14/8/90

At last a fine day greeted us when we got up so we headed for Lochness for the day’s sightseeing. We drove up to Inverness through the rolling hills of the Eastern Highlands with streams, brimful from the rains, cascaded down through the heather and the hills gleaming in the fresh sunshine.

Lochness was quite quite pretty but the hordes of tourists and tacky souvenir joints rendered it into the class of all the other tourist holes in England. However, the day wasn’t an entire waste as on the way into Inverness we visited the site of the battle of Culloden, where the English dealt a final, crushing and humiliating blow to the Highlanders under Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1746.

Charles Edward Stewart (The Young Pretender) was the son of the exiled James Edward Stewart who had never crowned but was recognised as the rightful King of Scotland by the French and Spanish. Charles was born in Rome in 1720 and from early on he turned his attention to claiming his rightful throne and trained himself rigourously to that end. He returned to Scotland in 1745 with the aim of reclaiming the crown denied to his father by the Act of Succession of 1701.

He landed on an island out on the West Coast of Scotland and raised his standard at Glenfinnan. He marched on to Edinburgh where he declared his father King and won the Battle of Prestonpans. With the support of the Highlanders he advanced south, but found the English apathetic to his cause.

In 1746 he was pursued back to Culloden where his army was slaughtered in a battle which lasted only one hour, by the forces under the Duke of Cumberland, son of George the Second.

Charles was rescued by loyal Highlanders and fled “from Glen to Glen” back to France. For generations afterwards, it was forbidden to have water on the table at Scottish feasts as the English wanted to prevent loyal Jacobites from symbolically toasting their king “across the water.”

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