| Our Island Story|
|by H. E. Marshall|
|A child's history of England from earliest legendary times delightfully retold. Beginning with the stories of Albion and Brutus, it relates all the interesting legends and hero tales in which the history of England abounds through the end of the reign of Queen Victoria. Ages 9-12 |
GEORGE II.—THE STORY OF BONNIE PRINCE CHARLIE
 GEORGE I. died in 1727 A.D., and was succeeded by his son,
George II. Like his father he was very German, but he could
speak a little English. He had a very clever wife called
Queen Caroline, and she helped him to rule. He had also a
very clever Prime Minister called Walpole.
Walpole had begun to be powerful under George I., and
although George II. did not like him, he still remained in
power. He was the first "peace minister" Britain ever had.
Instead of urging the King and people to fight, he tried in
every way he could to keep the peace.
He saw that the best thing for the country was to be at
peace. He saw that it was best for the people to have time
to sow and reap, to build ships, to make goods, and to trade
with other countries, and that they could neither have time
nor money to do this if they were always fighting. So he
would not fight, and Britain grew prosperous.
But the people did not all think as Walpole did. A quarrel
with Spain arose and, try how he might, Walpole could not
keep the peace, and war was declared. Strange to say, the
people rejoiced at the news. They decorated their houses,
lit bonfires, and rang bells as if some great good fortune
had befallen the country.
"They may ring their bells now," said Walpole
sadly, "but they will soon
 be wringing their
hands." The peace which had lasted twenty years was broken,
and Walpole was quite right when he said that the people
would soon be wringing their hands, for the war with Spain
was a miserable failure and brought much trouble and sorrow
This war was followed by another called the War of the
Austrian Succession. The Emperor of Austria died leaving his
kingdom to his daughter, Maria Theresa. But some of the
kings of Europe thought that they would take her lands from
her and make their own kingdoms greater. To prevent this the
British fought for Maria Theresa against France and Spain,
and George II. and his soldiers defeated the French in a
battle called Dettingen. This is the last battle in which a
British King led his soldiers himself. People began to see
that kings could serve their countries in better ways than
While this war was going on the Jacobites tried again to set
James Stuart upon the throne. This time it was not James but
his son Charles who landed in Scotland. He came with only
seven followers, and at first the people were afraid and
unwilling to follow him.
But Charles was very different from his father. He was
gallant and brave, and handsome. He talked and smiled and
won his way to the brave Highland hearts till he was at the
head of fifteen hundred men, all willing and ready to die
for their King and Prince.
"Go home," said one old chieftain to him, when he first
landed, "there is no safety for you here."
"I have come home," replied Prince Charlie.
"Charles Stuart," he said to another chief, called Cameron
of Lochiel, "has come to claim his own and win the crown of
his ancestors, or die in the attempt. Lochiel, if he
chooses, may stay at home and learn the fate of his Prince
from the newspapers."
 "No," replied Lochiel, "no, I will share the fate of my
Prince, and so shall every man over whom I have power."
So in a dark Highland glen the standard of the Prince was
raised. It was red silk, and on it were the proud words,
Tandem Triumphans, which means "Triumphant at last." And as
the red silk folds fluttered out on the mountain breeze it
was greeted by the sounds of bagpipes and the shouts of the
"Then raise the banner, raise it high,
For Charles we'll conquer or we'll die:
The clans a' leal and true men be,
And show me who will daunton thee.
Our good King James will soon come hame,
And traitors a' be put to shame;
Auld Scotland shall again be free;
There's nane on earth can daunton thee."
After the raising of his standard Charles marched south till
he reached Edinburgh, his army growing as he went. Lochiel
and his followers marched into Edinburgh, and there, at the
Market Cross, amid the cheering of some of the people and
the sullen silence of others, James VIII. was once more
proclaimed King of Scotland. A beautiful lady on horseback,
with a drawn sword in her hand, gave the white cockade to
those who crushed round her, impatient to enter the service
of the Prince.
Later in the day, Charles himself rode into the town and the
people crowded to meet him, cheering and weeping, eager to
kiss his hand or touch his clothes, covering even his boots
with tears and kisses.
The castle of Edinburgh was held by the soldiers of King
George, and as the Prince reached Holyrood, the old palace
of the Stuarts, a cannon from the castle
 thundered out, and
a shot struck the wall of the palace not far from where
Charles stood. But he was neither startled nor afraid and,
turning, walked quietly into the palace.
That night the Prince gave a ball. The old palace, which had
stood so long empty and silent, was gay with lights and
flowers. The sounds of laughter and music were heard there,
perhaps for the first time since the days of the beautiful
Mary, Queen of Scots.
Lovely ladies and brave men crowded to see and do honour to
their Bonnie Prince Charlie, and they went away happy if
they had touched his hand or heard his voice.
But there were other things to do besides dancing. The army
of King George, under Sir John Cope, had landed at Dunbar
and was marching to Edinburgh. Charles decided to march out
to meet him.
Early on the morning of the 20th September, the Highlanders
rose and made ready for battle. Prince Charlie placed
himself at their head and, drawing his sword, cried,
"Gentlemen, I have thrown away the scabbard." By that he
meant that there was no turning back, and that his sword
would never again be sheathed until he conquered or died,
and the men, hearing the words, shouted and cheered as they
Next day a battle was fought at Prestonpans, near Edinburgh.
Prince Charlie and his men were up so early that they were
ready to attack before Sir John Cope and his soldiers were
prepared. The Highlanders gave them no time to prepare, but
charged so fiercely and quickly that in about five minutes
the battle was over. The soldiers of King George ran away
and Charles won a complete victory. Sir John ran away too,
and was the first to bring the news of his own defeat to
"Cope sent a challenge frae Dunbar,
'Charlie, meet me an ye daur,
And I'll learn ye the art of war,
If ye'll meet me in the morning.''
"Hey! Johnnie Cope, are ye waking yet?
And are your drums a-beating yet?
Oh, haste ye up, for the drums do beat,
Oh fye, Cope, rise up in the morning.
"When Charlie looked the letter upon,
He drew his sword the scabbard from,
'Come , follow me, my merry merry men,
And we'll meet Johnnie Cope in the morning.''
"When Johnnie Cope to Berwick came
They speired at him, 'Where's a' your men?'
'In faith," say he, 'I dinna ken,
I left them a' this morning.'
"Now Johnnie, troth ye were na blate,
To come wi' the news o' your ain defeat,
And leave your men in sic a strait
So early in the morning."
A few hours after the battle the Highlanders were back in
Edinburgh marching up and down the streets playing, "The
King shall enjoy his own again," on the bagpipes. All the
Jacobites rejoiced and thought that they had really
triumphed at last.
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