ISBuC (v7) 2012
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Bonnie Prince Charlie
'Charles Edward Louis Philip Casimir Stuart' (1720 - 1788)

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Charles Edward Louis Philip Casimir Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) was born in Rome and was living in France in 1743 when he saw a chance to claim the Scottish and English throne during the war between Britain and France. French soldiers were enlisted to aid him but they never materialised so Charles decided to go ahead with his plan despite the lack of support.

On arriving in Scotland on the Isle of Eriskay, aged 25, he appealed for help to the Highland Clans, a handful of whom rallied to his cause. They set off from Glenfinnan on August 19th 1745 with only 1200 men but after the rout of the English at Prestonpans, his popularity, and the Rebel Army numbers, increased. A reward of 30,000 was placed on his head.

He set up headquarters at Holyrood, the former palace of Scottish kings, and by October he had amassed an army of 5000 men. They marched south and took many cities in the north of England but on reaching Derby, with a much-diminished force, the Prince was persuaded to retreat. There followed the Battle of Culloden, in April of 1746, where they were defeated by the superior forces of the Duke of Cumberland.

Charles escaped to the Highlands and attempted to keep one step ahead of his pursuers. By the summer of 1746 he had found his way to the Outer Hebrides and Uist with the Redcoats close on his heels. Local supporters decided to smuggle him off the island and asked a young lady for help. This lady was Flora MacDonald from Skye, holidaying with her brother in Milton, South Uist. She agreed to help and so, with Charles in the guise of a washerwoman called 'Betty Burke', they crossed to Skye in a rowing boat.

On the afternoon of Sunday 29th June 1746 they arrived at what is now known as Prince Charles's Point north of Uig. Flora made her way to Monkstadt house to seek help from her aunt, Margaret. Alexander MacDonald of Kingsburgh was sent with food and drink for Charles and then accompanied him on a 12-mile overnight walk to Kingsburgh house.

Two days later they moved on to Portree where Charles met Flora for the last time. In the next few days he crossed to Raasay and then returned to Skye to stay in Torvaig and Elgol before leaving Skye for good on the 4th July. On the 19th September he finally returned to France. He died an alcoholic in Rome.