275th anniversary of Jacobite declaration that vowed to fight on after Culloden is marked

The 275th anniversary of the Jacobite declaration that vowed to fight on after Culloden has been marked with a tribute to a charasmatic solider and poet of the 1745 rising.

The Declaration of Muirlaggan was signed Muirlaggan, at the north end of Loch Arkaig (pictured) where gold was delivered to aid the Jacobite cause. PIC: Angela Mudge.

The Declaration of Muirlaggan was signed on May 8, 1746 by several key Jacobites including John Roy Stuart, who was made Colonel of the Edinburgh Regiment and became one of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s most trusted men.

It was signed after news of a delivery of gold to Loch Arkaig, which gave key Jacobite figures hope that the campaign could continue after the British victory at Culloden.

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To mark the anniversary of the signing of the declaration, a new version of John Roy’s Psalm, which was written by the soldier after he suffered a breakdown following the failed rising, has been released by the 1745 Association.

Michael Nevin association chairman, said: “The declaration was an attempt to rally the troops after Culloden, where the Jacobites had no money to pay their men. When news came through that the gold had got through to Loch Arkaig, quite a few believed they could carry on with the campaign.”

Those who attended the meeting where the declaration was formulated included Cameron of Lochiel, Macpherson of Cluny, Gordon of Glenbucket and Lord Lovat.

They and others committed themselves “to raise in arms for the interest of His Royal Highness Charles Prince of Wales, and in defence of our country, all the able bodied men that all or every one of us can command or raise within our respective interests or properties”.

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The Jacobites who fought on after Culloden

The declaration set out details of a “rendezvous on Thursday next at Auchnicarry in the Braes of Lochaber" with Colonel Stuart to inform “principal gentlemen of the North” of the meeting’s resolutions.

The meeting, however, never materialised with the clansmen failing to mobilise their support on the ground.

Mr Nevin is the author of Reminiscences of a Jacobite which assesses the mental state of the Jacobite Colonel post-Culloden which is laid out in five poems and songs he composed during this period.

Mr Nevin said, at the time of the Declaration, John Roy Stuart “was in denial – the first stage of grief” given the 1745 rising had failed.

He added: “After the failure of Muirlaggen, he seems to have had a breakdown as a result of stress and depression. John Roy’s Psalm is the first fragile sign of his recovery.”

Born at Knock of Kincardine in Strathspey in 1700, some claim Roy, a proficient swordsman and piper, was the true inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s Alan Breck character from the Kidnapped and Catriona novels.

He died in France around 1752, his cause of death and place of burial unknown.

The new rendition of the Psalm is performed American folk singer Charlie Zahm, who adopts the Colonel’s persona when he is on the run from the British Army during the summer of 1746 at a time when his capture would have almost certainly led to his death.

Mr Nevin described it as a “timeless song of grief, anxiety and regeneration”.

Mr Zahm is de to give a live concert telling the story of the ‘45 in music and song, which includes the John Roy Stuart Psalm, in Edinburgh at the end of July. For further details, email [email protected]

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