Much has been written about the rebellion which offers so much apparent romance to the Highland scene; however, it should be known that it was not a mass uprising as propagated by some. “Bonnie” Prince Charlie may have stolen the hearts of women, but he caused the death and transshipment of thousands of innocent men, women and children! His landing in the west coast was an unassuming homecoming for the man who had promised his father, James, the “Old Pretender”, that he would lay three crowns at his feet. Overall only six out of maybe one hundred clans turned out for him, and all Scotland suffered because of his ambitions.
Charles Edward Stuart (Maybe?)
His main support came from Catholic and Episcopalian land owners and Highland chiefs. The most notable in our area was the Earl of Perth. His pile of stones was Drummond Castle, in Muthill. He was styled a Duke and he pressed his slaves, servants of clansmen, into service in the cause of the Stuarts. The Earl owned most of Glen Artney over to Callander, and north of the river Earn up to Glen Ogle. He also held sway in his estates to the East. Instructions were issued to sub-chiefs to ensure that sufficient numbers of men turned out for the cause. Most went unwillingly. In many cases they were pressed into service. The methodology of impressment was simple and straight forward; a smile for the volunteer of which there were a few, and a crack over the head with the butt of a musket for the many who were reluctant! It cannot be said they came in droves. One scion of a nearby estate in Glen Tarf intent on joining up was sitting in front of the fire puting on his boots. An experienced servant who had overheard everything deliberately took a pot of boiling water and “accidentally” poured the contents over the foot of the young man. No doubt he was roundly cursed for this, but the net result was that the estate remained, and still does, in the hands of the young man’s family! This story, however, appears in several other areas of Scotland.
A partial-listing taken some one hundred and fifty years after the finale at Culloden shows the following people from our district who took part in the insurrection:
Ludovick Caw, Surgeon, Crieff - Acted as Surgeon to the rebels – Perth’s Regiment - whereabouts unknown
Duncan Comrie - In dweller, Woodend of Movie, Comrie - carried arms for the rebels-but pressed there to - whereabouts unknown
William Dow, Auchinshelloch, Comrie - acted as a lieutenant for rebels - prisoner of war, whereabouts unknown
James Drummond, Comrie - carried arms for the rebels, said to be pressed, prisoner of war, whereabouts unknown
John Drummond, Millinow, Comrie - carried arms as captain for the rebels - prisoner of war - Lurking
Peter Drummond, Millinow, Comrie - volunteer for the rebels - prisoner of war - Lurking
Peter Drummond, Bellnae, Comrie - carried arms as ensign - prisoner of war - whereabouts unknown
James Stuart, Cannand, Comrie - carried arms - prisoner of war - at home
Aenaes Sinclair, Comrie - pressed by the rebels - at home
Peter Stalker, Servant to John Stalker, Glenlednek, Comrie - pressed by rebels - at home.
This list of fine local Perthshire names probably reflects that for many there was great reluctance to gather at the banner! Samuel Carmichael describes the calling out of the people on the Drummond estates in Glen Artney. They had no choice but to obey their master. About two hundred marched away, and very few of them returned causing much sadness and sorrow.
GLENARTNEY – Rev Samuel Carmichael
The tempest of your waters
From your far hill-folded streams,
Where Ben Vorlich flings its shadows,
Sings surging through my dreams.
The elves of many forests moan,
Low wailing like a ghost,
The purple ridges echo back
The trampling of a host
Like shadows round the bending ridge
I see their tartans swing,
From the misty lights before me
I can hear their slogan ring.
Grey shades of ancient fighters
Come back from out the dark,
Mustered for war and honour,
And their footsteps leave no mark.
The MacGruthers from the Duchrin,
Seven sons all straight and tall,
Are speeding to Auchinar,
Where rules the fierce McCaul
McCaul, whose foot is foremost still,
In battle or in chase,
His sixty years sit lightly on,
His stern and rugged face.
I see them marching down the glen,
With hasty steps, but sure,
While the stealthy fox is startled
In the bleak and lonesome moor.
They tryst at Auchengelloch
With the Clows from Findoglen
The war pipes of Dalclathic
Tell of Forbes and his men.
Upon Bendhu, the whole night long,
Have burned the beacon fires,
Blairnroar is there and Machany,
And the fighting MacIntyres.
The Murrays from the Cowden,
And the Gows from Bogton Brae,
Are waiting by the Dalginross
All eager for the fray.
The Macrosties from the Lennoch
Hold the post at Comrie Ford,
They’ve sworn deep the Campbell blood,
Shall redden to their sword,
And Drummondearnoch musters,
The outlaws from the wood,
Who gather round as vultures
When they scent the smell of blood.
‘Twas there I saw the Drummond clan,
Go marching out to die,
The moor of sad Culloden heard,
Their last wild battle cry.
There’s a lonely pibroch wailing,
A weary tune and sore-
The sons of Drummond return,
In battle and peace, no more.
No more we’ll see the winter’s sun
O’er Cairnahosie’s height,
Or the lantern moon o’er Turleum,
In the hairst, late at night.
When the fiery cross shall call
And the beacon fires shall burn,
For the sons of Drummond, for ever
And ever, there is no return
Tradition has it that in the ’45 rebellion, 200 fighting men from the Glanartney and Blairnroar districts went out with the Earl of Perth (styled Duke by the Bonnie Prince), and that very few returned. They had no option, being under the Clan system and therefore beholden to the Earl for their liveliehood. Many of the family names such as the Clows, Drummond, McCaul, MacGrouther, MacNiven and Riddoch, have died out in the area which once boasted a population of between one and two thousand. Their homes at Auchnashelloch, Dalchruin, Dalclathic(k), Findoglen, and other farmtouns are now deserted. The Flowers o’ the Forest are certainly “awe wede awa.”
The only records of the old inhabitants of Glen Artney are on the tombstones in the Tullychettle graveyard. Tullychettle was a much older parish than Comrie. At the time of the Reformation it had a minister whereas Comrie only had a reader. In 1574 the Minister was Reverend William Drummond. He was also responsible for the parishes of Comrie, Crieff, Monzievaird and Monzie.
The name Glen Artney may be fron “Gleann-ard-an-fhead” meaning the high glen of the deer or “Gleann-ardenn” meaning the glen of the heights.
Charles Edward Stuart lived a foolish and wasted life, eventually dying as a dissolute, with probably more alcohol in his veins, than blood!
Charles Edward Stuart after a Life of Abuse
One can sing his praises. Lady Nairne (a pretty Jacobite known as the Flower of Strathearn), wrote beautiful songs about him. They are lovely in, and of, themselves. Who could fault the Skye Boat Song, or Charlie is my Darling? However, in reality, he was nothing better than a wastrel causing grief and misery wherever he went. If one looks at the Stuarts over time few, if any, did any good, or caused harmony anywhere. Most died in battle, or were assassinated, or executed. Offering support to them was inviting bloody mayhem on your house and family. Millions of descendents of Scots living beyond the seas still have a romantic view of him and the heathery hills. None of them will return permanently – the weather has not changed although, as the song says,
“From the lone Shieling of the misty island
Mountains divide us, and waste of seas,
Yet still the blood is strong, the heart is highland,
And we in dreams behold the Hebrides.”
River Ruchill in Glen Artney
Note: Photographs are from Wikipedia