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Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us,

God save the King.

O Lord our God, arise,
Scatter his enemies,

And make them fall !
Confound their politicks,
Frustrate their knavish tricks,
On him our hopes are fixed,

O save us all.

The celebrated verse of Dr. Byrom was probably a parody of it:

God bless the King, I mean the Faith's defender ;
God bless (no harm in blessing) the Pretender ;
But who Pretender is, or who is King,
God bless us all, that's quite another thing.

The news of Prince Charles's sailing from France, as already made
known to his adherents in Didisburye, was gradually confirmed with
fuller particulars. As he was nearing the shore of Scotland an eagle
hovered round the ship a happy omen to the Prince, who landed at
Moidart on July 25th, and set up his standard of red silk with a white
centre inscribed "Tandem Triumphans" at Glenfinnan, at the head of


Loch Shiel, on August ipth. Here a monument has since been erected,
with inscriptions in English, in Gaelic, and in Latin :













The standard was unfurled by the Marquis of Tullibardine in
the presence of Cameron of Lochiel with eight hundred of his clan,
Macdonald of Keppoch, Mc.Leod, and other lesser chieftains, Glengarry
joining soon after with three hundred of his clan. The Government
had arrested the Duke of Perth in his own house when at dinner, but
under pretence of changing his clothes he gave them the slip, and
galloped off on an old pony that was grazing near the castle with only a
halter on its head. He also joined the Prince, was his bosom friend,
and was made lieutenant-general. John Murray, of Broughton, acted as
secretary. Lord George Murray, brother to the Duke of Atholl, and
the ancestor of the present duke, was the most capable soldier in the
company. They marched for Edinburgh and arrived there on


September i/th; opposition seemed to vanish, and he was everywhere
received with enthusiasm. The Prince had hitherto marched on foot
with his army, but at Edinburgh he was advised to mount a horse to
enter the ancient capital city of his forefathers. Lord Mahon wrote
that as the Prince rode through Edinburgh streets in triumph his boots
were dimmed with the kisses and tears of the people. The Duke of
Perth was on the right hand of his charger, with Lord Elcho on the left
hand, as he rode into Holyrood, the palace of his ancestors. Here
he held levees, and won the hearts of all, the ladies especially, for he
was a handsome man, like most of his race, light-hearted, gay, and
romantic. But there was no time to dally, for General Cope was only
just outside Edinburgh, and the castle had not been surrendered. On
the ipth they came up with General Cope's army at Preston Pans,
protected by an almost impassable morass. They lay down all night
on the open ground, the Prince sleeping on pea-stalks, and attacked in
the early morning. Some one had shown a path over the morass, and
in a thick mist the Highlanders attacked with irresistible fury, and
almost annihilated the English army. Sir John Cope, attended by very
few of his men, fled to Dunbar to announce his own defeat. The ballad-
mongers soon made verses on him :

When Johnnie Cope to Dunbar came,
They speered at him " Where's a' your men ?"

" The deil confound me gin I ken
For I left them a' this morning."

Some of the Highlanders had never before seen horses in battle ; they
expected the horses themselves to fight, so they killed all they could.


One of them having caught a horse after the battle, exchanged it for a
pistol. There were many things in the booty they could not under-
stand; chocolate was called Johnny Cope's salve. A Highlander who
got a valuable watch soon sold it for a trifle, saying " he was glad to be
rid of her, for she lived no time after he caught her." She evidently
wanted winding up.

At the inn at Tranent, near the battlefield, the Prince dined with
the Duke of Perth and another officer, when the hostess cautiously hid
all her pewter and things she fancied valuable, leaving them only a
butcher's knife and two common spoons to feed themselves with. The
orderly books left in the camp of Cope's army gave instructions for the
sure way to demolish the Highlanders, that was to shoot them dead
when they were close to, reciting as follows : " if the fire is given at a
distance you probably will be broke, for you never get time to load a
second cartridge, and if you give way you may give yourselves for
dead, for they being without a firelock or any load, no man with his
arms, &c., can escape them, and they give no quarters, but if you will
but observe the above directions they are the most despicable enemy
that are." That is, they are despicable, if you wait until they are close
to you, and then shoot them dead.

The Prince and his army returned to Edinburgh ; here the ministers
of religion were in great perplexity as to which King they were to pray
for. The most prudent way, of course, was to name no names, but pray
for the King. One man, a Presbyterian, evidently wished to serve both
God and Mammon, or, as it might vulgarly be termed, "to hedge a bit."
He prayed for King George, and then said: "As to this young person


who has come among us seeking an earthly crown, do Thou in Thy
merciful favour give him a heavenly one." The Prince stayed in
Edinburgh till the end of October, the French King sent money and
arms, and McPherson, of Cluny, with other chiefs joined him. Then
they marched southwards for England, on what would have been called
in olden times the raid of Derby. On November igth they reached
Carlisle; here, at Rose Castle, Mr. Dacre's wife was being confined as the
advanced guard of the Highlanders under Captain Macdonald arrived.
An old servant said to the Captain that any tumult would probably
cause the deaths of both mother and daughter, for they were in a critical
state, and they were just going to christen the child. Macdonald took
off his white cockade and bade them christen her with that in her cap,
saying it would protect her if any of their stragglers came. This was
done, and Rosemary Dacre, afterwards Lady Clerk, religiously treasured
the white cockade through a long life.

No sooner had the army entered England than religious differences
began to show themselves. The Duke of Perth was a Catholic, and
the Protestants thought they were slighted, and demanded that Lord
George Murray, the real fighting head of the army, should have more
power. The Prince was courteous to all, though he was a strong
believer in the divine right and absolute power of kings. Affairs were
amicably arranged and the march southwards resumed. At Penrith
they halted to fight General Wade, who was then an old man, slow and
irresolute. He retreated on account of a heavy snowstorm, and the
punsters said he could not wade through the snow. They reached
Preston on the 26th. Lord Murray marched part of the army through


Preston without halting, as the superstitions of the Highlanders made
them look upon it as an unlucky place, and a bar to their further

About three o'clock on Thursday afternoon, the 28th November,
Manchester was taken by a sergeant of the Prince's army with his girl
and his drummer. Sergeant Dickson, an officer's servant, had had leave
to go on in advance ; he caused some commotion in the town, but he
kept anyone off with his blunderbuss, and got to the Bull's Head
unmolested, and began to enlist recruits. Next day the main army
arrived, marching into the square just as the first rector of St. Ann's,
the Rev. Joseph Hoole, was being buried. Some of the officers waited
quietly and bareheaded by the grave side until the ceremony was ended.
The Prince arrived about two o'clock ; he was dressed in light Scotch
plaid, with blue sash and silver lace, a gray wig, blue bonnet with J. R.
and a white rose on it. He was taken to Mr. Dickenson's house in
Market Stead Lane, since known as The Palace. The Duke of Atholl
went to Mr. Marsden's ; the Duke of Perth to Mr. Gartside's ; the
chief officers going to the Bull's Head and the Spread Eagle inns.
The head quarters were at the former inn, and here enlisting was going
on rapidly with one of the Deacons as secretary, and the Manchester
Regiment was being formed. It was under the command of Colonel
Townley, a member of a good old Tory and Catholic family in
Lancashire, the other officers being Captains Blood, Gad, Sanderson,
Dawson, Moss, and Fletcher ; Lieutenants, three sons of Dr. Deacon,
Beswick, Furnival, Chadwick, Holker, Taylor, Hunter, Betts, Weilding,
and Maddox ; Adjutant Syddall ; and Chaplain Coppock, who


paraded the streets in canonicals, with a drummer, preaching the
holy cause.

Colonel Townley was rather addicted to strong language, and the
celebrated Dr. Byrom, who was then living in Hanging Ditch, and
probably the head of the Jacobite party in Manchester, addressed to him
the following lines :

Soldier, so tender of thy Prince's fame,

Why so profuse of a superior name ?
For the King's sake the brunt of battles bear,

But for the King of kings' sake Do not swear.

Dr. Deacon, the minister of the true British Catholic Church and
the head of the Non-jurors, was also a staunch Jacobite. He lived in
Fennel Street, and gave his three sons to the cause. Many of the leading
merchants were also favourable to the Prince. The Rev. Mr. Clayton,
the chaplain, fell on his knees in the street and asked for the Prince's
blessing. Sir Oswald Mosley, of Ancoats, had entertained the Prince
the year before and was believed to be secretly supporting him, though
as an old man he did nothing openly and was away from Manchester
at the time. Mr. Waller, the boroughreeve, or chief magistrate, sat
behind a silken curtain stretched across the room of audience, for he was
not going to compromise himself any more than he could help. The
militia were disbanded and sent home just before the Highlanders
arrived. "Well contrived," Miss Byrom wrote in her journal. The
constables found themselves under new masters, and were rather
perplexed, as the following extracts from a constable's diary will
show :


" November 29th, about four o'clock, James III. proclaimed King at
the Cross. An officer said to the Constable giving out Billetts, ' God
dame you, sir, none of your Billetts shall pass ; we will quarter ourselves.'
When I came to the Bull's Head, the Colonel said, ' Dam you, sir, we
have been waiting for you ; send for the Churchwardens or go yourself,
&c.' We were sent for to an officer that commanded the Trane
(Artillery train) to the Spread Eagle in the Hanging Ditch, where we
went. We had orders to press one hundred and eighty horses with
carriages for the Trane. The officer sent the landlord for the High
Constable or his Debuty; would not let me go. Threatened to fire his
house and put him under military execution, for all his orders must be
obeyed. Sunday, December 1st, sent for to the Bull's Head. The
Major demanded a horse and man to take him over Barlow ford. I told
him I would send the Debuty. 'God dame you, sir, sit down; you shall
not go until the horse and man is in the yard.' The Major said he
must be one that did know that ford and Chedel ford. An officer
said 'Dam it, what's that to us ; he shall go over first.'" The head
constables of Manchester at that time evidently had not the same self-
importance and self-assertiveness they have acquired "since they are
chosen more for good looks than for sense, or their self-importance and
courage had soon evaporated. The majority of the people seem to have
been in a state of indecision as to the respective kings, and merely
wished to be left alone. It is recorded there was only one post-chaise
kept in Manchester then, and London newspapers came three times
a week, therefore authentic news filtered through the people very


On the 3Oth November, St. Andrew's Day, the Scottish chiefs appear
to have had service of their own at the old church. After the service
there was a partial review, each officer having a plaid waistcoat and
white cockade, with sword and pistols. The newly-formed Man-
chester Regiment was reviewed in the most suggestive spot that
could be found, the old churchyard. The flag was inscribed on
one side with the words Liberty and Property, on the other side
Church and King.

The magic letters P.C. appeared everywhere, for anyone could use
them, as they stood for Pin Cushion, Prince Charles, Protestant Church,
etc. Here are some extracts from the journal of Beppy, Dr. Byrom's
daughter Elizabeth: "An officer came to us at Cross (Hyde's Cross)
and gave us the manifesto. Every house was illuminated. I dressed
me up in my white (Jacobite colour) gown; went to Mr. Fletcher's; saw
the P. get on horseback ; a noble sight it was, I would not have missed
it for a deal ; his horse had stood an hour in the court without stirring,
and as soon as he gat on he began a dancing and capering as if he was
proud of his burden, and when he rid out of the court he was received
with as much joy and shouting almost as if he had been king without
dispute. . . . Prayed for the King and Prince of Wales, but named
no names. . . . Went to Mr. Fletcher's ; stayed there till the P. was
at supper, then the officer introduced us ; stayed awhile and went into
the great parlour where the officers dining, were nearly fuddled with
drinking the P.'s health ; kissed his hand ; then to Mr. Fletcher's, and
went home." She also relates how a Highlander went to visit a relative
(probably some friend of the elder Syddall) at Slate Hall, Levenshulme;


it was a risky journey for the man by himself; he kept his drawn sword
in his hand.

The same night Mr. Gartside, who owned the Spread Eagle, in the
Ditch, and at whose private house the Duke of Perth was lodging, gave
a supper, or dinner as it now would be called, to a many of the officers
of the Prince's army. The head quarters of the artillery and cavalry
were at this inn, where many of the officers were staying, and this
supper, with its attendant revelry, would probably be the most remark-
able gathering in the inn's long history.

Night sank at last over Manchester a long, anxious, sleepless
night to many; a more anxious night was probably never passed in
Manchester, not even in the wars of the Parliamentarians and Royalists.
It must be remembered that an army was quartered in the town, an
army of six or seven thousand men, composed of widely different races
and creeds, some of whom were simply savages from the mountains, only
partially clothed, speaking a foreign language, and owning no law but
the will of their chiefs. They were utter strangers even to the civilisation
of those days; it was said they were cannibals, and the usual false and
malicious reports circulated about others were circulated about them,
readily receiving credence, because the men talked "gibberish," and
generally had neither caps nor trousers, nor boots, nor money.

Cameron, of Lochiel, was surprised by a woman falling on her knees
to him and clasping his legs as he entered her house, begging of him
to spare her children. She had been told the children would be
killed and eaten, so she had hidden them in the cupboard, and then took
the double precaution of begging for mercy as the Highland chief


entered the house. The hatred and horror the extreme fanatics on either
side had for one another was very great, and no rumour was too horrible
for belief with them. The High Church and the Low Church, the Tory
and the Whig, were much further apart than they are now. Any
accidental quarrel might have kindled a terrible conflagration. The
Church and King men, of course, took the side of the Prince, for any
believer in the divine right of kings must acknowledge the Stewarts to
have been the rightful kings, and, therefore, the Georges (aided by the
Whigs) were usurpers. The Church had an elastic meaning. It might
mean the Church of Rome, the Catholic Church, or the Church of
England. (It being a weak point if the head of the Church of England,
i.e., the King, could obtain his position by force or fraud.) Generally
the Church and King men were Roman Catholics, or what are even now
called High Churchmen, and the success of the Stewarts or Jacobites
was considered to be the success and return to power of the High
Church party, if not of the Roman Catholics.

This was the weak point of the cause, for thousands who would
admit James III. to be the rightful King of England, dreaded the
return to power of the priests. Experience has proved that government
by or through priests is the worst form of government known, excepting
perhaps the government by young women, and the practical sense of the
English seemed to consider the foreign king as a lesser evil than the
influence of the priests and women.

Providentially all passed off quietly; the wild Highlanders were
infinitely better behaved than they were reputed to be, though some of
the virtues most in esteem with them would have been called vices by



the more civilised part of the community, for they would have dirked a
man with no more thought or remorse than they would have dirked a
calf, if their chief had bidden them do so. A Highlander, who was
insulted or wronged, would have stood on little ceremony with his
opponent, who would probably have soon felt under his fifth rib the
swift thrust of the skene dhu.



They sell the pasture now to buy the horse. Henry V.

UNDAY, ist December, 1745. The most memorable
day in the annals of Didisburye since the sad
time, one hundred and forty years before, when,
sweltering under an autumnal sun, the pestilence
was stalking through the land, and the villagers
were being heaped together in one common grave.
The parish registers of September, 1605, give the burials
at Diddesburye, " ex pestilentia." About a dozen of the
clan of the Blomeleys, a still born infante, whose mother
was infected, and some others were buried within a few
days. The quaint writing and the fast fading ink on the well-worn
sheepskin are now almost illegible. Ex pestilentia, eodem die, eodem
morbe, eodem sepulchre [From the pestilence, the same day, the same
disease, the same grave], is the short and simple record of a sad and
long-buried past.

Long before the dawn broke on the short winter's day of December


1st, the tramp of armed men was heard as they marched through
Didisburye down the High Street and the Miln gate. Over the village
green towards the old mill, and through the marshes, their guides took
them to the ford of the Mersey, by Gatley. The unwonted sounds
disturbed both man and bird, and beast. The sentinel of the wild geese
feeding in the marshes gave the warning kank, the note of alarm, and
instantly every long neck was stretched for flight as the gaggle of geese
on strong pinions flew towards the sea. The fox whisked his brush as
he slunk rapidly and silently away. The timid hares fled across the
bogs in all directions, sitting upright with cocked ears meditating on the
unusual noise, and frightening one another. The heron slowly flapped
his huge wings as he sought a quieter fishing ground ; and the loud
quack, quack, quack of the startled wild duck gave the alarm to others
as on quickly whirring pinions she fled to the river or the distant
marshes. The otter silently sank under the water, with only eyes and
nostrils exposed, observing all that passed, and diving below without a
ripple when he deemed the danger too near. Fifty-five men were
guided down to and through the Gatley ford ; the water came breast
high, the current was strong, and the bottom was stoney. The
passage of the river, and the roads to it across the marshes, and up
the Watery lane on the Cheshire side, were passable for men with
poles or for horses, but hazardous for vehicles, especially for cannon.
The men turned to the left, up stream; they may have tried
the old boat place at Broad Oak; they went to Cheadle, and
returned by the Cheadle boat. Meanwhile two hundred men had
gone through Stretford to repair the bridge over the old Roman street


ford; others were trying Barlow ford, and others reconnoitring Stock-
ford (or Stockport as it is now spelt). At the last-named town the
bridges were broken down, for the regiment of Liverpool blues had
lately been holding the town for King George. Under the circum-
stances the Prince's army undoubtedly took the best course, and that
was to build a bridge over the Mersey between Didisburye and Cheadle,
where they were more secure from attack during the passage of the
river than they were in the town of Stockport, and where they were
also on the best road for London. Altringham and Northwich are out
of the direct route, and the way from Stockport to Buxton or Maccles-
field is over a hilly country that might have become impassable any
day, as the time was winter, and there were then no roads in the
modern meaning of the term. The route from Manchester I think
would be by London Road towards Longsight, turning to the right at
Rushford, with Rushhulme on the right hand (there was no Oxford
Road then), and along Slade Lane and Burnage Lane to Boulton Wood
and Didisburye. This also would certainly be the best route in every
sense: it was past Slate Hall, the Syddalls' place, and by parts of
Heaton and Heaton Wood (then owned by the ffletchers), and a district
where the friends of the Prince were known to be influential. Some
little evidence showing this to have been the route is also produced by
the well-known entry in the church registers, December roth, 1745 : "A
poor man buried at Dids ; found dead at Heaton w n y e rebels past."
Burnage Lane being the boundary of Heaton for about two miles,
anyone found dead in the lane or to the left of the line of march would
have been found in Heaton.


The Prince's army having reached Didisburye, again did the best
thing they could do in building a bridge over the narrow part of the
river at Cheadle boat. Until then, there had been no bridge over the
Mersey between Stockport and Stretford, and there was none on any
other site for over a hundred years, although this, the Highlanders'
bridge,'was rebuilt four times. The first bridge fell in 1756 ; the second,
a wooden one, was washed away about the end of the last century ; the
third, a stone one, was taken down in 1860 ; and the fourth is still stand-
ing. The site for this bridge and for the old ferry boat was probably
chosen as the extent of low-lying land on both sides of it is less than at
any other place. The dangers and difficulties of getting cannon and
baggage waggons down the swampy lane to Gatley ford and up the
Watery lane would be almost as great as and of longer continuance than
the crossing of the ford itself, and the depth of water in the Mersey
fluctuates so rapidly that a sudden storm might have made the river
totally impassable, or even have swept away anything that was crossing
as the spate came down.

Orders were finally given for the bridge to be built, and the work
was rapidly done. The farmers' men with their horses and carts were
requisitioned from all round the country, and they were compelled to
work in a manner very different to their usual slow and plodding toil.
The tall poplar trees that grew so large and so thickly in the swampy
ground were felled or dragged across the river, and on them were laid
other trees with boughs and planks across, the interstices being filled
with sods and clay, &c. A strong serviceable bridge would soon be
made when the big poplars were got into position on the opposite banks.


Various are the traditions concerning the building of this bridge

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