It was so dangerous to be a Jacobite (Jacobus being Latin for (King) James). It started when Catholic, Stuart, King James V11(England)/11(Scotland) was crowned in 1685. Fearing the country would become Catholic, in 1688, Protestants asked James daughter, Mary and her husband William of Orange, to do the job. James fled to France. Within 6 months, dissent started in Scotland. Government forces were sent to Scotland, to control the unruly Highlanders.
In all, there were five risings by Jacobites, to try to reinstate the Stuart line. The last was at Culloden in 1745, with terrible slaughter of the Jacobites there, as well as afterwards.
Great further detail here.
Early after it all started, in 1692, the MacDonalds had not been prompt in pledging allegiance to the new monarchs, William and Mary. It was decreed that all men and boys under the age of seventy were to be massacred in order to make an example of the Clan to other Highland Chiefs. One hundred and twenty Red Coat soldiers under Robert Campbell of Glenlyon were billeted to stay with the MacDonalds claiming the barracks in Fort William were full. They were treated to Highland hospitality by the Clansmen; ceilidhs were held, games of shinty were played and all was friendly. On the morning of the 13 February 1692 the soldiers were ordered to fall upon the rebels killing thirty-eight MacDonalds . Another forty women and children died of exposure after their homes were burned.
The massacre really served to increase the numbers of Jacobites. As well, there was an inquiry which did find against the organizers, but not Queen Mary and King William. There has been a long memory regarding the appallingness of this senseless atrocity. The participation of some Campbells is not forgotten. The following song was written relatively recently in 1963.
John McDermott – The Massacre of Glencoe
For the fifty years of Jacobite uprisings and the following fifty years of Government repression, as it was so dangerous to be a known Jacobite that there was a secret code of symbols by which to recognise each other.
- the rose and the rosebud representing the exiled King James and his heirs Charles and Henry
- the white cockade, a rose-like white ribbon, sometimes worn on a blue bonnet
- the butterfly, emerging from the chrysalis, representing the grand return of the Stuart’s from exile
- Oak leaf and acorn – The oak was an ancient Stuart badge and an emblem of the Stuart Restoration. The oak is a symbol of restoration and regeneration.
- the sunflower – a symbol of loyalty. The sunflower constantly follows the sun.
- bees – representing the return of the soul, namely The Pretender
- the medusa head, translates as protector
The 1745 rising was produced by the rashness and personal charm of the Young Pretender in the face of universal opposition of his supporters.
From Mum’s old text “The Complete Scotland”:
France could send no troops for the moment; the Highland chiefs were most reluctant to call out their men; the Lowland Jacobites were most unwilling to rise. The action was dramatic; victory at Prestonpans, occupation of Edinburgh, advance to Derby, retreat, success at Falkirk and ruin at Culloden. The Prince, after desperate adventures in the Highlands and Islands, at length escaped to France, and later to other adventures less reputable (d. at Rome 1788). Scotland remained to pay the penalty. The nobles lost their hereditary jurisdictions; the Highlands were ruthlessly policed; the wearing of the kilt was forbidden (until 1782). The hanging of James of the Glens (see R. L. Stevenson’s Catriona) is a commentary on the justice of the government.