I’ve always wondered whether my Scottish ancestors were Jacobites and on the side of Charles Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) during the 1745 uprising. By no means all Scots were. My Strachan ancestors were lowlanders so were unlikely to have supported the Jacobite cause. My Aberdeenshire ancestors, however, lived close to Peterhead, where Charles Stuart’s ship landed in 1745 after sailing from France – but they were also Protestants, and one of the reasons for not supporting the Jacobites was the fear they’d turn Britain into a Roman Catholic country again.
However, many people possibly weren’t too bothered about politics and simply did their best to get on with their day to day life. Ian Macdonald’s lovely book about the Alexanders from Bourtie gives this wonderful insight. In the section about William Alexander, born 1714 and my gggggg grandfather, Ian writes:
‘He (William) gets a mention in a book by Dr William Alexander, which says that in 1745, during the second Jacobite uprising, there was a skirmish called the battle of Inverurie, during which “the tenant of Westerhouses, having in pursuit of his lawful business, got sufficiently near the scene of conflict to hear the balls fired off whizzing past in uncomfortable proximity to him, deemed it wise to make his way across the burgh muir homeward without needless delay”. Otherwise the Kirk Session simply complained about the inconvenience of the unsettled conditions.’
So life went on as best it could for many Scots!