Saturday, 26 November 2016

Crieff in the Victorian Era
" Dixon "
Printed  by  HK Brown, 15 King Street

An Original Account

To know and understand Crieff as it exists in the year  of the Diamond  Jubilee of  Her Majesty Queen Victoria ,it is necessary  in the first place   to have some  years’ experience  in the town , and in the second place  to have some sense of  observation . There are  casts, sets , cliques , and  circles , sufficient to make  India hide its face  in very shame; and there are more public houses  , doctors , lawyers , ministers , billiard rooms and churches than in almost  any  town of the same population  in either Scotland  , England  or Ireland. If you are in one set , you are not  in the other , and if you are in the other  , your principal duty is to stick  to it . You know the sets  by their unfailing attachment ; you know the circles  by their consequential airs ; you distinguish  the casts  by the way they carry their heads ; and you can easily  discover the cliques  by their unflagging attention to everybodies  affairs  but their own .

In the summer time , Crieff life  actually begins   to be of interest  about 10AM . The prosperous  businessman  charges along the High Street  shouldering his morning  newspaper , and tells everybody “ it’s a good “ or a better day “; all the tradesmen  hanging about James Square , scatter like birds in a thunderstorm ; the legal men  break into a professional trot , and shortly disappear into their offices ; all the budding  doctors on the hunt for broken legs , flutter about  at every corner ; the matron  seeks out the cheapest  dinner and stows it  away in an arrangement  like a poacher’s net ; the early rising  visitors  swagger about in skirts , blouses and ties , suggesting everything that is Jubilee; the tourist , in the garb of the northern land lord , shoulders  his knapsack , and strides a way ; and the local pressmen chase one another along to the Police Court , wondering if the weather  is likely to be suitable  for a Comrie  Earthquake . As time wears on to noon day, the streets are thronged by another  population .Where they come of is hard to say but they are all there. Stout ladies  with delicate  looking husbands  step slowly  along the centre of  the pavement , and  stop and stare  in at every shop window . Behind  come  their beaming  but sorely  oppressed daughters , watching everything and everybody , and behind them  again comes   confounded little brother  who swears he will tell “ all about it “if they don’t buy him something at the nearest sweetie shop .Mixed  among this crowd  are the visitors who imagine they know all about everything .When they reach  the Murray Fountain, they stop for a minute , and criticise  the architecture . “ Gothic,” says one . “Grecian “says another. “ Both wrong”, remarks another ---“Corinthian , “ and there they stand , pointing out with their walking sticks  defects in balance , and generally condemning the style of  architecture .

” Whose Murray? asks someone . “Oh, a Waterloo hero, “answers someone else. “ Correct, “says another, not to be behind in his historical information, and away they walk congratulating themselves on their knowledge of everything that is useful. Then there is a multi- farious collection of visitors whose chief ideas of a quite holiday are a parade about the streets before dinner, and a short walk in the afternoon. You can see them any day in the summer mashing about with   white parasols, and last year’s ball dresses improved at the neck, and al looking supernaturally grand.

It is not till the afternoon that Crieff people themselves are seen at their best. Round the shops the older people roam, admiring everything that is new, and buying everything that is useless. A carriage  draws up ; the head shop keeper  rushes  to open  the door; the lady  steps on to the pavement with the airs of an eastern princess, she orders half a pound of cheese and a pound of butter , and pays the account a year hence . Later on there put in an appearance  the people  who have reduced  afternoon calling  to fine art , and whose  sole work at home  is dusting the drawing room  mantle shelf  and looking out  for  new and reliable servants . They skip along   the high Street , and omit to recognise  all their old  friends , and practice  afternoon tea  in the back garden , in prospect of the country gatherings  in the Autumn .  About four o’clock stylish Crieff is afloat on bicycles.  Like the new telegraph boys they believe, because they are in a hurry, they can knock everybody over, and never say “Sorry “. Away they fly, all laughing and gay, and when the chivalrous youths round the corner observe their approach, they raise their caps, and shortly follow in their wake. Two hours thereafter the daughters of the wheel return, tired and jaded, and next morning they get breakfast in bed.  It is about seven o’clock in the evening that the male population is most in evidence. Newmarket coats, sticks, canes, cigarettes and silk handkerchiefs follow their masters out to Ochtertyre or round the Knock, or oftener to the nearest billiard table .The actual working population gathers in James Square with the regularity of an eight day clock, and the pavement swells with an interesting variety of people of all castes and classes, trying to impress the population with their outstanding importance. In the evening, too, golf and bowling are in full swing, and there are the usual spooning and flirting at the tennis court. All are enjoyable games, --- particularly the tennis. The patrons become attached to the game sometimes in the interests of sport, but too often from a business point of view, and there they fly about till after sundown while their mammas are slaving  at home with lodgers to raise the rent – Sic vita est .

Life in Crieff is an interesting study, and the subject gives   ample scope  in itself  for a book  which has  yet to be written . In a short sketch , such as this , only the principal  features a can be touched upon . To deal with the subject  in a complete form , one  would require to start with the men  whose  work is a profession, and the men  whose profession  is doing nothing; joining in the same chapter , the class who mix  up their profession  with labour, by sweeping out the shop  on the Sunday morning  . Then there would come the working classes, for whom we hold the highest respect, and then all the other sections of the people in the town which go to make up a highly intelligent community. Crieff is worth  seeing and knowing , and those  who find nothing  about it to interest  and amuse , must walk  with their eyes closed  , or be in  in love with their own shadow .

Sunday, 9 October 2016

QueenVictoria's Visit To Crieff in 1842



My last two Blogs have looked at the 1745 Jacobite Rising with a particular relevance to Crieff and Strathearn. The aftermath saw a vicious retribution against the GĂ idhealtachd- the Gaelic speaking areas of Scotland and those lands on the periphery. Apart from the mass killing of prisoners – many of the Jacobite persuasion were transported to the “colonies “and their homes were burned to the ground. Contrary  to what  has  been  written about Strathearn and  the general attitude  towards the
“ rebels “ by , in most  cases, Presbyterian clerics , it is  clear that there  was  considerable support in this area  for the Rising . The list of Jacobite prisoners has been published and part was included in my previous Blog . Crieff and Strathearn worthies like the local doctor and the post  master were some of the  ones  who took up arms as well as a host of weavers , farmers and farm workers . Most of the local lairds  were Jacobite  sympathisers  and as a consequence their  lands were forfeited by the Hanoverian Government . The Act of Proscription passed in 1746 included a new section, which became known as the Dress Act, banned the wearing of "the Highland Dress", use of bagpipes and Highland  music and song. Provision was also included to protect those involved in putting down the rebellion from lawsuits. Measures to prevent children from being "educated in disaffected or rebellious principles" included a requirement for school prayers for the King and Royal family.
The most severe penalties, was a minimum six months incarceration and transportation to a penal colony for a second offense which made these the most severe portions of this Act. The Act of Proscription was followed by the Heritable Jurisdictions (Scotland) Act 1746 which removed the feudal authority the Clan Chieftains had enjoyed. Scottish heritable sheriffdoms reverted to the Crown, and other heritable jurisdictions, including regalities, came under the power of the courts. They were finally repealed  in 1782.
The Commissioners of the Forfeited Estates took over the Drummond Estates and we still have evidence of this in Crieff  when the Old Feus  was renamed Commissioner Street (as it is to this day) . Despite the severity of the Act of Parliament , the benefits   to Crieff in the longer  term were appreciable . Grants were  made  to weavers to enable them to purchase a “ feu “ – a plot of  ground in perpetuity  with enough ground  to build a house with a  weaving/spinning shed , an area to grow tatties ( potatoes ) and keep a pig ! Wood’s map of  Crieff  drawn in 1822 shows  clearly  the various  plots that were granted  together with the names of the current proprietors . These areas  include Burrell Street , King Street and Commissioner Street . The map  can  be  viewed  on the  internet on the National Library of Scotland site : . It can be simply enlarged to view  all in  close detail.
It should be pointed  out en passant that the repeal of the Acts was  greatly attributable  to that  much maligned political rogue Viscount Melville  whose distinctive obelisk looms  down on the  village of Comrie !
The  following  little narrative describes the young Queen Victoria and Prince Albert on their  visit to Strathearn in 1842  less than 100 years after the ’45 Jacobite Uprising . It is  clear than  they were  extremely popular  and there  was  no apparent animosity  to their visit . We know  from earlier  studies and coverage in my last Blog  that Victoria had  no sympathy for  her great grand uncle William , Duke of  Cumberland better known as “ Butcher “ Cumberland . Her predecessor on the throne  was her Uncle , William lV  who with her grand father, George lll had  erected equestrian  statues in memory of the infamous Duke in  Windsor  Great Park and in London . On Victoria’s instructions  these  were removed  leaving only the bases with the inscriptions  duly obliterated .The  author Lytton Stratchey in his book” Queen Victoria “ wrote thus :

Upon the interior decorations Albert and Victoria lavished all their care. The wall and the floors were of pitch-pine, and covered with specially manufactured tartans. The Balmoral tartan, in red and grey, designed by the Prince, and the Victoria tartan*, with a white stripe, designed by the Queen, were to be seen in every room: there were tartan curtains, and tartan chair-covers, and even tartan linoleums. Occasionally the Royal Stuart tartan appeared, for Her Majesty always maintained that she was an ardent Jacobite.”

Why  Victoria  was so pro Stewart  we shall never know . She  was  attracted  greatly to all things Scottish and prior  to buying Balmoral Estate nearly  bought an estate in St Fillans !

                                      The Queens Visit
(as published originally in Crieff in the Victorian Era by " Dixon " in 1897 )

Queen Victoria along with Prince Albert visited Crieff on the 10th September 1842, and one can imagine what excitement the arrival of the Royal pair causes among all classes in the district. When the sun rises the people are doing their utmost to decorate their houses. Some work out all manner of designs on the front walls   of their premises, place a wreath of evergreens here, and a festoon of heather and roses there, and fasten a Union Jack at the chimney- top. The town, for once in its life is in a hurry: and in their anxiety to surpass one another in their efforts at adornment, the people run in each other’s way and create a most unnecessary stir. All over the town decorations are general- flags of every nation, shape and colour are to be seen – but it is along the route of the procession that the most extensive decorations are to be found. At the entrance to Burrell Street a splendid arch is placed, and right down to the Bridgend, the houses look quite gaudy with their floral embellishments. As far as the weather prospects, they are not particularly bright, but the people hope for the best.

In the morning thousands of country people file into the town from all quarters – some have been on the walk most of the night- and before mid-day the place is thronged with an anxious and excited crowd. Travelling minstrels reap a good harvest, and the pubs do a roaring trade. To permit of the Queen and her Consort proceeding in comfort, all thee entrances to Burrell Street and the Bridgend are barricaded, and special guards regulate the traffic. At different points on the route platforms are raised, and when the Sovereign Queen is expected they are packed with loyal lieges. Up and down the street, guards, in their gay uniforms, pace about, fully conscious of their importance, and keep order among then crowd, who as time wears on , get impatient by the non- arrival of the procession. The people have a long wait. Three, four,   five o’clock in the afternoon , and still no Queen in sight .

Meantime, a nipping breeze rises to cool the ardour of the multitude and the sky becomes over cast. It is nigh six o’clock before the people become acquainted with the fact that the Royal party are at hand. As the cannon ay Ochtertyre volley forth allegiance to the Queen and country, the vast crowds who assemble along the route  raise a loud  and prolonged cheer, and patiently await events .Lord Willoughby de Eresby , mounted  on a beautiful white  charger remains  at the entrance  to Drummond Estate  till the Royal equipage  and mounted guards  cross the bridge of turret : and , after paying the respects  due by his rank , he wheels  round and leads the procession.

Right along the top of Burrell Street both sides  of the road are lined  with an anxious  crowd of spectators, and as the royal visitors pass along , they are loudly cheered .Her Majesty smiles  and looks pleasant , and sweetly  bows hr acknowledgements on all sides . Prince Albert makes an effort to  appear happy , and raises his hat to all and sundry .  When they reach the floral arch at the West Church the cheers of the people  echo and re – echo far and wide : and rain, which now begins to fall , keeps the sound  from going any further . With the wind  and rain it is feared  Her Majesty My catch cold and orders  are here  given for the horses  to be driven at  the trot.

So away the Royal equipage  swings down Burrell Street . The people cheer till they are hoarse, and before the Gallowhill is reached – where the Laird of Broich puts in his appearance – there is roaring, shouting and cheering enough to deafen all the crowned heads of Europe. But the gracious and  beloved Queen appreciates the reception , and so does Prince Albert, and they bow right and left in all directions  whence cometh the noise . The Broich leads the way to the Earn Bridge, but after that Lord Willoughby again heads the procession, and when they pass on o South Bridgend, Lady Baird and her tenants, salute the Royal pair.

By this time the rain is falling heavily, and the carriage is closed .What a disappointment this is to thousands of people who are waiting on the Muthill road. The Queen, however, like   every other body, knows what a cold is , and she suits her convenience , as everybody should on holiday. The horses charge through another floral arch, along the Muthill road, and up the long avenue, and, after some ceremony of more or less importance, the Queen and the Prince consort are conducted through the castle gates into their apartments.

When darkness creeps in, bonfires blaze from every hill- top, and the sky from end to end is brightly illuminated. In Crieff every window is lighted up and gaudy lamps swing at every door. Till midnight, the people wander about the streets admiring the brilliant spectacle, and sorry they are the night   so quickly passes.

The Royal couple remain at Drummond Castle till the following Tuesday. For the time being, everything at the castle is conducted on a scale of the greatest magnificence. A military band plays at intervals; the skirl of the bagpipes is heard at every corner, and Gaelic speaking kilted retainers guard the castle gates. The Royalties dine in a large marquee, filled with the silver plate of generations. In the afternoon the Queen walks in the garden and Prince Albert goes deer stalking. In the evening Her Majesty dances with Lord Willoughby, to the merry strains of “ Meg Merrilees “, and at night  she sleeps on a bed  made from the  throne of her great – great- grandfather .


As may be expected on such an occasion, there is always something goes wrong .In the morning, the marquee poles refuse to fit, and to ll appearance the erection of the tent the night before is hopeless. And it is here the Royal pair are to dine. Lord Willoughby, who personally superintends the arrangements, watches the men as they endeavour to get the marquee into position, and beholds, with annoyance the fruitless efforts in that direction. Turning to the factor he declares – “The Queen will dine in heaven before she will dine here tonight “. The factor calmly replies – “Her Majesty will dine here tonight, my Lord, whether she dines in heaven or not”, and he keeps his word.

While the procession is proceeding down Burrell Street, the loyal weavers sit in all conspicuous places to view the Royalties as they pass. Some sit on the riggings of houses, some on the heads of chimneys, and a few take up sites on the Well in Burrell Square. What they expect to see cannot be definitely described, but it may be said, that hopes of crowns and sceptres are not beyond the reach of their imagination. When the Queen reaches the centre of Burrell Square, a worthy weaver turns from the crowd in utter disgust, and sarcastically remarks to his friends –“Hum, she’s only a woman “.

Monday, 3 October 2016

Culloden Attrocities in the Aftermath

     The Aftermath of Culloden, April 1746
            Written by  Robert Forbes who witnessed the Battle

" But the most shocking part of the story is yet to come, - I mean the horrid barbarities committed in cold blood, after the battle was over. I do not know precisely how many days  the dead bodies lay upon the field to glut the eyes of the merciless conqueror ; but certain it is , that there they lay, till the stench obliged him to cause to bury them. In the meantime the soldiers , like so many savages , went up and down, knocking such on the head as had  any remains of life  in them , and ,except in a few instances , refusing all manner of relief to the wounded , many of whom, had they been properly taken care of , would have undoubtedly recovered .A little house into which a  good many of the wounded had  been carried , was set on fire about their ears ,and every soul in it burnt alive , of which number  was Colonel Orelli, a brave old gentleman, who was either in the French or Spanish service .

One Mr Shaw , younger of Kinrara, in Badenoch, had likewise been carried into another hut  with wounded  men, and amongst the rest a servant of his own , who being only wounded in the arm, could have gone off ,but chose rather to stay , in order to attend  his master . The Presbyterian minister at Petty, Mr Laughlan Shaw, being a cousin of this Kinrara’s, had obtained leave of the Duke of Cumberland to carry off his friend, in return to the good services the said Mr Laughlan had done the government; for he had been very active in dissuading his parishioners and clan from joining the Prince, and had likewise, as I am told, sent the Duke very pointed intelligence of all the Prince’s. In consequence of this, on the Saturday after the battle, he went to the place where his friend was, designing to carry him to his own house. But as he came near, he saw an officer’s command, with the officer at their head, fire a platoon at fourteen of the wounded Highlanders, whom they had taken all out of that house , and bring them all  down at once ;and when he came up , he found  his cousin and his servant  were two of the unfortunate number .

I questioned Mr Shaw  himself  about the story, who plainly acknowledged the fact, and indeed  was  the person who informed me of the precise number ; and when I asked him if he knew of any more  that were murdered  in that manner  on the same day , he told me  that he believed that he believed  there  were in all two and twenty . At the same time , they were busy at Inverness  hanging up the poor men , whom they call deserters, many of whom had been obliged  to enlist in the Highland army for mere subsidence , the government never  vouchsafing  to send  any relief  to such of their men  as were taken , well knowing what  a merciful  enemy they  had to do with . And so  great was the pleasure  they took in looking at those unhappy creatures , that they never  hurried any of them till  the gallows was full , so that , I am credibly  informed there  were sometimes  fourteen hanging  in it  altogether .

Their treatment of the prisoners  may easily be guessed at, from what I have already said , and indeed history , I believe , can scarce afford a parallel to it .For some days it was dangerous  for any person to go near them , or to pretend  to give them the least relief , so that all of them , especially  the wounded , were in a most dismal state . And after they were put on board  the ships , numbers of them died every day , and were thrown overboard  like so many dogs , and several of them ,I’m told , before they were really dead : yea one of them ,’tis said ,came alive shore near Kessack, though, as to this last  circumstance , I will not be quite positive . But the best idea I can give you of their usage, is by transcribing part of a letter from one of themselves, an authentic copy of which lies just now before me. The writer was one Willian Jack sometime a merchant, and after that a messenger at Elgin who had been with the Prince , and was taken prisoner  some weeks after the battle , and went aboard one of their ships  from Inverness to London.

“ Gentlemen,- This comes to acquaint you , that I was eight months and eight days at sea, of which time , I was eight weeks upon half  a pound  twelve ounces  oat- meal , and a bottle of water in the twenty four hours , which was obliged to make meal and water in the  bottom of an old bottle. There was one hundred and twenty- five put on board at Inverness on The  James and Mary of Fife. In the latter end of June , we were put on board of a transport of  four hundred and  fifty ton, called the Liberty  and Property , in which we continued  the rest of eight months  upon twelve ounces  of oat sheelin as it came from the mill. There was thirty-two prisoners put on board of the said Liberty  and Property which makes one hundred and fifty -seven and when we came ashore, there was only in life forty-nine , which would  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 a hoisted us  up to the yard –arm , and let us  fall in the sea  in order for ducking of us; and tying us  to the mast and whipping us  if we did  anything  however innocent , that offended them : this was done to us  when we was not  able to stand .I will leave it  to the readers to judge what conditions they might be in themselves with the above treatment . We had neither  bed  nor bed- clothes , nor clothes to keep us warm in day time .The ship’s ballast was black earth and small stones  which we was obliged to  dig holes  to lie in to keep warm , till the first of November last , that every man  got about three “ of gross harn ( sacking )  filled up with straw, but no bed -clothes . I will not trouble you no more till I see you. There is none in life that went from Elgin with me, but William Innes in Fochabers ….”

( signed ) Will. Jack

Tilbury Fort, March 17th , 1747 "

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Strathearn’s Involvement & Attitude to the 1745 Uprising : “Hey ! Johnnie Cope are you walking yet ??”


Crieff figures in the Uprising of 1745 .On the 18th August that year, Prince Charlie raised the Jacobite standard at Glenfinnan. That very day, Sir John Cope, Commander – in – Chief of the Hanoverian army in Scotland, left Edinburgh to attack the so called rebels in the Highlands, and to dispatch Charlie back to France from whence he came. Cope’s army consisted of about fourteen hundred men, with two Regiments of Dragoons.. The latter, however, he left behind as unserviceable in the mountainous regions in what we Scots call the Highlands. He carried  with him a large quantity of baggage , a drove of black cattle for food , and about a thousand stands of arms for the “ volunteers “ whom  he expected  to join  him on the way . He marched by Stirling and Dunblane to Crieff and in Crieff remained for several days .He pitched his camp to the east of the town on what is now Crieff Golf Course           or the  grounds of Ferntower. Here there was a very fine well which supplied his troops with water. That well still exists and is known to this day as” Cope’s well “. According to the “Statistical Report for the Parish of Crieff”, a sword relating to Cope’s period in Crieff was found in a bog close by the camp site.

Hey! Johnnie Cope are ye waukin' yet?

Or are your drums a-beating yet?
If ye were waukin' I wad wait,
Tae gang tae the coals in the morning.

When Charlie looked the letter upon,
He drew his sword its scabbard from,
'Come, follow me, my merry men,
And we'll meet Johnnie Cope in the morning.'

Cope  had  assumed incorrectly that he  would collect  recruits from the local populous  on his march north but this  he found not to be the case . Although the contretemps of the ‘45 was on the surface a clash  between the Catholic Stewarts fronted  by Charles Edward Stewart and the Protestant Hanoverians fronted  by  George ll , it was very much territorial .The Stewarts  were  supported not only  by Scottish Catholics  but also by the Episcopalians  . Here in Perthshire  and particularly Strathearn ,most of the landed  gentry  were of that latter faith and their tenants  would follow their laird into battle if required . With this background it was  inevitable that Cope would fail to recruit additional  troops . Records  tell us that  from Crieff Cope  ordered   that 700 arms  be sent  back to Edinburgh and it was highly  likely that Cope  himself  would have followed  suit if it were not  for a command from above  to proceed   to Fort Augustus near Inverness . By this time Prince Charlie had  gathered  together  some 2 000 battle hardened clansmen  and by using  the claim that the French were awaiting  to invade across the Channel , persuaded his  men and in particular his Commander in Chief , Lord George Murray to sweep  south to the Lowlands and the capital city of Edinburgh in particular .

Paradoxically the speed  of their move from north to south  was greatly attributable  to the excellent road  system put in by none other than  General Wade in the  aftermath of the  1715 Uprising . Cope had by this time moved north and had to back pedal at a rate of knots in pursuit of the Highland hoard. The clash took place at Prestonpans in East Lothian. The Hanoverian side was made up mainly of raw recruits and was emphatically defeated by the Jacobite forces. A feature  of the Jacobite  victory was the employment of the “ Highland charge “. The tactic  was to approach  the enemy lines  and hover just out of range of the muskets . The Highlanders  would  adopt a taunting approach  by  jeering , shouting and making false charges . This usually caused  the  enemy  to discharge their  muskets  too early . At this period of time  muskets  were  somewhat un reliable  and took  some time to reload . This  of course allowed  the Highlanders to take the initiative . They would fire their muskets into the heart of the enemy ,promptly discard them and charge at full speed  with their broad swords  swinging about them . Such was the extent of the Jacobite victory that the road  south  into England  was now  clear  . Lord George Murray advised  caution . The French  were supposedly  about to attack the Channel Ports  and panic  ensued in and around London . Charles  failed  to listen to the advice of Murray  in that  they should ensure that things  such as  coal supplies to the  embattled south should  be stopped . He had  assumed  that  Jacobite  support  from centres in the North would be forthcoming  but  this  did not materialise . He pressed  on towards Derby , having a clear run as  the Hanoverian forces  were   being  held  back to deal with what  was believed  to be an imminent invasion from France and Louis XV . It rapidly transpired that this  was not forthcoming . The French  had already  experienced a disastrous  failure  when in March 1744 they  had  set  out to invade  Southern England and a violent  storm saw twelve  vessels  lost out of Dunkirk , seven of them with all hands .
Lord George Murray realised that without French support the mission was going to be an inevitable failure. The retreat  back to Scotland  was  put under  way  and  was  carried out  with  careful planning and en route  saw  victory at Carlisle . Towards  the end of December they entered back into Scotland aware that they were now being  pursued  by the Hanoverian cavalry under the Duke of Cumberland ( the third  son of George ll ) and General Wade .They proceed from Dumfries  to Glasgow and thence  to Stirling . The town surrendered to them and they laid siege to the castle .General Hawley advanced from Edinburgh with some 8 000 men to attack them and raise the siege. The Jacobites turned to meet the threat and   the two sides clashed on the moor of Falkirk and defeated him with little loss to themselves. Hawley himself fled leaving his baggage and artillery, with 20 officers and some 500 privates killed or wounded. It was at this  stage  the Government appointed Cumberland to take  charge .

Lord George Murray

The Jacobite Sojourn at Crieff En Route to Culloden

It  was at this stage in the campaign that the Jacobite forces  decided  to stopover in Crieff . Bonnie Prince Charlie  stayed with Lord John Drummond at Ferntower House on February 2nd 1746 . Lord John Drummond an uncle of the last Duke of Perth had purchased it in 1743 (the ’45 proved disastrous to the Perth family and their lands were forfeited  with the Duke dying on board ship attempting to escape to France after Culloden) . The bedroom he occupied in the older  part of the  house was very much as it  was  right  up until the eventual demolition of the building in the 1960s. It was here in Crieff at a Council of  War  held in premises  to the rear  of  what is  now  the empty and dilapidated Drummond Arms Hotel, that the decision  was taken to head  north to Inverness  .

It was perhaps as a retribution for Crieff having played host to the Jacobite army that Cumberland’s men entered the town  and burnt  to the ground the linen factory owned by the Drummond family and employing numerous  Crieff citizens . I am afraid the various pieces  written during the 18th and 19th Centuries by an assortment of Presbyterian clerics regarding the attitude and antagonism  of the town and district  to the Highland host is  in all probability way off beam . I append a listing of local people who joined  the Jacobite  army . It is a small  selection  from a  lengthy  list from an  authenticated research published in 1998 and entitled  “ Jacobites  of Perthshire 1745 “ by Frances McDonnell of St Andrews.

As a historian , I strongly believe that the truth cannot  be covered up and ignored . I would repeat that much of the information pertaining to the '45 and what it  was like in Strathearn,  has suffered  from the somewhat  biased reporting of the incumbents of the resident Presbyterian Kirk . As  a body  they regarded  Jacobites  as a somewhat alien body comprising Catholics ( or Papists as they were referred  to ) and Piscies or Episcopalians .That is blatant mistruth !

Culloden and the Aftermath

What followed was a shocking indictment of not only the King’s son but of the British Government and the London establishment. It was the Syria of yesteryear .The following is a synopsis of the savage events of the aftermath.

·         The first lasting through  the summer  until the departure of Cumberland involved the hot pursuit of Jacobites

·         “Rebels “were sought out and given no quarter as they were subjected to “arbitrary “justice.

·         Known Jacobite districts were treated to longer and sustained repression.

·         Coastal villages were bombarded from the sea.

·         Cattle and crops were wilfully destroyed to impoverish the people.

·         Soldiers roamed in search of Jacobites

·         Women who helped starving or wounded prisoners were likely to be stripped searched and raped.

·          Houses were searched and if arms were found, the occupier was put to death.

·         Many Highlanders , Jacobites or  not , fled the advancing troops fearing draconian measures .Their abandoned  houses were torched  or, if left  intact ,  were used  for the “ quartering “ of troops  who were encouraged to live off the local inhabitants , like locusts !

Strathearn Men Recorded As Fighting  For The Jacobite Cause

James Campbell ( or McGregor ) from Crieff – piper  in Glengyle’s regiment , imprisoned in Carlisle  , pleaded guilty  at his trial  on 9th September  1746 and sentenced to death He was reprieved  and tried  to escape  the night before he was transported   on Elizabeth, Master Daniel Cole   from Liverpool to Jamaica   but landed in  Antigua .

Robert Bresdie  resident of Muthill pressed out by lord Drummond  but returned , now at home  .

James Balnevis  aged  58  imprisoned  in Inverness  shipped  on James & Mary  to the Medway , servant to  Drummond of Broich ,” only on suspicion “ – may have died .

David Baxter , weaver in  Murray of  Niviland’s factory , Crieff . Duke of Perth’s Regiment , imprisoned , transported  20 March 1747  from Tilbury .

John Buchanan , Auchterarder , aged  22 , Duke of Perth’s Regiment , Buchanan’s Company , carried arms as a volunteer  in the rebel army , imprisoned  at Auchterarder 7.5.1746 , Stirling Castle and Carlisle prisons , servant to Capt Alexander Buchanan , transported  24 February 1747  from Liverpool to Virginia  on the  Gildart arrived at Port North Potomac , Maryland  5 August 1747 .

Barbra Campbell aged 19 spinner Perthshire , red hair, clever , imprisoned  in Carlisle and Chester Castle ; transported 5 May 1747 from Liverpool  to the Leeward Islands on the Veteran liberated by a French Privateer and landed  Martinique  June 1747

Ludovic Caw , surgeon , Crieff acted as surgeon  to the Duke of Perth’s Regiment and went with the rebels  , whereabouts  unknown.

Duncan Comrie resident of Woodend of Mevie  , Parish of Comrie  carried arms  but  pressed  thereto , whereabouts  not known .

Gavin Drummond , brewer , Auchterarder was active  forcing people into rebellion by the Duke of Perth’s order , whereabouts not known .

Lt William Dow , Duke of Perth’s Regiment Auchinshelloch Comrie ; imprisoned on 3.1.1747 in Perth , discharged 13.7.1747,” acted as an overseer under the French engineer; said to be pressed “ .
James Drummond ,Comrie , carried arms , said to be pressed , now at home.
James Drummond, Cochquhilie Muthill , volunteer , whereabouts  not known .
James Drummond Lieutenant Colonel Master of Strathallan , escaped.                                                                                              
John Drummond Captain, Duke of Perth’s Regiment, Millinow Comrie , now lurking .
William Ferguson from Moevie Comrie Duke of Perth’s Regiment , imprisoned near Nairn House 11.2.146, Perth 30.3.1746, Edinburgh 8.8.1746,  Carlisle . Tenant of Duke of Perth in Moevie. Does not appear in transportation lists  may have died in prison .
James Lockhart wright , Crieff , volunteer in some superior station, now lurking .
Allan MacDonald, brewer, Crieff, volunteer, whereabouts not known.
Ewan McLean weaver of  Tullohghallan Strathearn, Glenbucket Regiment , imprisoned  30.12 .1745 Carlisle ,Chester Castle. Taken  at capture of Carlisle , transported 1747 .
Alexander McQueen  from Comrie , 3rd Battalion  Duke of Atholl’s Regiment , imprisoned  10.6. 1746 Perth, discharged on bail 31.7.1746. “ On suspicion “.
John McRobbie, younger of Drummond, went as a volunteer, taken prisoner at Culloden. d Muthill , Duke of Perth’s Regiment  on the occasion
Lewis McRobbie, Drummond Muthill
Murray, --- younger of Dollairie Crieff volunteer, whereabouts   not known.  Mr Murray of Dollary, Sheriff - Depute of Perthshire is mentioned on the occasion of the arrival of the Chevalier at Perth, as having left the town along with the officers of the revenue. It is doubtless his son who is named on the list.
William Murray, Postmaster, Crieff, carried arms in some superior station, whereabouts not known.
Duncan Roy, Drummond Muthill volunteer, now at home.
Aeneas Sinclair, Comrie pressed by the rebels into their service, now at home.
James Stewart Drummond Parish of Muthill, volunteer, whereabouts not known
James Stewart of Cannband Comrie carried arms but forced out, now at home
George Taylor, Muthill. Duke of Perth’s Regiment imprisoned Muthill 23.3.1746 Stirling, Edinburgh, discharged 17.7.1747. Hireman to Duke of Perth. “On suspicion. “ “Witnesses declared he was seen driving the rebel’s cannon wearing the white cockade. After the Battle of Falkirk was seen riding a dragoon horse armed with pistols with a dragoon cloak about him.

The Duke of Cumberland : Better  known in Scotland as

" Butcher " Cumberland

He was the third  son of George ll ( born in Hanover )  and Caroline of Ansbach. He trained as a soldier gaining experience serving in the Low Countries in the War of The Austrian Succession .

He never commanded  any forces  after Culloden . After the Jacobite invasion into England and practically reaching London . The metropolitan hackles  were raised against “ those barbarians  from the North “.The fact that  they  got so far south was a humiliation in itself . Cumberland and the old hand Marshal Wade  were given carte  blanche to “sort them out “. A verse  was added  to the “ National Anthem “ :

Lord, grant that Marshal Wade,
 May by thy mighty aid
 Victory bring.
 May he sedition hush,
 and like a torrent rush
 Rebellious Scots to crush!
 God save the King!

Propaganda flowed  forth from London blackening the name  of Highland Society . They were portrayed as  bandits , thieves  and a “ a savage limb of the anti Christ in Rome “ It was claimed that Highlanders  were superstitious , uneducated and  under the control of their chiefs and priests .

Cumberland  victory at Culloden  was brought about by Jacobite tactical deficiency and the inability of Charles  to listen to his  commanders  opinions and  the fact that many of his troops had deserted .  It  was the savage  aftermath instructed  by Cumberland  that caused a deep hatred of the man  and  his attitudes . Given the soubriquet “ Butcher “ – it  was  something  that would  not  be forgotten . The plant “ Sweet William “ was named  after him . In Scotland  it  was known as “ Stinking Willie “ . The  ferocity  of  the Butcher’s  reprisals  against  his so called fellow country man has  led  to one modern historian , Allan McInnes,  describing his  policies as   a  form of  ethnic cleansing .

The London Government granted him a salary in recognition of some
          £ 20 000 per annum ( see below ) . Cumberland’s attitude towards  the so called
          rebels is well documented .

He  ordered his troops to show no quarter against any remaining Jacobite rebels (French Army personnel, including those who were British- or Irish-born, were treated as legitimate combatants). His troops traversed the battlefield and stabbed any of the rebel soldiers who were still alive. When Cumberland learned that a wounded soldier lying at his feet belonged to the opposing cause he instructed a major to shoot him; when the major (James Wolfe) refused to do so, Cumberland commanded a private soldier to complete the required duty.

The British Army then embarked upon the so-called 'pacification' of Jacobite areas of the highlands. All those the troops believed to be 'rebels' were killed, as were non-combatants; 'rebellious' settlements were burned and livestock was confiscated on a large scale.Over a hundred Jacobites were hanged. Women were imprisoned and droves of people were sent by ship to London for trial and as the journey took up to 8 months many of them died on the way.

Cumberland's own brother, the Prince of Wales (who had been refused permission to take a military role on his father's behalf), seems to have encouraged the virulent attacks upon the Duke. Cumberland preserved the strictest discipline in his camp. He was inflexible in the execution of what he deemed to be his duty, without favour to any man. In only a few cases he exercised his influence in favour of clemency. The Duke's victorious efforts were acknowledged by his being voted an income of £25,000 per annum over and above his money from the civil list. A thanksgiving service was held at St Paul's Cathedral, that included the first performance of Handel's oratorio Judas Maccabaeus, composed especially for Cumberland, which contains the anthem "See the Conquering Hero Comes".

There is a memorial Obelisk to the Duke's military services in Windsor Great Park. It is inscribed :


According to a local park guide, the Obelisk was originally inscribed "Culloden" but Queen Victoria had "Culloden" removed.

An equestrian statue of the Duke was erected in London's Cavendish Square in 1770, but was removed in 1868 since by that time the 'Butcher of Culloden' was generally reviled. The original plinth remained.

He died unmarried and without off spring which on reflection was no bad thing !