THE INSURRECTION OF 1715.
Of which the Rebellion of 1745 was the sequel.
When James 11 issued an Ecclesiastical Commission with power to
exercise all manner of spiritual jurisdiction; when a royal declaration
of indulgence brought over from the Continent swarms of Jesuits, and
when an order appeared forbidding the clergy to preach on controverted points of doctrine or to declare in anyway against the Popish
religion of the King, then the Roman Catholics felt that their faith was
being re-established in the kingdom and they began to regard James in
the light of a sainted deliverer. Thus their consequent attachment to
the House of Stuart which increased to such an extent that no sacrifice
was deemed too great to restore the son of the abdicated monarch to
the throne. The loyal earl of Derwentwater said, "I have never had
any other for my rightful and lawful sovereign than James III."
Again, during the close of the reign of Queen Anne the opposition to
the Act of Union revived and gained ground. Several Scottish lords,
proud of their royal descent from an ancient line of kings and now
beholding their nation, as it were, reduced to the condition of a mere
province, began to correspond with James Francis Edward Stuart,
"the Chevalier of St. George," to whom they assigned the title of
James viii of Scotland; they were also negotiating the aid of Louis xiv
in remembrance of the ancient alliance that used to exist between
France and Scotland—indeed they waited only for a favourable
opportunity to declare for the complete sovereignty of Scotland.
The plot then was first of all a religious one, to restore the Roman
Catholic faith, and secondly a civil one to break the Union in order
to restore to Scotland the line of its ancient kings.
The earl of Mar who acted as lieutenant to the "Chevalier de St.
George" found himself supported by numerous Scottish chieftains and
firmly established at Perth. The clans began to move; and the
"fiery cross" (fn. 1) was carried from house to house with the knowledge
that unless the men folk repaired immediately to Mar's camp the
penalty of their disobedience would be both fire and sword.
On the 22nd of October the Highlanders were joined at Kelso by
the Northumbrian insurgents led by the earl of Derwentwater (fn. 1) under
the command of General Forster. And with them went the two
chief chroniclers of the Rising, viz.:—Peter Clarke who was in the
service of Mr. Crackanthorpe an attorney in Westmorland, acting
no doubt as legal secretary to the earl, (fn. 2) and the Revd. Robert Patten
of Annandale, formerly a curate of Penrith, as chaplain to Gen.
Forster. (fn. 3)
When it is considered that the Jacobite army was composed of
such discordant ingredients as Roman Catholics, High Churchmen,
and Scottish Presbyterians who retained the old Puritan desire to
purify religion from all popish adulteration, we cannot be surprised
at the total want of unanimity which all historians ascribe to the
Late in the day of 31 October, after a long and toilsome march,
the insurgents reached Longtown, and Brampton was entered on
Tuesday the 1st of November.
The High Sheriff of Cumberland assembled his Posse Comitatus on
Penrith Fell and with them was the Cumberland and Westmorland
Militia, some three to four thousand strong, (fn. 4) under the commands of
the earl of Carlisle and Lord Lonsdale. But when they learned,
at 11 oclock on Wednesday morning, that the earl of Derwentwater's
army, 1700 strong, was within six miles of Penrith they broke up
camp "in the utmost confusion" and fled each man for himself
leaving a few arms, a great number of pitchforks and some horses upon
the fell. William Nicolson, Bp. of Carlisle, in his extra-episcopal zeal
to suppress rebellion was also present with his daughter. Such is the
account as given by the enemy.
About 3 o'clock in the afternoon the rebels entered Penrith where
they proclaimed their king as James III of England and Ireland and
James VIII of Scotland. A small party under Col. Oxburgh was sent
to Lowther Hall to search for Lord Lonsdale but as he had retired to
Appleby Castle they provisioned themselves and their horses, finding
only two old women in the Hall. Robert Patten led another party
out to besiege the house of Mr. Johnston of Eamont Bridge, collector
of the salt-tax, to secure what Government money he had, whilst
"we were entertained with a plentiful supper that was provided for
the Bishop of Carlisle and his followers."
"In this town," says Patten, "there is a Presbyterian Meeting
House which some desired to pull down or burn" but Gen. Forster
would not consent saying "that he was to gain by clemency and not
by cruelty." Surely it would have been more to the point if he had
said that such an action would have alienated half his army.
It was here that the rebels first began to feel uneasy, for they were
not being reinforced, as they expected, by the Jacobite gentry of
Cumberland and Westmorland. The Government at an early stage
had taken the precaution of securing in Carlisle Castle all likely leaders
such as Howard of Corby, Warwick of Warwick Hall, Curwen of
Workington while Dacre of Lanercost was detained at home helpless
by a well-timed fever. Indeed only one man joined the army on its
march to Appleby and he, deserting the next day at Kendal, was
found guilty at the August Assizes of 1716 and executed because he
had stolen a horse for the purpose.
As the rebels passed Whinfield Park through driving rain they
provisioned themselves with rabbits and three deer belonging to the
earl of Thanet.
At Appleby James III was proclaimed king and the public money was
collected. The vicar did not officiate at a service in the church but
he attended and joined in the Roman Catholic prayers. It was at
this time that Thomas Wybergh, captain of the Militia and Mr. Sen-house were taken prisoners; also Mr. Baines, bailiff to lord Wharton,
was confined in the Moot Hall because he refused to say where the
Excise money was concealed and would not drink "their villainous
On 5 November the army marched for Kendal, "a town of very
good trade." About noon six quarter-masters arrived and about
2 o'clock Brigadier Mackintosh rode in and was lodged at Alderman
Lowry's house in Highgate. Later came the army through a pouring
rain so that "no swords were drawn or colours displayed, only six
highland bagpipes played them in." At the Cauld-stean they proclaimed James III, at the close of which, it is said, a Highlander
thrust a halbert at a Quaker for not taking off his hat.
The earl of Derwentwater and his suite were lodged at Mr. Fletcher's
inn, the sign of the White Lion; five other lords were accommodated
at Mayor Thomas Rowlandson's inn, at the sign of the King's Arms;
while General Forster lodged at Alderman Simpson's house in the
same street. The General was a godson of Mrs. Bellingham who also
"tabled in Mr. Simpson's house," and the story goes how that she
met him on the stairs and gave him two or three sound boxes on the
ear and called him a rebel and a popish tool, the which rebuff, it is
said, "he took patiently."
The innkeepers and tanners were compelled to pay over a sum of
£80 due as Excise to the Crown and at 6 o'clock the Mayor was taken
into custody for not telling where the Militia arms were concealed.
Nor did the rebels have greater success when they broke into the
parish church expecting to find the arms there. It should be said,
however, that they took no valuables from the church neither did they
throughout the Rising maltreat any women or take what they were not
willing to pay for.
About 9 o'clock on Sunday the 6th they marched out of Kendal,
Francis Thornburgh joining them. There is a homely touch when
we read that his father, William of Selside Hall, sent one of his
servants to wait upon the son because he "was in Scarlet cloathes
and stiled Captain Thornburgh." After a short march the army
reached K. Lonsdale, proclaimed the King and collected the taxes.
In the afternoon they attended service in the church when Patten
read the prayers, the vicar not being present. Here Mr. Carus of
Halton Hall and his two sons, Thomas and Christopher, joined the
rebels. On Monday the 7th this greatly depressed army marched for
Lancaster and on the 13th the unfortunate Earl Derwentwater
surrendered at Preston. Thus ended the first attempt.
The sequel came about by the landing in Scotland of Charles
Edward Louis Casimer, (fn. 1) otherwise "Prince Charlie," on the 24th July,
1745. A lad of twenty-five years who from the age of seven had
formed a resolution to recover the British throne. "By virtue
and authority of a commission of Regency granted unto Us by the
King Our Royal father. We are now come to execute His Majesty's
will and pleasure by setting up His Royal Standard and asserting
His undoubted right to the throne of His ancestors."
The rebel army entered England on the 8th of November, 1745, and
blockaded Carlisle with one half of the troops while the other half
rested on Brampton Moor. On Thursday the 14th the City and
Castle of Carlisle capitulated when the Duke of Perth took possession
in the Pretender's name. On the 20th the van marched for Penrith
and on the next day they reached Shap while the main body came to
Penrith. On the 22nd the van reached Kendal but the main body
halted at Penrith. On the 23rd the main body came to Kendal. On
the 24th the van marched to Lancaster while the main body halted at
Kendal until the following day.
Returning on 15 December the army reached Kendal. On the 16th
the main body was at Shap but the rear guard were obliged to stop
at Forest Hall, 4 miles beyond Kendal, because many of the ammunition wagons could not climb the steepness of the hill on account
of the bad condition of the road. On the 17th the rear guard reached
Shap and the main body arrived at Penrith. It was during the retreat
of this rear guard on the 18th that they came into collision with the
Duke of Cumberland's dragoons on Clifton Moor.
Lord George Murray who was personally engaged, has given the
most trustworthy account of the skirmish and as Mr. Mounsey says
(Authentic Account of the Occupation of Carlisle in 1745), "It candidly
puts the affair as an attack by the rear of the Highlanders, 1000
strong, upon 500 of the Duke's dismounted dragoons pushed forward
into the Clifton enclosures; and claims no glory for having expelled
them, but simply takes credit for having withstood in the outset a
movement which, if permited to have been effected, would in all
probability have let in the whole body of the dragoons upon the