Warning, this is a LONG POST.
|King Robert II of Scotland|
|King James VII and II|
This was too much for the English Parliament to bear, and in 1688, when the King announced that his wife had given him an heir--and thus another Catholic King--action was finally taken. William of Orange and his wife Mary, daughter of King James, were "invited" to overthrow the King. James fled to
|A depiction of a Jacobite army|
The situation for the Jacobites only worsened in the early 18th century. The deposed King himself died in 1701. His son, who some European courts recognized as King James III and VIII, became the new claimant, identified by his supporters as "The King Across The Water" and by his opponents as "The Old Pretender." The same year, the Act of Settlement was passed, putting the Protestant House of Hanover next to the throne. In 1702, King William died, and Mary's sister Anne--keep in mind also a daughter of the late King James--gained the throne. This was the last gasp of hope for any maintenance of the Stuart line. The ratification of the Acts of Union by the Scottish Parliament was a call to arms for the Jacobites, and in 1708 James attempted to return to Scotland accompanied by a French fleet that included 7 men-of-war and 21 frigates and an army of over 5,000 troops. They were rebuffed with the appearance of the English fleet, 28 ships, in the Firth of Forth. They considered landing north at Inverness but were driven back to France by a storm. As if hopes had not already been dashed, Queen Anne died without an heir in 1714. The waiting Hanoverian prince was quickly swept in from Germany by the Whigs and crowned King George I. With the new King behind them, the Whigs took total control, not only depriving the Tories of any political power but also prosecuting them for past actions. The Whigs would maintain power over Parliament for decades. These events sent the Jacobites, who had until then been plotting in pubs and evading detection, into desperate action. The scene had been set for what is now called the Jacobite Rising of 1715, what is sometimes called simply "The 'Fifteen."
|The Earl of Mar|
The background has ended. Enter Logan. Allow me from here on to insert a little fiction into the facts.
|"Leith Roads with Shipping" by Andrew Wilson|
In my imagination, sailor Logan had been a part of the smuggling network out of Leith, working around the Forth. Most of his cohorts--and himself--were driven by need, and some of them were driven by the Jacobite cause. Perhaps Logan still felt the sting of the ridicule of his ancestors, the Restalrig Logans I've talked about before, and had an angst that was fueled by anti-establishmentism. There's a little literary tickle to bring a woman into the mix, perhaps the daughter of a noble who had not only inherited her father's dedication to James as a religious and national hero but also become active in the underground Jacobite network. Motivated by equal measures of desperation, nationalist pride, and love for this mysterious, passionate, and driven woman, Logan itched to rise to the occasion and prove his worth. Leith waited in a mix of fear and excitement as the 'Fifteen unfolded. Logan perhaps sat in a pub with his neighbors and cronies, contemplating the possibilities of war. Will Argyll prevail, and will Scotland suffer further abuse from the British? Will we be called to join James and fight? And if James wins, will Scotland stand proud again?
Yeah, yeah, very romanticist. Keep in mind all of this is the setup for a fall, what will make Logan "blue." And so back to history. I am drawing much of the detail here from History of the Scottish Highlands, Highland Clans and Scottish Regiments, as posted on Electric Scotland.
|Citadel Gate, the last remnant of Leith Citadel|
Argyll's troops arrived from the east, but they were at a major disadvantage. They had no artillery, while Borlum had taken cannon from ships in the harbor and mounted them on the ramparts, which he discharged at Argyle to make his point. Argyle retreated to to Edinburgh for armament. Knowing Edinburgh could not be his, Borlum snuck out of Leith in the night and headed east. Mar, having received a report from Borlum, sent troops from Perth towards Argyle's base in Stirling. This was nothing more than a feint; Argyle's men recalled to Stirling, Borlum was free to run and resume his mission to England.
The march from Edinburgh, from the sources I have read, wasn't exactly the trials of war. Their first stop was Seton House, where the men were "in no hurry to leave," because for three days they "fared sumptuously upon the best that the neighborhood could afford" (History of the Scottish Highlands). Having finally received orders to head south, their next stop was Longformacus, where Borlum had reason for revenge against a Doctor Sinclair and thus ordered his men to plunder the estate, which they did, naturally, with much pleasure. On October 24th, Borlum's army reached Kelso in the Scottish Borders, where they rendezvoused with Scottish forces under Lord Kenmure and Northumbrian forces under Tory MP Thomas Forster, bringing the total army to about 2,000. After "proclaiming the Chevalier"--that is, claiming James the rightful King and this his possession--they again sacked the town. I imagine Logan at once feeling dismayed that this just cause, the fight for Scotland, had been reduced to plundering, and getting a taste for, well, the pirate way.
|Thomas Forster: Northumbrian Tory and would-be Jacobite commander|
Forster was now in command. The army marched hard, a hundred miles in five days: Langholm, Ecclefechan, Brampton. The Scots were less and less inclined to proceed, and although some were convinced with promises of riches, still more turned back. They almost faced opposition at Penrith, but the local defense scattered in dismay when they saw the approaching army and especially the imposing Highlanders. The troops Forster had promised had not appeared. The plundering continued: At Lancaster, "the Highlanders regaled themselves with claret and brandy found in the custom-house." As they approached Preston, they finally got their reinforcements, and their numbers grew to a substantial 4,000. This army, however, had lost its Scottish fervor. Preston was also the end of the line.
|A map of Preston, England, in 1715|
I here add a further source, the ScotsWars page on The Battle of Preston. Preston was not an insignificant town. It was as old as Roman times, a prosperous marketplace since the Middle Ages, and almost exactly half way between Glasgow and London. When the Jacobite army entered Preston on November 9, 1715, they met no opposition, and the higher-class soldiers began wining and dining the local beauties. Two days later, they learned that they were being advanced upon not by General Carpenter but by General Wills, who had left Manchester with six regiments expressly to stop Jacobite progress and taken up position in Wigan to intercept the rebels at Preston. This news once again put the Jacobite leadership into confusion. Forster, not a military man at all but in command mostly because he was the only Protestant, was completely unnerved. Fortunately, the more experienced Borlum seized the moment and fortified the town and barricaded the roads. The battle began on November 12th. The Highlanders stood fast, pouring sniper fire onto the government troops and causing heavy losses. Purportedly, a drunken sailor manning two cannons from Lancaster fired grapeshot at Wills' troops to great effect...maybe Logan? Wills' next tactic was to scare the rebels out by lighting the town on fire, but not only was the wind against them but also the Jacobites returned the favor by setting aflame buildings the government troops had seized. The Jacobites had, thus far, held their own.
|A Scots Dragoon|
And what of Logan? Stay tuned for Pt. III: escaping England, and turning pirate!