Friday, June 10, 2011

Pretender Born

'The Pretender is no more remembered in the Highlands, than if the poor gentleman were gathered to his hundred and eight fathers, whose portraits adorn the ancient walls of Holyrood; the broadswords have passed into other hands; the targets ore used to cover the butter churns; and the race has sunk, or is fast sinking, from ruffling bullies into tame cheaters. Indeed, it was partly my conviction that there is little to be seen in the north, which, arriving at your father's conclusion, though from different premises, inclined my course in this direction, where perhaps I shall see as little....'

The Old Pretender, James Francis Edward Stuart was born on June 10, 1688.  Twenty years later, the Pretender attempted to land from the Firth of Forth (March 23, 1708), but was thwarted by Admiral Byng.  It took until 1715 for Stuart to reach Scottish soil, in his second unsuccessful attempt to reclaim the throne.  The text above is form Walter Scott's "Red Gauntlet".

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