 
and hungry and weary and forlorn ; yet there 
can be no doubt that the memory which he 
cherished as long as life lasted, and on which he 
most loved to dwell, was not the memory of the 
courtly Royal youth clad in bright raiment, but 
the memory of the gay, reckless comrade of their 
island wanderings, who found joy in a clay 
euttie. who was never at a loss at a pinch, and 
who in times of stress was able to turn from his 
own cares to cheer the sharers of his perils by 
singing them a song. And when in his mind's 



A General Dispersal. 123 

eye Murdoch conjured up the vision of the 
Prince, we may be sure he saw him oftenest as 
he sat at old Donald's feet in the eight-oared 
boat, clad perhaps in the kilt and tartan which 
he wore with such gay abandon at Corodale. 

On the shores of Loch-Boisdale the men 
who had carried the Prince through so many 
perils held a hasty consultation. It had already 
been decided that the best chance of escape lay 
in the party splitting up, and this plan they now 
proceeded to act upon. Donald Macleod was for 
sticking to the boat, with such of the boatmen 
oe were of a like mind, and finding some of them 
willing, he got on board and headed her towards 
the south. The others dispersed in various 
directions, and shortly after they had taken fare- 
well of the Prince, the little company was 
scattered in flight, some to seek refuge among 
the neighbouring Macdonalds, others to try to 
run the gauntlet of the hunters and escape over 
the North Ford to North Uist. 

The men who accompanied Donald, how- 
ever, soon began to fear that the boat afforded 
little chance of escape, and in no long time he 
found himself with only one companion, " upon 
which he was obliged to sink the boat and do 
the best he could to shift for himself." At this 
point we lose sight of Murdoch. It is even un- 



124 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

certain whether he was the one companion left 
with Donald in the boat, or whether his father, 
judging that few suspicions were likely to be 
aroused by a boy of 15, had thought it better 
that he should endeavour to return to Skye by 
another route. At all events, when Donald him- 
self fell into the hands of the Militia a fortnight 
later he was alone, and we hear nothing more of 
Murdoch. 

This silence on the part of the old man, how- 
ever, is not surprising. In his story he is con- 
cerned only with the adventures of the Prince, 
and he passes over everything else. Indeed, at 
his first meeting with Bishop Forbes, the Bishop 
states that " honest Donald modestly said he 
would very willingly grant my desire " (i.e., the 
Bishop's request for an account of his wander- 
ings with the Prince), "for all that he had to 
say would take up no great time it would easily 
be contained in a quarter of a sheet of paper." 
It was only the Bishop's persistence which led 
to the gradual unfolding of Donald's tale, and it 
took several meetings between the two before 
Bishop Forbes succeeded in obtaining all the 
information he wanted. At their second meet- 
ing, "when we were in James's house," says the 
Bishop, " I began to ask some questions to which 
Donald gave plain answers." After asking 



Farewell to Murdoch. 125 

several questions, Donald, looking at James 
Macdonald with a smiling countenance, spoke in 
Erse to him ; and James, laughing very heartily, 
said to me " Do you know, sir, what Donald was 
saying just now ? He says you are the uncoest 
cheel he ever met wi'; for if you go on in asking 
questions so particularly, and if he shall tell you 
all the nig-nacs o't, he believes, indeed, his 
account will take up much more time and paper 
than he imagined." But more of that anon. 
Meanwhile it is of interest as showing how un- 
willing Donald was to talk of his doings, and 
how difficult it was to obtain from him anything 
relating to his own or his son's exploits. 

From the point of view of the present 
narration this is particularly unfortunate, for it 
is tantalising in the extreme not to know how 
Murdoch succeeded in making his safe return to 
Gualtergill, and of the adventures which befel 
Donald during his fortnight's wanderings in 
the Long Island. These latter Donald, with 
characteristic modesty, dismisses in a sentence 
or two. After the boat had been sunk, " It was 
not possible," he proceeds, " for an old man like 
him to keep himself any considerable time out of 
grips, especially as the troops and militia at last 
became so very numerous upon the different 
parts of the Long Isle. The militia were the 



126 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

worst of all, because they knew the country so 
well . . . and served to scour the hills and 
woods, and were as so many guides for the red- 
coats to discover to them the several corners of 
the country, both upon the continent and on the 
islands. July 5th. Donald Macleod had the 
misfortune to be taken prisoner in Benbecula by 
Allan Macdonald of Knock, in Slate in Sky, a 
lieutenant." That is all we are told of a fort- 
night's wanderings, which brought the old man 
of 68 from Loch-Boisdale to Benbecula through 
a country swarming with foes. But even these 
bald sentences hint in no uncertain way at 
adventures not a few, and of dangers en- 
countered from prowling red-coats and militia 
ere Lieutenant Allan Macdonald of Knock laid 
his eager hands upon the person of Prince Charlie's 
pilot. Not even then were Donald's adventures 
at an end, for many a weary month was to 
elapse, arid many a vicissitude of fortune was 
to be encountered before he looked again on 
Gualtergill in the Island of Skye. 



HOW DONALD EXPERIENCED 
THE TENDER MERCIES OF 
THE HANOVERIANS, 



XIII. 

HOW DONALD EXPERIENCED THE 
TENDER MERCIES OF THE HANO- 
VERIANS. 

THERE is no page in the history of the '45 
which fills the impartial reader with 
greater wonder than that which sets forth the 
tale of the treatment meted out by the victorious 
Hanoverian Government to its captured foes. 
Terrible though the atrocities committed by 
Cumberland, his officers, and his men were, they 
were to a certain extent committed, if not 
exactly in hot blood, at least in the reaction 
following on a series of crushing defeats culmi- 
nating in overwhelming victory, and though that 
in no way condones the excesses, it goes a little 
way to explain them. But the treatment ac- 
corded to the prisoners was a deliberate act of 
cold-blooded and fiendish cruelty, long drawn- 
out and callously persisted in long after all 
necessity for any display of severity had passed 
away. It was the act, too, of the responsible 
Government of the day, the mean and cruel 
revenge taken by the Government of a country 
which prided itself on its greatness and its 



130 Prince "Charlie's Pilot. 

civilisation, on the humble adherents of a cause 
which, whatever its political merits or demerits, 
had practised no cruelty towards those who were 
in arms against it, and had conducted a brilliant 
campaign with a humanity and a studious regard 
for the rights of non-combatants, which has 
hardly a parallel in the whole history of warfare. 
Yet this cause was the cause of reaction, and it 
was the cause of progress which, in the name of 
progress, covered itself in the hour of victory 
with everlasting infamy. The Jacobites trium- 
phant were merciful, chivalrous, and generous to 
a fault. The Hanoverians triumphant were 
cruel, merciless, and bloodthirsty men in whose 
bosoms the last spark of humanity seemed to 
have expired. 

Donald Macleod, as we have seen, was 
captured on the 5th of July, and on the same 
day there also fell into the hands of Donald's 
captor two Catholic priests, one a Mr Forrest, 
and the other better known under his military 
title of Captain Allan Macdonald. Their captor, 
Macdonald of Knock, treated them with extreme 
severity, and though Captain Allan Macdonald 
was his own blood relation he took from him a 
sum of sixty guineas, " and would not give him 
one single shilling to purchase necessaries with." 
Donald and the priestly captain were old friends. 



Companions in Misfortune. 131 

The latter had formed one of the little band of 
fugitives who accompanied the Prince in the 
eight-oared boat from Borrodale, and though he 
had left them at Scalpay, he rejoined them at 
Corodale, and remained with them until the 
woeful parting on the shores of Loch-Boisdale. 
There he and Donald had sought safety by 
different ways, little suspecting that they would 
next meet as prisoners in the island of Ben- 
becula. 

From Benbecula Donald and the two priests 
were sent to Barra, in order to be examined by 
General Campbell, but the General had left the 
Island, and they were accordingly sent to Portree. 
There they were joined by another gallant High- 
lander who had helped in Prince Charlie's 
escape, Captain Malcolm Macleod of Brea, cousin 
of Macleod of Raasay. He had come into the 
Prince's Odyssey an hour or two after Flora 
Macdonald and Neil MacEachainn had bade him 
farewell, and had remained with him for four 
days, going with him to Raasay, returning with 
him to Skye, and thereafter being his sole com- 
panion and guide during the long and arduous 
walk to Ellagol in Mackinnon's country. At 
Ellagol the brave old chief of the Mackinnons 
insisted on making himself responsible for the 
Prince's safety, and Malcolm, fearing that his 



132 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

presence would add to the fugitive's danger, 
parted from him. Mackinnon's plan was to 
carry the Prince across to the mainland a plan 
which he safely accomplished and Malcolm's 
farewells were said by the side of Mackinnon's 
boat on the shores of Loch- Sea vaig. His last 
service to the Prince was to light a " cutty " lor 
him by means of a piece of flaming tow, which 
scorched the Royal cheek in the operation. 
Another of the Prince's cutties Malcolm managed 
to secure for himself, and it and a silver shoe- 
buckle, which the Prince presented to him at 
parting, were in his possession when he was 
captured a few days later. The silver shoe- 
buckle he kept all through his imprisonment, 
but the cutty he gave in London to a fellow- 
prisoner, Dr Burton of York, who had a case 
made for it, and cherished it as his greatest 
treasure. 

The meeting of Donald and Malcolm must 
have been dramatic. Both had risked every- 
thing for the Prince, and both were now in the 
clutches of the men who were hunting him with 
an eagerness that knew no bounds. Both had 
played a considerable part in helping the Prince 
to evade these very hunters, and both were now 
on their way to pay the penalty of their loyalty. 
But meanwhile they had a lot to talk about, and 



In Barbarous Hands. 133 

we may imagine with what eagerness Donald 
listened to the tale of the adventures which had 
befallen the Prince since their parting at Loch- 
Boisdale, and with what interest he heard of the 
heroic devotion of Flora Macdonald. 

From Portree Donald and Malcolm were 
presently sent to Applecross Bay, where General 
Campbell had now been ascertained to be. To 
their exceeding misfortune he was on board the 
sloop Furnace commanded by Captain John 
Ferguson, one of the most barbarous of all the 
barbarous men whom the Government had turned 
loose on the Highlands. Already he had achieved 
an unenviable notoriety in northern waters for 
his wanton cruelty, and there is, unhappily, only 
too much evidence to show that his evil reputa- 
tion was well deserved. It was to the tender 
mercies of this fiend that the chivalrous pre- 
servers of the hunted Prince were now to be 
committed. But they had first to face the 
ordeal of a searching examination at the hands 
of General Campbell. 

General Campbell had come north in com- 
mand of the Argyllshire Militia, and he and his 
men had proved invaluable to the Hanoverian 
troops. Indeed, without their aid, the redcoats 
could have accomplished little in the way of 
hunting out fugitives, and it is not surprising, 



134 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

therefore, that they were hated with a bitter 
hatred throughout the Highlands, a hatred in- 
tensified of course by the fact that they belonged 
to the Clan Campbell. But General Campbell 
himself was a Highland gentleman he was 
afterwards the fourth Duke of Argyll and as 
such was incapable of the gross discourtesies of the 
Aberdonian Ferguson. So- when Donald Mac- 
leod was brought before him he treated him with 
respect, and it is plain from Donald's own 
account of the interview that he bore his 
inquisitor no ill-will. 

The interview took place in the cabin of 
the Furnace, to which Donald was brought as 
soon as he was taken on board. He had been a 
man for some time much desired of the Hano- 
verians, for they thought that he, if anyone, could 
throw some light on the Prince's whereabouts. 
So General Campbell now examined him "most 
exactly and circumstantially." But Donald 
neither could nor would tell him anything of 
consequence. Of his own adventures he spoke 
freely, and of the journeyings of the Prince 
while under his guidance, for, as he himself 
afterwards said, " he could easily give all his 
own part of the adventure without doing the 
smallest harm to the Prince, as he then knew 
that the Prince had set out some time before 



A Clear Conscience. 135 

from Skye to the Continent (i.e., the mainland), 
and was out of reach of General Campbell and 
hie command." But, needless to say, of this 
knowledge Donald made no mention. When 
first asked if he had been with the Prince, 

" Yes," said Donald, " I was along with 
that young gentleman, and I winna deny it." 

" Do you know," said General Campbell, 
" what money was upon that young man's head ? 
No less a sum than thirty thousand pounds 
sterling, which would have made you and all 
your children after you happy for ever." 

To which Donald made indignant answer. 
"What then?" he replied. "Thirty thousand 
pounds ! Though I had gotten't I could not 
have enjoyed it eight and forty hours. Con- 
science would have gotten up upon me. That 
money could not have kept it down. And 
though I could have gotten all England and 
Scotland for my pains I would not have allowed 
a hair of his body to be touched if I could help 
it." 

It was characteristic of Donald that when 
relating this to Bishop Forbes, he desired him 
" particularly to remark, for the honour, of 
General Campbell, and to do him justice, that 
he spoke these words, ' I will not say that you 
are in the wrong.' ' 



136 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

Had General Campbell remained on the 
sloop, the prisoners would probably have been 
treated fairly well. But he left it shortly after 
Donald and Malcolm came on board, and Fergu- 
son had thenceforth the ordering of things his 
own way. The prisoners, of whom there were 
many, were confined in a dark quarter of the 
ship under the deck, where they were not 
allowed a candle of any kind. For beds they 
had the choice of lying without any covering 
upon cables, boards, or stones. The only exer- 
cise they were allowed was between 9 and 10 in 
the morning, when they were permitted to walk 
among a number of sheep, with sentries on both 
sides of them. The food was both bad and 
insufficient. Each prisoner was given only half 
rations, and even those were served in " foul 
nasty buckets." 

Their treatment in other respects was just 
as bad, the captain vying with the crew, and the 
crew with the captain, in heaping indignities 
upon them. No attention was paid to their 
bodily needs. They were rebels. Let them die 
like vermin. When their clothes wore out, they 
got no more. They could lie on the stones in 
the darkness in their rags. And so it was for 
many weeks while the Furnace cruised up and 
down the Highland coast. At last her course 



Miserable and Naked. 137 

was shaped for London, and when Tilbury was 
reached, the prisoners were transferred to another 
vessel. Surely now their plight would be better. 
It could only be on the ships of cruel captains, 
far away from the civilising influence of London 
and England, that such things as they had 
suffered could be. But if such were the 
prisoners' thoughts they were speedily disillu- 
sioned. Their latter state was worse than their 
first. Off Tilbury Fort, within sight and sound 
of London, they lay for months together in a 
most deplorable state of misery, " their clothes 
wearing so off them that many at last had not a 
single rag to cover their nakedness with." They 
were treated there, adds Donald, " with the 
utmost barbarity and cruelty, with a view (as 
they suppose) to pine away their lives, and by 
piecemeal to destroy every single man of them. 
And, indeed, the design had too great success, 
for many of them died." Sickness of course was 
rampant. At one time all those who were on 
the same ship with Donald and Malcolm were so 
sick " that they could scarce stretch out their 
hands to one another. Old Mackinnon held out 
wonderfully, although a man of upwards of 70 
while others much younger, and, to all 
appearance, stronger too, were dying by pairs, as 
at last there was a general sickness that raged 



338 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

among all the prisoners on board the different 
.ships, which could not fail to be the case when 
(as both Donald and Malcolm positively affirmed) 
they were sometimes fed with the beeves that 
had died of the disease which was then raging 
amongst the horned cattle in England." 

For ten months did Donald endure the 
hardships of the prison ships, but he left them 
with his spirit, though not his health, unbroken, 
and his loyalty to the King over the water un- 
impaired. For those who had treated him and 
his friends so cruelly, he had only one wish. 
" God forgive them," he said ; " but, God, let 
them never die till we have them in the same 
condition they had us, and we are sure we would 
not treat them as they treated us. We would 
show them the difference between a good and a 
bad cause." 



THE BLACKEST PAGE IN 
BRITISH HISTORY. 



XIV. 

THE BLACKEST PAGE IN BRITISH 
HISTORY. 

BAFFLED in their efforts to capture the Prince, 
the Government and its officers wreaked 
their vengeance on every person to whom the 
remotest suspicion attached, either of having 
borne arms in his service or of having held out 
a helping hand to him in the day of his distress. 
In their fury they spared neither age nor sex. 
They shot, they hung, they murdered guilty and 
innocent alike ; they inflicted unnameable in- 
dignities and horrid tortures on old and young, 
on men, women, and little children ; they 
burned and destroyed and swept whole districts 
clear of corn and cattle, so that the fate of those 
who survived was often worse than that of those 
who were murdered ; they kept no faith with 
" rebels " who were foolish enough to put their 
trust in the Hanoverian plighted word ; and 
their prisoners by breach of faith, like their 
prisoners by right of capture, they consigned to 
loathsome prisons or transported to the slavery 
of the colonies. As the days slipped into weeks 
and the weeks into months, and the Prince was 



142 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

still at large, the net was cast wider and wider 
in the hope of entangling in its meshes one weak 
vessel who might perchance betray him. But 
it was cast in vain, for though it brought many 
fish to the ravenous Hanoverian maw, it brought 
none such as it so eagerly desired. 

Thus it was that Donald Macleod in far- 
away London soon found that he was among 
friends, though among friends in like parlous 
condition with himself. On board the ship on 
which he found himself were his old friends and 
neighbours - - Mackinnon of Mackinnon and 
Malcolm Macleod of Brea, as well as many 
another whom he had known in happier days ; 
while on the same or one of the other prison 
ships lying off Tilbury were old Clanranald, 
Macdonald of Boisdale, Captain John Mac- 
kinnon, Macneil of Barra, young Gordon of 
Glenbucket, Dr John Macdonald of Kinloch- 
moidart, and many more. Of these, Clanranald 
iind Boisdale at least had taken no part in the 
rising, and had kept a large part of the Clan 
Donald from going out. But they had had pit} 
on the Royal fugitive, and because of that H 
generous Government repaid the debt they owed 
them by imprisonment in a rotting hulk. 
Equally hard was the case of Kingsburgh, who 
for one night's hospitality suffered a confinement 



Cheated and Starved. 143 

of twelve long months, partly in Fort- Augustus 
and partly in Edinburgh Castle, while others, 
like Bishop Forbes himself and the Rev. James 
Taylor, of Thurso, were thrown into prison upon 
mere suspicion. 

To the last-mentioned, the Kev. James 
Taylor, we owe a graphic description of the 
treatment accorded to the captives in the prison - 
ships at Tilbury. His narrative fills up some of 
the gaps in Donald Macleod's story, for he and 
Donald were for several months fellow-prisoners 
on the "James and Mary." From the parson 
we learn that Donald and his friends had to 
sleep for months in the common hold of the 
vessel among the litter left by the horses of a 
cavalry regiment which had some time before 
been brought over in the " James and Mary " 
from Holland, and that the insufficient supply 
of food allowed them by the Government was 
rendered still less " by the avarice and villany of 
the victualler," who cheated them of at least 
one-fourth of their daily allowance, while that 
which did reach them was of such evil quality 
that they could hardly partake of it. " But they 
were obliged to use such victuals or starve ; and 
even such of the prisoners as had money were 
greatly straitened to obtain healthy provisions 
by the boundless avarice of the soldiers and 



144 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

backwardness of the sailors to bring them off 
honestly from Gravesend." 

One other description may be quoted to 
complete the picture. It is from the pen of 
William Jack at one time a merchant and after- 
wards a messenger in Elgin. He had joined the 
Prince, fought at Culloden, been taken prisoner 
a few weeks after the battle, and conveyed to 
Inverness, where he was put on board one of the 
Government ships which lay, full of prisoners, 
off Kessock. A few weeks later he was sent to 
London, and after an imprisonment of nearly a 
year was transported to the Barbadoes. The 
letter is dated from Tilbury Fort on the 17th of 
March 1747, and is addressed to friends in Elgin. 
Its essential parts follow 

" This comes to acquaint you," he writes, 
" that 1 was eight months and eight days on sea 
of which time I was eight weeks upon half a 
pound and twelve ounces of oatmeal and a bottle 
of water in the 24 hours, which we was obliged 
to make meal and water in the bottom of one 
old bottle. There was 125 put on board at 
Inverness on the " James and Mary " of Fife. 
In the latter end of June we was put on board of 
a transport of 450 tons called the " Liberty and 
Property," in which we continued the rest of the 



Terrible Mortality. 145 

eight months upon twelve ounces of oat shilling 
as it came from the mill. There was 32 
prisoners more put aboard of the said " Liberty 
and Property," which makes 157, and when we 
came ashore we was but 49 in life ; it would 
have been no great surprise if there had not been 
one conform to our usage. They would take us 
from the hold in a rope, and hoist us to the 
yard-arm and let us fall in the sea in order 
for ducking of us, and tie us to the mast and 
whip us. This was done to us when we was not 
able to stand. I will leave it to the readers to 
judge what condition they might have been in 
themselves with the above treatment. We had 
neither bed nor bedclothes, nor clothes to keep 
us warm in the day-time. The ship's ballast was 
blaclj earth and small stones, in which we was 
obliged to dig holes to lie into for to keep us 
warm till the first day of November, when every 
man got about three yards of gross ham filled 
with straw, but no bed clothes. I will not 
trouble you any more till I see you. There is 
none in life that went from Elgin with me but 
William limes in Fochabers. James Brander 
Smith died seven months ago. Alexander Frigg 
died in Cromarty Road. John Kintrea that lived 
in Longbride died also. 

" During all this time I was but in a bad 



146 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

state of health. But blessed be God I'm in a 
pretty good state of health at present in spite of 
my enemies. . . . Be so good as to acquaint 
the clerk that I left playing at cards, that he 
will see his friend very soon . . . and that 
Mr James Falconer is in good health, and re- 
mains on board of a ship called the " James and 
Mary " lying off Tilbury Fort." (This was the 
vessel on which Donald Macleod was imprisoned). 

" P.S 1 keep full as good heart as ever, and 
has done during all my confinement, yea even 
when I was in a very bad situation. If it had 
not been so, I should not be in life, for the fish 
of the sea should have got my bones to gnaw, for 
they could not have got anything else. From 
such another sight, good Lord, deliver me ! for 
it's impossible to describe the condition we was 
all in, for you should have thought we had no 
in trails within us, and all our joints of our body 
as perceptible as if we were cut out in wood or 
stone. William, be so good as give my service 
to your brother, wife, and daughter. God be 
with you all." 

A man of spirit was William Jack, and a 
man of grim humour, in spite of all his sufferings. 
All the statements he makes are amply corro- 
borated from other sources, even to the hoisting 



Wanton Murder. 147 

of the sick men to the yard-arm and ducking 
them, while the generous allowance of half a 
pound of meal per day to each prisoner is a 
matter of sober, horrid fact. As to the ducking 
we may cite another witness, John Farquharson 
of Aldberg, better known as "John Anderson, 
my Jo," who wrote an exceedingly graphic 
account of the doings of Cumberland's soldiery 
in Inverness, and the treatment accorded to the 
prisoners. Farquharson, it should be said, was 
sentenced to death, but succeeded in making his 
escape out of the hands of the messenger to 
whose care he was entrusted in London. He is 
speaking of the sufferings endured by the 
prisoners, of whom he was one, on the voyage 
from Inverness to London. 

" At last," he says, " by hunger, bad usage, 
and lying upon the ballast and twixt decks 
exposed to all weathers, they were seized with a 
kind of a plague, which carried them off by dozens, 
and a good many of those who would have out- 
lived their sickness were wantonly murdered by 
the sailors by dipping of them in the sea in the 
crisis of their fevers. This was the sailors' diver- 
sion from Buchan Ness Point till we came to the 
Nore, They'd take a rope and tie about the 
poor sick's waist, then they would haul them up 



148 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

by their tackle and plunge them in the sea, as 
they said, to drown the vermin ; but they took 
special care to drown both together. Then 
they'd haul them up upon deck, and tie a stone 
about on the legs, and overboard with them. 
I have seen six or seven examples of this in a 
day." 

Many more examples of the severity with 
which the prisoners were treated might be given, 
but enough has been said to enable anyone to 
form a fairly adequate idea of what their suffer- 
ings were, and of the truth of Donald Macleod's 
remark that they were treated " with the utmost 
barbarity and cruelty." 



HOW IT FARED WITH THE 
HIGHLAND PRISONERS 
IN LONDON. 



XV. 

HOW IT FARED WITH THE HIGHLAND 
PRISONERS IN LONDON. 

DONALD Macleod himself had rather more 
than his share of the general ill-treatment 
of prisoners, for while many of his companions 
were removed early in the winter from the 
prison ships and placed in the custody of 
messengers in London, Donald was kept on 
board the " James and Mary " till April or May 
1747. For a period of eight months his quarters 
were " in a dark place of the ship," first on the 
"Furnace' and afterwards on the "James and 
Mary," " where they were not allowed the light 
of a candle of any kind from the 1st of August 
1746 to the day upon which Lord Lovat suffered, 
being April 9th (Thursday), 1747." The 
wonder is that the old man of 68, accustomed to 
the free, fresh breezes of the West, survived his 
long months ol incarceration in that dark and 
noisome hole. Throughout it all, however, 
Donald kept a stout heart, and found time to 
pity his less fortunate companions, and especially 
the Grants from Glenmoriston, who, having 
surrendered and delivered up their arms at 



152 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

Inverness on a promise of indemnity, were 
straightway seized and consigned to unspeakable 
horrors in the holds of the prison-ships. 

The treatment of these Grants moved 
Donald to great indignation, and little wonder. 
Some 80 or 90 in number, they had surrendered 
on honourable terms, but no sooner had they 
given up their arms than the terms were broken, 
the pledges of Cumberland were thrown to the 
winds, and the men themselves were treated 
with the same harshness and cruelty as fell to 
the lot of those taken with arms in their hands. 
Sent to London, they were distributed among 
the ships at Tilbury, and there Donald found 
many of them. "Finer and stouter men," he 
says, " never drew a sword," but such was the 
rigour of their confinement that more than 60 
of them died, and the Government, their rancour 
still unsatisfied, consigned the survivors to the 
slavery of the Barbadoes, whence only two of 
them returned. "It was most lucky," said 
Donald with truth, " that a greater number had 
not surrendered at the same time ;" and he 
added, with equal truth, "that the treatment of 
the Glenmoriston men became a warniog to 
others not to follow their example." Thus 
Cumberland's base betrayal of his humble foes 
recoiled on his own head, for " their fate did 



Blood Lust Satiated. 153 

prevent many surrenders that otherwise would 
have happened." 

The dismal winter months passed slowly 
and dreadfully away, and with the advance of 
spring Donald's hopes began to revive. There 
were signs that the Hanoverian lust for revenge 
was becoming glutted, and with the passing of 
the possibility of danger, the voice of public 
opinion was beginning to make itself heard. It 
was not, however, until Lovat's grey head had 
fallen that the conscience of England found 
courage sufficient to make the Government feel 
that the time for mingling mercy with judgment 
had come, and by then the Battle of Culloden 
was nearly a year away and the hulks and the 
prisons were still full of the suffering victims of 
the Government's fear and fury. But even then 
the Government was reluctant to let its captives 
go. The prison doors opened slowly, and too 
often opened only to transport some poor 
wretches from the horrors of their dungeon in 
civilised England to a life of slavery in one of 
England's colonies. But Donald was one of 
those to whom fortune at last turned a smiling 
face, and when on a day in April or May 1747 
he set his foot on drv land once more, it was to 

/ f 

exchange the vileness of the prison-ship for the 
comparative comfort of a messenger's house. 



154 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

There, he tells us, he was kept "but a short 
time," and bids us take notice that he was set at 
liberty "upon a most happy day, the 10th of 
June 1747," that being the birthday of the Old 
Chevalier, the King over the water. 

The system of confining State prisoners in 
the hands of messengers was then very common 
in England. It had its advantages and its 

o o 

disadvantages, but from the point of view of the 
prisoners it was infinitely preferable to being 
shut up in any of the loathsome dens which were 
at that time dignified by the name of prisons. 
The messengers were officers of the Court, 
corresponding somewhat to messengers-at-arms 
or sheriff-officers in Scotland, and were respon- 
sible for the safe custody of the persons com- 
mitted to their care. Subject to that proviso 
they were permitted to treat their prisoners 
pretty much as they pleased, and if a prisoner 
were fortunate enough to be possessed of a little 
money, he was well-nigh certain to find himself 
in comparatively comfortable quarters. He 
lived in the messenger's house, had his own 
room, could arrange for his own food, and was 
usually permitted to receive his friends. If he 
cared to give his parole he might even be 
allowed to wander about London as he pleased, 
and in other respects his comforts were only 



The Making of Evidence. 155 

limited by the length of his purse or the good 
nature of his goaler. There was of course some 
method in this seemingly generous treatment of 
State prisoners. Among other things, it gave 
the Government an opportunity of discovering 
who were the suspect's friends and correspond- 
ents, and of surrounding him with a network of 
spies who might gather information of value 
from his conversation and actions. Donald 
Macleod's friend, Malcolm Macleod of Brea, gives 
an amusing example of this. 

When brought to London Malcolm was by 
some mistake thought to be his cousin, the Laird 
of Raasay, who had led out the Raasay Macleods 
and joined the Prince shortly before the battle of 
Falkirk. When he was examined, however, the 
mistake was discovered, for the Government had 
a particular description of Raasay, which could 
in no way be made to fit Malcolm. They were 
accordingly in a quandary. Revenge on Mal- 
colm they were determined to have for the 
assistance he had given the Prince, but they 
dare not bring him to trial on that charge alone. 
Public opinion had already made Flora Mac- 
donald a popular heroine, and compelled the 
Government to treat her well, and the same 
feeling, together with the English love of fair- 
play, would not have tolerated proceedings in 



156 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

London against a man simply because he had 
helped the Prince when he was a fugitive. If 
Malcolm were to be tried, therefore, it must be 
on a proper charge of treason, in his case on a 
charge of having carried arms in the Prince's 
service. That he had done so the Government 
were morally certain, but evidence was lacking, 
and they therefore set to work to try to obtain 
it. Malcolm himself tells the story of their 
endeavours with dry humour. 

He was at this time iri the custody of a 
messenger, and the Government " sent the 
evidences to visit him to see if they knew him, 
and if they did not know him, to endeavour to 
fish something out of him by entangling him in 
his talk." He goes on " Particularly one, 
Urquhart, came to him in a very kind and 
familiar manner, and enquiring about his welfare. 
Captain Macleod told him that he had the ad- 
vantage of him, for that he was at a loss to 
know who it was that favoured him with such a 
kind visit, not remembering he had ever seen 
the face before. ' Oh, Mr Macleod,' said 
Urquhart, ' don't you remember to have seen me 
at Edinburgh at such a time ?' It happened 
very luckily for Malcolm that he had never been 
in Edinburgh about that time, and therefore he 
assured Urquhart that he behoved to take him 



From Enemies to Heroes. 157 

for some other person. Urquhart still insisted 
that he was sure he had seen him before, 
particularly at Inverness at such a time. The 
Captain still kept him off with long weapons and 
discreet returns ; so that neither Urquhart nor 
none of his kidney could gain any ground upon 
him at all. There being no evidence to be 
found against him, he had the benefit of the 
indemnity. Accordingly he was liberated out 
of the messenger's hands upon July 4th, 1747, 
together with Clanranald, senior, and his lady, 
Boisdale, John Mackinnon, my Lady Stewart, 
&c." 

Donald Macleod does not seem to have been 
subjected to any ordeals of a like nature, for 
soon after he was placed in the messenger's cus- 
tody the Government decided to take no further 
steps against him, and he was released. To this 
they were compelled by the force of public opinion. 
The Jacobite prisoners had become the fashion in 
London, and the people who had been afraid to 
risk their skins for the cause to which many of 
them had pledged themselves were now tumbling 
over one another in their anxiety to extol the 
courage and virtues of those who had saved the 
Prince. Flora Macdonald was the heroine of 
fashionable London; Donald Macleod found him- 
self on a pinnacle of fame which must have well- 



158 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

nigh dazzled him ; and he and his friends were 
feasted and feted in a manner which would have 
turned the heads of smaller men. London for a 
season could think and talk of little but the 
gallant Highlanders, and it was only with ex- 
treme reluctance that at last she let them go. 




HOW LONDON FETED THE 
PRINCE'S PILOT, AND 
HOW HE RETURNED TO 
HIS NATIVE LAND. 



XVI. 

HOW LONDON FETED THE PRINCE'S 
PILOT, AND HOW HE RETURNED TO 
HIS NATIVE LAND. 

DONALD MACLEOD, though one of the first of 
the heroes to be released, was one of the 
last to leave London. For this there were 
several reasons. He was weak after his long 
confinement, he had fallen among friends, who 
treated him with the utmost kindness, and he 
was destitute of the means necessary for the 
long journey to the north of Scotland. SD he 
perforce was compelled to bide his time, and 
spent the interval of waiting very pleasantly 
among his old friends and his new acquaintances 
in the Metropolis. Chief among the latter was 
John Walkingshaw, a Scotsman long resident in 
London, and well known for his Jacobite pro- 
clivities. In the dark days which followed 
Culloden many a poor Scotsman had cause to 
bless his name. His house, his purse, and his 
services were all at the disposal of his exiled 
fellow-countrymen, and many and great were 
the kindnesses he lavished upon them. It was 
at his house that Lady Balmerino found an 



162 Prince Charlie's Pilot 

asylum after the execution of her husband, and 
it was within the same hospitable doors that the 
old Laird of Mackinnon, his brave kinsman, John 
Mackinnon, Donald Macleod, and many more were 
received as honoured and ever welcome guests. 

To Donald Macleod especially did John 
Walkingshaw show kindnesses innumerable. 
The heroic devotion of the old man had touched 
his imagination as it had touched the imagination 
of countless others, while the simplicity and the 
modesty of his bearing won for him a very warm 
place in \Valki ngshaw's heart. "The Prince's 
Pilot," as he had come to be known, had many 
enthusiastic admirers in London, but none more 
so than his kindly host, who dubbed him " the 
faithful Palinurus," and, when the time for his 
departure at last came, presented him with a 
memento at once valuable and flattering, in the 
shape of " a large silver snuff-box, prettily 
chessed," a description of which, from the pen 
of Bishop Forbes, happily survives. 

" The box " writes the worthy Bishop, in 
whose affections Donald seems to rank next the 
Prince, "is an octagon oval of three inches and 
three-quarters in length, three inches in breadth, 
and an inch and a quarter in depth, and the in- 
side of it is doubly gilt. Upon the lid is raised 
the eight oared boat, with Donald at the helm, and 



A Handsome Gift. 163 

the four under his care, together with the eight 
rowers distinctly represented. The sea is made 
to appear very rough and tempestuous. Upon 
one of the extremities of the lid there is a land- 
skip of the Long Isle, and the boat is just steer- 
ing into Rossinish, the point of Benbecula where 
they landed. Upon the other extremity of the 
lid there is a land skip of the end of the Isle of 
Sky, as it appears opposite to the Long Isle. 
Upon this representation of Sky are marked 
these two places, viz., Dunvegan and Gualtergill. 
Above the boat the clouds are represented heavy 
and lowering, and the rain is falling from them. 
The motto above the clouds, i.e., round the edge 
of the lid by the hinge, is this OLIM HAEC 
MEMINISSE JUVABIT APRILIS 26to 1746," which 
may be rendered With joy will he in after 
days recall these things. " The inscription 
under the sea, i.e., round the edge of the lid, by 
the opening, is this QUID, NEPTUNE, PARAS ? 
FATIS AGITAMUR INIQUIS" What hast thou in 
store, oh Neptune ? We are the sport of unkind 
fate. " Upon the bottom of the box are carved 
the following words DONALD MACLEOD OF 
GUALTERGILL, in the Isle of Sky, THE FAITH- 
FULL PALINURUS, Mt. 68, 1746. Below these 
words there is very prettily engraved a dove, 
with an olive branch in her bill." 



164 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

The box was truly, as the good Bishop says, 
" an excellent medal of Donald's history," and 
Donald valued it highly. When he showed it 
to Bishop Forbes it was empty. 

" Why," asked the Bishop, " have you no 
snuff in it 1" 

" Sneeshin in that box !" replied Donald in 
amazement. " No, the deil a puckle sneeshin 
shall ever go into it till the King be restored, 
and then, I trust in God, I'll go to London, and 
then will I put sneeshin in the box and go to 
the Prince and say, ' Sir, will you take a snee- 
shin out of my box ?' " 

For two mouths after his release did Donald 
remain in London, and these two months aff- 
orded him some slight compensation for all that 
he had suffered. The simple old Skyeman found 
himself the hero of the moment ; his tale was in 
everybody's mouth, and no gathering of Jaco- 
bites was complete without the romantic figure 
of the Prince's Pilot. At many a London table, 
and in many a fine lady's drawing-room had he 
to tell the story of his adventures and answer 
eager questions about the Prince, until at last 
his tongue grew weary with constant repetition, 
and he began to long for peace and quiet. At 
no time, moreover, did he like to talk in English. 
Gaelic was his language, and though he knew 



Fellow Exiles in London. 165 

English passing well, he never felt at home in it. 
Happily, even in London, he had many oppor- 
tunities for speaking in his beloved native 
tongue, for the Capital was full of Highlanders, 
most of them in like condition with himself. 
Flora Macdonald, of course, was there, and Clan- 
ranald and his lady. There, too, were Boisdale 
and the two Mackinnons, the loyal old laird and 
his gallant kinsman, Captain John ; and Kin- 
lochmoidart's two brothers, the banker ^Eneas, 
with whom Donald had gone to Barra for the 
Spanish gold, and his brother the surgeon, who 
had proved a friend in need to his fellow - 
sufferers on the prison-ship on which he was 
confined. With his one-time fellow-prisoner, 
Malcolm Macleod of Brea, who lived to excite 
Dr Johnston's admiration, Donald was particu- 
larly friendly, while o other Highland sufferers 
in the cause, Macdonalds, Frasers, Macleans, 
and the like, there seemed no end. Most of 
these Donald saw constantly, especially at John 
Walkingshaw's house, where exile met with exile, 
and experiences were exchanged in the kindly 
Gaelic tongue. 

There was only one episode during those 
two months which Donald did not like to re- 
member. He discovered that his Chief, Macleod 
of Macleod, was in London, and like the good 



166 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

clansman he was, he promptly went to call for 
him. He had seen him last on the bridge of 
Inverness, when, with the pipes of Prince 
Charlie's advancing army ringing in their ears, 
Macleod had done his best to persuade Donald 
to fly from the temptation which he knew would 
presently await him in the town. But Donald 
had turned a deaf ear to all argument, and the 
last he saw of his chief was his retiral with more 
haste than dignity across the bridge. Much 
water had flowed beneath the bridge of Inver- 
ness since then, but Donald imagined that in 
far-away London his Chief would be ready to let 
bygones be bygones. Grievous was his dis- 
appointment, for Macleod refused even to see 
him, and when at a later date Donald accosted 
him in the streets of Edinburgh, he turned his 
back upon him. No doubt Macleod, who, only 
after much hesitation, had given a half-hearted 
allegiance to the Hanoverians, felt that the less 
he had to do with rebels of Donald's fame the 
better for his standing with the Government. 
But the slight, as he fancied it, rankled in 
Donald's mind, and he recounted it to Bishop 
Forbes more in sorrow and wonder than in 
anger. 

Donald was almost the last of the exiles to 
leave London. His friend Malcolm Macleod left 



The Homeward Road. 167 

in July in the company of Flora Macdonald, 
with ^hom he shared a postchaise to Edinburgh, 
acting as her escort on the journey. It is signifi- 
cant of the widespread fame which was hers, that 
it was deemed advisable for her to travel under 
an assumed name, in order to avoid attracting 
the attention of the populace. The story of her 
heroic deed had rung through the length and 
breadth of England, and such was her fame that 
her friends feared if her journey were known she 
would be subjected to manifold annoyances at 
the hands of staring crowds. So as brother and 
sister, Mr and Miss Robertson Flora Macdonald 
and Malcolm Macleod travelled from London 
to Edinburgh. 

A fortnight or so later Donald Macleod 
looked his last on London, and with a heart full 
of joy turned his face to the North. Nearly 18 
mouths had flown since he had seen his wife and 
family, and as in those days the post between 
Skye and London was slow and precarious, what 
tidings he had been able to obtain were but 
small and scanty. Like many of the other re- 
leased prisoners he was without a penny, and 
was dependent on the generosity of John Walk- 
ingshaw and other London Jacobites for the very 
bread he ate. Thus did the Hanoverian Govern- 
ment treat its captured foes when at last it 



168 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

granted them a reluctant release. It cast them 
stripped and destitute on London to sink or 
swim as best they might the last cruel act in 
the long list of cruelties which it had been its 
delight to practice. So it was only at long 
intervals, and in ones and twos and threes, as 
the opportunity offered, that the exiles were able 
to make a slow return to their native land. 
Some, by the kindness of friends, were able to 
make the journey to Edinburgh by postchaise ; 
some secured by one means or another a horse ; 
some even set out on the long road on foot ; and 
some found among the sea-dogs at the Port of 
London kindly Scots skippers who were willing 
to give to their stricken countrymen a passage 
to their own land. Into the hands of one of 
these last Donald seems to have fallen, thanks, 
probably, to the good offices of John Walking- 
shaw, for on the 17th of August 1747 we find 
him newly arrived in Leith in the house of a 
good Highlander James Macdonald, joiner, the 
kinsman and friend of Macleod of Raasay, and 
many other Highland gentlemen. 

Of James Macdonald Bishop Forbes tells a 
story, which well illustrates the closenesss of the 
ties of friendship and of clanship which existed 
among Highlanders in those days. After 
Culloden the Island of Raasay had been swept 



Practical Loyalty. 169 

with fire and sword, and " plundered and pil- 
laged to the utmost degree of severity, every 
house and hut being levelled to the ground." 
But in the laird's house there were some fine 
windows " all of oak," and when the house was 
razed to the ground, these were carefully pre- 
served by the destroyers and put on board a ship 
of war for sale. "When the ship came to the 
Road of Leith/' says Bishop Forbes, "James 
Macdonald, joiner, and a kinsman of Raaza's, 
went aboard, and bought the windows, which 
were all done with crown glass, choosing rather 
they should fall into his hands than into those 
of any indifferent person, because he could 
account for them to the owner when a proper 
opportunity should offer. 1 saw the windows 
in James Macdonald's house." 

What John Walkingshaw had been to the 
exiles in London, James Macdonald was. to an 
even greater degree, to the Highland Jacobites 
who found themselves in Edinburgh. Was he 
not a Highlander and a Highland gentleman 
himself? So his doors were ever open to his 
suffering compatriots, and within them many a 
weary exile found a safe asylum. Donald, 
accordingly, he received with open arms. Was 
he not " the Prince's Pilot," and a Skyeman to 
boot ? So at long last Donald found himself on 



170 



Prince Charlie's Pilot. 



Scottish soil once more, and in the company of 
friends who would see to it that the troubles and 
trials of the heroic old man were over. 




OF BISHOP FORBES, AND HIS 
FIRST MEETING WITH 
DONALD MACLEOD. 



XVII. 

OF BISHOP FORBES, AND HIS FIRST MEET 
ING WITH DONALD MACLEOD. 

IF there was one man in Scotland who was 
anxious, above all others, to meet Donald 

Macleod it was he who has been referred to 
constantly in these pages as Bishop Forbes. In 
1747, however, the Rev. Robert Forbes, M.A., 
was not yet a Bishop. He was one of the clergy- 
men of the Episcopal Church of Scotland in 
Leith, an office which he had filled since 
December 1735. 

Born in 1708 in the parish of Rayne, in 
Aberdeenshire, Bishop Forbes, to give him the 
name by which he is known in history, was 
sent at an early age to Marischal College, Aber- 
deen, where he graduated Master of Arts in 
1726. He subsequently proceeded to qualify 
for orders in the Episcopal Church of Scotland, 
and was ordained a priest of that body in June 
1735. When Prince Charlie landed, Bishop 
Forbes was, accordingly, in the prime of his 
manhood, 37 years of age, and a clergyman of 
ten years standing. Like all his brethren of 
the Scottish Episcopal Church, he was an en- 



174 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

thusiastic Jacobite, and as soon as the news 
of the raising of the standard reached Edin- 
burgh, he determined to join the Prince. He 
very soon found some friends of like mind with 
himself, and early in September in the com- 
pany of two fellow-clergymen, two Jacobite 
gentlemen, and two men-servants, he set out 
for the Highlands. Fortunately, perhaps, for 
himself, however for the Hanoverian Govern- 
ment showed no mercy to clergymen who had 
joined the Prince, several of them actually 
suffering death at the hands of the executioner 
the little band of travellers was arrested on 
suspicion, near Stirling, on 7th September 1745, 
and clapped into Stirling Castle. There they 
were kept till 4th February 1746, when they 
were transferred to Edinburgh Castle, from 
which the Bishop was released on the 29th of 
May following. Of his own treatment while a 
prisoner he does not tell us much, but the 
following episode shows that he had no more 
reason to love the Hanoverians, at least after 
the advent of Cumberland, than any other 
captive. 

On Sunday, the 2nd of February 1746, 
Cumberland entered Stirling in pursuit of Prince 
Charlie's retreating army, and orders were forth- 
with given for the transference of the prisoners 



Bishop Forbes' Experiences. 175 

in the Castle to Edinburgh. What then ensued, 
Bishop Forbes describes " from my own eyesight 
and experience." Early in the morning of the 
4th of February " some prisoners in the Castle of 
Stirling," he writes, " were, by Cumberland's 
orders, sent off under command, to the Castle of 
Edinburgh." The party, of whom he himself 
was one, "were taken out of the Castle of 
Stirling at nine o'clock in the morning, and kept 
standing on the street of Stirling till betwixt 
two and three in the afternoon, as so many 
spectacles to be gazed at, though not one of 
them had been taken upon or near a field of 
battle. Lord Albemarle, coming up to Captain 
Hamilton of Hamilton's Dragoons, who com- 
manded the party, asked him who these were 
that were placed behind the front rank. The 
captain answered they were prisoners. Then 
Albemarle, with a volley of oaths, asked why 
they were not tied with ropes. The captain 
replied they were gentlemen, * Gentlemen,' said 
Albemarle, ' damn them for rebels. Get ropes 
and rope them immediately." 

Captain Hamilton ventured to expostulate, 
and " begged leave to inform him that they were 
taken up only upon suspicion, and added he 
could venture to say there was not anything to 
be laid to their charge. Albemarle still cried 



176 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

to have them roped, and swore if one of them 
should happen to escape, Captain Hamilton 
should pay dear for him. Accordingly they were 
tied two and two by the arms, the gentlemen 
laughing at the farce, and excusing Captain 
Hamilton, who declared his being ashamed of 
such a piece of duty. While Albemarle was 
bullying and roaring, one of the gentlemen spoke 
these words : ' It is exceedingly like a Dutch- 
man/ Cornet Forth (one of the command) said 
he was persuaded it was orders. As soon as the 
gentlemen were out of Stirling, Captain Hamilton 
desired them to throw away the ropes ! " 

In Edinburgh Castle Bishop Forbes met 
many other prisoners, and it was perhaps when 
listening to their experiences that the idea 
occured to him of collecting information from 
the mouths of those who had taken part in, and . 
could throw some light upon, the events and 
incidents of the Rebellion. The idea, in its be- 
ginning probably only an intention to collect 
matters of interest to the friends of the cause, 
grew into a plan to collect all available evidence ; 
and when at last, probably late in 1746, it took 
concrete shape, it resolved itself gradually into 
a resolution to collect every scrap of information 
which could throw light on any of the person- 
alities or events of the Rebellion, and especially 



177 Origin of the " Lyon." 

on the personality of the Prince and his wander- 
ings after Culloden, on the enormities perpe- 
trated on his adherents, and on the adventures 
and sufferings of those who had followed or be- 
friended him. 

The whole collection extends to ten manu- 
script volumes, the first of which bears the date 
1747, and the last 1775. The earlier volumes 
show very clearly the growth of the Bishop's 
plan, for they begin with a copy of a letter, 
dat^d 23rd October 1746, "from the Rev. Mr 
Robert Lyon to his Mother and Sisters," and 
continue for the first 120 pages to give the last 
letters and dying speeches of various gentlemen 
who suffered at the hands of the executioner for 
their loyalty to the Stuart cause. It is only in 
July 1747 that the scope of the collection 
begins to widen, when Bishop Forbes receives 
" a genuine and full account of the Battle of 
Culloden, with what happened the two preceding 
days, together with the young Prince's miracul- 
ous escape at, from, and after the battle . . ' 
to his return to the Continent of Scotland from 
the Western Islands on the 6th of the succeeding 
July. Taken from the mouths of the old Laird 
of Mackinnon, Mr Malcolm Macleod, &c., and of 
Lady Clanranald and Miss Flora Macdonald, by 
John Walkingshaw, of London, or Dr John 



178 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

Burton." Shortly after the Bishop received this 
precious document, he read it to Alexander Mac- 
donald of Kingsburgh at a gathering in Lady 
Bruce's house in Leith on the llth of July 1747, 
and Kingsburgh having made some corrections 
upon it, then proceeded to tell his own story, 
which Bishop Forbes carefully took down. To 
the collection of letters and speeches of the 
cause's martyrs, the " genuine and full account 
of the Battle of Culloden, &c.," obtained by John 
Walkingshaw or Dr Burton, was then added 
exactly as it was received by Bishop Forbes ; and 
then follows the account of the meeting with 
Kingsburgh, the latter's observations on the 
narrative read to him, and his tale of his own 
adventures and sufferings. 

Thus the Bishop's plan began to come to its 
full development, and henceforward the collec- 
tion is a collection of living human documents. 
Narratives written by the narrators themselves ; 
interviews between the Bishop and various of 
the heroes of the '45, whom he subjected to long 
and close examination ; letters passing between 
the Bishop and many of those who had been out 
with, or had aided, the Prince ; meetings with 
people who had something worth telling good 
citizens of Inverness, who described what they 
had seen in the town before and after Culloden, 



A Labour of Love. 179 

officers who had served the Hanoverians, and 
were not afraid to tell what they had seen or 
heard, and persons of every condition in life who 
could contribute a mite of information to the 
Bishop's hoard ; all these and many other things 
besides journals, poems, epitaphs, and the like 
are set out at length and with extraordinary 
care and precision in the worthy Bishop's manu- 
script volumes. The collection of every possible 
bit of information relating to the '45 and the 
Cause became, indeed, the passion of his life, and 
down to the very month before his death, in 
November 1775, he continued to add to his 
collection, and to chronicle every scrap of news 
which had any bearing on the Prince or the 
Cause which lay so near his heart. 

The last entry is a letter, dated 16th October 
1775, from Bishop Gordon, London, the conclud- 
ing paragraph of which runs thus : " Indeed, 
sir, I am of your opinion that the American 
affair, as things appear at present, looks formid- 
able enough to shake the Empire of Britain, 
tho' it be purposed, as I am assured, to have an 
army of 40,000 effective men, besides every 
other requisite in America in the Spring." A 
far cry from the dark days of '46, but not even 
Bishop Forbes or Bishop Gordon foresaw that 
" the Empire of Britain " was to find her most 



180 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

loyal sons in America in the men and the 
children of the men whose sufferings in and 
whose devotion to another lost cause it had been 
Bishop Forbes's sorrow and joy to chronicle. 

Inscribed on the first volume is the title 
by which the collection is known, with a sub- 
title which explains the Bishop's intentions. 
It runs "The Lyon in Mourning, or, a Col- 
lection (As exactly made as the Iniquity of 
the Times would permit) of Speeches, Letters, 
Journals, etc., relative to the Affairs, but more 
particularly the Dangers and Distresses of (?)," 
it being considered wise in those days not to 
mention the Prince, either in speech or writing, 
by name. Why the name " The Lyou in 
Mourning " is not definitely known, but it is 
conjectured, probably with truth, that it refers 
to the heraldic emblem of Scotland, the Scottish 
Lion. The collection remained in the Bishop's 
keeping till his death, a jealously guarded and 
much valued possession, and it was not until 
1834 that any part of its contents was pub- 
lished to the world. In that year certain of the 
papers and narratives in it, amounting to about 
one third of the whole, were printed by Dr 
Robert Chambers in his well-known, but now 
scarce work, "Jacobite Memoirs of the Rebellion 
of 1745." On his death, Dr Chambers be- 



A High Ideal. 181 

queathed the Manuscript to the Faculty of 
Advocates, in whose library in Edinburgh it is 
now carefully preserved, and in 1895 it was 
printed, exactly as it had been left by Bishop 
Forbes, by the Scottish History Society. 

Of the collection itself it is impossible to 
speak too highly. Bishop Forbes's declared aim 
was to make it "as compleat and exact as 
possible for the instruction of future ages," and 
to see that every act and incident was " carefully 
recorded and transmitted to posterity, according 
to truth and justice." No trouble therefore was 
spared in the effort to obtain full and accurate 
information. If there were more than one actor 
in a particular episode, the narrative of each was 
obtained, discrepancies were pointed out, and 
explanations asked ; and the whole, narratives, 
criticisms, and explanations, were then set down, 
so that the reader might compare them for him- 
self and form his own judgment. It was a high 
ideal the Bishop set before him. " I never 
chuse," he says, " to take matters of fact at 
second-hand if I can by any means have them 
from those who were immediately interested in 
them," and this ideal he succeeded in carrying 
out. It is this which gives the Lyon in Mourn- 
ing its unique place in Scottish historical litera- 
ture, and sets it among the world's great books. 



182 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

After his release in May 1746, Bishop 
Forbes went to reside in Leith in the house of a 
wealthy member of his congregation, who was 
an ardent Jacobite, an old lady of 77, Lady 
Bruce, widow of ir William Bruce of Kinross. 
Here he abode till his marriage in 1749, and 
here the greater part of the Lyon was written. 
In Lady Bruce's house the Bishop was in his 
element. Her hospitality was as unbounded as 
her Jacobitism was enthusiastic, and her house 
was the scene of many a Jacobite gathering and 
many a supper-party, at which the company 
listened spell-bound to the tales of those who 
had suffered for the cause. For thither it 
was that those who had anything to tell came 
to Bishop Forbes, and then the word went forth 
to all the " friends," and as the night went on 
the hero of the occasion found himself telling his 
tale to an ever increasing circle of eager listeners. 

Such was the man to whom James Mac- 
donald lost no time in sending Donald Macleod, 
for by the time of Donald's arrival the Bishop's 
plan was in full swing, and every Jacobite for 
miles round knew of his zest for information. 
So on "Monday, August 17th," writes the 
Bishop, "betwixt six and seven at night, 1747, 
Deacon William Clerk, taylor, came to see me, 
and did me the favour of bringing along with 



Donald and the Bishop. 183 

him Donald Macleod (tenant at Gualtergill in the 
Isle of Skye, under the Laird of Macleod) the 
honest and faithful steersman of the eight oar'd 
boat . . . who had the Prince among his hands, and 
was employed in going upon his errands for nine 
or ten weeks after the Battle of Culloden." Thus 
does the worthy Bishop record his first meeting 
with the Prince's Pilot, for whom he was rapidly 
to acquire a deep and lasting affection, and on 
whom, by the power of his pen, he was to be- 
stow deathless fame. 

With the bringing together of these two 
staunch supporters of the exiled Stuarts, the 
story of Donald Macleod draws near a close. 
But before we resume the thread, interrupted of 
necessity in order to introduce Donald's bio- 
grapher to the reader, a line or two may be 
devoted to Bishop Forbes's subsequent career. 
In 1762 he was raised to the Episcopal hierarchy 
as Bishop of Ross and Caithness, and in that 
capacity paid two visits to the north, the par- 
ticulars of which may be read by the curious in 
his " Journals," which he kept with great care, 
and which were published some years ago. He 
died at Leith on the 18th of November 1775, in 
the 68th year of his age, in spite of disillusion and 
disappointment, a Jacobite to the last. 



HOW EDINBURGH OUTDID 
LONDON. AND HOW 
DONALD MACLEOD AND 
NED BURKE MET ONCE 
MORE. 



XVIII. 

HOW EDINBURGH OUTDID LONDON, AND 
HOW DONALD MACLEOD AND NED 
BURKE MET ONCE MORE 

FROM Bishop Forbes Donald received a 
warm welcome, but "after the usual 
compliments and some little chit-chat" the 
Bishop, with characteristic ardour, came straight 
to the subject which lay so near his heart. 
Would honest Donald favour him with an 
account of the adventures of the Prince and 
himself during their wanderings in the Western 
Isles ? Donald modestly replied that he had 
nothing very much to tell, but if Bishop Forbes 
wished it he would very willingly grant his 
desire, "for all that he had to say would take up 
no great time it would easily be contained in a 
quarter of a sheet of paper." He added, how- 
ever, that he had heard that the Bishop had 
been employing himself in collecting "these 
things," and he would like to hear all the 
accounts he had gathered together before telling 
his own story. To this the Bishop rather 
demurred, on the ground that it would take up 
too much time, but he had a copy of O'Neil's 



188 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

Journal in his possession, and if Donald liked he 
would read him that. Donald readily agreed, 
expressing himself as " anxious to know what 
O'Neil advanced in his journal," as he had been 
" along with him in company all the time he had 
attended the Prince after the Battle of Culloden," 
and could therefore "judge where O'Neil was in 
the right and where in the wrong." He quite 
plainly shared the general dislike and distrust 
with which O'Neil and the other Irish officers 
were regarded by Prince Charlie's Highland 
followers, feelings which it may at once be said 
were amply justified. Not that these officers 
were unfaithful to the Prince, but they were 
adventurers, with all to gain and nothing to 
lose, and it was owing largely to the malign 
influence which they exercised over their Royal 
master that the '45 ended in such utter ruin. 

His point gained, the Bishop next proceeded 
to ask Donald "if he would indulge him the 
freedom of asking questions at him," without 
which, as he sapiently observed, he could assure 
him, from experience, "there was no taking of 
journals from one with any tolerable exactness." 
The fact was Donald's remark about the quarter 
sheet of paper had alarmed him, and he saw 
that if he was to get the old man's story with 
any fullness, he must draw him out carefully. 



Plain Answers. 189 

Donald soon quieted his fears on that score. He 
would allow him ask any questions he thought 
fit to propose. But even with that assurance 
the Bishop could not let Donald go. He was 
literally bubbling over with eagerness to hear 
the old man's tale, and so he asked permission 
to accompany him to James Macdonald's house, 
and there spend the evening with him, Donald 
of course assented, and by-and-by, he and his 
host and the Bishop, had settled down to a long 
night's talk, during which the Bishop naively 
confesses he put many questions, " to which 
Donald gave plain answers." No wonder Donald 
laughingly observed in Gaelic to his host that 
his questioner was " the unco-est chiel he had 
ever met." 

Before the Bishop took his departure on 
this the first night of his acquaintanceship with 
Donald, he had learnt enough to see that in him 
he had found a treasure, and thenceforward all 
his observations regarding him bear the marks 
of affection and esteem. The evening's conversa- 
tion, too, left him all afire with eagerness to get 
Donald's story written down in detail, and he 
did not say good-night till he had arranged to 
meet him for that purpose on the following 
1 hursday at James Macdonald's house. Behold 
him, then, soon after nine in the morning of 



190 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

the appointed day entering the room in which 
Donald and two other Jacobites were awaiting 
him, and being greeted with Donald's eager 
enquiry had he brought 0' Neil's Journal with 
him. 

" For," said he " the deil a' word will I give 
you till I hear O'Neil's Journal. From all I've 
heard about it I'm afraid it is far from being 
right." 

So the Journal was at once produced, and 
Donald listened eagerly while the Bishop read it 
aloud. It was not long before he had fault to find 
with it, and before the end his honest indignation 
was aroused. It was full of errors. It con- 
tained complete mis-statements of fact, it omitted 
much of importance, and it made it appear as if 
it were to O'Neil alone that the Prince's safety 
was due. He took far too much praise to him- 
self, said Donald. 

" What the deil could O'Neil do for the pre- 
servation and safety of the Prince," he asked 
wrathfully, "in a Highland country, where he 
knew not a foot of ground and had not the 
language of the people. And sic far 'd o' him," 
he added, " for he was no sooner from the Prince 
than he was taken prisoner." 

Donald's criticism of O'Neil's Journal is 
entirely true. It is from first to last a most un- 



The Telling of the Tale. 191 

generous document, just such as one would ex- 
pect from one of the braggart Irishmen who were 
Prince Charlie's evil genius. It is noteworthy 
that it was so regarded at the time, and Malcolm 
Macleod voiced the general opinion when he re- 
marked that he could not have a good opinion of 
O'Neil " when he was not at the pains to call for 
Donald Macleod, his companion in distress, whom 
he could not fail to know to be in London at the 
very same time he himself was in it, and to 
whom he could have easy access at any time he 
pleased." 

The reading of O'Neil's Journal over, 
Donald's two friends took their departure, but 
Malcolm Macleod happily came in just then, and, 
acquainted as he already was with the Journal, 
added his own criticism to Donald's. Then they 
settled down to the real business of the day. 
Donald, who did " not much like at any time to 
speak in Scots," began by observing that he would 
rather express himself in Gaelic, and as James 
Macdonald as well as Malcolm Macleod was now 
present, it was agreed that he should do so, and 
that Malcolm and James should interpret. So 
sentence by sentence the tale was told, Donald 
speaking in Gaelic, Malcolm or James translating, 
the Bishop writing and reading every sentence 
carefully over as it was completed," in order 



192 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

to know of them all if he was exactly right." 
From time to time the procedure was interrupted 
by an eager question from the Bishop, a discussion 
as to dates or the precise order of events, or a re- 
minder by Malcolm, who knew the story of 
Donald's adventures by heart, that some interest- 
ing fact was being omitted. From time to 
time, too, Donald expressed himself in Scots in- 
stead of in Gaelic, for the Bishop's questions were 
of course couched in that tongue, and so in a 
mixture of Gaelic and Scots the tale was slowly 
unfolded. It was a long task, but the interest 
of neither narrator nor listeners ever flagged. 
Donald was living over again some of the great 
hours of his life, and encouraged by the sympathy 
and the promptings of his audience, he searched 
his memory for every possible detail. As for the 
audience, they hung on his words, and as hour 
succeeded hour Jacobite after Jacobite dropped 
quietly in, until, when at last between 10 and 11 
o'clock at night the tale came to an end, the 
company in the room in James Macdonald's house 
had increased to 16 or 17 in number. 

Of the tale thus rescued from oblivion by 
Bishop Forbes, it is only necessary to say that 
its truth and accuracy have never been open to 
the slightest doubt, for not only does it bear the 
impress of truth upon its face, but it has been 



The Ties of Clan. 193 

corroborated in the most astonishing way from 
various independent contemporary sources. As 
to the manner of its telling, we need only quote 
the opinion of Bishop Forbes, written 18 months 
later, when comparing Donald's account with 
another, and revised, copy of O'Neil's Journal 
which he had seen. He says " I am persuaded 
anyone will find the Captain's account of things 
dull and wanting when put into the balance 
with that of the old honest Palinurus, whose 
simple unadorn'd sayings have a peculiar energy 
and beauty in them." 

Edinburgh at this time numbered among 
its inhabitants many Highlanders, among whom 
the ties of clan and kinship were strong. 
Scarcely a family in the north but had a son or 
brother or cousin in the law or in business or 
married in Edinburgh, and the hospitality of 
these to their friends from the north was un- 
bounded, bo Donald speedily found a score 
of doors open to him, and so long was he de- 
tained "in and about Edinburgh by the 
civilities and kindness ot friends," that two 
months elapsed before he was able to resume his 
journey to Skye. If his memories of London 
were mostly of a sombre hue, of Edinburgh he 
had none but the happiest recollections. 

In Edinburgh Donald met again one of the 



194 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

companions of his wanderings in the person of 
Ned Burke. Ned was back at his old work of 
carrying sedan chairs, and it must have been 
like a breath from the western seas for him to 
encounter Donald again. One likes to imagine 
the meeting, the feted Highland hero of the 
moment, and the humble Highland chairman, 
who had been sharers of uncommon perils, and 
had stood the test of uncommon temptations, 
and who had seen each other last as hunted, 
desperate fugitives on the shores of South Uist. 
What a meeting it must have been, and what a 
babbling of Gaelic must have ensued. 

One September day Donald, who was living 
at this time with friends in Edinburgh, was to 
dine with a certain David Anderson, who resided 
in the Links of Leith. As he did not know Mr 
Anderson's house he sought out Ned Burke, and 
brought him with him as his guide. On enter- 
ing, he informed his host who his guide was, and 
Ned was thereupon desired " to come inside and 
get his dinner." While he was eating, Bishop 
Forbes went out to converse with him, and pre- 
sently returned with a paper in which was set 
forth Ned's account of his wanderings with the 
Prince. As soon as the company heard of it 
they clamoured for it to be read, and the Bishop, 
complying, noticed that at several points Donald 



Donald and Ned's Journal. 195 

frowned somewhat, and when the reading was 
finished he asked that Ned Burke should be 
brought in, as he was not pleased with his 
account of things. Ned, accordingly, was sent 
for, " and after a pretty long and warm debate 
betwixt them in Gaelic," it was found that Ned 
had omitted to mention several things, which, 
seeing that he was an entirely uneducated man 
who knew hardly any English, was not surpris- 
ing. As a result, however, Bishop Forbes 
arranged to meet him some other time, and go 
over his Journal with him, and Ned, keeping his 
appointment, an extremely interesting account 
of his adventures was obtained, which forms an 
admirable corollary to Donald's narrative. 

Dinner in those days was an afternoon 
institution, supper being the evening meal. On 
the same day as he dined with David Anderson, 
Donald had an appointment to sup with Lady 
Bruce, and when there " spoke much in com- 
mendation of Ned Burke as being an honest, 
faithful, trusty fellow. He said in the event of 
a Revolution Ned would carry a chair no more, 
for he was persuaded the Prince would settle an 
hundred pounds sterling a year upon Ned during 
life." On the same night a pleasant surprise 
came Donald's way. He had arrived in Leith 
utterly destitute, and " had not wherewith to 



196 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

bear his charges to Sky." So Bishop Forbes, 
with his usual energy, had a contribution set on 
foot for him in and about Edinburgh, concerning 
which, he says, " I own I had a great anxiety 
for my own share to make out for honest 
Palinurus, if possible, a pound sterling for every 
week he had served the Prince in distress ; and 
I thank God I was so happy as to accomplish 
my design exactly." According to the Bishop's 
computation, Donald had served the Prince for 
ten weeks, and, accordingly, into Donald's hands, 
at Lady Bruce's, was put the sum of ten pounds 
sterling, a sum sufficient in those days to carry 
him pretty far. 



HOW THE PRINCE'S PILOT 
RETURNED IN HONOUR 
TO GUALTERGILL IN THE 
ISLE OF SKYE. 



XIX. 

HOW THE PRINCE'S PILOT RETURNED IN 
HONOUR TO GUALTERGILL IN THE 
ISLE OF SKYE. 

IT was not until the 23rd of October that 
Donald set out for Skye, and when he 

did he carried with him the respect and 
the good wishes of every Highlander and Jaco- 
bite in Edinburgh. A striking evidence of this 
is to be found in a letter which he carried for 
Bishop Forbes to Lord Arbuthnot. The latter 
had written the Bishop some weeks before be- 
speaking hie aid for one William Baird, who 
was lying under sentence of death in Carlisle 
goal, and Bishop Forbes took advantage of 
Donald's northward journey to reply. The 
Cvssential parts follow. 

Beginning with a remark about his delay 
in writing, the Bishop goes on : " But to tell 
the truth, as I had a view of this bearer, I de- 
layed writing till I could do it with a good 
grace. And sure I am I could never do it 
with a better one than at present, when I 
gladly embrace the opportunity of affording 
your lordship the happiness to salute one of 



200 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

the first men in the world. I know, my lord, 
you feel a sensible pleasure beyond many in 
the world in conversing with worthies, men of 
rigid virtue and integrity, and such indeed this 
man is. 

" Know then, my lord, that this will be 
put into your hands by the renowned SCOTS 
PALINURUS, Donald Macleod, tenant at Gualter- 
gill. . . . Take a view, my lord, of this 
truly noble, though poor, worthy in this single 
point that he had the courage and integrity 
of heart to despise the tempting bait of thirty 
thousand pounds sterling, and not only so, but 
that in spite of the infirmities attending the 
hoary head he struggled through as great 
dangers and difficulties of life for the preser- 
vation of ? as it is in the power of the most 
fertile fancy to paint ; and then I leave it to 
your lordship to draw the immortal character 
of this amiable instance of heroic virtue. 

" I dare venture to say that no man of 
bowels can hear Donald's interesting story with- 
out a mixture of joy and pain, and even without 
shedding tears. Well do I know all the several 
parts of it, and the more I think upon it to the 
greater height is my admiration raised of the 
wondrous good man." From all of which it is 
evident that Bishop Forbes at least held, not 



Home once More. 201 

only Donald's exploits, but Donald himself in 
very high regard. 

And so at long last Donald Macleod 
returned to his wife and family at Gualtergill, 
in the Isle of Skye. Many months had passed, 
and many strange things had befallen him since, 
in the month of February 1746, he had sailed 
into the port of Inverness with a view of taking 
in a cargo of meal for the inhabitants of fckye. 
Well, indeed, might Bishop Forbes apply to him, 
"' in a literal sense, the words of the blessed 
Apostle : * In journeyings often, in perils of 
water, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own 
countrymen, in perils by the weather, in perils 
in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils 
among false brethren ; in weariness and painful- 
ness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, 
in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.' " But 
he had his reward, for as long as the story of 
Prince Charlie has power to charm, so long will 
the name of Donald Macleod live as the embodi- 
ment of the Highland virtues of constancy, 
courage, devotion, and unswerving fidelity. 

For nearly two years after his return to 
Skye did Donald live. But his health was pro- 
ably undermined by all he had gone through, 
and in July 1749 a report reached Bishop Forbes 
that he had died in the preceding month. 



202 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

Whereupon the worthy Bishop full of grief com- 
posed a brief epitaph in the manner of the day r 
and sent it to the " Caledonian Mercury "and the 
" Evening Courant." The latter, he records in- 
dignantly, refused to insert it " unless half a 
crown should be given ; but the publishers of 
the ' Caledonian Mercury ' did insert it with- 
out any lure or bribe." Early in September, 
however, he had a call from young Raasay, who 
assured him that Donald was alive and in good 
health, but a week or two later he received a 
letter from Malcolm Macleod, dated 18th Sep- 
tember, in which it was stated that " poor 
Donald Macleod is dead about ten days ago." 
So the good Bishop did not think it necessary to 
correct in the public prints the error into which 
he had unwittingly fallen, and we may accord- 
ingly bring the tale of the Prince's Pilot to a 
fitting conclusion by quoting the epitaph which 
his friend and admirer composed on the first 
rumour of his death. 

" Acre perennius," (more lasting than brass), 
he heads it. " Some time last month died at 
Gualtergill, in the Isle of Skye, aged 72, DONALD 
MACLEOD, of late so well known to the world by 
the name of the FAITHFUL PALINURUS. In the 
decline of his life he gave a strong proof how 



An Epitaph. 203 

much he despised the gilded dust, that idol of 
the times. 

' O had I Virgil's or great Homer's pen, 
I'd sing the praises of the wondrous man. 
Firm as a rock he stood the shocks of fate. 
And bravely scorn'd to be a tool of State.' " 

The adventures of Prince Charlie after he 
parted from Donald Macleod are too well known 
to require telling here, but it may be well to 
devote a few lines to a brief summary of his 
wanderings, in order that the period he spent 
with Donald may be placed in its proper per- 
spective. It was on the 21st of April that the 
Prince put himself in Donald's hands, and it was 
exactly two months afterwards, on the 21st of 
June, that they parted. He was, therefore, for 
sixty-one days in Donald's keeping, and when it 
is remembered that the wanderings around which 
so much romance has gathered lasted altogether 
for five months, the extent of the debt which he 
owed to his " Faithful Palinurus" is immediately 
apparent. For more than a third of the whole 
period during which he was a hunted fugitive, 
his safety depended on the devotion and the 
vigilance of the gallant old man. 

On the 28th of June the Prince was taken 
in charge by Flora Macdonald. Her dangerous 



204 Prince Charlie's Pilot. 

duty it was to get him through the ring of foes 
which hemmed him in on every side, and though 
she was only with him from the evening of the 
28th to the evening of the 30th of June, the 
nature of the task she undertook and so success- 
fully accomplished, rightly won for her undying 
fame, for it was owing to her courage and in- 
genuity that he escaped from a seemingly fatal 
situation, and reached Skye in safety. From 
Skye, by the help of certain Macleods and 
Mackinnons, he was conveyed to the Mainland, 
and there, from the 7th of July to the 20th of 
September, he remained. It is impossible here 
to tell the tale of those eleven weeks, or to set 
down the names of all those who took a hand in 
the dangerous game of saving him. Macdoiiald 
of Morar, Macdonald of Borrodale, Macdonald of 
Glenaladale, Cameron of Glenpean, the famous 
eight men of Glenmoriston, Cameron of Clunes, 
Dr Cameron (Lochiel's brother), the Rev. John 
Cameron, Macdonald of Lochgarry, Lochiel, and 
Cluny, all in their turn, bore a noble share in 
the difficult task, and when, on the 20th of 
September 1746, the ship which bore the Prince 
to France and safety spread its sails to the wind, 
he left behind him to guard his interests the last 
of his succourers, the loyal and faithful Cluny. 
Thus in the tale of Prince Charlie's wanderings 



Noble among the Noble. 205 

are enshrined some of the noblest names in 
Highland history, and it is not too much to say 
that chief among them shines resplendent that 
of Donald Macleod, who, amid all the galaxy of 
gallant figures whose memory makes the '45 
dear to men's hearts, stands forth as the beau- 
ideal of whole-hearted and romantic devotion.