Keys to the Past


Starting with 1-9 - 2 Glossary entries found.

In this section of the website you can find out more about specialist and technical terms archaeologists sometimes use. There is also lots more information about famous people and historic events in the north-east.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Z 1-9

1715 rebellion

This was the major Jacobite rebellion with which the northeast was associated. The rebellion was to take place upon the death of Queen Anne (who reigned 1703-1714AD) by taking the crown for James, 'The Old Pretender'. Risings in the north of England and Scotland were to take place, capturing ports, so as to divert the standing army from the south. Here a landing, in conjunction with the French, was to take place before a march unopposed to London. The rising did not happen on the death of Queen Anne - but was postponed, allowing George I to be crowned and reign from 1714 to 1727AD.

Nonetheless, in Scotland and northern England a rebellion was launched in early September 1715. In Northumberland a number of Catholic landowners including James Radcliffe, 3rd Earl of Derwentwater (1689-1716AD) of Dilston, and his younger brother Charles (1693-1746), Edward and James Swinburne of Capheaton, and William Shaftoe of Bavington met at Green Riggs by Dere Street on 6th October 1715. The Radcliffes were related to and been taught with James, 'The Old Pretender'. Many were Catholics but the MP Thomas Forster of Bamburgh (1675?-1738AD), was a Protestant. Only a few had any military experience and were poorly equipped, numbering some 60 horses. Some Jacobites had already been put under horse arrest, and were so unable to take any part.

Since it was to late to back out they continued and the rebels moved off towards Rothbury, Warkworth and Morpeth proclaiming James as James III. In these places they gathered further horses and small numbers of support, such as the 4th Baron Lord William Widdrington (1678-1743AD) and his other brothers of gentry level, amongst others. It is thought that the Jacobites numbered about 400. However, the rebels found both Berwick upon Tweed and Newcastle upon Tyne's gates barred and walls armed to prevent assault. At Berwick some houses were demolished to give better cannon coverage. Watchers were employed on the walls as well. Militias, (part-time armies), were also raised - that for Newcastle taking up position at Killingworth. It is for this reason that people from Newcastle may be called 'Geordies'. Lindisfarne Castle was captured by Lancelot, and nephew Mark, Errington for the Jacobites - though was soon re-captured by Berwick soldiers.

Meanwhile in Scotland the rising had broken out under the command of the Earl of Mar - but similarly attracted little support. Mar's movements were also hampered by standing army garrisons blocking his advance from the Scottish Highlands via Stirling, to Edinburgh. Some lowland Scottish contact was made with the Northumbrian Jacobites after their had retraced their steps and marching northward to Kelso, (Scotland), via Wooler, where Forster, (despite no military experience), was put in command - as a Protestant it was thought he would appear more acceptable - when the army was in England, and Lord Kenmure when it was in Scotland. The Jacobite army moved through the Scottish Borders to the northwest of England where further support was thought to be in October. The army numbered about 2, 000. They moved down through Cumbria to Lancashire where little support was forthcoming.

There the Jacobites reached Preston, via Lancaster, on the 11th November 1715AD. They intended to hold out against the now fully mobilised army. The Jacobites barricaded themselves in the centre of the town - but after heavy fighting they surrendered on the 13th to troops under the command of Generals Carpenter and Wills. The same day the northern rebels under Mar fought at Sheriffmuir, near Stirling. This was a stalemate that the arrival of James at Peterhead with no supplies, could not break. James and Mar left for their enforced continental exile - never to see Britain again. The rising then faded into nothing. The rising failed because of indecision, lack of military knowledge and the lack of French support.

Following the defeat at Preston the Jacobite prisoners were divided by their social groups. The high-ranks were tried before the (London) House of Lords in February 1716AD. Their estates were forfeited (confiscated) from them and their heirs, (see Greenwich Hospital). The Lords Derwentwater and Kenmure were executed by beheading, after a change from hanging, drawing and quartering, after a short trial on Tower Hill, London - whilst the remaining peers, though forfeited, were generally pardoned. Members of the lesser gentry ranks were held in London and regional prisons of the northwest and northeast - from which the Erringtons, Forster and the younger Radcliffe escaped to France.

The lower orders were held in the regional prisons of the northwest, before being transported, for varying periods of time (seven years to life) abroad to act as unpaid slaves in the Jamaican Caribbean and American colonies, hung, shot or were pardoned. Those who escaped from this group - overpowering one ship in transit or escaping the shipping - made for France as well. Some 639 were transported abroad. A general pardon was issued by George I called the Act of Grace in July 1717 - removing the imprisonment terms for those in the prisons, though this did not apply to the escapees. The estates of several Jacobites were sold at auction. A Church of England vicar who had joined the rebels in Wooler, called Robert Patten, wrote A History of the Late Rebellion in 1717 after giving evidence for the prosecution (King's Evidence) and being pardoned.

1745 rebellion

This was a Jacobite rebellion. It was launched by James, 'the Old Pretender's son, Charles (1720-1788). Charles was therefore called 'the Young Pretender'. The plan was to land in Scotland, gathering an army there and in northern England, before marching towards London, whilst a French army was to invade from the south. Charles was to be in charge before James landed to be crowned King.

Charles landed in Scotland in July 1745, but received only reluctant support. He gathered an army around him - though more had been expected. Some towns, such as Edinburgh, were taken even though the rebels lacked any siege capacity. The army forces in Scotland held out in several castles, but were ignored or bypassed before Prestonpans. At Prestonpans, east of Edinburgh, some of the army under General Sir John Cope was defeated on the 21st September 1745. The Jacobites then paused on how to invade England.

Meanwhile the towns of northeast England prepared to resist siege. Reputedly Berwick was the first in England to hear of Prestonpans from Cope himself. Berwick and Newcastle prepared their town walls using cannon, the gates were watched and closed at night, garrisons were brought in or increased, and food brought in as a reserve. Strangers to the town were reported to the mayors - a spy was captured at Newcastle's Pandon Gate. Elsewhere raised militias, (part-time county soldiers), took up position to block advances. The Northumberland units on Killingworth Moor. Durham units on Gateshead and Ravensworth Fells. John Wesley noted that the Newcastle church attendance shot up after Prestonpans.

Though Charles advocated attacking the northeast this was rejected. (It was thought that roads between Wooler and Whittingham would be impassable in bad weather, and advancing to Newcastle would leave the Jacobites open to attack from the Berwick garrison behind). An advance was made through the Borders - but turned 'parallel' to the Border, crossing near Longtown, Cumbria. Here Carlisle fell to the Jacobites, who had captured a few cannon at Prestonpans, before advancing to Derby, via Manchester and stealing past another part of the army. London militias were now raised.
Here the Jacobites lost their nerve. They had received little English support (despite promises), exhausted funds and soldiers, and still not received French support. It was decided, against Charles's wishes, to return to Scotland in December 1745. A minor skirmish was fought at Clifton Moor, near Penrith, Cumbria, on the 18th December 1745 in the retreat. In Scotland there was even less support when the Jacobites returned. Many Jacobites deserted. Though the Jacobites won a further battle at Falkirk, Scotland, it was forced to retreat further north. There the army under the Duke of Cumberland caught up with the Jacobites at Culloden Moor on the 16th April 1746. The standing army fought in a different style to the Jacobites using cannon and musket fire that could kill at distance when compared to sword and shield. Charles was forced to flee. His army was defeated. Charles then spent some months on the run before escaping to France. He remained an exile - though at odds with father James and brother Henry.

As such the region saw little actual action. During the Jacobite advance Lords Kilmarnknock and Murray raided Wooler, (Northumberland), for extra horses. Elsewhere little support was given to the Jacobites, if any at all. Marshal Wade attempted to cut the rebels off with troops from Newcastle - though only Hexham, (Northumberland), was reached through bad weather and impassable roads. (It was said that this led to the building of The Military Road). Following the Derby decision the region saw the army pass through under Cumberland's command - food and stores were given to his army. A skeleton found in the 1920s wearing tartan, near Stanhope, has been argued to be a Jacobite casualty of the Clifton Moor skirmish - though this is uncertain.

As a footnote to the 1715 rebellion Charles Radcliffe was captured on board a French ship loaded with arms trying to reach the Jacobites. He was brought to trial, identified as someone that had escaped from London after the 1715 rebellion and executed by beheading on Tower hill, London in December 1746. The earlier general pardon didn't apply to escapees sentenced to death or of high rank. (His son escaped any punishment as a French citizen). Lancelot Errington, of the 1715 rebellion, is said to have died grief-stricken after hearing the news of Culloden Moor.
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Z 1-9