Bonny Prince Charlie and the Passing of the Highland Troops
On July 22nd, 1745, Charles Edward Stuart, accompanied by only seven followers, landed on the little island of Eriskay.
A month later the white and crimson banner of the Stuarts was raised at Glenfinnan, and on September 4th Prince Charlie entered Perth at the head of his army of Highlanders, with only a guinea in his pocket.
On the 16th of September the gates of Edinburgh opened for him, and five days later he had routed the Hanovarian forces under Johnnie Cope at Prestonpans.
On 31st October, after six weeks of revelry and rejoicing, Prince Charlie left Holyrood and the capital of his paternal kingdom at the head of an army of about 6000 men.
He reached Dalkeith on the 1st of November, and lodged in the palace of the Duke of Buccleuch for two nights.
A considerable portion of the army under Lord George Murray took the road to Peebles, the remaining portion went by way of Lauder, where the Prince spent the night (3rd November) at Thirlestane Castle, the seat of the Earl of Lauderdale.
On passing Prestonhall gate the Prince found breakfast prepared for him there by the order of the Duchess of Gordon, for which act of hospitality her Grace lost a pension of £1000.
From Lauder the column, headed by the Prince, made for Kelso; a third pursuing a middle course by way of Galashiels, Selkirk, Hawick and Mosspaul.
A short stop is made by this column, led by Lord Balmerino, in Selkirk where the "Highlanders" rested and purchased provisions before moving off towards the South again.
On 8th November the columns met four miles below Langholm.
On 17th November Prince Charles rode into Carlisle on a white charger.
A month later, on December 20th, the Prince's twenty-fifth birthday, the Highland army, which in six weeks had performed miracles of audacity and endurance in England, forded the swollen Esk and stood with their feet in Scotland again.
The rest of the story is well known, the disaster of Culloden on April 16th, 1746, extinguishing the last hopes of the Stuart cause.