The novel set in the 1820 uprising in Southern Scotland is nearing completion and should be in print for 1st September but I am growing more and more interested in the Stuart era, remembering it may be considered to go beyond the monarchies from 1603 to 1689 into the 18th century and the 1745, which culminated in Culloden. After that there is Clementina Walkinshaw, her daughter and grandson.
The libraries are beginning to open and I will be able to have another look at the ships of the 45 and even go to the Bodleian for rare books. I find the old books are full of details of incidents that are not part of the great scheme of things but are real human stories in their own right. Sir Walter Scott’s Tales of a Grandfather is one example.
Here is a quote from an old manuscript, Marches by Lord George Murray, describing the march back from Derby by the Jacobites in 1745, “The day we left Kendal I had stood several hours in heavy rain, and not having stript for some nights made me feel the effects of it more. I had wade several waters and often been mid-thigh deep in moss.” There’s no need for imagination one can feel the man’s despair.Here is another from The Jacobite General by Catherine Tomasson, ” The water of Douglas was high and difficult to negotiate; and at Douglas Castle, where Lord George had that summer been the guest of the Duke of Douglas, he was refused entry by the Duke’s servants. They opened the doors readily enough when the Prince arrived with his superior force and the three Swedish canon brought from Carlisle.” A great episode in the making. I grew up in that area but was taught more about Marie Antoinette than of this.
The picture is all that is left of Douglas Castle – Castle Dangerous in history