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16 October 2014

Arnish Lighthouse

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Bonnie Prince Charlie

Yesterday I wrote about wave generators. I am now going to generate some waves myself, by exploding a myth. When I was at Arnish yesterday, watching the generators being hoisted on board that ship, I climbed up to the memorial cairn on top of a nearby hill.

The inscription reads: HRH Prince Charles Edward with three attendants landed in Loch Seaforth 4 May 1746 and walking all night reached Arnish Loch at noon 5 May. In the evening he was received at Kildun House, Arnish, by the Lady Kildun (MacKenzie). Early in 6 May, he left Kildun in a boat and landed in Eilean Iubhard (Loch Shell) and remained there until 10 May and sailed thence to South Uist and Skye. [inscription obliterated] "Deoch Slainte an Righ" [inscription obliterated].

A few geographical and historical notes about the inscription. Kildun House no longer exists. By my information, it was destroyed by fire in 1975, prior to the construction of the present Arnish Yard. The hill on which it stood was bulldozed to make way for buildings for the yard. Eilean Iubhard can be seen from Lemreway, South Lochs, about 30 miles south of Stornoway (by road). I do not know what the inscriptions used to read that were rendered illegible.

I should make it perfectly clear that I have very little time for Prince Charles Edward, otherwise known as the Young Pretender or Bonnie Prince Charlie. His hare-brained idea to "raise the clans" in 1745 for a march on London was ill-thought through, and by no means received full backing from all the clans in Western Scotland. Because those with brains saw him for what he was. A fool, being used as a figurehead. He was no creditable tactician on the field of battle, allowing his advance to outrun his supply-train on the daring march on Derby. The rout all the way back to Culloden, near Inverness, was a disgrace. And at the end of the day, it was this silly enterprise that gave Scotland's enemies the pretext they needed to subjugate the country fully, after the 1707 Union. To try to destroy the culture and language, and impose their own values on the Highlands and Islands. Far from being the prosaic saviour of the West, I rate Bonnie Prince Charlie as the fool that brought on the destruction of the West of Scotland.
His flight through the islands, dressed as a woman for goodness' sakes, says it all. Poor old Flora MacDonald, she gave him succour and shelter, and got clapped in jail for all her bother. The stay at Kildun tells us that although the Stornoway worthies were not prepared to turn Charlie in (he had a prize on his head), they were not prepared to put him up either, being a liability. At the end of the day, Charles was a coward, used more to the comforts of the drawingroom and the bottle. He will have been happy when he finally boarded the French vessel L'Heureux (sic), bound for France.

Oh, I forgot. Many readers will be familiar with the statue at Glenfinnan, 15 miles west of Fort William. The figure on the pillar at the head of Loch Shiel. It's not Bonnie Prince Charlie. It's "a Highlander". Because it was there that Charles landed to "raise the firey cross" which started the whole campaign.

Please forget the mystique around BPC. He has done Scotland no favours at all.

Posted on Arnish Lighthouse at 11:44


thant may be true, but he was still our rightful King, as the Stuarts always will be.

Bonnie Prince Charlies Map Reader from still finding my way back to France

Arnish there is another side to this story, see The Stuarts A Secret History and the recent TV documentary. The March on London ceased at Derby because BPC was betrayed by his most trusted general who was working for the English. He told BPC and the Scottish Generals that there was an English army of 10,000 marching towards Derby and that the French had no intention of joining us. These were both lies. The English king was on ready to flee and the English Army was tied up fighting off the French. If the Scots hadn't trusted the back stabber they would've taken London from an extemely unpopular German speaking king. It was one of the greatest bluffs in history. As the Scots generals believed their esteemed colleague and ordered retreat BPC was furious and the army totally demoralised. Remember history is written by the winners. Nothing is ever as cut and dried as it seems. If Charile had won we would all be riding around on Vespas "Caio" and hanging our washing out on a Sunday!

Sunny from Arran

Have you seen the documentary running all week on ITV3, please have a look then tell me what you think. I'm open to discussion

Sunny from Arran

Which documentary, Sunny? Not seen anything in this week's listings for ITV3, sorry.

Arnish Lighthouse from Stornoway

He was no coward, his head was the first to have a price put on it, and the biggest price at that, no one was forced to join the rising, as he said himself.

Alistair from Dundee

Many of you fail to realise that not only did many lowland Scots disagree with "the pretenders" belief that it is the devine right of kings' to rule, but that both Scotland and England! were divided nations back then with both having Jacobite support. Culloden had Scots and English on both sides. And indeed England has also been subjugated to Stuart rule on more than one occasions! So before you make uneducated and ill-researched comments about subjugation and wot-not read the history books and they'll tell you that this was just as much about the divisions of lowland scotland and highlands than England and Scotland!

alex Liddle from edinburgh

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