Saturday, 31 October 2015

Jacobite Characters - Part Two

The Angus Jacobites who rose up in 1745 were led by twenty year old Lord David Ogilvy, whose force of around 600 men came from his father's estates.  His father and Sir David Kinloch later managed to raise another 400 men from Angus and the Mearns.  Following the disaster of the Battle of Culloden, Ogilvy captured a ship in the River Tay off Broughty Ferry and managed to escape to Norway.  He was eventually pardoned and returned to Scotland in 1778.  His sword, still preserved in the family castle at Cortachy, is inscribed with this legend:  'The man who feels no delight in a gallant steed, a bright sword, and a fair ladye, has not in his breast the heart of a soldier.'

   Those Jacobite rebels who were lucky enough to escape the carnage at Culloden were hounded by the Kirk.  Many common soldiers claimed that they had been forced into joining the insurgents.  Some said they had been paid by farmers to join up in their place.  The government's list of rebels from the districts of Brechin, Arbroath and Montrose came to 338 men.  When the Duke of Cumberland arrived in Montrose, in February 1746, he issued an order demanding that all rebels 'lurking in the Country' should deliver themselves to a magistrate or a minister, 'and submit entirely to His Majesties Mercy'.  He also threatened to have certain townsfolk whipped at the Cross because they ad allowed their children to light bonfires to celebrate the birthday of the Pretender.  Some bold Jacobite ladies on that occasion had donned white dresses adorned wit white roses and marched through the streets.

   The questions put to suspected rebels by the kirk sessions within the Presbytery of Forfar were as follows:

             1.  Was you in ye Rebellion by bearing arms in the service of the Pretender?
             2.  Do you contribue men or moe to ye rebels, and in what inducement?
             3.  Did you in your conversation or talking with your neighbours say anything to 
                  encourage ye Rebellion, or against His Majesty and ye great establishment?
             4.  Did you attend a non-juring meeting-house during ye time of ye Rebellion?

   Among the 72 Brechiners to be interrogated was one Peter Logie, a crippled tailor from Tigerton of Balnamoon, who fought at Preston, Falkirk and Culloden.  When he was asked about what position he had held in the Jacobite army he glanced at his club foot and replied, 'I had the honour to be his royal highness's dancing master.'  He was subsequently freed.
   Peter Logie's laird was mentioned in the lists compiled by the Montrose excise:

                   James Carnegy of Findourie, Brechin, acted as Lord Lieutenant Deput  of
                   the County of Angus, appointed Governors of towns and factors upon the
                   forfeited estates...[he] raised himself men and money out of these estates.

   Carnegie, better known from his official estate of Balnamoon (Bonnymun), collected the cess - or land tax - on behalf of the exiled Stuart 'king'.    Balnamoon arrived home from Culloden the day after Peter Logie.  The redcoats were extremely anxious to discover this important outlaw, so he went into hiding in the wilds of Glen Mark and Glen Esk.  His principal hiding place and refuge was Balnamoon's Cave, near the foot of Cannaud Hill. (Those searching for the cave can find it about a mile and a half beyond the Queen's Well, 75 feet above the river bank.)  Although the kirk elders of Lochlee parish smugly reported that their parishoners 'had behaved themselves very well during the unnatural rebellion', most people here were still sympathetic to the Jacobite cause and did not reveal Balnamoon's bolt hole.

   The glens filled up with government troops looking for the laird.  A large reward was offered for Carnegie's capture, but he was secretly welcomed at many upland farms.  One cold and miserable night he arrived at James Mill's home at Auchronie and was well settled by the hearth when a group of soldiers arrived.  While they were asking Mill if he had any knowledge of the fugitive, the man himself was too terrified to move.  Fortunately he was disguised as a hind (farm labourer), so he did not immediately attract the search party's attention.  The farmer declared that he had not caught sight of Balnamoon for a considerable time.  Then he gruffly ordered his 'servant' to go and attend to the cattle in the byre.  Balnamoon hurried out and ran the four miles back to his cave.  He was later betrayed by a Presbyterian minister and imprisoned in the Tower of London.  But his luck held good and he was freed because of a 'misnomer'.  He returned to Balnamoon and often entertained James Mill when the farmer ventured south.

   Many tales are told of Balnamoon's subsequent misadventures in peacetime, usually involving alcohol.  One he attended a dinner party where he had been given sherry brandy instead of his usual port and was quite far gone when he climbed into his coach to go home.  As the jig crossed Montreathmont Moor and the wind blew off his hat and wig.  Carnegie bellowed to his servant, Harry Walker, to retrieve his headgear.  After a search, back came Harry with both items.  The hat met with the laird's approval, but the laird did not recognise the other item.

   'It's no' my wig, Hairry, lad,' he told his exasperated servant.
   'Ye'd better tak it, sir,' Harry replied sourly, 'for there's nae waile [choice] o wigs on Monrummon Moor.'


   Wigs, incidentally, also feature in a story of the eccentric Jamie Sim, Laird of Finlathie.  During a drinking session a young laird threw his hairpiece in the hearth and cried, 'Wigs i' the fire for a guinea.'  The company heaped the fire with wigs.  Another drinker cast his coat into the flames and called, 'Coats in the fire for five guineas.'  Then Jamie coolly removed his dentures and shouted, 'Teeth i' the fire for thirty guineas.'  None of the others wore false teeth, so they had to pay up.

   Carnegie's alleged intemperance seems to have been the norm among men of his class at the time.  But there were exceptions.  Two gentlemen were invited to Balnamoon's house one Sunday.  One of them, a stranger, was impressed when his host conducted an eloquent religious service after lunch.  The other man, who knew Carnegie well, said nothing in response.  That night after dinner, Carnegie got both men hopelessly drunk.  The stranger gave a revised opinion the next day, admitting that he'd never been subjected to such a spate of drinking and of praying in his whole life.
   If Balnamoon was perhaps not quite the champion drinker of legend, neither was he illiterate, as some people claimed.  His position of Lieutenant-Deputy of Angus must surely have involved scrutinising some paperwork.  He also turned his hand occasionally to composing music; the popular ballad 'Low Down The Broom' has been ascribed to him.  James Carnegie of Balnamoon eventually died in 1791.
   The minister who betrayed Balnamoon was the Reverend Scott of Lochlee.  He also had his Episcopalian rival, Reverend David Rose, arrested and imprisoned in a ship lying off Montrose.  Among his other unpopular acts was inviting the redcoats into Gen Esk and banning the kilt there in 1748.  In 1749 he was riding towards a meeting of the Presbytery of Brechin when his horse stumbled and threw him as he passed the church of Rowan, an Episcopalian kirk he had caused to be destroyed.  Scott was killed by the fall, which many people saw as divine retribution.
    Legend has been also tarnished the reputation of a contemporary of Scott, John Row, who was the first Presbyterian of Lethnot and Navar.  On Christmas Eve, 1745, the minister allowed the body of a suicide to be buried in the kirkyard.  The locals said that this act would bring evil upon them, but Row leapt thrice over the grave to show how little he cared for superstition.  When he returned to his manse he saw a pair of malicious eyes staring at him in the darkness.  Then he saw it was a cat and, thinking it was Satan in disguise, he ran after it.  At the top of the stairs he flew over the bannister and broke his neck on the floor below.


1 comment:

  1. Hi there, this is a very interesting blog post. Would you be able to let me know what sources you used to obtain this information? I am writing my dissertation on a related topic.
    Thanks, Beth Watson.