Relics of Flora Macdonald, pp.152-154.

[Scottish National Memorials Contents]

LENT BY MRS WYLDE. (Nos. 652-664.) 

   SILVER SNUFF-BOX, which belonged to Flora Macdonald and her husband. Captain Allan Macdonald of Kingsburgh, with their initials ‘A. McD.’ and ‘F. McD.’ engraved on it. 

   Flora Macdonald, daughter of Ranald Macdonald of Miltoun in South Uist, was born about 1722. She came to the aid of the Prince at one of the darkest periods of his wanderings. He had for some time been, at great risk, in concealment in South Uist. The difficulty was to find means to convey him to Skye, where it was deemed he would be in greater safety. It was now that Flora Macdonald, who, though she usually resided in Skye with her mother (the latter having married as her second husband Hugh Macdonald of Armadale in that island), was in Uist on a visit to her brother, nobly agreed to undertake the perilous task. It was arranged that the Prince should be disguised as Betty Burke, an Irish girl supposed to be on her way to seek employment in the house of Mrs. Macdonald at Armadale, and in that character, after enduring many dangers and hardships, the heroic Flora succeeded in conducting him safely to Portree, where he embarked for Raasay, but after a stay of two and a half days in the latter island returned to Skye, previous to his escape to the mainland. After parting from the Prince, Miss Macdonald went home to Armadale. She was subsequently arrested and taken to London, where, for a short time, she was imprisoned in the Tower, but eventually merely placed on parole in the house of a private family, and at once released on the passing of the Act of Indemnity in July 1747. Her marriage took place on 6th November 1750, her husband being the son of the brave and loyal Macdonald of Kingsburgh, who had been actively concerned in furthering the flight of Charles, and had been imprisoned for a year in Edinburgh Castle for so doing. Flora and her husband afterwards emigrated to North Carolina, but the disastrous issue of the American war compelled them to return to their native land. After a chequered career she died in Skye on 5th March 1790. The shroud in which she was buried was a sheet in which Prince Charles had lain, and which she had carefully preserved and carried about with her in all her wanderings. Dr. Johnson, in his Tour to the Hebrides, visited her, and was struck by her ‘gentle manners and elegant presence.’ Mrs. Wylde, by whom this and several other relics of Flora Macdonald were lent, was herself a granddaughter of the heroine. She died towards the end of 1888. 


   A TABLE SPOON, which belonged to Flora Macdonald, with initials. (See also p. 300.) 


   A PIECE of the Dress worn by Flora Macdonald subsequent to her release from the Tower. 


   A MINIATURE, of Flora Macdonald in the dress of a shepherdess. Similar in most particulars to the mezzotint engraved by J. Faber, jun., from Hudson’s portrait, painted ‘ad vivum, 1747.’ An impression of another mezzotint, resembling this one, but smaller, is preserved at Pitfirrane, Dunfermline, with an inscription stating that it was presented to Dr. McArthur, the biographer of Nelson, by a son of Flora Macdonald’s. The fact, however, that the eyes in this miniature are brown, not blue as in the authentic picture by Ramsay in the Bodleian, Oxford, would seem to argue that this work has not been executed from the life. [J. M. G.] (See Fig. 120.) 




   FLORA MACDONALDS WEDDING RING, with date (6th November 1750) inscribed inside. 


   A MEMORIAL LOCKET, in case, which belonged to Flora Macdonald, inscribed ‘In memory of my two beloved sons, Lieut. Alex, and Capt. Ranald McDonald.’ Alexander Macdonald was lost at sea. Ranald was a captain of marines. He was a very handsome man, and bore a high reputation in his profession. Three others of her sons were in the army, and all were brave and efficient officers. 


   A SMALL PEARL BROOCH, containing the hair of Prince Charles Edward and Flora Macdonald. 


   A Pair of SCOTS PEBBLE EARRINGS, worn by Flora Macdonald. 


   SILVER ÉTUI, with repoussé ornamentation, used by Flora Macdonald. It has no Hall-mark. 


   SILVER NEEDLE-CASE, used by Flora Macdonald. with the inscription D McD to M McK. It bears only one Hall-mark, an anchor similar to that found on plate made in Leith, but this affords little indication of its date. 


   A CLASP, worked in hair by Flora Macdonald. 


   A PHOTOGRAPH, of Flora Macdonald, similar to the portrait by Allan Ramsay in the Bodleian, Oxford, which was contemporaneously mezzotinted by McArdell. [J. M. G.] 



   SILVER-MOUNTED KNIFE AND FORK, which belonged to Flora Macdonald. 

(665) Lent by ALEXANDER GUNN. 

   DELFT-WARE FLOWER-STAND, which belonged to Flora Macdonald. 

(667) Lent by MRS. C. E. MORISON DUNCAN. 

   A MINIATURE, of Flora Macdonald. A large and admirable miniature, but with little resemblance to the authentic portrait, painted by Allan Ramsay in 1749, now in the Bodleian, Oxford, which was mezzotinted by McArdell, during the lifetime of the heroine, in which the eyes are blue, not hazel as here. The present miniature resembles the picture by Hudson, lent by Mrs. Bedford to the National Portrait Exhibition of 1867, as a portrait of Flora Macdonald, in which a rose appears in the hair. [J. M. G.] 

(591) Lent by W. MURRAY THREIPLAND. 

   SANDALWOOD FAN, ornamented with pictorial decoration. This fan belonged to Flora Macdonald, and was presented to her while she was a prisoner on parole in the house of Lady Primrose in London, November 1746. It was given by Mrs. McLellan of Ormocleit, South Uist, grand-niece of Flora Macdonald, to Alexander Carmichael. 


   VOLUME III. of THE LYON IN MOURNING. This curious MS. collection of narratives, speeches, diaries, letters, poems, etc., relative to the campaign of Prince Charles Edward and the subsequent sufferings of himself and his principal followers, was made in 1747 (in the quaint words of the title-page), ‘as exactly as the iniquity of the times would permit,’ by the Reverend Robert Forbes, A.M., a devoted Jacobite, who subsequently became a bishop of the Scots Episcopal Church. It was presented to the Advocates’ Library by Dr. Robert Chambers, who largely founded on it in writing his History of the Rebellion


   PORTRAIT OF JAMES, fourth Earl and first Duke of Perth, Chancellor of Scotland, 1686, eldest son of the third Earl and his wife Lady Anna Gordon, eldest daughter of George, second Marquis of Huntly. Painted by N. de Largillière, 1714. Engraved in Drummond’s Noble Families. (See No. 1153, p. 162.) 


   PORTRAIT OF WILLIAM KEITH, ninth Earl Marischal. Painted by Sir Godfrey Kneller. 


   TEAPOT, used by George Seton, fifth Earl of Winton, during his confinement in the Tower of London in 1716. 

(1342) Lent by GEORGE SETON. 

   DAMASK NAPKIN, bearing the name of the maker (‘John Ochiltrie, Weaver in Edinburgh, 1712’), and exhibiting the armorial ensigns of George, fifth Earl of Winton, forfeited in 1716. (Described in Stoddart’s Scottish Arms, ii. 25.) 

(1344) Lent by GEORGE SETON. 

   BOWL AND SAUCER, used by George Seton, fifth Earl of Winton, during his confinement in the Tower of London in 1716. 

(1343) Lent by GEORGE SETON. 

3 thoughts on “Relics of Flora Macdonald, pp.152-154.

  1. Fantastic work, as is always the case, saved every one of them. thank you Jenny x

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