Return to Glenfinnan
A weary and demoralised Jacobite foot soldier, having escaped the slaughter of the battle of Culloden, finds himself back where it all began at Glenfinnan. Here, only a few months earlier, Prince Charles Edward Stuart had rallied the clans by raising the standard of revolt before marching south into legend. For the common highland man, however, the end of the rebellion was far less romantic. The loss of the battle resulted in a lengthy period of particularly brutal Government sanctioned recriminations and, indeed, the end of the clan system for all time. The red coats scoured the highlands extinguishing any potential Jacobite threat, entire families and settlements were simply wiped out. The parliament in London replied to one of the victorious Duke of Cumberland’s reports of the continuing butchery with the sinister message:
“It will be no great mischief if all should fall.”
The entire highland culture was soon destroyed. The speaking of Gaelic, the native language, and the wearing of tartan became a hanging offence. Many ordinary clansmen were forced to “take to the heather” and hide in the hills whilst their clan chiefs fled the country. Many, of course, were captured, imprisoned and executed. King George’s red coated henchmen in the highlands ensured the highlanders would never again be able to rise in revolt for the ill-fated house of Stuart.