Heroes of Scotland

Malt Project

Chapter XV.
James Oswald

James Oswald

James Oswald.
(Removed from Sandyford to the Square, 26th July, 1875)

In the December month, about one hundred and fifty years ago, Glasgow had a visit from his sacred majesty Charles Stewart, with his hungry retainers, on their way back from England. He took up his residence in the Shawfield mansion, then the grandest in the town, and spent the New-Year with his subjects here. He on several occasions made a procession in all his assumed majesty through its few streets-from the Westergate to the Cross, and thence up the High Street and down the Saltmarket and round by the Waterport and up Stockwell Street. Instead of ringing cheers and bended knees he found sullen looks and unwelcome epithets. He issued invitations to the royal levee, but they were declined by the Glasgow ladies. Before going south he had demanded from the city a sum not exeeeding £15,000 sterling. With difficulty the: citizens got it restricted to £5,000. By collecting what they could and borrowing from the Earl of Glencairn and others, they managed to pay this. The popular feeling was well described by Provost Cochran. “Our case is deplorable, that we must truckle to a pretended prince and rebel, and, at an expense we are not able to bear, purchase protection from plunder and rapine.” On this occasion the prince issued a royal edict for 12,000 shirts, 6,000 coats, and as many pairs of shoes, tartan hose, and bonnets. The demand shows what his followers were most in need of. But he was not successful in getting what he wanted, and some of the citizens were selected for special notice. A demand was made upon stout Andrew Buchanan, a magistrate, for £500. This was accompanied with the threat that if he refused payment his house would be plundered. “Plunder away then,” said the sturdy old bailie, “I wont pay a single farthing.”

Soon the prince and his ragged retinue withdrew. They went up to the north, and when the cause shortly after collapsed at Culloden, Provost Cochran, Andrew Buchanan, George Murdoch, and the other magistrates and merchants settled down to their lawful callings. A prosperous period ensued, chiefly through the Virginia trade which had been opened up before and was now vigorously pursued.


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