Monday, January 17, 2011

Battle of Falkirk Muir

'WaveRleY riding post, as was the usual fashion of the period, without any adventure save one or two queries, which the talisman of his passport sufficiently answered, reached the borders of Scotland. Here he heard the tidings of the decisive battle of Culloden. It was no more than he had long expected, though the success at Falkirk had thrown a faint and setting gleam over the arms of the Chevalier. Yet it came upon him like a shock, by which he was for a time altogether unmanned. The generous, the courteous, the noble-minded Adventurer, was then a fugitive, with a price upon his head; his adherents, so Brave, so enthusiastic, so faithful, were dead, imprisoned, or exiled. Where, now, was the exalted and high-fouled Fergus, if, indeed, he had survived the night at Clifton? Where the pure-hearted and primitive Baron of Bradwardine, whose foibles seemed foils to set off the disinterestedness of his disposition, the genuine goodness of his heart, and his unshaken courage? Those who clung for support to these fallen columns, Rose and Flora, where were they to be sought, and in what distress must not the loss of their natural protectors have involved them? Of Flora, he thought with the regard of a brother for a sister: of Rose, with a sensation yet more deep and tender. It might be still his fate to supply the want of those guardians they had lost. Agitated by these thoughts he precipitated his journey.'

An victory and an opportunity missed for Charles Edward Stuart's forces. The battle itself was largely over in 20 minutes, and earned the man Hawley replaced, General Cope £10,000.  Legend has it that Cope bet that Hawley would be beaten by the Highlanders, as he had been.  Unfortunatley for the Jacobite cause, Stuart did not want to have Hawley pursued, after his defeat.  Hawley regrouped, and was ready at the Battle of Culloden.

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