Bonnie Prince Charlie Turns Back at Derby

BOOK DERBYSHIRE HOTELS

History on 8th December


Opening of the Clifton Suspension Bridge

RAC Established

First Recorded UFO in Britain

Bonnie Prince Charlie Turns Back at Derby

Derby, Derbyshire The 8th of December 1745 AD

One of the delights of studying history is considering the what-if moments. There can be few such moments of greater significance than the decision of Bonnie Prince Charlie , the Young Pretender Charles Edward Stewart, to halt his army’s push towards London at Derby and retreat ignominiously to Scotland.
The 1745 rebellion was no lightning strike. Bonnie Prince Charlie had landed with just seven companions at Eriskay in July that year; raised his flag at Glenfinnan in August; taken Edinburgh in September and defeated a government army at Prestonpans the same month; and then marched south, taking Carlisle on the way.
Though some Jacobite sympathisers joined as the 6500-strong force moved seemingly inexorably towards London, its numbers did not swell as the leaders hoped. At Derby they halted, the Prince taking up temporary residence at Exeter House in the city. Elements of his army reached Swarkestone Bridge between Melbourne and Derby before cautious counsellors persuaded the Prince to return to Scotland and regroup. Some claim the bridge is haunted by Jacobite ghosts still.
Had the rebels but known it London, with much of the British army engaged on the continent, was in a panic over the imminent arrival of the Highland horde; George II is said to have loaded a barge on the Thames with his valuables ready for flight.
Bonnie Prince Charlie later proved himself a laughable leader, but on this occasion he argued against caution. Had he shown the courage of his convictions, British history might have been very different; as it was the victory of the House of Hanover was cemented with the slaughter at Culloden in April the following year.

More famous dates here

7545 views since 19th November 2010

Brit Quote:
I love everything that's old, - old friends, old times, old manners, old books, old wine - Oliver Goldsmith
More Quotes

On this day:
The Ark Royal commissioned - 1914, 1st episode of Coronation St screened - 1960, Iraq Frees 100 UK Hostages - 1990
More dates from British history

click here to view all the British counties

County Pages