UK, 18th Century - Domestic Policy

The Jacobite Rebellion, 1745

A.) Causes for the Rebellion

While the House of Hannover enjoyed limited popularity in England, less popularity in Ireland and Scotland, the Rebellion of 1745-1746 has her main causes abroad. France since 1741 was involved in the War of Austrian Succession; while the United Kingdom had remained neutral at the start, it became more and more inclined to enter the war on the side of France's enemies. France therefore was interested in diverting the British attention by supporting another Jacobite rising.
10,000 men of France's regular army were committed to the enterprise; Prince Charles (Bonnie Prince Charlie, the Young Pretender), son of King James III. (the Old Pretender) was called into France. The fleet, which was ready to sail, was dispersed by a violent storm; the ships which transported the soldiers had to dock in Dunkirk, in need of repair. The army disembarked, the invasion was postponed. Meanwhile, the British collected intelligence, and when a second attempt was made, the British Government was prepared.

B.) The Rebellion

Bonnie Prince Charlie sailed from the Loire estuary June 22nd 1745, with only two ships. They were intercepted by a British naval vessel, H.M.S. Lion, which damaged one of the two ships to such an extent that it had to return to France. Thus deprived of the larger part of his military supplies, Bonnie Prince Charlie landed in Scotland (July 23rd). Many Scottish clans committed to his cause; the Prince entered Edinburgh and on Sept. 21st routed a superior British force at Prestonpans. The Jacobites were masters of Scotland. Bonnie Prince Charlie was not content, ordered the invasion of England. The expected Jacobite rising in England did not happen; at Derby, General Murray ordered the withdrawal of the Scottish (Jacobite) forces.
By now, the Government (Hannoverian) forces regained the initiative. Clearly outnumbering their opponents, they pursued the withdrawing Jaconites and defeated them in the Battle of Culloden (April 16th 1746). After spending months in hiding, Bonnie Prince Charlie left Scotland, never to return. It was the last Jacobite rebellion and lives on in Scottish folklore. The clans which had supported Bonnie Prince Charlie, were brutally punished.

The Jacobites, by Len Nicholson
Culloden Moor and the Story of the Battle, by Peter Anderson, 1920, online book
Bonnie Prince Charlie, from Scottish Historical Figures
DOCUMENTS Documents Illustrating Jacobite History : The 1745 Rising, posted by The Jacobite Heritage

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on June 14th 2003, last revised on November 19th 2004

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