The Prince, The Pretender and Penrith

At their February meeting nineteen members and guests of the society enjoyed a wonderful talk by Neil Hannah entitled The Prince, The Pretender and Penrith. So Bonnie Prince Charlie, his life and mainly catastrophic invasion plans unfolded in front of us. With illustrations and verses Mr Hannah gave us the story of the Prince, from his early life in Rome with his mother Princess Clementina Sobieska, who was Polish. (And who incidentally funded his planned invasion with the sale of her crown jewels).

When the planned invasion with the help of the French navy, was scuppered due to storms in the Channel, the Prince resolved to pursue his cause and landed with just seven men on the Isle of Eriskay on 23rd July 1745 in Scotland. (One of whom was Colonel Francis Strickland, an English Roman Catholic from Sizergh Castle).

The Prince gathered many more loyal supporters and this led to the Jacobite uprising of 1745. Charles achieved several notable victories but after his defeat at Culloden, with huge bloodshed of Highlanders and their families, this effectively ended the Stuart cause.

Neil Hannah mentioned more local connections in his talk.

Bonnie Prince Charlie captured Carlisle and travelled on to Penrith when his entourage then marched South heading for London.

 He stayed at our famous George Hotel in Penrith on his return North.

A history society member mentioned a field locally where a pile of cannonballs from the fleeing army had been dumped. Someone suggested they could be used as doorstops!

Mr Hannah entertained the society with verses and songs and gave us a very lively evening.  


Victoria Stevenson