Two Jacobite Convicts

TWO JACOBITE CONVICTS

It has always been supposed that the unfortunate persons who
were transported to America for participation in the Jacobite
risings of 1715 and 1745, had their lot much lightened by sympathetic
friends among the colonists; and the following narratives
confirm this to a surprising degree. The first is a letter from a
Scotchman transported after Mar's rebellion. This singular epistle
we reproduce from an ancient broadside in the collections of the
Historical Society, but have no knowledge of its origin. Readers
who can grapple with the peculiarities of a Highlander's English,
will find here a roseate picture of a convict's life.


The second is the narrative of Alexander Stewart taken prisoner
after the battle of Culloden, and included by Bishop Robert Forbes
in his Lyon in Mourning, a collection of papers connected with the
rising in 1745, now published by the Scottish History Society
from the original manuscript. We reproduce only so much as relates
to his Maryland experiences. He got safely to Edinburgh,
where he was received with open arms by the Jacobites, and
apparently lived without molestation, though his neck must have
been forfeit to the gallows.

Letter from Donald MacPherson, a young Lad who was sent to
Virginia with Captain Toline, in the Year 1715. on account
of his having joined his Chieftain in the Cause of his King
and Country; he was born near the House of Colloden,
where his Father then lived.

Portobago in MaryIan, te 2d June 1717.
Deer lofen ant kynt Eater,
Dis is to lat you ken dat I am in guid Healt, plissed bi God
for dat, houpin to heer de lyk frae you. As I am your hane
Sinn, I wad a bine ill-leart gin I had na latten you ken tis by
Kaptiu Eogir's Skip dat geas te Inverness, per cunnan I dinna ket
sik a anitter Apertunitie dis Towmon agen. De Skip dat I kam
in was a lang Tym o de See cumin oure heir : bat plissit bi Got
for a Ting, wi a kipit our Heels unco weel pat Shonie Mag
Willivray, dat hat ay a sair Heet. Dere was saxty o's a kame
inte te Quintry hel a Lit and Lim, and nane o 's a dyit pat Shonie
Mag Willivray and anitter Ross Lad dat kam oure wi's; and
may pi dem Twa wad a dyt gin tey hed biden at hame, gin tey
hed bin hangit be Cukil Shordie, or kilt be his cursed Red-Cuits ;
tey tuik frae me my pony Gun, Pestil, Turk and Pled, and left
me noting. Pe my Fait I kanna komplin for kumin to dis
Quintry, for Mestir Nicols, Lort pliss him, pat mi till a pra
Mestir, dey ca him Shon Bayne, and hi lifes in Marylant, in te
Rifer Potomak, hi nifer gart mi wurk ony Ting pat fat I lykit
myself; de meast o a my Wark is waterin a pra stennt Hors, and
pringin Wyn and Pread ut o de Sellir to my Mestir's Tebil.
Sin efer I kam til him, I nefer wantit a Potte of petter Ele nor
is in a Shon Glass Hous; for I ay sit toun wi de Pairns te
Dennir. My Mestir seys til me, Fan I kan speek lyk de Fouk
hier, dat I sanna pi pidden di nating pat gar his Plackimors
wurk; for desyt Fouk hier dinna ise te wurk pat te first Yeer
efter dey kum in te de Quintry: Tey speek a lyke de Sogers
in Inerness.
Lofen Fater, Fan de Servants hier he deen wi der Mestirs they
grou unco rich, and its ne wonder, for dey mak a hantil o
Tombako, and de Switis, and Apels, and de Shirries, and de
Pires, grou in de Wuds wantin Tyks aput dem; de Swynes,
de Teuks, an Durkies gangs in de Wuds wantin Mestirs; de
Tumbako grous shust lyke de Dokins at de Bak o de Lairts
Yart; an de Skips dey kum frae ilk a Piece, and bys dem, and
gies a hantel o Siller and Gier for dem. My nane Mestir kam
til de Quintry a Servant, and well I wat hes now wort mony a
Tusan Punt. Fait ye mey pelive mi de pirest Plantir hire lifes
amest as weil as de Lairt o Gollottin. Mey pi fan my Tym is ut
I wol kom hem and sie yow, pat not for de first nor de neest
Yeer, til I gatir somting o my nane; for fan I ha deen wi my
Mestir, hi maun gi mi a Plantashion, and set me up, its de
Quistum hier in dis Quintrie; and syn I houp te gor yow trink
Wyn insteat o Tippeni in Inerness. I wiss I het kum owr hier
twa or tri Yeirs seener nor I dit, syn I wad ha kum de seener
hame; put Got bi tankit dat I kam sa seen as I dit. Gin ye
koud sen mi owr be ony o yur Inerness Skips ony Ting te mi, an
it war so mukle Grays as mak a Queit, it wad mey pe gar my
Mestir tink te mare o mi: Its tru, I ket Clais aneu frae him, bat
ony Ting frae yu wad luk weil and pony. And plese Got, gin I
life, I sail pey pu pack agen.
Lofen Fater, De Man dat vryts dis Letir for mi, is van Shames
Mackeyne, he lifes shust a Myl frae mi; he has peen unco kyn te
mi sin efer I kam te de Quintrie; hi was porn in Petie, and kam
owr a Servant frae Klescou, and hes peen his nane Man twa
Yeirs, and hes sex Plakimors wurkin til him alrety, makin
Tumbako ilk a Tay; heil win hem shortly, and a te Geir dat he
hes wun heir, and py a Lortskip at hem. Luik dat ye dinua
forket te vryt til mi ay fan ye ket ony Ocashion. Got Almighte
pliss you, Fater, and a de leve o de Hous, for I hena forkoten
nane o yu, nor dinna yu forket mi. For pliss Got I sal kum hem
wi Gier aneuch to di yu a and my nanesel guid. I weit ye will
bi veri vokic fan ye si yur nane Sin's Fesh agen, for I heve leart
a hantil hevins sen I sau yu, and I am unco Bulk leirt. I houp
tey he shest mi te me Grace. Got blis our ain King Shames yet
nu, I'm verie sire te Lord wul sent him pack agen to Skotlan, to
I sud niver see te Tay. Got seve him, I wull prey tat a
me Tays.
A tis is frae yur nane lofen and opedient Sin,
Tonal Makaferson
Directed, For Shames Makaferson, neir te Lairt of Collottin's
Hous neir Inerness, in de Nort o

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