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in Violation of the Laws of Nations, after a Written Capitulation to the
contrary, and after the Garrison upon the Faith of that Capitulation
had surrendered the Place, and faithfully performed all the conditions
required of them.

" I pray God to forgive and turn the Hearts of the Bishops and
the Clergy, who, prostituting the Duty of their Holy Profession, have
departed from their Function as Messengers of Peace, and scandalously
employed themselves in their Pulpits to abuse the best Prince, ingaged
in the most Righteous Cause in the World. The credulous deluded


mob, who have been thus set on by their Teachers, I also pray
God to forgive, for the barbarous insults I received from them when in
Chains ; Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do !

"As I have before given Thanks to Almighty God, for the Example
of my Honest Father ; so I beseech Him, that the same Christian
Suffering Spirit may ever be in all my dear Children ; praying that they
may have the Grace to tread the same dangerous Steps which have led
me to this Place; and may also have the Courage and Constancy to
endure to the End, and despise Human Power, when it stands opposed
to Duty.

" I pray God of His great mercy and Goodness, that He would be
pleased to pour down the choicest of His Blessings upon the Sacred
Head of His Majesty King James the Third and his Royal Sons, and
for the sake of Justice and the Love which Nature and Duty prompt me
to bear my Native Country to restore them soon to their Lawful,
Natural, and Undoubted Rights.

" It would be an unspeakable satisfaction to me if my manner of
Dying or anything I now say would contribute to the removing those
unhappy and unreasonable Prejudices with which too many of my
countrymen are misled. Danger of Popery, and Fear of French Power,
are the idle Pretences that wicked and ill designing men make use of to
misguide and stir up the Passions of unwary tho' perhaps honest People.
But, if Englishmen would seriously reflect, that those who keep the most
Noise about Popery, are remarkably void of any Religion at all, and
dissolute in their Morals ; that Atheism, Infidelity, Profaneness, and
Debauchery, are openly avowed and practised, even within the walls of


that very Court, whence they derive all their fancied Civil and Religious
Liberties, if they would reflect when they talk of French Influence that
they seek Protection from a German Usurper: if they would reflect that
I and my Fellow Sufferers are now Murder'd in order to weaken the
Cause of Loyal Virtue, &c. ... It would be uncharitable, and
misbecoming a dying man, to wish even his most inveterate Enemies to
continue in such a situation, and I therefore pray God to deliver all
Englishmen therefrom.

" If, my dear Countrymen, you have any Regard to your own Hap-
piness, which, in Charity, I have endeavour'd to point out in my dying
Moments ; let me beseech you, in the name of God to restore your Liege
Sovereign, and with Him the glorious Advantages of an excellent
Constitution under a Lawful Government. This is every Man's Duty to
Aim at : And if your honest attempts should fail, remember, it is a great
blessing to Die for the Cause of Virtue; and that an Almighty Power
can and will reward such as suffer for Righteousness Sake.

" To that God, infinite in his Goodness, and eternal in His Providence,
I commend my Soul; imploring His Forgiveness of all my Sins; and
hoping for a speedy Translation to eternal Joy, through the Merits and
Sufferings of Jesus Christ. Amen ! Amen ! Amen !


Dawson wrote : " Blessed are they which are persecuted for
Righteousness' Sake: for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.

"Friends, Brethren, and Countrymen, ... I am now on the
very last scene of Life, and shall in a very few Minutes launch into


Eternity. I therefore solemnly declare, as I shall answer it at the Awful
and Impartial Tribunal before which I must shortly appear, that I firmly
believe, and in my Conscience am persuaded, that James the Third is
my only true, lawful, and indisputable Sovereign; that the present
Possessor of his Crown and Kingdom is an Intruder and Usurper; that
my taking up Arms against Him is so far from being a Crime that it is
my indispensible and bounden Duty, and that if I had ten thousand
thousand lives, I ought sooner to devote them all to my King and
Country's service than to see Right overpowered by Oppression or
Rebellion prevailing o'er Justice.

" I die, my dear friends, in the Fellowship and Communion of the
Church of England and in perfect Peace and Chanty with all men. I
humbly ask Pardon of all those whom I have in any shape or in any
manner injured, affronted, or offended, as I do from the bottom of my
Heart forgive all my Enemies, Persecutors and Slanderers, and in an
especial manner Mr. Maddox, who has not only sworn away mine but
several other innocent persons' lives a very unchristianlike Return for
relieving and supporting him when destitute of almost every Necessary
of Life. I sincerely and unfeignedly forgive the Fetches of the Counsel,
the Partiality of the Judges, and the misguided Zeal of the Jury. Lay
not, O God, my Blood to their charge, neither let this my Murder ever
rise up in Judgment against them. Forgive them, my Father, for they
know not what they do.

" And now, O my God and merciful Father, let me supplicate Thy
Mercy for my poor unworthy Self. I now, with all Humility, prostrate
myself before Thee, and beseech Thee, of Thy infinite Goodness, to


deign to forgive me all my Sins, Negligences, and Ignorances ; excuse
the Frailties and Infirmities of my Nature, and- pardon every Levity,
Excess, and Indecency which I have committed against Thy divine
Majesty. Plead Thou my Cause, O my sweet Saviour, and let not the
Transgressions of my Youth or the Faults which I have been betrayed
into either thro' Fear, Forgetfulness, or Surprize ever be alledged against
me at the Great Day of Judgment. . . . Into Thy Hands I com-
mend my Soul; make me to be numbered with Thy Saints in Glory
everlasting. Amen.


The connection of James Dawson with Didisburye is very slight.
We only know that he was the brother of Mrs. Broome,* of Didisburye,
and the son of a Manchester man. He was of St. John's College, Cam-
bridge, and his case is far more widely known than that of any of his
fellow sufferers through Shenstone's pathetic ballad of " Jemmy Dawson,"
from which I extract the following verses :

Young Dawson was a gallant boy,

A brighter never trod the plain ;
And well he lov'd one charming maid,

And dearly was he lov'd again.

One tender maid, she loved him dear,

Of gentle blood the damsel came ;
And faultless was her beauteous form,

And spotless was her virgin fame.

* Many years afterwards Miss Broome married the Rev. James Bayley, grandson of the
James Bayley the hostage, who raised the money levied by the Prince on Manchester.


But curse on Party's hateful strife,
That led the favour'd youth astray;

The day the rebel clans appeared,
Oh, had he never seen that day !

How pale was then his true love's cheek,
When Jemmy's sentence reach'd her ear ;

For never yet did Alpine snows
So pale or yet so chill appear.

She follow'd him, prepar'd to view

The terrible behests of law ;
And the last scene of Jemmy's woes,

With calm and steadfast eye she saw.

Distort'd was that blooming face,
Which she had fondly loved so long ;

And stifled was that tuneful breath
Which in her praise had sweetly sung.

And sever'd was that beauteous neck

Round which her arms had fondly clos'd ;

And mangled was that beauteous breast
On which her love-sick head repos'd.

Amid those unrelenting flames,
She bore his constant heart to see;

But when 'twas moulder'd into dust,
"Yet, yet," she cried, " I follow thee.

My death, my death alone can show
The pure, the lasting love I bore.

Accept, O Heaven ! of woes like ours,
And let us, let us weep no more."

The dismal scene was o'er and past,
The lovers' mournful hearse retir'd ;

The maid drew back her languid head
And, sighing forth his name, expir'd,


I cannot find the lady's name, although there are several accounts
of her hiring a carriage and being as near to the last bloody mangling of
her lover as she could be. The shock killed her. Her last words, when
his heart was thrown into the fire, were said to have been: "My dear, I
follow thee I follow thee. Sweet Jesus, receive our souls together."
It was said they were to have been married on the day on which he was
executed, or murdered, either term being used by the opposing political
parties. Dr. Deacon's third son also saw the last of his brother, another
brother having died on the way from Carlisle. The head of Thomas
Theodorus Deacon was stuck up on the Manchester Exchange with the
head of Syddall, and as most Manchester men are aware, old Dr.
Deacon stood bareheaded gazing on the ghastly remains of his son.
The tyrant did as he pleased, and English dragoons were set to guard
the heads, but they could not stop the Tories reverentially saluting "the
martyrs" as they passed; and it was even said that Mrs. Syddall brought
her son to gaze on his father's head, as his father had gazed on his
father's head, when it was gibbeted in Manchester thirty years before,
and that when the next rising should take place there would be another
Tom Syddall ready. Fortunately there was no more political blood-
shedding in Manchester for seventy-three years, and in the meantime
the ill-fated Stewart race died out. The handsome, gay, and gallant
Prince Charles Edward, who, like Charles I., Mary Queen of Scots, and
others of his ancestors, had fascinated so many in his youth, was over-
come with adversity, and he gradually sank lower in his age, leaving no
legitimate son to succeed him. Voltaire, the free-thinking Frenchman,
said: "If anything could justify those who believe in an unavoidable


fatality, it would be the series of misfortunes which, for the space of
three hundred years, have befallen the house of Stuart." A Dr. King
has also told how in after years some Jacobites tried hard to persuade
the Prince to leave his mistress and to make another attempt to regain
the crown, when one of them named McNamara said, "What has your
family done, sir, thus to draw down the vengeance of Heaven on every
branch of it through so many ages ?"

The families of Syddall and Fletcher were certainly connected with
the old parish of Didisburye as it was in 1745. The Syddalls owned
(and I believe the family still own) Slate or Slade Hall, the old black
and white house near Rushford, where the Slate lane or Burnage lane
joins the Manchester and Stockport road. Heaton with Levenshulme
and Reddish district was not detached from Didsbury until 1765, and in
the registers of Didsbury Church I was pleased to find what I have no
doubt is the entry of the marriage of this Thomas Syddall. It is as
follows: "Oct., 1730. Thomas Siddall and Maria Fletcher de Burnage
and paroch. Mancun. conj. matri per License. Rog. Bolton, surr."

We know from Syddall's paper that he left a faithful loving wife
and five children, the tender objects of their care and affection, for he
prayed God to give to these children the same courage and constancy
to endure to the end, and to despise human power when it stands
opposed to duty. It is probable the other sufferers left no children.
George Fletcher was not married ; he lived with his mother, and his
father had long been dead. I think it is most probable he was
brother to Mrs. Syddall ; she is described above as of Burnage, thereby
implying that her father was dead. George Fletcher's father must have


left him fairly wealthy, and I believe he was one of the family who lived
at The Old Fold, on the border of Heaton and Burnage. The Fletchers
had owned a deal of land in Heaton and Heaton Wood, being that part
now called Heaton Mersey, adjoining Didsbury and Burnage. The
older branch of the family had lived at The Wood House until
another George Fletcher built Longfield, where he lies buried in
the garden.

The lands have long since been alienated, and the old thatched
black and white houses of The Old Fold and The Wood House have
been destroyed. There is an entry of baptism in the Church registers
which may or may not be that of Captain George Fletcher ; it certainly
corresponds to his age. It appears to have been written by an almos
illiterate man and interpolated among the adjoining entries. It is dated
1720, "Gorge, son of Gorge Flecher, Heatton." As there were un-
doubtedly several George Fletchers living about that time, I looked up
the entries for a preceding generation, and found that in fifteen con-
secutive years there were nine or ten Fletchers who brought between
twenty and thirty children to be christened, and five of these children
were called George. It was therefore hopeless to disentangle the
various entries, but another still older entry, having some slight con-
nection with the present subject, is worth recording. In 1575, George
Siddall is married to Margaret ffletcher. It is strange how the name
George as a family name of the Fletchers has died out in this century.
It may be because one George was called a rebel and another George
devised the estates from the family, and therefore the name as a family
name was not continued.


To gratify the pleasure of His Most Sacred Majesty the King, the
heads of the officers were preserved in spirits and publicly exhibited,
the chief ones being reserved for the chief cities. The heads of Colonel
Townley and Captain Fletcher had the honour of being reserved for
Temple Bar, where in an adjoining shop an enterprising optician made
a fortune by allowing his customers the use. of a telescope for so much
per peep at the bloody bleaching heads. The family of Colonel Townley
are said to have stolen his head one stormy night and to have kept it
ever since. Some accounts say that Captain Dawson's head also was
stuck up in London. Syddall's and Deacon's were on the Manchester Ex-
change. Altogether there were about eighty gibbeted about the country,
including Captain Bradshaw, a Manchester man, who had not stayed in
Carlisle but had been taken after Culloden ; and also including the Rev.
Thomas Coppock, the Chaplain of the regiment. This reverend gentle-
man had actually played the Jacobite song or hymn, "The King shall
have his own again," on the organ in Carlisle Cathedral, when a prisoner
in the sacred edifice, so it was plain that he was past praying for; there
was no hope for him. He" was tried when in his gown and cassock,
bowelled, and gibbeted in Carlisle. Well might one of the sufferers
complain : " For the sake of doing what I thought in my Conscience I
ought to do, I am brought here to the Slaughter. . . . Gracious
God, deliver all Englishmen from this Hanoverian clemency. Here is
an end to the Rage and Malice of my enemies, which I thank God can
go no further. Here all their Power ceases."

Sir Walter Scott has written history and fiction about the men who
were " out in the forty-five." Some of them he knew personally ; and he


with ihe heAds of Colonel Too>nJey
sorcebody's Jeg- <g>
Fron) A prjnl" of


recites that, even in his day, and in the best society of Edinburgh, it was
considered very bad manners to speak of rebels, or of the Pretender.
Men might speak of the King, but as long as the King was not named,
they might mean either party, and the company quietly ignored the
phrase or interpreted it according to their own inclinations. One old
gentleman in Perthshire spoke of the King as the K, even as late as the
latter days of George III. The old King heard of it; he was then near
to his dotage, a decent, stupid, respectable old man. He commissioned
the member for Perthshire to carry his compliments to the steady Jaco-
bite "that is, not the compliments of the King of England, but those of
the Elector of Hanover, and tell him how much I respect him for the
steadiness of his principles."

Sir Walter himself must have been a Jacobite by nature. His fond-
ness for the old families, and his reverence for the past, with its varied
associations, seem to have struggled with prudence and policy, and as in
his day the long struggle was over, he sided with those who had won
and were reigning. There is no doubt it paid him to do so, but what a
mistake it seems now when all are past and gone; for, in his own words,
"The Jacobite enthusiasm of 1745 afforded a theme perhaps the finest
that could be selected for fictitious composition founded upon real
incident." Fancy the great Scott, the Wizard of the North, almost
worshipping His Sacred Majesty King George IV., even after that
August Head of the Church had been warned off Newmarket Heath, as
not being good enough to associate with racing men. History relates
how Sir Walter treasured the glass out of which his Gracious Sovereign
had been drinking (although he had drunk out of a good many glasses


in his time), that he put the glass in his pocket, and then sat upon it and
broke it. A very proper ending.

The student of history cannot help admitting that the Stewarts
were the rightful Kings of England according to the statutes 01
the realm, the law of primogeniture, and the divine right of kings.
The Electors of Hanover received the crown because the majority
of the people of England wished them to have it, and thought that
under them they would have more freedom and toleration. The
kings from Hanover took all they could get, but they only got
the crown by the will of the people, and if the day comes when
the majority of the people of Great Britain say they are tired of
kings, and they will have no more of them, the descendants of
these Georges will only be relinquishing what was given to their
ancestors. They will not have any right to compensation for vested
interests or right divine, when those who gave and elected cease to give
or to re-elect.

If a student of history simply strives to learn from the teachings of
history, to learn from the past what is likely to be the best for the
present, and for the future, he may learn some lessons and arrive at some
conclusions that would have shocked him, and have appeared impossible
at one time. For instance, a young man, brought up in the strictest,
straitest sect of the Tories, taught to look upon all Radicals or Dissenters
as something to be shunned and avoided, finds that the Radicals and
Chartists of his youth are classed with the High Church Tories of
previous times, and all alike are designated "rebels." The same term
being used for the old Tory and the new Radical, for they are both


antagonistic to the government, although they are opposed one to

The young Tory referred to may then be thrown into the society of
Radicals and Chartists by the exigencies of business, and by the stern
necessity of making his living. He may then find, as I have found,
more Chartists than one who had suffered long terms of imprisonment
for their advocacy of advanced views, and yet were considered by those
who knew them best to be very decent, respectable men. It is a great
advance in the education of a Tory to be convinced that a Radical may
be what is termed a " really decent chap," after all. The extremes are
meeting. Twenty to thirty years ago, in Manchester and the neighbour-
hood, there were several old Chartists who had been imprisoned and
suffered in various ways for their opinions, who, as old men, were keeping
provision shops, and were prosperous and respected. In the back
parlours behind their shops they were "rebels" still, but age had made
them more cautious, and the times were more tolerant. Then what
about those other "rebels," our great grandfathers, the men who were
"out in the forty-five;" were they wrong or right? Must we say with

A plague upon both your houses,

Master, go on, and I will follow thee,
To the last gasp, with truth and loyalty.

* A typical Irishman landing in America, when solicited for his vole, asked if there was a
government; on hearing there was one, he replied at once, "Then I'm agen it." The poor
Irishman had not studied history, but he had been governed by the priests, aided by the police.


The cynical jingling rhyme may arise in the memory :

Treason cannot prosper.

Would you know the reason ?
For, if it should prosper,

It would not be treason.

These men, our kinsmen and neighbours, did they worthily suffer for
their misdeeds, or did they win the martyr's crown ? Their love and
their hate have long since perished. They must have drained the cup
of bitterness to the very dregs. They left their mother, or their children,
or their lover, when in the prime of their life and in the vigour of their
days, when every moment of mere living was a joy. They went with
firm, strong step to the torture, the torture that was to end only with
death, because they did what in their conscience they thought they
ought to do. They prayed that others should endure to the end as they
had done, and despise human power when it stands opposed to duty.
They forgave their enemies, and they thanked God that "here their
power ceases." To the everlasting shame and disgrace of George II., let
it be known that this was his pleasure on officers and gentlemen who
had surrendered to his officers, on the written promise that their lives
should be spared and " they reserved for the King's pleasure."

As a tale that has been told, this rambling record of Didisburye in
the '45 must draw to an end. The time may seem very very long ago,
and yet there are links that bind it to the present. There were men and
women living then who have told their tales to men and women who are
living now. Some of those who were young then, and witnesses of these
things, have told them to some who are living now, although one



t>er <5ranDDaugbter,


'A calm old age, serene and bright,
And lovely as a summer night."


hundred and forty-six years have passed away. This year, since
beginning this work, I have followed to his grave in the old chapel yard
at Blackley an old man, aged ninety, who had often been told by his
grandfather of what he had seen of the Highlanders in the '45. Here
are the pictures of an old lady and her granddaughter, who in our own
home and neighbourhood may be said to connect the present with the
past. The grandmother, Nancy Fletcher, who at Bradshaw Hall,
Cheadle, brought up a numerous family, was born in 1729, and she
is remembered by her granddaughter, who, thank God, is living still,
in 1891, with eye undimmed and natural force unabated. My great
grandfather, John Fletcher, was the husband of Nancy and the cousin
of Captain George. These are links that bind the present generation to
those who witnessed some of the deeds in the '45 : may they long remain
unsevered. How immeasurably greater is the freedom of the people
now than it was then may be judged by the fact that men who con-
scientiously believed they were doing their duty to their country, to their
King, and to their God, might be butchered with horrible barbarity, after
due process by law, and might vainly ask not to be bowelled before they
were dead.

When our great grandfathers saw the bleeding heads of their kins-
folk and friends, held up as traitors and rebels to be baited by the
rabble's curse, and they had known their kinsmen to be honourable
gentlemen, what account could they give to their children and grand-
children of the good old times when they were young? With what
prudent and evasive answers an old man would meet the persistent
enquiries of youth. The son might ask the sire:



" But what did they cut them up for, fayther ?"

" Because it was the King's pleasure, my boy."

" Then what's the use o' Kings, fayther ?"

" Why, lad, Kings are to rule over us and take the taxes, of course."

" But who wants em to rule over us an take th' taxes ?"

" Be quiet, lad, and let the Kings a be."

" I'm not touching th' King, fayther. But what's the good of 'em ?"

" Husht, lad, or happen they'll bowel thee."

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