Examination and Conviction

“Dr. Archibald Cameron, Lochiel’s brother, Executed 1753.” Jacobite broadside, National Library of Scotland.

COPY of what Dr. [ARCHIBALD] CAMERON intended to have delivered to the Sheriff of Middlesex at the Place of Execution but which he left in the Hands of his Wife for that End.

On the first Slip of Paper,  dated Tower,  6th June, 1753.

BEING denied the use of Pen, Ink, and Paper, except in the Presence of one or more Officers (who always took away the Paper from me, when I began to write my Complaints), and not even allowed the Use of a Knife, with which I might cut a poor blunted Pencil, that had escap’d the diligence of my Searchers, I have notwithstanding, as I could find opportunity, attempted to set down on some Slips of Paper, in as legible Characters as I was able, what I would have my Country satisfied of, with regard to myself and the Cause in which I am now going to lay down my life.
As to my religion, I thank GOD I die a stedfast member, tho’ unworthy, of that Church in whose Communion I have always lived, the Episcopal Church of Scotland, as by Law established before the most unnatural rebellion begun in 1688, which for the Sins of these Nations hath continued to this Day; and I firmly trust to find, at the most awful and impartial Tribunal of the Almighty King of Kings, thro’ the Merits of my Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, that Mercy (tho’ undeserved) to my immortal Part which is here denied to my earthly by an Usurper and his Faction, tho’ it be well known I have been the Instrument in preventing the Ruin and Destruction of many of my poor deluded Countrymen who were in their Service, as I shall make appear before I have done, if Opportunities of Writing fail me not.

On the second Slip of Paper.

In order to convince the world of the Uprightness of my Intentions while in the Prince of Wales’s army, as well as of the Cruelty, Injustice, and Ingratitude of my Murderers, I think it my Duty in this place to take Notice how much better Usage I might have expected of my Country, if Humanity and Good-nature, were now look’d upon with the same eyes as in the Times of our brave and generous Ancestors; But I’m sorry to observe, that our present Men in Power are so far sunk below the noble spirit of the ancient Britons, as hardly at this Day to be distinguished from the very basest of Mankind. Nor could the present Possessor of the Throne of our injured Sovereign, if he looked on himself as the Father and natural Prince of this Country, suffer the Life of one to be taken away who has saved the Lives and Effects of above Three hundred Persons in Scotland, who were firmly attached to him and his Party; but it seems it is now made a Crime to save the lives of Scotsmen.

As neither the Time nor the poor Materials I have for Writing, will allow me to descend to a particular Enumeration of all the Services I have done to the Friends of the Usurper; I shall therefore only mention a few of the most known and such as can be well attested.

In July, 1745, soon after the setting up of the Royal Standard, before our small army had reached Corayarick, it was moved by some of the Chiefs to apply to the PRINCE for a strong detachment of clans to distress Campbell of Invera’s house and Tenants in that Neighbourhood, which my brother Lochiel and I so successfully opposed, by representing to our generous Leader (who was always an Enemy to Oppression), that such Proceedings could be no way useful to his Undertaking, that the Motion was entirely laid aside, to the no small Mortification of the Proposers.

My brother and I likewise prevented another such Design against Breadalbin, to the great satisfaction of our Dear Prince: And on our Return from England to Glasgow–

Archibald Cameron.*

On a third Slip of Paper.

My brother and I did Services to the Town of Glasgow, of which the principal Gentry in the Neighbourhood were then, and are to this Day, sensible, if they durst own the truth; but that might be construed Disaffection to a Government founded on and supported by Lies and Falsehoods.

On our March to Stirling, I myself (tho’ I am like to meet with a Hanoverian Reward for it) hindered the whole Town of Kirkintullich from being destroyed and all its Inhabitants put to the Sword by my Brother’s Men, who were justly incensed against it for the inhuman murder of two of Lady Lochiel’s Servants but two Months before. Here was a sufficient Pretence for Vengeance, had I been inclined to Cruelty! But I thank GOD nothing was ever farther from my Nature, tho’ I may have been otherwise represented.

Mr. Campbell of Shawfield, likewise owes me some Favours done to himself and Family, which at least deserve some Return in my Behalf; and Lady Campbell of Lochnell, now in London, can, if she pleases, vouch for the Truth of some of the above Facts.

Archibald Cameron.

On a fourth Slip of Paper.–June 6, 1753.

I thank kind Providence I had the Happiness to be early educated in the Principals of Christian Loyalty, which, as I grew in Years, inspired me with an utter Abhorrence of Rebellion and Usurpation, tho’ ever so successful; and when I arrived at Man’s Estate I had the joint Testimony of Religion and Reason to confirm me in the Truth of my first Principles: Thus my Attachment to the ROYAL FAMILY is more the Result of Examination and Conviction, than of Prepossession and Prejudice. And as I now am, so was I then, ready to seal my Loyalty with my Blood: As soon therefore as the Royal Youth had set up the King his Father’s Standard, I immediately, as in Duty bound, repaired to it; and, as I had the Honour, from that time, to be almost constantly about his Person till November 1748, (excepting the short time his ROYAL HIGHNESS was in the Western Isles after the affair of Culloden). I became more and more captivated with his amiable and princely Virtues, which are, indeed, in every Instance, so eminently great, as I want Words to describe.

I can further affirm (and my present Situation and that of my dear PRINCE too, can leave no room to suspect me of Flattery), that as I have been his Companion in the lowest Degree of Adversity ever Prince was reduced to; so I have beheld him too, as it were on the highest Pinnacle of Glory, amidst the continual Applauses, and, I had almost said, Adorations of the most brilliant Court in Europe; yet he was always the same, ever affable and courteous, giving constant Proofs of his great Humanity and his Love for his friends and his Country. What great Good to these Nations might not be expected from such a PRINCE, were he in Possession of the Throne of his Ancestors! And as to his Courage, none that have heard of his Glorious Attempt in 1745, I should think, can call it in Question.
I cannot pass by in Silence that most horrible Calumny raised by the Rebels under the Command of the inhuman Son of the Elector of Hanover, which served as an Excuse for unparalleled Butchery, committed by his Orders, in cold Blood, after the unhappy affair of Culloden, viz.: “That we had Orders to give no Quarter, &c.” which, if true, must have come to my Knowledge, who had the Honour to serve my ever dear Master in Quality of one of his Aides de Camp; and I hereby declare I never heard of such Orders. The above is Truth.

I likewise declare, on the Word of a dying Man, That the last Time I had the Honour to see his Royal Highness, CHARLES PRINCE of WALES, he told me from his own Mouth, and bid me assure his Friends from him, That he was a Member of the Church of England.

Archibald Cameron.

On a fifth Slip of Paper.

To cover the Cruelty of murdering me at this Distance of Time, from the passing of the unjust Attainder, I am accused of being deeply engaged in a new plot against this Government; which, if I was, neither the Fear of the worst Death their Malice could invent, nor much less the blustering and noisy Threatnings of the tumultuous Council, nor even their flattering Promises, could extort any Discovery of it from me; yet not so much as one Evidence was ever produced to make good the Charge. But it is my business to submit, since GOD, in his Alwise Providence, thinks fit to suffer it to be so; and I the more cheerfully resign my Life as it is taken away for doing my Duty to GOD, my King, and Country: Nor is there any Thing in this World I could so much wish to have it prolonged for, as to have another Opportunity of employing the Remainder of it in the same Glorious Cause.

Archibald Cameron.

I thank God I was not in the least daunted at hearing the bloody Sentence which my unrighteous Judge, pronounced with a seeming Insensibility, till he came to the Words, But not till you are dead; before which he made a Pause, and uttering them with a particular Emphasis, stared me in the Face, to observe, I suppose, if I was as much frightened at them as he perhaps would have been in my Place. As to the Guilt, he said, I had to answer for, as having been instrumental in the Loss of so many Lives. Let him and his Constituents see to that; at their Hands, not at mine, will all the Blood that has been shed on that account, be required.

GOD, of his infinite Mercy, grant they may prevent the Punishment that hangs over their Heads, by a sincere Repentance, and speedy Return to their Duty. And, I pray GOD to hasten the Restoration of the Royal Family (without which these miserably divided Nations can never enjoy Peace and Happiness) and that it may please Him to preserve and defend the King, the Prince of Wales, and the Duke of York, from the Power and Malice of their Enemies; to prosper and reward all my Friends and Benefactors, and to forgive all my Enemies, Murderers, and false Accusers, from the Elector of Hanover, and his Bloody Son, down to Samuel Cameron the basest of their Spies, as I freely do from the Bottom of my Heart.

Sic subscripsit,
Archibald Cameron.

I am now ready to be offered; I have fought a good fight, All Glory be to God.

* Mr. Cameron (as was his custom when interrupted) subscribed his name (as he told his wife) to make what be had written the more authentic; in case he should not have an opportunity of writing any more.

A Complete Collection of State Trials, Vol. 19, London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown, 1816.

Neronian Cruelties

John Seymour Lucas (1849-1923), After Culloden, Rebel Hunting, 1884; Tate Britain, London.
John Seymour Lucas (1849-1923), After Culloden, Rebel Hunting, 1884; Tate Britain, London.

Upon Thursday, the day after the battle, a party was ordered to the field of battle to put to death all the wounded they should find upon it, which accordingly they performed with the greatest despatch and the utmost exactness, carrying the wounded from the several parts of the field to two or three spots of rising ground, where they ranged them in due order, and instantly shot them dead.

Upon the day following, (Friday,) parties were ordered to go and search for the wounded in houses in the neighbourhood of the field, to carry them to the field, and there to kill them, which they did, as in the case of John Fraser and his fellow prisoners. To the honour of some particular officers (whom I could name) be it remarked, that by their clemency some few of the wounded were saved.

John MacLeod of MacLeod, junior, esquire, has had the honesty and courage to declare oftener than once, that he himself saw seventy-two killed in cold blood.

At a small distance from the field there was a hut for sheltering sheep and goats in cold and stormy weather. To this hut some of the wounded men had crawled, but were soon found out by the soldiery, who (immediately upon the discovery) made sure the door, and set fire to several parts of the hut, so that all within it perished in the flames, to the number of between thirty and forty persons, among whom were some beggars, who had been spectators of the battle in hopes of sharing in the plunder. Many people went and viewed the smothered and scorched bodies among the rubbish of the hut. Sure, the poor beggars could not be deemed rebels in any sense whatsoever.

In several parts of the Highlands in Scotland the soldiery spared neither man, woman, nor child, particularly those under the command of Major Lockhart, Caroline Scott, &c. The hoary head, the tender mother, and the weeping infant, behoved to share in the general wreck, and to fall victims to rage and cruelty by the musket, the bloody bayonet, the devouring flame, or famishing hunger and cold! In a word, the troops sported with cruelty. They marched through scenes of wo, and marked their steps with blood. Believe me, sir, this is far from exaggerating. It is in my power to condescend upon particular instances of these more than Neronian cruelties, which I am ready to do when called upon by proper authority–to bring to light, not the hidden things of darkness, but monstrous transactions, that were deliberately perpetrated in face of the sun by gentlemen, and (shall I say it?) Christians! In all I have said, I have omitted one thing, which is, that even the yet unborn babe (I tremble to relate it) felt the effects of the fury of our military butchers!

Copy of a letter from a gentleman in London to his friend at Bath, from the manuscript collection of Robert Forbes, Bishop of Ross and Caithness (Scottish Episcopal Church).

I Suspect Them Greatly

William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, by Sir Joshua Reynolds (died 1792); National Portrait Gallery, London.
William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, by Sir Joshua Reynolds (died 1792); National Portrait Gallery, London.

Yesterday, General Campbell came hither to meet me, and has brought with him four companys of Western Highlanders. He assures me that they will shew no favour or partiality to the other Highlanders; as he knows them best, he must answer for this; for my own part, I suspect them greatly, for those who were with us here before these came, almost absolutely refused to plunder any of the Rebels’ houses, which is the only way we have to punish them, or bring them back.

Duke of Cumberland to Duke of Newcastle, 10 February 1745.

Culloden’s Dread Echoes Shall Ring

Marker designating the position of Clan Cameron on the field at the Battle of Culloden.
Marker designating the position of Clan Cameron on the field at the Battle of Culloden.

LOCHËIL’S WARNING
Wizard. — Lochiël.

Wizard. — Lochiël! Lochiël, beware of the day
When the Lowlands shall meet thee in battle array!
For a field of the dead rushes red on my sight,
And the clans of Culloden are scatter’d in fight.
They rally, they bleed, for their kingdom and crown;
Woe, woe to the riders that trample them down!
Proud Cumberland prances, insulting the slain,
And their hoof-beaten bosoms are trod to the plain.
But hark! through the fast-flashing lightning of war,
What steed to the desert flies frantic and far?
‘Tis thine, Oh Glenullin! whose bride shall await,
Like a love-lighted watch-fire, all night at the gate.
A steed comes at morning: no rider is there;
But its bridle is rrd with the sign of despair.
Weep, Albin! to death and captivity led!
Oh weep! but thy tears cannot number the dead:
For a merciless sword on Culloden shall wave,
Culloden! that reeks with the blood of the brave.

Lochiël. — Go, preach to the coward, thou death-telling seer!
Or, if gory Culloden so dreadful appear,
Draw, dotard, around thy old wavering sight!
This mantle, to cover the phantoms of fright.

Wizard. — Ha! laugh’st thou, Lochiël, my vision to scorn?
Proud bird of the mountain, thy plume shall be torn!
Say, rush’d the bold eagle exultingly forth,
From his home, in the dark rolling clouds of the north?
Lo! the death-shot of foemen outspeeding, he rode
Companionless, bearing destruction abroad;
But down let him stoop from his havoc on high!
Ah! home let him speed — for the spoiler is nigh.
Why flames the far summit? Why shoot to the blast
Those embers, like stars from the firmament cast?
‘Tis the fire-shower of ruin, all dreadfully driven
From his eyrie, that beacons the darkness of heaven.
Oh, crested Lochiël! the peerless in might,
Whose banners arise on the battlements’ height,
Heaven’s fire is around thee, to blast and to burn;
Return to thy dwelling! all lonely return!
For the blackness of ashes shall mark where it stood,
And a wild mother scream o’er her famishing brood.

Lochiël. — False wizard, avaunt! I have marshalled my clan:
Their swords are a thousand, their bosoms are one!
They are true to the last of their blood and their breath,
And like reapers descend to the harvest of death.
Then welcome be Cumberland’s steed to the shock!
Let him dash his proud foam like a wave on the rock!
But woe to his kindred, and woe to his cause,
When Albin her claymore indignantly draws;
When her bonneted chieftains to victory crowd,
Clanronald the dauntless, and Moray the proud,
All plaided and plumed in their tartan array —

Wizard. — Lochiël, Lochiël, beware of the day!
For, dark and despairing, my sight I may seal,
But man cannot cover what God would reveal;
‘Tis the sunset of life gives me mystical lore,
And coming events cast their shadow before.
I tell thee, Culloden’s dread echoes shall ring
With the bloodhounds, that bark for thy fugitive king.
Lo! annointed by Heaven with the vials of wrath,
Behold, where he flies on his desolate path!
Now, in darkness and billows, he sweeps from my sight:
Rise, rise! ye wild tempests, and cover his flight!
‘Tis finished. Their thunders are hushed on the moors:
Culloden is lost, and my country deplores.
But where is the iron-bound prisoner? Where?
For the red eye of battle is shut in despair.
Say, mounts he the ocean-wave, banish’d, forlorn,
Like a limb from his country cast bleeding and torn?
Ah, no! for a darker departure is near;
The war-drum is muffled, and black is the bier;
His death-bell is tolling: oh! mercy, dispel
Yon sight, that it freezes my spirit to tell!
Life flutters convulsed in his quivering limbs,
And his blood-streaming nostril in agony swims.
Accursed be the faggots, that blaze at his feet,
Where his heart shall be thrown, ere it ceases to beat,
With the smoke of its ashes to poison the gale —

Lochiël. — Down, soothless insulter! I trust not the tale:
For never shall Albin a destiny meet,
So black with dishonour, so foul with retreat.
Tho’ my perishing ranks should be strew’d in their gore,
Like ocean-weeds heap’d on the surf-beaten shore,
Lochiël, untainted by flight or by chains,
While the kindling of life in his bosom remains,
Shall victor exult, or in death be laid low,
With his back to the field, and his feet to the foe!
And leaving in battle no blot on his name,
Look proudly to heaven from the death-bed of fame.

— Thomas Campbell, 1802.

Breaking Sticks to Roast the Duke

William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, by Sir Joshua Reynolds (died 1792); National Portrait Gallery, London.
William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, by Sir Joshua Reynolds (died 1792); National Portrait Gallery, London.

I hae been at Crookieden,
My bonie laddie, Highland laddie,
Viewing Willie and his men,
My bonie laddie, Highland laddie.
There our foes that burnt and slew,
My bonie laddie, Highland laddie,
There, at last, they gat their due,
My bonie laddie, Highland laddie.

Satan sits in his black neuk,
My bonie laddie, Highland laddie,
Breaking sticks to roast the Duke,
My bonie laddie, Highland laddie,
The bloody monster gae a yell,
My bonie laddie, Highland laddie.
And loud the laugh gied round a’ hell
My bonie laddie, Highland laddie.

— Bonie Laddie, Highland Laddie (I Hae Been At Crookieden), Robert Burns, 1791.