Jacobite rising of 1719
|The Jacobite Rising of 1719|
|Part of Jacobite risings|
James Butler, Duke of Ormonde, who planned the Rising
|Commanders and leaders|
George Keith, 10th Earl Marischal|
Marquess of Tullibardine
Earl of Seaforth
|General Joseph Wightman|
The Jacobite Rising of 1719 or the Nineteen was a Spanish-backed attempt to restore the exiled James Francis Edward Stuart to the throne of Great Britain.
The plan called for 7,000 Spanish troops to land in South West England, supported by a simultaneous invasion of Scotland by a Swedish expeditionary force. The Scottish rising was intended to capture Inverness and enable the Swedes to disembark.
Swedish involvement ended when Charles XII of Sweden died in November 1718, while the Spanish fleet was severely damaged by storms in late March 1719 and the invasion of England cancelled. Only the Scottish element took place and the Rising ended with defeat at the Battle of Glen Shiel in June.
Jacobite leaders felt the revolt actively damaged the Stuart cause and over the next few years, exiles including Bolingbroke, the Earl of Seaforth and Lord George Murray accepted pardons and returned home. Others like James Keith and George Keith took employment elsewhere; by 1737, James Stuart was reported to be "living tranquilly in Rome, having abandoned all hope of a restoration."
The 1713 Treaty of Utrecht forced Spain to cede Sicily and Sardinia to Austria and Savoy respectively and their recovery was a priority for Giulio Alberoni, the new Spanish Chief Minister. Since Austria or Savoy relied on the Royal Navy for naval support, regaining them required the British to either withhold this support or be prevented from doing so. Sardinia was reoccupied in 1717 unopposed but Sicily was viewed as a vital link in British trade with the Levant. When Spain landed on the island in 1718, British naval forces destroyed the Spanish fleet at the Battle of Cape Passaro in August and the War of the Quadruple Alliance began in December.
Louis XIV had been the main source of support for the Stuarts; after he died in 1715, the 1716 Anglo-French Treaty expelled them from France and permitted a smooth succession by George I. However, the 1715 Jacobite Rising showed they retained significant support and Alberoni sought to use this to divert British resources from the Mediterranean. The original plan was for 7,000 Spanish troops under the Duke of Ormonde to land in South-West England, march on London and restore James Stuart. Ormonde added a second part, based on his relationship with Charles XII of Sweden, developed through his involvement in peace talks between Sweden and Russia.
Charles's support for the Jacobites arose from his dispute with Hanover over territories in Germany, an example of the post-1714 problems caused by the personal union between Hanover and Britain. They agreed a small Scottish force would secure Inverness, allowing a Swedish expeditionary force to disembark; unfortunately, very few 18th century statesmen or soldiers appreciated the complexity of amphibious operations.
Charles XII's death in November 1718 ended Swedish participation and the purpose of the Scottish rising but Spanish preparations continued in Cadiz, while Ormonde and James waited in Corunna. Aware of these plans, a Royal Navy squadron waited outside Cadiz for the Spanish fleet to leave, while the British government reinforced proposed landing spots in England using French-supplied intelligence. Ormonde wrote a series of increasingly pessimistic letters to Alberoni telling him the plan was no longer viable.
Historians question how serious Alberoni was about the invasion. Unlike many contemporaries, he had direct experience of amphibious operations and Cape Passaro demonstrated the Royal Navy's power in far less favourable circumstances; the Spanish fleet was unlikely to even reach England, let alone disembark large numbers of troops. As the French demonstrated on numerous occasions, a threatened invasion was as useful in occupying the Royal Navy and far less risky, which would explain his lack of concern at the delays. The fleet left Cadiz for Corunna in late March carrying 5,000 soldiers but was severely damaged by a two day storm off Cape Finisterre on 29 March and the invasion cancelled.
The Scottish landing was commanded by George Keith and on 8 March, he left Pasajes with 300 Spanish marines aboard two frigates, reaching Stornoway in the Isle of Lewis. Here they were joined by a group of exiles from France, including the Earl of Seaforth, James Keith, the Marquess of Tullibardine, Lord George Murray and Cameron of Lochiel. Britain later complained to the French about allowing them free passage; one suggestion is they did so hoping to reduce expensive pensions granted by Louis XIV to Jacobite exiles.
Tullibardine wanted to hear from Ormonde, while Keith urged moving quickly to capture Inverness before the garrison was warned. His view prevailed and on 13 April, they landed at Lochalsh in Mackenzie territory and set up base in Eilean Donan where they learned of Ormonde's failure. Tullibardine produced a commission from 1717 appointing him leader of Jacobite land forces and recommended retreat, which Keith prevented by ordering the frigates back to Spain.
The Jacobite force totalled about 1,000 including 400 Mackenzies, 150 Camerons, the Spanish troops and other small groups, including one led by Rob Roy MacGregor. Since they had more arms and ammunition than men, the excess was stored at Eilean Donan guarded by 40 Spanish soldiers while the rest prepared to march on Inverness.
Capture of Eilean Donan Castle
After receiving news of the landing in Stornoway, five ships of the Royal Navy arrived in the area at the beginning of May. Since they were unaware the Spanish frigates had already left as instructed by Keith, this was a substantial force which included the 50-gun fourth-rates HMS Assistance, Worcester, Dartmouth and Enterprise plus a 24-gun sloop Flamborough.
While Assistance and Dartmouth patrolled the waters around Skye, Worcester, Enterprise and Flamborough anchored off Eilean Donan on the north side of Loch Duich early in the morning of Sunday 10 May.[a] In the evening, a landing party captured the castle under cover of an intense cannonade and the prisoners were taken by Flamborough to Edinburgh. Captain Boyle of Worcester recorded them as 'an Irish captain, a Spanish lieutenant, a Spanish sergeant, thirty-nine Spanish soldiers and a Scots rebel.'
Seeing this, the main Jacobite force-marched inland; their options were limited since they could not escape by sea while a government force under Joseph Wightman was advancing towards them from Inverness. After blowing up the castle, the ships remained in Loch Duich for the next two weeks, searching for rebels while raiding the nearby town of Stromeferry and the island of Raasay.
Battle of Glen Shiel
General Joseph Wightman left Inverness on 5 June for Glen Shiel with around 1,000 men and four Coehorn mortars. They reached Loch Cluanie on 9 June, less than 8 miles (13 km) from the Jacobite camp. Tullibardine had prepared a strong position near the Five Sisters hills, with the Spanish in the centre and the Highlanders on the flanks behind a series of trenches and barricades. Wightman's force arrived about 4:00 pm on 10 June and began the attack an hour later by firing their mortars at the Jacobite flanking positions. This caused few casualties but the Scots had not encountered mortars before, allowing Wightman's infantry to advance up the hill to their lines, then use grenades to bomb them out of their positions. The Spanish stood their ground but had to withdraw up the mountain as their flanks gave way.
The battle lasted until 9:00 pm; several accounts claim the heather caught fire and smoke combined with failing light enabled the bulk of the Scots to disappear into the night. The Spanish surrendered next morning and as regular troops were shipped home; Lord George Murray, Seaforth and Tullibardine were wounded but the Jacobite leaders also managed to escape. An analysis by historian Peter Simpson attributes Wightman's victory to skilful use of mortars, the superior firepower of his grenadiers and the aggression shown by his infantry, especially the Munro Independent Company. A brief description of the battle and the background appears in Scottish author Tobias Smollett's History of England.
Lord Carpenter, commander in Scotland, advised London pursuing the rebels was impractical and it was best to let them go, as the Rising had simply damaged the Jacobite cause. In a letter of 16 June 1719 to the Earl of Mar, Tullibardine provides a description of the battle and states 'it bid fair to ruin the King's Interest and faithful subjects in these parts.'
In October 1719, a British naval expedition under Lord Cobham landed 6,000 troops in the Spanish port of Vigo. They held it for ten days, destroyed vast quantities of stores and equipment, then re-embarked unopposed, with Santiago de Compostela paying £40,000 in return for being left alone. Arguably the most significant action of the 1719 Rising, it demonstrated that unlike Spain, Britain could land large numbers of troops anywhere along the Spanish coastline and leave when they wanted. Alberoni was dismissed and Spain renounced its Italian territories by the 1720 Treaty of the Hague, although they recovered Naples and Sicily during the War of the Polish Succession in 1734.
Carpenter's recommendation the rebels be allowed to return home proved sound advice but Seaforth's tenants continued paying rents to him even in exile. In 1721, the Mackenzies twice defeated attempts by the Commission of Forfeited Estates to collect them, at Glen Affric and Coille Bhan. This showed the Highlands could not be governed without the co-operation of the clan chiefs or heritors and only Seaforth's return from exile in 1726 restored government control in the Mackenzie territories.
Sales of property forfeited by Jacobites were either delayed by legal arguments or their proceeds reduced for often fictitious debts, making it easier to simply pardon them. Even senior exiles such as Bolingbroke accepted pardons; others took service elsewhere, like George and James Keith who both became Prussian generals. This was the background to the post-1745 abolition of the heritor system and the bitterness towards those like Lord George Murray pardoned for their roles in 1715 and 1719.
However, new laws actively discriminated against Non-Juring clergy ie those who refused to swear allegiance to the Hanoverian regime. In 1690, more than half of the clergy were Non-Jurors and in theory deprived of their livings but many were protected by the local gentry. In 1673, Michael Fraser was appointed minister at Daviot and Dunlichty and was still there when he died in 1726, despite being evicted in 1694 and joining the 1715 and 1719 Risings.
Previous attempts to reintegrate ministers like Michael Fraser by measures such as the 1712 Toleration Act had been resisted by the kirk's General Assembly. After 1719, toleration changed to persecution and many now conformed as a result; Non-Juring Episcopalianism became a mark of Jacobite commitment and often associated with powerful local leaders, since their congregations required political protection. A high percentage of both Lowlanders and Highlanders who participated in the 1745 Rebellion came from this element of Scottish society.
- The garrison later claimed the ships were flying Spanish colours, a standard naval ruse of the time.
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- Rodger, NAM (2006). The Command of the Ocean: A Naval History of Britain 1649-1815; Volume 2. Penguin. ISBN 9780141026909.
- Simms, Brendan (2007). Three Victories and a Defeat: The Rise and Fall of the First British Empire, 1714-1783 (2008 ed.). Penguin. ISBN 978-0140289848.
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- Szechi, Daniel (1994). The Jacobites: Britain and Europe, 1688-1788. Manchester University Press. ISBN 978-0719037740.
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- Wills, Rebecca (2001). The Jacobites and Russia, 1715-1750. Tuckwell Press Ltd. ISBN 978-1862321427.