Manuscripts and Special Collections

Ne C 1785 : Copy of letter from Charles Stuart 'the Young Pretender', Perth [Scotland,] to James Stuart 'the Old Pretender'; 10 Sep. 1745

Perth Sept[embe]r 10th. 1745


Since my landing everything has succeeded with me to my wishes, it has pleased God
to prosper me hitherto even beyond my Expectations. I have got together about 5000
(and am promis'd more brave determin'd men, who are resolv'd to die or Conquer with
me). The Enemy March'd a body of Regular Troops to Attack me, but when they
came near they Chang'd their mind by takeing a Different Route & makeing
forced Marches, they have Escaped to the North to the great disappointment of
my Highlanders: but I am not at all sorry for it. I shall have the greater
Glory by Beating them when they are more numerous & supported by their
Draggoons. I have Occasion to Reflect every day upon your Majesties last words to
me, Viz. that I would find power if it was not with Justice & Clemency an Uneasy
thing to my Self & greivious to those under me, tis Owing to the Observance of
this Rule & my Conforming to the Customs of these People that I have got their
Hearts to a degree not to be Easily Conceiv'd by those who do not see it, one who
Observes the Discipline I have Established whould take my little Army to be a
Body of Pickt Veterans: & to see the Love & Harmony that Reigns Amongst
us, he would be Apt to Look upon it as a Large well order'd Family in which
Every one loves another better than himself. I keep my health better in these
wild Mountains then I us'd to do in the Campania Felice and Sleep Sounder
Lyeing on the Ground then I us'd to do in the Palaces at Rome, there is one
thing & but one in which I have any Difference with my faithfull Highlanders;
it was about setting a Price on my Kinsman's Head, which knowing your
Majesties generous humanity will shock you as much as it did me. When I was
shewing the Proclamation setting a Price on my Head I smil'd & treated it
with the disdain it deserv'd, upon which they flew into a most Violent Rage &
Insisted on my doing the same by him. As this Flowed solely from the Poor
Men's Love & Concern for me, I did not know how to be Angry with them for it,
& try'd to bring them to Temper by Representing that it was a mean Barborous
Practice among Princes that must Dishonour them in the Eyes of all men of
Honour, that I could not see how my Cousin haveing set me the Example
would Justifie me in Imitating that which I blame so much in him, but nothing
I could say would satisfy them, some went Even so far as to say shall wee go
Venture our Lives for a Man who seems so Indifferent of his Own, thus have
I been drawn in to do a thing for which I Condemn my Self, your Majesty