The Flight of Bonnie Prince Charlie
A day by day account of Bonnie Prince Charlie's wanderings after the Battle of Culloden to the day he left Scotland for France.
- 16 April 1746 - Battle of Culloden
Prince Charlie marched back in the morning to Culloden Moor, where, learning that Cumberland was close at hand, decided to fight, against the judgement of Lord George Murray and the Highland chiefs. At 1 o'clock fighting began, and in twenty-five minutes the Prince was defeated at the Battle of Culloden.
After the battle of Culloden the Prince crossed the river Nairn at the ford of Falie, where he dismissed his cavalry escort (image). Accompanied by Lord Elcho, Sheridan, Alexander MacLeod, O'Sullivan, Peter MacDermit, O'Neil, and guided by Edward Burke, he rode by Tordarroch, Aberarder, and Faroline to Gortleg, where he met Lord Lovat. Rode on by Fort Augustus.
- 17 April 1746
Arrived in early morning at Invergarry Castle, and rested there or at Droynachan until 3 in the afternoon.The Prince, O'Sullivan, Allan MacDonald (a priest), and Burke rode on by Loch Arkaig to Glenpean, and there spent the night in the house of Donald Cameron.
- 18 April 1746
Remained at Glenpean awaiting intelligence until 5.00pm, when he started on foot across the hills for Glen Morar.
- 19 April 1746
Arrived in the braes of Morar, utterly tired out, and was entertained by Angus MacEachine, Borradale's son-in-law, in 'a small sheal house near a wood'.
- 20 April 1746 - Arrival in Benbecula
At night walked to Borradale by Glenbeasdale, 'which is a pendicle belonging to the farm of Borradil'
- 21 April 1746
Met Donald MacLeod, tenant of Gualtergill, at Borradale, who had been sent as a guide by Æneas MacDonald, Kinlochmoidart's brother.
The Prince's object was to go to Sir Alexander MacDonald or MacLeod of MacLeod for protection, but Donald refused to take him, and arranged instead to guide him to the Hebrides, in hopes of getting a vessel thence to France, or, failing that, to Orkney.
- 22-25 April 1746
Remained in the neighbourhood of Borradale while Donald MacLeod procured a boat and a crew. From Borradale the Prince wrote a formal farewell letter to the chiefs.
- 26 April 1746
The Prince sailed from Borradale, Lochnanuagh, at nigh, accompanied by O'Sullivan, O'Neil, Allan MacDonald, Donald MacLeod, and Edward Burke, and by seven boatmen.
- 27-29 April 1746
Driven by storm to Rossinish in Benbecula, remained two days in a deserted hut: visited by Clanranald. Determined to make for Stornoway, they set sail on evening of 29th.
- 30 April 1746
Arrived at Scalpa in the early morning where the Prince was entertained by Donald Campbell in his farmhouse.
- 1 May 1746 - In Lewis and Harris
Donald MacLeod despatched to Stornoway to try to hire a vessel for the Orkneys. The Prince remained at Scalpa.
- 2-3 May 1746
The Prince at Scalpa.
On May 3rd two French ships (Le Mars and La Bellone) landed 40,000 Louis d'ors at Borradale in spite of the attacks of H.M.S. Greyhound and the sloops Baltimore and Terror, The treasure was conveyed to Loch Arkaig to the care of Murray of Broughton.
- 4 May 1746
Hearing that Donald had succeeded in hiring a brig, the Prince, attended by O'Sullivan, O'Neil and a guide, landed in Harris, and walked across country towards Stornoway.
- 5 May 1746
Arrived in the morning at Kildun House in Arnish (within two miles of Stornoway) and there entertained by Mrs Mackenzie. The inhabitants of Stornoway, on hearing who the visitor was, refused to let him enter the town or have the vessel, nor would they let him have a pilot for Seaforth's country (Ross-shire), where the Prince wanted to go.
- 6 May 1746
Left Arnish in the morning for Scalpa, but sighting some ships of war were obliged to put in to the uninhabited island Euirn, where they remained four days and nights in 'a low pityful hut,' over which they had to spread the boat-sail to keep out the rain.
- 7-9 May 1746
- 10 May 1746
Sailed for Scalpa, but found that Donald Campbell had left the island, being obliged to go into hiding for the hospitality he had shown the Prince a week before. Went south; pursued by a man-of-war (Captain Ferguson) but rowed to shallow water near Rodil Point and escaped. Went along the coast towards Benbecula, escaping another ship at Loch Maddy and spent the night at sea.
- 11 May 1746
Landed on an island in Lochwiskaway and put up at 'a poor grass keepers bothy or hut'.
- 12-13 May 1746
At Loch Uskavagh 'about three nights'.
- 14 May 1746
Walked to Coradale in South Uist. Macleod was sent to the mainland to endeavour to get some money for the Prince from Murray of Broughton, who was at Loch Arkaig, with Lochiel and others, and returned unsuccessful after eighteen days absence.
- 15 May - 5 June 1746
At Coradale in a forester's cottage. Here the Prince remained for twenty-two days in comparative comfort and safety; he was visited by his friends and enjoyed shootings at which he was very expert.
- 5 June 1746
Learning that troops had landed in the Long Island and were hemming him in, he was obliged to move.
- 6 June 1746
Sailed to Island Ouia.
- 7-9 June 1746
Remained at Ouia where they heard the troops were following them.
- 10-12 June 1746
The Prince and O'Neil went to Rossinish by land, and remained three days, until they learned that the boats of the militia were patrolling the place. Donald Macleod and O'Sullivan, hearing of this, came in a boat, brought them away and steered for Coradale.
- 13 June 1746
Forced by storm to put in at Uishness Point, they spent the night at Aikersideallach in the cleft of a rock.
- 14 June 1746
The enemy being within two miles of them they sailed to Ciliestiella.
- 15-20 June 1746
Sailed for Loch Boisdale in hopes of getting assistance from MacDonald of Boisdale, but found that he had been made prisoner. Seeing fifteen sail, and a number of the enemy being on land in the neighbourhood, they concealed themselves in a creek till night, when they entered Loch Boisdale and took shelter in an old tower 'in the mouth of the island', the Prince taking to the mountains until night. They skulked up and down the loch, sleeping in the open fields at night with only the boat sails for shelter and remained in the neighbourhood for some days, when Captain Carolina Scott landed within a mile of them.
- 21 June 1746
The Prince crossed the mountains and came to a hut, near Ormaclett, at midnight, where they met Flora MacDonald, and asked her assistance to convey the Prince to Skye, which she agreed to do. Flora left for Benbecula to make arrangements. The Prince and his companions went to a hill three miles from Coradale.
- 22 June 1746
MacEachain was sent to get Flora's answer, and the Prince spent the night at the same place, under a rock. This night both MacEachain and Flora were detained by the militia guard at the ford.
- 23 June 1746
MacEachain returning, guided the Prince at night to Wiay, crossing the loch in a country boat, as the fords were guarded.
- 24 June 1746
They rowed on in the early morning to Benbecula, forded an arm of the sea, finding temporary shelter in a hut, and late at night reached Rossinish, spending the night in the house of Clanranald's booman [principal tenant].
- 25 June 1746
O'Neil was sent on to meet Flora at Nunton. The Prince and MacEachain fled from the cottage to avoid the militia, and spent the day in the open air in pouring rain, sheltered by a rock. When the militia had gone, the Prince returned and spent the night in the booman's house.
- 26 June 1746 - In Skye
Awaited O'Neil and Flora in the same place.
Flora suggested that the Prince should take refuge with Baleshair in North Uist, instead of crossing to Skye, but Baleshair was obliged to decline for clan reasons.
- 27 June 1746
Joined by Lady Clanranald and her daughter, by Flora MacDonald, her brother Milton, and O'Neil.During supper, learning that General Campbell, Capt. Scott, and Capt. Ferguson were closing them in with a large force.
- 28 June 1746
The party took boat, crossed Loch Uskevagh. At 8.00am Lady Clanranald was summoned to Nunton to attend General Campbell.
The Prince here parted from O'Neil, who tried to re-join him in Skye, but finding him gone, he fled to North Uist, where he was taken prisoner.
In the evening the Prince dressed in female clothing as 'Betty Burke', was joined by Flora MacDonald, and sailed for Skye.
The party consisted of the Prince, Flora MacDonald, Neil MacEachain, and four boatmen.
- 29 June 1746
Arrived off the point of Waternish in Skye, but found the place occupied by troops, who fired on them; they rowed off and rested in concealment in a creek; then rowed on to Kilbride in Troternish where they landed near Mougstot House. Flora went to Lady Margaret MacDonald at Monkstat, who sent her factor, MacDonald of Kingsburgh, to the Prince with refreshment. The Prince walked with him to Kingsburgh House, where he spent the night.
- 30 June 1746
Late in the day started with a guide for Portree and changed his female clothes in a wood for a Highland dress. He walked to Portree with MacEachain and McQueen by byways, while Flora rode near him on the main road. Met by Donald Roy MacDonald, who had made arrangements for conveying him to Raasa. Spent two hours in a public-house at Portree.
- 1 July 1746
Started in the early morning, by boat, from Portree (traditionally from Sgeir Mhor), for Raasa Island, conducted by Murdoch MacLeod of Raasa and Malcolm MacLeod, and spent this and the following day at Glam, in Raasa. John MacLeod, younger of Raasa, was also in the boat.
- 2 July 1746
The Prince fearing that Raasa was too small an island for concealment, left Raasa in the evening in a boat, attended by John MacLeod, Murdoch MacLeod his brother, Malcolm MacLeod, and two boatmen, and returned to Skye, landing at night at Nicolson's Rock, near Scorobreck, and spent the night in a cow-byre.
- 3 July 1746 - From Skye to the Mainland
Remained in the byre until evening, when, parting from the brothers and the boatmen, the Prince walked all night, attended by Malcolm MacLeod, towards Strath, MacKinnon's country, the Prince passing as Lewie Caw, MacLeod's servant.
- 4 July 1746
Early morning arrived at Ellagol, at the house of John MacKinnon, MacLeod's brother-in-law, and were hospitably entertained. Here the Prince met the old Chief of MacKinnon, who took the management of the expedition into his own hands, and at night he and John MacKinnon and four boatmen embarked with the Prince in a boat for the mainland.
Malcolm MacLeod, who left the Prince here, was made prisoner a few days later.
- 5-7 July 1746
Arrived at Mallaig, on Loch Nevis, in the early morning of the 5th, where they landed, and lay three nights in the open air.
- 8 July 1746
The Chief having gone to seek a better refuge, the Prince and John MacKinnon rowed up Loch Nevis along the coast, when they were chased by some militia; but, outdistancing them, the Prince jumped ashore and climbed a hill, where he slept for three hours, then re-embarked and crossed to 'a little island about a mile from Scotus'. John MacKinnon landed, met old Clanranald, who refused to give assistance; returned to Mallaig, whence, accompanied by old MacKinnon and John, the Prince walked by night to Morar, MacDonald of Morar then living in a hut or bothy, as his house had been burned down.
- 9 July 1746
Morar gave hospitality, and went to seek young Clanranald, then in the neighbourhood; the Prince and party went to a cave and slept. Morar returned unsuccessfully, he said, from his search for young Clanranald. Morar declined to give any further assistance, and the party resolved to seek refuge with MacDonald of Borradale. In the evening they started, Morar sending his son as a guide.
- 10 July 1746
Arrived at Borradale in early morning. Found Angus MacDonald living in a bothy, as his house had been burned.
The old chief of MacKinnon and John MacKinnon here left the Prince. Both were taken prisoner the following day, the chief at Morar, and John, who escaped from Morar, when he arrived by night at Elgol.
- 11-12 July 1746 - In Arisaig
- 13 July 1746
Borradale sent his son John to summon his nephew, Alexander MacDonald of Glenaladale. The Prince hearing that MacKinnon had been captured, removed four miles to the eastward to MacLeod's Cove, 'upon a high precipice in the woods of Borradale'
- 14 July 1746
At MacLeod's Cove.
- 15 July 1746
Glenaladale joined the Prince.
- 16 July 1746
Heard from Angus MacEachine, Borradale's son-in-law, that the Prince's presence was suspected, and he offered a place of concealment he had prepared near Meoble, in the Braes of Morar. Ranald MacDonald, Borradale's son, sent to examine and report on the place.
- 17 July 1746
John MacDonald, Borradale's son, sent to reconnoitre, 'visibly saw the whole coast surrounded by ships-of-war and tenders, as also the country by other military forces.' So the Prince started for Mac-Eachine's refuge without waiting for Ranald's return, attended by Glenaladale, Borradale, and his son John. Walking to Corrybeincabir, the party met MacEachine and learned from him that young Clanranald was within a few miles of them, and that he had prepared a 'safe place' for the Prince. As it was too late to go to him this night, the party went on to Meoble and spent the night there, intending to join Clanranald next day. Hearing that General Campbell was in Loch Nevis with a large force, naval and military, they sent two men to reconnoitre, and Borradale returned to procure necessaries.
- 18 July 1746 - In Knoidart and Glenelg
Borradale brought news in the early morning that Clanranald's country was surrounded. In fact a line of camps and sentries had been established from the head of Loch Eil to the head of Loch Hourn, the enemy evidently having learned that the Prince had landed in Moidart. It was now impossible to join young Clanranald, so the party resolved to skirt the line of posts, break through them somewhere, and make for Poolewe or some port farther north. The Prince set out, accompanied by Glenaladale, his brother John, and John MacDonald, Borradale's son. At mid-day they reached Scoorvuy, whence they sent Glenaladale's brother to Glenfinnan for news, and arranged to meet at Scoorwick Corrichan. At two o'clock reached Fruighvein, where, finding some clansmen and learning that the troops were rigourously searching the country which they had surrounded, Donald Cameron of Glenpean was sent for to guide the party out of Moidart. Hearing that troops had reached the foot of the hill they were on, they could not wait till Glenpean came, but started at sunset and accidentally met him, about eleven o'clock, at Corrour, in the Braes of Morar, and walked with him all night.
- 19 July 1746
Arrived in the morning at top of Mamnyn Callum in the Brae of Loch Arkaig, which, having been searched the day before, they judged safe, and spent the day there. Here they were accidentally joined by Glenaladale's brother, whom they had not been able to meet at Corrichan, as arranged. They left at nine at night.
- 20 July 1746
Reached Corrinagaul at 1.00am, hoping to find clansmen, but finding none, went on to 'a fast place' at the head of Loch Quoich, a mile off. Young Glenaladale, sent to find provisions, returned at three o'clock to say that troops were marching up the other side of the hill. The party started at eight o'clock, climbed to top of Drimachosi, and observed the enemy's camps close to them.
- 21 July 1746
Passed between two of the guards in Glen Cosaidh in the early morning, thus breaking through the cordon that surrounded Moidart. This night the Prince narrowly escaped falling over a precipice. Reached Corriscorridill, at the head of Loch Hourn, where they spent the day in 'a bit hollow round covered with long heather and branches of young birch bushes'. Glenpean not knowing the country towards Poolewe, he and Glenaladale set out to look for a new guide, but, finding that they had all day been close to two camps of the enemy, they set out at night - 'the darkest night ever in my life I travelled' - without a guide, for Glenshiel, in Seaforth's country
- 22 July 1746
Arrived in Glenshiel in the early morning, 'and passed the whole day, which was exceeding hot, in the face of a mountain above a river that ran through Glenshiel. Here they received refreshment from Gilchrist MacGrath. Finding on inquiry that the only French ship that had been at Poolewe had gone away, the Prince abandoned his intention of going there meantime, and having met Donald MacDonald, a Glengarry man, able to guide them, they resolved to seek shelter for a while in Glenmoriston, and bade farewell to Donald Cameron of Glenpean. Shortly after starting, the dramatic incident occurred of losing the purse, by going back to recover which they avoided the certainty of meeting an armed party of the enemy.
- 23 July 1746 - The Cave in Glenmoriston
Arrived in early morning at a hillside above Strathclunie, and rested in 'a fast place' where they spent the day, covering the Prince with heather to keep off the midges. Proceeding in the afternoon, and hearing firing near them, they turned northward, climbing to the top of a high hill between Glenmoriston and Strathglass. Spent the night in an open cave, in which the Prince, wet to the skin, could neither lean nor sleep.
- 24 July 1746
Joined the 'famous' Glenmoriston men at Coiraghoth in the Braes of Glenmoriston, where the Prince was lodged in a cave, 'with the finest purling stream that could be running by his bedside within the grotto'; 'as comfortably lodged as if he had been in a royal palace'.
- 25-27 July 1746
- 28-31 July 1746
Moved on the 28th, two miles off, to Coirmheadhain or Coirskreoch and resided in 'a grotto no less romantic than the former,' for four days.
- 1 August 1746
Learning that Captain Campbell of the Militia was encamped within four miles of them, resolved to move northward, travelling by night.
- 2 August 1746
In early morning arrived in Chisholm's country, the Braes of Strathglass, lodging in 'a sheally hut'.
- 3 August 1746 - In Glencannich
Remained in the same place.
- 4 August 1746
In early morning set out northward to get nearer Poolewe, whence the Prince expected tidings or help, travelled five or six miles and spent the night in 'a sheally hut'. Hence the Prince despatched two of the party to Poolewe, 40 Highland miles off.
- 5 August 1746
In early morning started, still travelling north, arrived at midday at Glencanna, passed the rest of the day in a wood, and late at night got shelter in a neighbouring village.
- 6 August 1746
Leaving Glencannich at 2.00am, climbed the hill Peinachyrine (Beinn Acharain), the most northerly point the Prince reached in his wanderings. In the evening they repaired to 'a neighbouring sheally hut'.
- 7 August 1746
Remained at the same place, where his messenger returned and informed him that the only French ship that had been at Poolewe had gone off, having landed two French officers who were making their way for Lochiel's country in search of the Prince. He accordingly abandoned his idea of going to Poolewe and resolved to go south again, hoping to meet them and get their despatches.
- 8 August 1746
At night started off towards Strathglass. Crossed the Cannich water, and 'boldly by young Chisholm's house'.
- 9 August 1746
In early morning reached Fasnacoill, and remained three days 'in a very fast wood'.
- 10-11 August 1746
At Fasnacoill. Getting information that the troops who had been searching for the Prince had gone back to Fort Augustus, they resolved to go on.
- 12 August 1746
Set out in the morning and in four hours reached the Braes of Glenmoriston, passed the day on the top of a hill, and learning that a strong party was scouring the Braes of Glengarry they resolved to wait till the road was clear and spent the night in a 'neighbouring sheally hut'.
- 13 August 1746
Sent a messenger to see if Glengarry were clear of troops and two to Loch Arkaig to summon Cameron of Clunes.
- 14 August 1746
Learning from their messenger that the road was clear, the Prince and his party 'ten in number' starting in the afternoon passed through Glenmoriston and Glenlyne to Glengarry, forded the Garry with difficulty and spent the night about a mile from the stream on the 'side of a Hill, without any cover, though it rained excessively'.
- 15 August 1746 - In Locharkaig
Travelled six miles across the hills to the Brae of Achnasual. Passed the day in 'a most inconvenient habitation, it raining as heavily within as without it.' The messengers returned here from Clunes with instructions to go to a wood two miles off where he would meet them next day. They found it to be 'a very fast place.' (Here occurred the incident of shooting the stag when they were entirely destitute of food.) They were joined this night by MacDonald of Lochgarry, and [probably] by Cameron of Achnasual and Captain MacRaw of Glengarry's Regiment.
- 16 August 1746
At Loch Arkaig. Joined by Cameron of Clunes, who took them to a wood at the foot of Loch Arkaig.
- 17 August 1746
At Loch Arkaig. The Prince sent John MacPherson or McColvain to summon Lochiel.
- 18-19 August 1746
At Loch Arkaig.
- 20 August 1746
Dr. Cameron, Lochiel's brother, accompanied by the Rev. John Cameron, arrived with Lochiel's apology for not coming himself.
- 21 August 1746
On the 21st moved to the wood of Torvault a mile off, opposite Achnacarie. [Probably] this was the day that the Prince, disguised as Captain Drummond, received the two French officers who came with Dr. Cameron, read their despatches, but found nothing of importance. Dr. Cameron, Lochgarry, and Clunes left, and [probably] young Glenaladale and young Borradale returned to the west coast to look out for French ships.
- 22 August 1746
- 23 August 1746
[Probably] the French officers left. [Probably] this day the Prince was surprised by a party of Loudon's regiment under Grant of Knockando who discovered the hut in Torvault. The Prince retired to the top of the hill Mullantagart, in the Braes of Glen Kingie, where he remained all night.
- 24 August 1746
[Probably] the Prince slept in the forenoon on the mountain-top, in his wet clothes wrapped in his plaid, in spite of cold and hail. Spent the night in the strath of Glen Kingie.
- 25 August 1746
[Probably] at the same place.
- 26 August 1746
[Probably] returned to the Braes of Achnacarie, [probably] this day the Glenmoriston men, with the exception of Patrick Grants were dismissed.
- 27 August 1746 - In Badenoch
Lochgarry and Dr. Cameron arrived from Lochiel to conduct the Prince to Badenoch.
- 28 August 1746
Set out at night for Badenoch accompanied by Lochgarry, Dr. Cameron, and Rev. John Cameron. Before crossing the Lochy, the Prince bade farewell to Patrick Grant, the Glenmoriston man, giving him twenty-four guineas for his friends. On the journey to Badenoch, MacDonell of Tullochcrom met the Prince and presented him with some clothes and shoes.
- 29 August 1746
Reached Corrineuir at the foot of Benalder.
- 30 August 1746
Reached Mellaneuir 'a shieling of very narrow compass,' where he met Lochiel, whose companions were MacPherson of Breakachie, Cluny's brother-in-law; Allan Cameron, a cadet of Cullan, and two of Cluny's servants.
- 31 August 1746
- 1 September 1746
Cluny joined the party at Mellaneuir.
- 2 September 1746
Moved to Uiskchilra, two miles further into Benalder, to 'a little shiel...superlatively bad and smokey'.
- 3-4 September 1746
At Uiskchilra 'two or three nights'.
- 5 September 1746
Moved two miles further into the mountain to Cluny's 'Cage' in the face of 'a very rough high rocky mountain called Letternilichk which is still a part of Benalder'.
- 14 September 1746
Reached Corvoy by daylight and rested during the day, going on in the evening to Uisknifichit on the confines of Glenroy, where they slept, starting again before daylight.
- 15 September 1746
Got over Glenroy before dawn and kept themselves private all day.
- 16 September 1746
During the night crossed the Lochy and reached Achnacarie, where they spent the day and started again by night.
- 17 September 1746
Reached Glencamger in the head of Loch Arkaig, where they met Cluny and Dr. Cameron, who had gone on to prepare for them, and to obtain provisions from a private depot in Coilerig of Glenroy. Spent the night here.
- 18 September 1746
Travelled all day towards Borradale.
- 19 September 1746
Reached Borradale, where the Prince and a large number of his followers embarked on board a French ship.
- 20 September 1746
Weighed anchor shortly after midnight of the 19th and sailed to France.
The information on this page has been extracted from: Itinerary of Prince Charles Edward Stuart, From His Landing in Scotland July 1745 to His Departure in September 1746, Compiled from The Lyon in Mourning supplemented and corrected from other contemporary sources by Walter Biggar Blaikie. Edinburgh, 1897.