Bonnie Prince Charlie

Charles Stuart who is also referred to as Bonnie Prince Charlie, was the last well know military figure that fought England. He was born in 1720 and was not born in Scotland but in Rome, Italy. He was actually not fighting for himself to be placed on the throne, but for his father who was the right heir to the throne of England and Scotland. 

The current King was a German called George II, he was placed on the throne not through blood but by a treaty that was designed to keep the catholic James VII of the throne of a protestant country. Prior to Bonnie Prince Charlie’s arrival in Scotland there had already been 3 failed attempts by the Jacobites (people opposed to George II’s rule). These had occurred in 1708, 1715 and 1719 but all of them failed for a variety of reasons from luck to poor organisation or leadership. This did demonstrate the disgruntlement about the current monarchy though and showed there could be potential support for a 4th attempt. Bonnie Prince Charlie landed in Scotland for the first time in 1745 and raised his fathers standard at Glenfinnan. He raised a considerable army and managed to take control of Edinburgh without much resistance.

From there he managed to drive out the remaining government troops from Scotland at the Battle of Prestonpans in Lothian On 21 September 1745. With control of Scotland Bonnie Prince Charlie set his sights on England, he wanted to invade England and make them surrender the crown to his father. This seemed like and over ambitious plan but with the English army spread all around the world and also promised support for the Jacobite cause within England is was a possibility.

Bonnie Prince Charlies plan was to pick up support and troops along the way with the current King not being very popular within his own country. So on November 8, 1745 Charles army crossed the boarder into England. There first success came at Carlisle and they followed that success by making it all the way to Derby. But at Derby with momentum on their side and the English throne ready to surrender he turned back. This was due to poor information that he had gotten about the English military strength

They were mistaken though as the English pursued them back to Scotland and although Charles won a huge victory at Falkirk this was to be his last victory. On April 16 1746, his armies were defeated at Culloden, which lie just outside of Inverness, in a bloody battle led by Cumberland who was later referred to as “butcher” because of his cruelty.

Cumberland pursed the Jacobites and ordered all supporters to be executed and he was particularly harsh against the highlanders who had been the main supporters of Charles invasion. Tartan was banned to curb nationalism and Charles was an outlaw pursed ruthlessly.

After 6 months of hiding Charles eventually managed to escape Scotland, his plan being to bring back and army from France to finish what he had started. This never happened though and when Charles left from Scotland he never returned.