On this day 1745: Bonnie Prince Charlie retreats from Derby

ON this day in 1745 Bonnie Prince Charlie and his Jacobite forces made their fateful from Derby, just two days after taking the town.

Bonnie Prince Charlie retreated from Derby believing they were about to be overrun by redcoats loyal to the Hanoverian government. Picture: TSPL

It was the farthest south the Jacobite campaign would ever manage, in what ultimately proved to be a doomed effort to reinstate a catholic Stuart monarch on the British throne.

The Derby retreat marked a significant milestone, a turning point in Jacobite fortunes. From here on in, a succession of defeats would culminate in the disastrous Battle of Culloden just four months later.

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Charles Edward Stuart, the Young Pretender, made the decision to flee the English city when the support he had envisaged from the local populace failed to materialise.

Reports of a large scale attack from British Government troops, which would later turn out to be false, persuaded the prince to make a bee-line back to Scotland with utmost haste.

Bonnie Prince Charlie’s erroneous belief that his forces were in imminent danger allowed the Hanoverian troops to rest and regroup and organise a full assault on Scotland.

Stuart sympathisers will forever ponder on what might have been if Bonnie Prince Charlie and his Jacobite men, who had occupied a city just 125 miles north of London, had held their resolve and marched on towards the English capital.