Thursday, September 15, 2011

Bonnie Prince Charlie

I have lately been reading about Bonnie Prince Charlie. He was the last hope for the Scottish Jacobites (And the entire Stuart Dynasty) to regain the throne of Britain. I absolutely love British History and have a passion for my Scottish ancestry.

This is my favorite painting of Bonnie Prince Charlie.

I would like to post more historical posts in the future, but for now, I will suffice to say that his cause was popular among the Highlanders. They were quite successful, but lost at Culloden. This led Charles to flee to France. His journey is memorialized through this song:

Skye Boat Song
Speed, bonnie boat, like a bird on the wing,
Onward! the sailors cry;
Carry the lad that's born to be King
Over the sea to Skye. (Chorus)
Loud the winds howl, loud the waves roar,
Thunderclaps rend the air;
Baffled, our foes stand by the shore,
Follow they will not dare.
Though the waves leap, soft shall ye sleep,
Ocean's a royal bed.
Rocked in the deep, Flora will keep
Watch by your weary head.
Many's the lad fought on that day,
Well the Claymore could wield,
When the night came, silently lay
Dead in Culloden's field.
Burned are their homes, exile and death
Scatter the loyal men;
Yet ere the sword cool in the sheath
Charlie will come again.
This song sounds like a lullaby. Yeah, the lyrics are kind of violent to consider it a lullaby, but for history's sake, I love this song. Soldiers and battles used to be remembered in song, so I don't think it is weird.

Charles escaped through the help of a young woman, Flora McDonald. Disguised as her maid, he was able to make it through the treacherous journey that led him to freedom.

I have had mixed feelings about Bonnie Prince Charlie as though he stood for the Scottish cause, he also did flee (understood) but never returned. However, he is still considered a hero despite the fact that he fled dressed as a woman and never returned to his loyal followers. I can never fully understand that. I still like him, but I just don't understand how he is regarded as such a hero. I think it is that at least he tried. 

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