Bonnie Prince Charlie’s prayer book on show in Highlands

Prince Charles Edward Stuart gifted the prayer book to a 16-year-old Jacobite solider, according to accounts. PIC: Contributed.
Prince Charles Edward Stuart gifted the prayer book to a 16-year-old Jacobite solider, according to accounts. PIC: Contributed.
0
Have your say

A prayer book said to have been taken by Bonnie Prince Charlie to the Battle of Culloden has been gifted to a Highland museum.

The “Manual of a Christian” has been donated to the West Highland Museum in Fort William by the descendants of Captain James MacDonnell of Glengarry, who was just 16 when he fought alongside the Jacobites during the 1745 rising.

The prayer book pictured top left at West Highland Museum in  Fort William. PIC: Contributed.

The prayer book pictured top left at West Highland Museum in Fort William. PIC: Contributed.

The prayer book was apparently gifted to the young soldier by the Prince on the battlefield.

READ MORE: How Bonnie Prince Charlie’s travelling canteen shaped Scotland’s history

Dr Chris Robinson, trustee of the museum, said: “The prayer book is a very generous donation and it has been given to us on the condition that we will not sell it.

“We have a strong Jacobite collection at the museum and this is a really important addition.”

The book is currently displayed next to the Faery Pipes of Moidart, which were played at Bannockburn and are said to be one of the oldest set of bagpipes in existence.

READ MORE: 7 Jacobite relics still found in the Highlands

An inscription on the fly leaf states: “This Book was presented by Prince Charles Stuart to Capt. James MacDonell of Glengarry.

“It was transferred by him to his Sister Lady Glenbuckett, and afterwards became the property of her Son, James Charles Gordon”.

The inscription was added in the early 19th century when the book was rebound by James Gordon, whose own whose own father, grandfather and great grandfather all fought at Culloden.

The Very Revd. Canon Donald Carmichael inherited the book in the 19th century.

In May 1888 he wrote a memorandum based on a discussion with his sister Jessie MacDonald. According to their testimony, the Prince gifted the prayer book to the young Jacobite solider.

Bonnie Prince Charlie is known to have left several gifts behind for his supporters in Scotland before he fled back to France following the defeat at Culloden.

William Home, from Duns in Berwickshire, who was 14-years-old at the time of Culloden, received a quaich, a medallion and a miniature of the Prince in recognition of his service during the rising.

He was captured following Culloden and sentenced to the death penalty but won a reprieve from execution.

Both armies at Culloden had boys aged 13 and upwards enlisted.