Caitriona Balfe

Outlander Starz. Who Was Bonnie Prince Charlie? Ten Things You Should Know

Outlander Starz. Who Was Bonnie Prince Charlie? Ten Things You Should Know
Isabel del Rio
Outlander Starz. Who Was Bonnie Prince Charlie? Ten Things You Should Know

Jamie Fraser and Dougal

Outlander Starz. ‘You cannot win,’ Clarie (Caitriona Balfe) always says to Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan). Of course, she is referring to the Jacobite cause and the rebellion of 1743. Who was Bonnie Prince Charlie? Today, ten things you should know.

1.- Charles Edward Stuart (31 December 1720 – 31 January 1788), commonly known as The Young Pretender and often as Bonnie Prince Charlie, was the son of Prince James, son of exiled Stuart King, James II of England. Then, one of the most important figures in the Jacobite cause, so important in Outlander plot.

2.- In December 1743, Charles’s father named him Prince Regent, giving him authority to act in his name. Shortly after, Bonnie Prince Charlie led a French-backed rebellion intended to place his father on the thrones of England and Scotland.

3.- The Jacobite cause was still supported by many Highland clans, both Catholic and Protestant. Charles hoped for a warm welcome from these clans to start an insurgency by Jacobites throughout Britain. In Outlander TV show one of these supporters was Dougal MacKenzie (actor Graham McTavish) and his group of warriors.

Claire and Jamie Fraser. Outlander Starz

Claire and Jamie Fraser. Outlander Starz

4.- Charles raised his father’s standard at Glenfinnan and gathered a force large enough to enable him to march on Edinburgh. The city was under the control of the Lord Provost Archibald Stewart, who rapidly surrendered.

5.- On 21 September 1745, he defeated the only government army in Scotland at the Battle of Prestonpans. The government army was led by General Sir John Cope, and his calamitous defense against the Jacobites is immortalized in the song Johnnie Cope.

6.- Charles’ army had other victories (Battle of Falkirk Muir), but later were pursued by King George II’s son, the Duke of Cumberland, who caught up with them at the Battle of Culloden on 16 April 1746. Ignoring the advice of his best commander, Lord George Murray, Charles chose to fight on flat. The battle was a disaster for the Jacobites.

7.- However, Charles’s flight has become the stuff of legend and is commemorated in the popular folk song “The Skye Boat Song.” Remember that Outlander TV show music was composed by Bear McCreary. The title song is an adaption of Robert Louis Stevenson’s poem Sing me a Song of a Lad that is Gone, set to the tune of the Scottish folk song “The Skye Boat Song.”

8.- Thus, Charles, hiding in the moors of Scotland, travelled about, always hardly ahead of the government forces. Though many Highlanders saw Charles, none of them betrayed him for the £30,000 reward offered.

9.- Assisted by supporters such as Flora MacDonald, who helped him escape pursuers on the Isle of Skye by taking him in a boat disguised as her Irish maid, “Betty Burke,” Charles evaded capture and left the country aboard the French frigate L’Heureux, arriving back in France in autumn.

10.- With the Jacobite cause now lost, Stuart would spend the remainder of his life in exile. Really sad!

Enjoy your day, Yareah friends. Art is everywhere and up to you!

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Caitriona Balfe
Isabel del Rio

Managing Editor at Yareah® Magazine. Author of ‘Ariza’ (2008) and ‘The Girls of Oil’ (2010)

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