21st April 1746 - The Defeat of the Jacobites

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21st April 1746 - The Defeat of the Jacobites

Glasgow’s Celebration of the Jacobites’ Defeat, 21 April 1746

On 16 April 1746, the Jacobites and Hanoverians met in battle at Culloden. It was to be the final episode of the Jacobite Rising in which the exiled Charles Edward Stuart (1720-1788) attempted to reclaim the British throne for his family. 

The battle ended in defeat for the Jacobites and made the Bonnie Prince a fugitive. At the time, he was a deeply unpopular figure in Glasgow which, as a Whig city, supported the government forces. Bonnie Prince Charlie’s dealings with the city had begun in September 1745 when he demanded funds from the Town Council to support his Jacobite army as it marched on England. On his return north, he stayed in the city from 25 December 1745 until 3 January 1746 at Shawfield Mansion and demanded further financial assistance from the burgh. 

Glasgow celebrated Bonnie Prince Charlie’s defeat by holding a cake and wine banquet on 21 April at which the leader of the Hanoverian forces, the Duke of Cumberland (1721-1765), was honoured. 

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Image of Shawfield Mansion - The citizens of Glasgow wanted little to do with Bonnie Prince Charlie during his occupation of the city. He resided at the Shawfield Mansion at the foot of Glassford Street, a Georgian townhouse which had been built by Daniel Campbell of Shawfield in 1711. In 1745/6, the mansion was owned by Colonel M’Dowall of Castlesemple and it was here that Bonnie Prince Charlie was reputed to have met his long-term mistress, Clementine Walkinshaw (c.1720-1802) by whom he had a daughter, Charlotte. Glasgow City Archives holds the papers of Daniel Campbell (ref: TD1619).
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​Glasgow Corporation Minutes, 8 September 1746 (ref: C1/1/30) - This minute summarises the Jacobite threat to Glasgow during 1745. It describes the demand of Bonnie Prince Charlie (the Pretenders Son) to the magistrates for £15,000 in September 1745 and that the city was threatened with a force which they were unable to resist…and in imminent danger of being exposed to irreparable losses. The burgesses authorised Glasgow officials to treat with the rebels in order to save the city from being ransacked.
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​Glasgow Corporation Minutes, 8 September 1746 (ref: C1/1/30) - The minute continues by describing the Jacobites’ entry into Glasgow on 25 December 1745 on their way back north. Bonnie Prince Charlie demanded that Glasgow equip his army with: six thousand short cloath coats, twelve thousand linen shirts, six thousand pairs of shoes and the like number of pairs of tartan hose and blue bonnets.  
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​Glasgow Corporation Minutes, 26 September 1746 (ref: C1/1/30) - This minute records the city’s other actions to honour William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland. On 11 June 1746, he was awarded the freedom of the city – an award which was (and still is) granted to those who have been of great service to Glasgow. On 26 September 1746, the magistrates authorised a payment of 56 pounds and two shillings to James Mitchelson, an Edinburgh jeweller, for a gold box for holding the Duke of Cumberlands burges ticket chassing the dukes arms theron and ingraving the touns arms theron.
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​Honorary burgess ticket – freedom of the city (ref: TD28) - As the tickets were awarded to, and retained, by the recipient, few have survived to form part of the archive’s collections and we do not hold the one awarded to the Duke of Cumberland. However, we do hold an example of an honorary burgess ticket which was awarded to Captain Edward Evans of the 23rd Regiment of Foot on 4 April 1769. This beautifully illustrated ticket, created a little over twenty years later, displays all the symbols associated with the city – bird, fish, tree and bell – as well as its motto: Let Glasgow Flourish.   
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Fragment of Flora Macdonald’s dress (ref: TD573/12) - Flora Macdonald became a Jacobite heroine for her role in assisting Bonnie Prince Charlie in his exile when he escaped from South Uist to the Isle of Skye. Like other figures associated with the rebellion, memorabilia relating to Flora Macdonald became very popular. This material is reputed to be a fragment of her dress and the note which accompanies it (dated 12 Oct 1858) states that the relic was given by Lady Ann Primrose to Miss Perceval, and by Marie F. Perceval to Robert Napier. 
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