The Crisis 6 October–13 November 1715

For just over five weeks in the autumn of 1715 there was a Jacobite army in England; and that, allied to a far larger one in Scotland and the possibility of aid from abroad, meant that the longevity of the Hanoverian dynasty was at risk. This was the time for Jacobite supporters to rally to the flag and for their enemies to assist the British army in defeating them. However, it can be argued that all that was needed was for the dynasty’s supporters to stay recumbent and the elites to do nothing, waiting to see which side would win. There had been a similar situation in the autumn of 1688, when James II’s supporters and the bulk of the political nation stood by to watch and wait, many of them being alienated from their instinctive loyalty by the King’s policies during his short reign.

There is certainly much evidence for their activity at these times compared to earlier months when loyalty was both less dangerous and perhaps less necessary. In 1688 the allies of James II had, in England, been largely remarkable for their discretion and the King had been exiled. The question now was: how would George I’s supporters act and how effective would they be? There were two parts to this; firstly those Whigs who were on the front line and had to act against an immediate menace; secondly, those who lived far from the scene of potential violence. We shall deal with the former first.

Due to the failure to take the principal Jacobites in Northumberland, namely the Earl of Derwentwater and Thomas Forster, and also the lack of an immediate military presence as in Oxford, Bath and Bristol and around London, a Jacobite rising was able to take place in Northumberland (on 6 October), the only county where one was able to emerge spontaneously. This seems to have taken both the government and its supporters off guard, but this was only momentary. It was fortunate that there were a number of resolute men in and around Newcastle who were able and willing to act decisively and at once and to stir the elderly Lord Lieutenant, Richard Lumley (1650–1721), the Earl of Scarborough, into action.

Fears of Jacobitism came from several quarters. Charles, second Viscount Townshend (1674–1738) and a Secretary of State, referred to ‘the informations His majesty has received of the disaffection of the magistracy and inhabitants of that place’, and instructed Scarborough ‘to take the best precautions you can to secure it against the attempts, which its probable, may be made against it’.1 These fears were not restricted to the government. William Baker wrote to his father on 27 October, from Durham, ‘It is generally believed here that if the Scots goe on, that most of the Tories of note all England over will be secur’d & wee are under great apprehension of having them amongst us very soon tho’ we have noe news from Scotland that can be depended upon.’2 However, when push came to shove the Jacobites were disappointed, as the Rev. Robert Patten, then Forster’s chaplain, later wrote ‘they received their first disappointment in the affair at Newcastle, which they expected would open their gates to them, but finding some Delay in it they promised themselves to have it in a few days’.3

Liddell wrote on 6 October that this was the time for action against the Jacobites and was reasonably confident:

Exert yourselvs and all will goe well, and no incouragem[ent] will be awanting. This is the last push off the desperate faction, which I hope when once over will settle us upon a sollid foundation.4

Preparations against the Jacobites had already begun to be made in Northumberland as early as 1 October as Scarborough had ordered the county militia to be summoned in ten days. This was too slow, however, and John Johnson, the High Sheriff of the county, brought this date forward by two days. He also used his own authority as sheriff to call out the posse comitatus, the able-bodied men of the county aged between 16 and 60, ‘to prevent the rebels further strolling into this Country’. This constituted 250 men on 9 October and 407 on the next day.5

Scarborough was much criticised by those within his own circle. Cotesworth told Liddell that ‘He is very hearty in his duties but for want of health and vigour things are not done with ye despatch that is necessary for affairs of this nature’. Liddell wrote a few months later, ‘I find him in a sensible decay’. Scarborough was 65 years old in 1715, making him an elderly man indeed, yet his responsibilities were, briefly, immense.6

An agent had been sent into Newcastle by Forster, but he was captured at Pandon Gate by orders of Alderman Matthew White and so Forster was denied intelligence from that place. Lisle, the captured agent, told what he knew about the Jacobites’ location. Johnson had the cannon from North Shields Fort brought into Newcastle, so as to deny them to the Jacobites. Johnson felt confident that these precautions would be sufficient, ‘I don’t question but we shall keep them out here till such Times as we get further Assistance, most People in the Town being better inclined than thought of.’7

There was certainly concern for the situation within Newcastle, as Liddell wrote on 10 October:

I pity with the utmost degree off compassion the deplorable condition both you and our other friends find yourselvs involved in by the very quintessence off the faction. If you could but be true to each other within the gates, there would be the less apprehension. Pray take care they don’t convey either men, arms or both into the town, under loads of hay and straw… I doubt not your watchfulness. It behoves every one to be strictly upon their guard.8

He was very nervous, admitting ‘I scarce slept a wink last night’ and was impatient for any news. He was ‘in no less pain for our friends than iff I were actually with them’.9

The County Militia, eventually numbering 1,200 men, including both cavalry and infantry, and under the command of George Liddell, was mustered at Shield Field on 11 October.10 The militia were supplied with arms not only by the county authorities but also by individuals such as Edward Blackett who was ‘very free’ in lending weapons to them.11

Although Newcastle’s Tory corporation was suspected of Jacobite loyalties, they did not act on such, perhaps influenced by the behaviour of their Whig neighbours. In all they spent £850 on matters concerning the town’s defence.12 This included, on 10 October, £100 on the town’s physical defences.13 This may have been in repairing the town’s walls and blocking up its northern gates. Money was also used to provide four companies of the town’s militia.14

The keelsmen, who were seen as being potential Jacobite supporters, turned out to be among the supporters of George I. They formed themselves into companies of militia, totalling 700 men, to defend the town and they also mounted nightly patrols of the streets. This was probably because they were Dissenters, and, as already noted, Dissent was a strong support for George I.15 The keelsmen had been stirred into action by one Thomas Sabourne, a Dissenting tailor of Newcastle, who later wrote that he ‘did by ye interest he personally had with ye keelsmen and their ministers, procure a Promise to ye Rise for ye Diffence of ye Prest Govt.’. It was also an expensive undertaking for him.16

Additional support came for Newcastle’s defence. Patten wrote ‘And the gentry of those Parts, after his Lordship’s example, mounted their Neighbours and Tenants on Horseback’ and came to assist.17

It was no easy task to present a semblance of military deterrence. Joseph Crisap, a blacksmith of North Shields, hired three men, who, with himself, ‘wrought very hard both night and day for a whole week, to fit up and clean, and to put the said arms into good order’.18

A contemporary historian noted the ultimate resolve of those within the walls:

This perhaps, was partly the Occasion of laying aside the former Divisions and Prejudices between one another as Churchmen and Dissenters: the latter chearfully offering, and the former freely accepting the Offer, an Association was entered into by both Sides for the mutual Defence of their Lives and Estates; and a Body of 700 Voluntiers were arm’d by the Town for their Immediate Guard without Distinction; and the Keel-Men, being mostly Dissenters, offered a Body of 700 Men more, to be always ready at half an Hour’s Warning, which was also accepted: at the same Time the Association aforesaid was signed by the Whole Body of Loyal Inhabitants.19

Yet it was perhaps a matter of touch and go, as Cotesworth admitted, ‘while the sight of the town being surprised was upon them, I could not be allowed any rest at all’. After all, as he admitted, ‘If they had seen us in an indolent state’.20

Despite concerns that the corporation was politically unreliable, as voiced by Liddell, this fear was unfounded. Thomas Yorke told James Clavering on 13 October: ‘I doubt not their resolution to maintain ye town under ye present establishment will be a disappointment to ye rebels who might have grounds to expect from ye former behaviour of ye magistrates yr they would deliver ye town up to them.’21 Patten concurred: ‘Indeed, the Magistrates shew’d a very commendable Zeal in the Interest of the King, and the Service of the Town, and no less Courage in their Application to the Defence of the Place.’22 A contemporary newspaper put this behaviour down to the fact of ‘the high party in that town’ realising that the Jacobites were Catholic, and that ‘the Pope and the Pretender are at the bottom of the Quarrel’, and thus acted accordingly.23 Cotesworth concluded ‘many in the town that seemed not well pleased with the government are become very zealous, no more Whig and Tory, but papist and Protestant’.24

Certainly some among the corporation were noted for their activity; namely Alderman White and William Carr, the Recorder. Johnson opined that the former was ‘as vigorous and active for the present government as any within the walls’.25 The corporation barred most of the gates to the city and mounted cannon on the town walls and at the gates which had to remain open.26 Carr sent Townshend ‘an account of the motions of the rebels in Northumberland and the disappointments they may have had on Newcastle’. He claimed he stood at the town gates to receive news and relayed it as soon as it arrived, although Liddell poured scorn on such claims.27

However, the government fully appreciated the importance of Newcastle. They despatched Lieutenant General George Carpenter (1657–1732) to command a battalion of infantry and also ordered three regiments of dragoons to be sent there. This was primarily to defeat the Jacobite insurrection, but also, as they were all based at Newcastle, to set the final seal of the town’s safety, arriving from 9 October onwards.

One of the tasks of a variety of loyalists was to gather intelligence about the Jacobites, regarding their intentions, numbers and whereabouts. The Rev. Henry Ion, curate of Warkworth, was personally confronted by the Jacobite forces when they arrived in his parish. He was ordered to pray for James Stuart as James III and VIII; instead he fled to Newcastle and told what he knew of the Jacobites.28 Another clergyman in the front line was the Rev. Richard Werge, minister of Alnwick in the same county. Though we do not know what exactly he did, he later received £100 ‘for good service performed when the rebels were in arms in Northumberland’, which was probably intelligence gathering and dissemination.29

Another intelligence gatherer and despatcher was Cotesworth, who had been recruited by Liddell the previous month. He was instructed to send letters to his friend and these were later read by a number of Cabinet ministers. Liddell told his friend ‘They were very kindly received and laid before the Secretaries by your friend Thomas Liddell off Bedford Rowe. They are much obliged to you for your intelligence… they depend upon you more than all the rest.’30 They were read by Townshend and Stanhope, the two principal secretaries of state, Lord Cowper, the Lord Chancellor and Andreas Gottlieb von Bernstorff, one of the King’s principal German advisers. Liddell wrote on 13 October to Cotesworth, to tell him that he was ‘much obliged to you for the information you was pleased to send me relating to the Rising in your parts’.31

Johnson was also active in this sphere. He told Liddell on 15 October, ‘wee had intelligence that by our spies that the enemy had entered Morpeth’.32 His correspondence certainly shows him to have been well abreast of Jacobite movements. His clerk and two of his bailiffs were sent to Rothbury to spy on the Jacobites there. He even sent a bailiff to Carlisle with a message for the JPs there about Jacobite movements.33 His zeal was noted by a newspaper, which trumpeted, ‘The Sheriff of Northumberland is an honest Gentleman and heartily in His Majesty’s Interest’.34 This was despite a death threat as the Jacobites threatened to hang him: ‘such menaces I value not. I know my cause to be good and will venture my life and fortune and lay down all for His Majesty King George’.35

On the whole quarter sessions courts did not concern themselves with this issue, but the west riding sessions did reimburse one John Parson, constable of Sedbergh, who sent out messengers to Richmond, Ainstable, Kendal, Lancaster and Skipton in order to find out information about the movements of the Jacobite army. Acting on his own initiative he was awarded only £2 5s of the £4 7s he claimed.36

As early as 12 October there was discussion in Newcastle about whether the civilian forces of the posse and the militia encamped in and around Newcastle should march to attack the Jacobites thought then to be at Warkworth. This did not happen and they were disbanded on 13 October, probably on grounds of cost as the town was now garrisoned by soldiers.37 Liddell had hoped that the militia and volunteers could have dispersed the English Jacobites, for, ‘while they lye undisturb’d in the open country, itt gives incouragement to people to join them dayly and it a president for other counteys to rise in hopes off the like success’.38 Yet Johnson’s activities won plaudits from the bishop of Durham, who wrote ‘I am glad to hear the High Sheriff of ye County appear’d so zealous with his Posse to keep things quiet’.39 With the arrival of the regular army in Newcastle, an offensive against the Jacobite army was inevitable. Cotesworth pressed Scarborough for the militia cavalry to accompany the regulars ‘to drive the Rebels into the Sea’. Eventually, some 120 horsemen joined Carpenter’s forces.40

Another place which was potentially on the front line in Northumberland was Berwick, which stood on the border with Scotland but was also the site of a garrisoned fort. Townsmen had been patrolling the walls since the previous month, but in October, with an insurrection afoot in the county, the corporation decided that more was needed. They resolved ‘as the Kingdoms are now in a Commotion occasioned by the Insurrection… the Guild… think it an indispensable Duty to be as formidable as possible’. They ordered that 10 companies, each of 40 men, be raised. They were captained by members of the corporation and £100 was borrowed to pay the men, who were armed and stayed in post until 16 December.41

Meanwhile, with the Jacobite retreat northwards from the vicinity of Durham, they were reinforced from Scotland and stayed at Kelso from 20–27 October. Whilst there, in Berwick there was heightened concern about the town’s security. One Marchmont wrote on 24 October, ‘perhaps they may think of attacking this place, which is in no strong condition’. He wrote that the militia there were ‘hearty. But undisciplined men’. The other difficulty was the length of the walls ‘which is of such an extent that both the Garrison soldiers and the inhabitants of the Town would be far too few to guard, if assaulted’.42 Several of the inhabitants had consented to the demolition of property outside the walls which might have given cover to any attackers.43 The danger was over on 27 October because, following an advance northwards from Newcastle by a British force led by General Carpenter, after much discussion, the Jacobite army moved along the borders and then marched south through the north-western counties of England, beginning with the most northerly, Cumberland, and this led to the front line shifting there from 1 November.

As already noted in the previous chapter, Viscount Lonsdale had taken a lead in Cumberland and Westmorland in rousing his neighbours into carrying out the government’s instructions as to raising the militia and administering oaths of the Catholics within the two counties. These were proceeded with throughout October and their fruits were evident in the month afterwards. There was other anti-Jacobite activity taking place in the north of England at this time, however, as we shall see.

As arranged, there was a meeting of the deputy lieutenants on 14 October and they decided that they should raise a troop of horse militia. All those present would send a quota of men and horses depending on the value of their estates, and they would meet at Dalston Green, four-and-a-half miles to the south-west of Carlisle, in a week’s time. Each man was to be provided with two weeks’ pay.44 This force was for the county of Cumberland, but there also seems to have been a similar body raised by the counties of Westmorland and Lancashire, who rode to Carlisle on 2 November in order to try and stop a Jacobite incursion into England.45

Apart from the Horse Militia, the county of Cumberland also raised the Foot Militia. Six companies were raised and distributed throughout the county’s towns: one each at Cockermouth, Penrith, Kirkby Lonsdale and Kendal and two stationed at Carlisle. Each man was to be armed with a musket and supplied with three pounds of ball. Simpson was muster master as well as clerk of the peace, and it was for him to pay the men.46

All these measures were applauded by the absentee Lord Lieutenant, the Earl of Carlisle, in a letter to Lonsdale: ‘The Directions you have… given in Relation to the Militia, are very proper and what I intirely approve.’ He requested that Lonsdale keep him informed of what happened, especially ‘any Alarme or Apprehension of Danger’.47

However, it was not all plain sailing for the militia. Carlisle knew what the problem was, writing, ‘The Men can be of no use unless fitly Armed… take that particular into your Speedy and serious Consideration.’48 None knew this more so than Lonsdale:

The Militia throughout is ill armed and I don’t know how that can be remedied at present, for they can’t be provided with better ones in this country and it will be a long time before new ones can be had from London. We have ordered them to throw away their pikes and get firelocks in their place, and also to put the arms they have into the best condition that is possible.49

However in contrast to Lonsdale’s remarks, Symson, who was intimately concerned with the militia at this time, had this to say: ‘Ours and Cumberland’s militia, both horse and foot, are up… and well armed and strictly disciplined every day.’50

It is not known what the militia were envisaged doing and what they actually did. There is no record of any activity by the militia in October, and little afterwards either. Their very presence would have deterred anyone from making their Jacobite sympathies known or leaving to join the Jacobite army. Possibly they assisted the constables in making searches for any arms and horses that might be used in rebellion.

Securing any Catholics who might aid or join the Jacobite army was another major concern among the lieutenancy at this time. Lonsdale was certainly active in this sphere, as Carlisle noted on 25 October, ‘You have perform’d what the government expected from you in securing all Roman Catholicks, Non Jurors and other disaffected People you have reason to suspect would be Aiding to the Pretender upon this Occasion’.51

These Catholic gentry had been placed in Carlisle castle, but some believed Lonsdale had been too severe to their fellow gentry. He wrote ‘I was desired by some of these gentlemen to move the deputy lieutenants that they might have their liberty upon their parole.’ Lonsdale resisted such pleas, ‘I told them that was what I could not possibly do: the Northumberland men, who were all their friends, were very near and that thought it not at all fit for me to meddle in at this time.’52

Activity concerning the Catholics was certainly evident in the county. James Herbert, High Constable of the county ward of Allerdale above Derwent, was one. He had ‘been put to a great deal of trouble and Expence in rideing about to Summon Papists &c. and Issuing forth Warrants pursuant to the Orders of the Court’. His counterpart John Dean, for the Cumberland Eskdale ward, was similarly busy.53 Militia officers were also busy about their tasks. Thomas Wybergh was reimbursed with £5 ‘for securing papists with their horses and Arms’ in Westmorland. One Mr Fletcher and two officers were given £6 for the like duties in Cumberland.54

Those Catholic gentry who were taken into custody included Henry Curwen, Esquire of Workington, ‘a Gentleman of a plentiful estate’, Francis Howard of Corby castle and John Warwick of Warwick Hall. Patten later noted that their absence was a blow to the Jacobite cause in the county when their army marched through it.55

Steps taken to raise the militia were rather more tardy in Lancashire, possibly because of the high proportion of Catholic gentry within the county; the highest ratio anywhere in England. There was a meeting held of the county lieutenancy at Preston on 29 October. The lord lieutenant, and six deputy lieutenants, including Sir Henry Hoghton (c.1678–1768), an MP for Preston, were present. Hoghton was colonel of the county militia and was instructed to summon the men of the hundreds of Amounderness and Lonsdale. The notion was that they would be trained and then meet at Preston on 3 November. The militia would be armed with muskets and bayonets and supplied with cartridges. There would also be Horse Militia, ‘with such arms and furniture as are wanting to make them compleat’. Catholic gentry were also ordered to be arrested, but this does not seem to have occurred, for numerous Catholic gentry in the county joined the Jacobite army.56

Behind the immediate front line, in Yorkshire and Cheshire, there were also steps taken to fulfil the orders from London. Yorkshire was divided into three ridings, because of its size, and each riding had its own Lord Lieutenant. There was no obvious co-ordination between the three, each focusing only on matters in his own jurisdiction.

There was a meeting at Leeds on 7 October of the west riding’s lord lieutenant, Robert Boyle (1694–1753), third Earl of Burlington, and the deputy lieutenants, where the issue of the militia was discussed. It was well attended; as Sir Walter Calverley noted ‘There was a great appearance of gentlemen’. The mood of the meeting was certainly anti-Jacobite, as can be seen by one of the toasts which was made that evening: ‘A confusion to the Pretender, and all his adherents, and to all his open and secret friends’.57 By 15 October, orders had gone out to the riding’s landowners to let them know how many men and horses they should supply to the militia.58

Arms were also needed for the militia. The west riding quarter sessions, which met on 6 October, stated ‘Whereas the Militia of this riding not having been mustered of several years many of their Arms are lost or defective’. Burlington and his deputies agreed to provide 600 militiamen with muskets, bayonets, cartridge boxes and swords. This, together with a sum concerning vagrants, came to £800. The court treasurer agreed to repay Burlington the sum he was to pay to buy the weapons.59

Arms were also supplied by parish constables, as laid out by the 1285 Statute of Westminster. The deputy lieutenants told them ‘We… order and appoint you… to find and provide four sufficient foot soldiers to be armed with musquetts and other arms… to the militia of this riding… October 10, 1715.’ The parish constable of Bramley was certainly diligent in this, making a valuation of land in the parish in order to ascertain how much each landowner should contribute. He eventually provided their guns, three swords and other equipment at the cost of £5 7s 6d, most of which was reimbursed him by the following year.60 In London, the trained bands were to be armed with bayonets by 15 October.61

There was another meeting, this time without Burlington, on 19 October. However, this proved rather more contentious. Sir William Lowther was deputising for Burlington and he claimed that those present ‘did everything to obstruct the King’s business; and that they were enemies to King George and that he would certify as much to Lord Burlington’. However, this should not be taken to imply that the west riding deputy lieutenants were Jacobites, for Calverley refers to Lowther as being ‘a madman’. The meeting did decide, however, that the clerk to the militia be paid 2s per order he had to deal with.62

Whether the militia was raised in the west riding is another question, for Townshend wrote to the Yorkshire Lieutenancy on 25 October, giving them commissions under the King’s Sign Manual authorising them to raise volunteers for the same service as the militia. Shortly after Townshend thanked Burlington: ‘the firmness and loyalty shewn on this occasion to your Lordship’s zeal and activity is very agreeable to His Majesty’.63 Burlington had clearly decided to bypass the conventional method for county defence of the militia and had taken measures into his own hands. He had gathered together ‘a great number of gentlemen and their servants in arms’. He had encouraged his tenants to do the like. In order to recompense them for their time and trouble, Burlington offered to remit part of their rent if they armed themselves to resist ‘against a popish rebellion and invasion’.64

Burlington’s forces met at Pontefract in mid-October, which presumably accounts for his absence from the meeting of deputy lieutenants. It was written that they were ‘to march with him wherever his Lordship shall think for the service of His majesty’.65 Their activity is not recorded again until the beginning of next month.

The crisis in the north-western counties came on 1 November when the Jacobite army arrived in the north of Cumberland. To oppose them, the posse comitatus of Cumberland was summoned to meet at Penrith, just as Johnson had summoned their Northumberland equivalent at Newcastle three weeks previously. Humphrey Senhouse was the sheriff of Cumberland and so presumably he did so. With him were Bishop Nicolson, Viscount Lonsdale, the archbishop of York, Sir William Dawes, and several other clergymen.66

Contemporaries ascribed the posse as being a mighty force, numerically speaking. Peter Clarke, a Penrith lawyer, stated it as being 25,000 men.67 Patten claimed there were 14,000 men in the force opposing the Jacobites.68 Another Jacobite, a Lowland Scot, estimated it as being between 6,000- and 7,000-strong.69 These are all very high figures, if we recall that the Northumberland posse was but 407 men and that Cumberland was a very sparsely populated county which leads one to suppose that the figures quoted above, all by Jacobites, were exaggerated in order to make their subsequent role seem all the more impressive. However, if that were so, it would not account for Lonsdale’s figure of 13,000.70 Apart from the posse, the force also included some militia, presumably the company posted at Penrith.71 There were also a number of clergy there.72 It is also possible that there might have been spectators, possibly with their families, who had come along to watch a battle and/or take part in any spoils that might ensue thereafter, and these may have seemed to inflate the number of those present in the posse itself.

Some among those gathered at Penrith did not think that they would need to do any fighting, believing that the Jacobites were merely a broken rabble, defeated or fleeing from General Carpenter’s little army. Thus the posse would ‘have nothing to do than to pick up some of their shattered fragments into which he would chop them for such a service we were well enough prepared’.73 This probably accounts for their state of being ill prepared, militarily speaking. Clarke wrote that ‘very few of them had any regular armes’.74 Another contemporary source noted they were armed with pitchforks and a contemporary ballad that they were mainly armed with agricultural implements such as bill hooks, pitchforks and scythes, with some having rusty spears, swords and antique muskets.75 Yet there had been some attempt to train them by having the half-pay officers sent from London ‘by the assistance of some broken officers of General Elliott’s regiment (who were extremely diligent) were put in a very tolerable order’.76

Yet once the advance guard of the Jacobite army came into sight, most of those assembled fled. A Lowland Jacobite wrote ‘they fled like sheep before us’.77 Patten wrote ‘they broke up their camp in the utmost confusion, shifting every one for themselves as well as they could, as is generally the case of an arm’d but undisciplined Multitude’.78 A contemporary newspaper similarly remarked: ‘I never beheld such an instance of the cowardice of Rabble.’79

There were a number of reasons stated as to why the posse did not stand their ground. Primarily, morale was very low. Lonsdale wrote:

I don’t know whether this rout proceeded from Fear or disaffection, what makes me imagine it is a thing designed is because most of the men came without any manner of arms and though the rebels knew their number to be so great they did not alter their march at all, which I fancy they would have doen if they had not depended upon a great many friends who did not shew themselves.80

It was also suggested that the Jacobites had sown fear into their ranks, ‘possibly with the false accounts of their Numbers, industriously spread by their Friends in those Parts’.81 Some Jacobites thought that the men of the posse who they caught were Jacobite sympathisers, saying ‘God save King James and prosper his merciful army’, but this may have been due to it being politic in the circumstances.82 Another source claimed that men began to leave in search of food.83

Lonsdale and others tried to rally the men. As he later wrote, ‘all the means that were possible were used by several of the gentlemen for keeping the men together but was all to no purpose’.84 Very soon only he and between 20 and 100 men remained, and these included his servants. Once they saw the Jacobite advance they left.85 The half-pay officers were still with them and they advised returning to the town of Penrith and making a stand there. However, once there, they realised that they were insufficient in number to do so and again withdrew.86

Lonsdale’s role was criticised by some. Patten, though, defended it:

those who know how naked and unprepar’d that Multitude were of all warlike Arms and Stores, justly commend his wise conduct to retreat and prevent the effusion of so much blood and innocent lives, which would have been of bad consequence, and no service to his master.87

A week later, Lonsdale was in Carlisle, consulting with Brigadier Stanwix, who was lieutenant governor there.88

The posse of the county to the south, Westmorland, was also formed, and they were to meet at Kendal on 3 November. Symson, his son and a servant were all preparing to join it. Symson wrote:

the like of this county of Westmorland rises this day to oppose the rebels, who we are informed are about 60 miles from us on the border of Scotland. We hope to join the Cumberland men this day and when so will be I hope many thousands well armed with courage, cheerfulness and weapons that the enemy dare not stand against us.89

However, once they had heard what had happened at Penrith on the previous day, this ‘so terrified the people, that those who were coming to the place appointed for the rendezvous turned back as soon as they heard the news and the rest would not stir from home’.90

Lonsdale was depressed about the course of events, quite naturally so. He told Townshend, ‘The country is entirely without defence and I am very much afraid these rebels won’t be stopped till they meet with a Regular Force.’91 Townshend did not blame him, replying

His Majesty is very sensible of your lordship’s having done all that could be expected, and that it was not possible on a sudden and upon the first assembly of the people of the country, to raise a sufficient force to oppose them.92

The county militia remained in being, however, for on 9 November they were ordered to appear, fully armed and supplied with muskets, powder and ball, at the Round Table near Eamont Bridge for 12 November.93 Yet they were able to do nothing against the Jacobite march southward. Meanwhile, the Westmorland quarter sessions ordered that all the county’s Catholics appear in Kendal on 12 November to take their oaths (after the Jacobite army had left the county).94

Meanwhile the Jacobite army marched southward through Appleby, Kendal and Kirkby Lonsdale and into Lancashire. Although there was no active resistance, there were some minor acts which showed that not all in these counties were acquiescent about the Jacobite army in their midst. When the Rev. Robert Patten spent some time away from the army with some friends, the sheriff attempted to have him seized, ‘spar’d no Diligence to have taken him, but came a little too late’.95 Thomas Wybergh, a militia captain, strove to gain intelligence about the Jacobite army and relay it to others, but he was arrested at Appleby.96 At Kendal, when the Jacobites proclaimed their King in public, one man, a Quaker, refused to show the respect thought necessary and the mayor refused to tell them where the militia’s arms were stored. Thomas Forster visited his godmother there and she abused him, referring to him ‘as a rebel and a popish toole’.97 John Biggs, Vicar of Kirkby Lonsdale, fled so as to not have to proclaim the Jacobites when they arrived there (on the previous day he had the bell ringers ring for the 5 November and paid them in ale).98 Without substantial military aid the civil population could do very little about an army marching in their wake.

On 7 November the Jacobite army arrived in Lancashire. As with Cumberland, there was the county militia of Lancashire, here led by Hoghton. He had stationed his men in Lancaster, which was on the main road south, the likely route of the Jacobite army. The town was situated on the river Lune and that was to be crossed by the main bridge in the town, which also boasted of a castle. Hoghton proposed that a stand be taken there. To do this, he needed the co-operation of the civic authorities and others. Hoghton and his fellow deputy lieutenants Charles Rigby and Francis Charteris suggested that the bridge be destroyed in order to deny the Jacobites their march south. This was refused, however; it being suggested that the Jacobites could ford the river at low tide and that repairing the bridge would be very expensive.99

There was also discussion with Robert Parkinson, mayor of Lancaster and the corporation, as to persuading merchants who had cannon mounted on their ships at dock, to have them used in the town’s defence, but they refused. Hoghton also requested that Stanhope’s dragoons, stationed at Preston, should march to the defence of the town. In all this he was refused, so he marched his men southwards, many deserting.100 Joseph Bentley, a tax collector in the town, fled with his money that the Jacobites would otherwise have taken.101 Christopher Hopkins, a stationer, and Ralph Fairbrother spied on the invaders, noting down their numbers and arms. Though Hopkins was seized, he escaped, so could pass on his news to General Carpenter.102

After spending a day in Lancaster the Jacobite army then marched to Preston. Before they arrived there, ‘Everyone was in great confusion. Most of ye Better sort Removed themselves and effects.’103 Further to the south, in Warrington, Charles Owen, a dissenting minister and anti-Jacobite, fled with his family to London, a friend relating ‘He is a brisk active man and is much hated by the Tories in that county who do all they can to hurt him, his wife and brother that are gone from Warrington for fear of the rebels.’104 Another loyalist was Preston’s Vicar, who left the town following the Jacobites’ arrival. It was claimed that this man, the Rev. Samuel Peploe (1667–1752), ‘so manifestly distinguished himself for his zeal and loyalty to the government when the rebels entered that town’. It is uncertain what this entailed, but presumably he provided useful intelligence to Major General Charles Wills (1666–1741) and he was certainly well rewarded thereafter for services rendered.105 Another Lancashire clergyman who opposed the Jacobites at this time was the Rev. John Wright, the curate of Broughton. A certificate produced in 1716 stated:

The last year when the Rebels came in a full march towards Lancaster and within 20 miles of our town in these wavering and distracted times to express my loyalty to the best of Kings and the Protestant Succession, and as a member of the best of churches established by Law, preached from Proverbs 24 and 21. 22. My son for ye the Lord and the King to meddle not with yt are given to charge for their calamity should rise suddenly and who knowing the ruin of both. In the prosecution of ye Discourse preached I recited Dr Shaw’s text… for wch discourse the rebels were informed of me and came to exasperate against me and they threatened to plunder my Goods and to cut my person in pieces.106

More violently, when the Jacobite gentleman Richard Towneley left his house to join the Jacobite army ‘the mob there arose and gutted his house’.107

Captain William Leigh, who had served nine years as a soldier in Flanders, was recommended to serve as a captain in the Lancashire militia. The deputy lieutenants listed his qualifications:

A fit and proper person to be commissioned therein, his fidelity and steadiness to the present Government is well known to us he having at this time been very restive and serviceable in Discountenancing and quelling factious and seditious spirits and countenancing and encouraging all such as are actively loyal and well affected to His Majesty King George and he is greatly respected and esteemed among us.108

Yet some of the militia were employed on less onerous tasks. Blundell recorded that on 13 November, ‘This House was twice smirched by some Foot as came from Leverpoole, I think the first party was about twenty six’.109 Other Catholic properties in Lancashire were also searched by the militia. Towneley Hall was visited by 20 of the militia, who, according to the housekeeper, were also looking for the master of the house, promising they ‘would shoot him… and fired a pistol into the Room where her master and mistress slept’. Edward Tyldesley’s house was searched and items stolen.110

There were also attempts made to defend Liverpool against any Jacobite incursion and these were the subject of the townsmen rather than an outside force as at Lancaster. Here the merchants seemed determined to offer a defence. Blundell wrote on 5 November, ‘they began to fortify Leverpoole by kasting up great Banks for feer of my Lord Darwintwater’.111 A great many different people came together on this occasion, ‘Merchants, Traders, and other Loyal Inhabitants… together with a Great number of Country People’, as well as many sailors. A third of the approaches to the town were flooded and the others were blocked by earthworks, behind which was mounted cannon, probably from the ships in the harbour. Spies were sent forth to gain intelligence of the Jacobites.112

William Crisp, brother of the High Sheriff, was in charge of the six companies of volunteers who were raised. One was formed of young gentlemen and merchants’ sons. A further 200 Dissenters agreed to assist with the defence and their meeting house was turned into a storeroom for military supplies. Some of the townsmen sallied forth to arrest Catholic gentry. A ‘vast mob of sailors and others’ threatened Lord Molyneux’s house, but, unlike the case with Towneley’s, it was not damaged.113

Those in Liverpool claimed ‘We are here well fortified and are in a manner out of any apprehensions of the Rebels’. Some, though, had fled with their valuables ‘for their greater Security’, so evidently did not share this rosy assessment of a successful deterrent or defence.114 Daniel Defoe (c.1660–1731), however, claimed that all these efforts would have been wasted if there had been a resolute Jacobite attack on Liverpool. He wrote ‘it would have fared but very ill with Leverpool, who could have made but little resistance against an armed and desperate body of men, such as they appeared to be, and by that time would have been’.115

Hoghton and his militia were still needed. As the Jacobites marched south, their regular military opponents were gathering to confront them. General Wills had brought together a number of regiments of dragoons, a regiment of Horse and a battalion of infantry at Wigan to oppose the Jacobite army, which was at Preston from 9 November. Hoghton was instructed by the deputy lieutenants to march to Wigan with his men. William Squire, the Mayor of Liverpool, sent the army ‘a great quantity of powder and ball, and other stores of war’.116 The JPs also sent other supplies; John Pemberton supplied three carriages and six horses for £2 2s 6d on 11–12 November and another seven carts were sent by four other contractors. These would have been useful for transporting the army’s baggage and supplies on their march.117

Hoghton also used his contacts for further assistance. On 11 November he wrote to the Rev. Woods of Chowbent:

The officers here design to march at break of day for Preston. They have desired me to raise what men I can to meet us at Preston tomorrow, so desire you to raise all the force you can, I mean lusty young fellows to draw up on Condon Green to be there by ten o’clock to bring what arms they have fit for service, and scythes putt in straight polls and such as have not, to bring spades and bill hooks for pioneering with. Pray go immediately all amongst your neighbours and give this notice.118

There was also discussion in Cheshire about the militia on 3 November, when it was known that the Jacobite army had marched into England. On 9 November, two troops of militia horsemen and seven companies of infantry were drawn up on Bridge Street in Chester. They did not want to be under the orders of the half-pay officers that had been sent to train and lead the civilian force. Rather, they would only march ‘but under command of their proper officers and many cry up For the Church’. On the next day the militia were again drawn out ‘in a military posture’ outside the city walls. One Major Laurence was in charge of the cavalry. More men were encouraged to join. They departed from the city on 11 November, with half towards Manchester and half to Warrington. Colonel Samuel Daniel, with a troop of cavalry (50 men) and three companies of infantry (200 men), went to Manchester; those with Major Mainwaring went to Warrington.119 On the next day, the Earl of Cholmondeley marched with gentlemen volunteers to Warrington.120

In Manchester, bibulous wigmaker Edmund Harrold (1678–1721) confided his thoughts in his diary, writing that on 5 November, the church bells rang and bonfires were lit. He also wrote of the regular troops entering the town, ‘I never saw so any fien men and horses in my life at one time as is gone thro’ this town on this occation. O God who governs all things, give victory to the righteous and let iniquity be punished, for sin is an evil to be punished by ye judge. Do bless and preserve the Church of England in its liturgie, laws and liberty, as it now is by law.’121

In nearby Yorkshire, Burlington arranged that his men would meet at Leeds on 11 November. His lordship did not arrive until the following day. They met at Woodhouse Moor, near Leeds on 12 November. These were nobility and gentry among them, and in all the force numbered 700 men. Of these, all but 600 were on horseback, ‘well horsed and well armed’ according to John Lucas. Thomas Wentworth was there with a troop of horse militia; about 86 strong, including officers and NCOs taken from the wapentakes of Morley, Skyrack and Osgoldcross.122

It seems that part of the Yorkshire militia, from the east and north ridings, together with other volunteers, all on horseback, accompanied General Carpenter’s army marching through Yorkshire towards Preston. The Earl of Holderness, Lord Lieutenant of the north riding and other lords and gentry, led them.123 Amongst these were the Earl of Carlisle, Lord Lumley and Colonel Darcy. Carpenter was complimentary about their involvement, writing that they were

highly serviceable to His Majesty in procuring constant Intelligence of the Rebels by their Great Interest in the Country; as also by their Advice, having been present at every Consult, and in every place where there was any appearance of Service.124

On Wills’ army’s march to Preston on 12 November they were joined by the men requested by Hoghton, ‘a considerable party’ of at least 300-strong led by James Wood and Mr Walker. They were armed with swords, pistols, guns and scythes on the end of sticks.125 However, neither they nor the militia took part in the attack on the Jacobite army at Preston. A contemporary map shows the militia forces on the south and west sides of the river, divided into infantry and cavalry forces.126 They did see some action, and were stated as being ‘very serviceable in guarding the Passes and several parties attempting to force their way through them, were either killed, taken or beat back’.127 Despite a largely successful defence of the town on 12 November against Wills’ men, the Jacobite army failed to exploit their defensive tactical success and did not go onto the offensive. On the following day, Carpenter’s reinforcements arrived and the morale of the Jacobite leadership collapsed, leading to negotiations and, finally, surrender on 14 November, with the entire army becoming prisoners. The Jacobite campaign in England in 1715 was now at an end.

The militia and the posse had been of mixed worth to the anti-Jacobite cause. At Newcastle, their presence had been decisive in deterring the small Jacobite force from marching towards the important town until it had been reinforced by regular troops. Alone, however, against a much larger force in Cumberland and Lancashire, they had been of no use; they fled in rout at Penrith and retreated more decorously at Lancaster. They had been of some use in conjunction with Wills’ force at Preston on 12 November, but even here had not been asked to take part in the assault; instead, they were held in a secondary position, where they had thwarted some of the escaping Jacobites. Some of the Yorkshire forces had accompanied Carpenter’s troops who arrived at Preston on 13 November, but by this time the actual fighting was over. It is, of course, possible that their presence with Carpenter’s three regiments of dragoons made this force appear stronger than it actually was and thus played a part in leading the Jacobite leaders into entering into surrender negotiations, which were concluded on the following day, resulting in the Jacobite army’s total and unconditional surrender.

Civilian forces were raised elsewhere. This was because it was feared that there might be other Jacobite risings elsewhere in England and these would otherwise be a distraction for the professional army. In Durham, troops of Horse Militia were raised, numbering 79 men in all. They began their duties on 9 October. Scarborough, as Lord Lieutenant of Durham as well as Northumberland, told Clavering ‘to spare no expense for intelligence and ye security of ye troop it being so much for ye service of ye publick’.128 These included searching houses, which resulted in one arrest, being sent to find intelligence of the Jacobite army which included visiting Derwentwater’s seat at Dilston and going as far field as Appleby. Men were posted at a number of bridges in the county so as to intercept any messages that the Jacobites might try and send.129

At York, on 20 October, perhaps to show their loyalty on the anniversary of the King’s coronation, the corporation recorded, ‘We are frequently alarmed with new insurrections and Commotions and apprehensive of some nearer than Northumberland’. They decided to call out the militia ‘with all convenient speed’, or else thought that they needed regular forces in the city. In the meantime, a volunteer company of between 50 and 60 men was to be raised immediately.130 The men were to be based at Castlegate, with a guardhouse there where city constables would deliver coals and candles.131 The constables’ accounts for the parish of Holy Trinity church, Goodramgate, record paying and equipping three men to act as volunteer soldiers at the rate of 12 pence per day; they were in service for eight days at the total cost of £4 16s 6d.132 It is possible that other city parishes did likewise, but lacking constables’ accounts for these churches it is impossible to be certain. What the men did is another question; perhaps they guarded the city gates at night.

The militia were formed in other parts of Yorkshire. Viscount Irwin stated that provision for the militia in his jurisdiction was poor, but ordered his deputies to ‘immediately resolve on the most effectual and speediest method for bringing those things forthwith into better order… see as the said militia in every respect may be put into speedy posture to meet and march upon the first orders’.133 He had Sir Robert Hildyard made lieutenant colonel of the Foot Militia and told him to exercise and discipline his men.134 Thirty years on, the seventh Viscount Irwin referred to the uselessness of the militia ‘in the year fifteen’ and this may be a reference to his predecessor’s efforts.135 Similarly, little is known about the activity of the north riding militia in this period. The Lord Lieutenant, Lord Holderness, had Thomas Worsley appointed as lieutenant colonel. Mrs Robinson wrote a letter to one of her sons, referring to ‘yr father, brother and a great many gentlemen had been campaigning of it at Richmond with Lord Holderness’ and that ‘if ye party attempt rising any more they’l be well prepared to oppose them’, though this was written in late November, after the active campaign in England was over.136

At Nottingham on 20 October the country gentry met at The Feathers to regulate the militia there.137 They were led by Sir Randolph Wasteneys and proposed destroying bridges if the Jacobite army marched into Derbyshire.138 In London, the Middlesex and City of Westminster lieutenancy summoned men and arms for the militia on 24 October.139 Elsewhere in London, that month, one Hatton Compton reviewed the Tower Hamlets Militia.140 An armed association was formed by the Dowager Countess of Gainsborough in Rutland.141 A force of 60 horsemen was raised at East Retford.142 In Shrewsbury, five companies of volunteers were formed as soon as news of the rebellion was known about, in order to defend the town.143

It was not only the Jacobite armies from the north that were a threat. Due to fears of a Jacobite descent on the south-west Charles Powlett (1661–1722), second Duke of Bolton, put the Dorset militia ‘in such a method that for the future they may be of some use’.144 Similarly, the town of Bath raised two troops of volunteer horse, probably to work in conjunction with the regular troops sent there.145 James (1679–1736), third Earl of Berkeley, wrote on 8 October, ‘Bristol and adjacent wch was threatened by the west of being seized and our alarum was so great, that the gates were shut, militia raised, guns mounted’ and believed Sir William Wyndham, MP, was the leading conspirator.146

There were also a number of ad hoc forces that were raised, possibly on a very temporary basis. Apparently 800 men armed with firelocks and scythes were raised at Sheffield, along with a troop of Horse under William Jessup Esq. and 300 at Northallerton, armed with ‘firelocks and scythes’. Those at Sheffield were raised because there was a concern that the Jacobites might march into this western tip of Yorkshire.147 In Gloucester, 700 miners of the Forest of Dean after having been entertained at Berkeley Castle all ‘readily engag’d to oppose the Pretender’.148 Some even saw a little action. At Berwick at least 50 townsmen armed themselves and accompanied 30 of the garrison to retake the castle at Holy Island on 11 October which had been seized by a Jacobite coup of the previous day. It turned out to be an almost bloodless success.149 Some from the same place even joined a Captain Phillips of the garrison to join General Carpenter in pursuit of the retreating Jacobites later that month; they saw no action.150

Apart from the militia, posse and other volunteer forces raised at this crucial time, there were other demonstrations of support for the new dynasty throughout England. Acting to support the anti-Jacobite cause were extraordinary steps that were taken at the county quarter sessions. They aimed to curb Jacobite sympathisers and to assist the work of the army and militia. On 6 October the west riding sessions met and made a number of decisions in this respect. They decided to watch and ward be set in each constabulary and sent orders to the Chief Constables to direct that the petty constables do so. This meant that a special watch should be kept, both night and day by two men at each for any strangers and to convey anyone seeming suspicious to the nearest JP.151

Chief Constables had also to summon all clergymen, schoolmasters, lawyers, freeholders and copyholders (with an estate of more than £10 annual rental value), merchants, farmers and craftsmen with an annual income of over £200 to take loyal oaths before a JP in one of a number of towns appointed for such throughout the riding. This had to be done between 24 October to 5 November. A number of prominent Catholics were gaoled at York castle for refusing to do so, which included denying the principal Catholic tenet of transubstantiation.152

Catholics were viewed as the principal supporters of the rebellion, and though they were represented in the Jacobite army in England out of all proportion to their actual numbers, most did not stir. However, all were viewed as potential supporters, if not personally then through the supply of horses and arms which were crucial to an army. Constables throughout the north of England were sent by the JPs to search Catholic properties and to seize any such arms (above those needed for self defence) and any horses valued at over £5.

John Davy, a Yorkshire constable, was reimbursed £2 3s 6d for ‘his trouble in seizing of horses belonging to papists’.153 Some Catholics were allowed a degree of leniency; Henry Frankland Gould was allowed to retain three horses, two guns and a brace of pistols as he swore that ‘the said horses and arms shall not be made use of… whatsoever but in my owne Affaires and for my own and proper use’.154 Lord Fairfax, in the north riding, was allowed to keep two fowling pieces and a sword for his own use.155 In Durham, the militia arrested a number of Catholics and escorted them to the county gaol. They also confiscated 7 fine guns, 7 old guns, 6 pairs of pistols, 3 single pistols, 14 usable swords and 21 old swords and a number of pistol and gun barrels from various Catholic households. They also seized 39 horses said to be for Jacobite use.156

Similar activity was patchy elsewhere; in Hertfordshire, a parish constable’s accounts for Aldenham reveal that a shilling was spent for the returns of a warrant for searching after papists’ and the like sum for ‘a warrant of the inhabitants being sworn to the King’.157 However, in both Berkshire and Hampshire, a county where Catholicism was particularly widespread, no action is known to have been taken.158

In Cheshire, Cholmondeley told the JPs on 1 November, to put the laws against Catholics into operation ‘since there is open rebellion already begun in this country’. However, a leading JP, Peter Shakerley, was unenthusiastic for this, arguing that there were few Catholics in his jurisdiction and these that were there were but

poor little Inoffensive Fellows… I cannot presume your Lordship would give yourself or us the trouble of them since there is no information before us of any fact against them or indeed any of the rest. I personally know all the persons in the list save 1 or 2 and believe them to be peaceable and would live quietly and inoffensively under the government.

He argued that ‘mild and gentle methods will not more effectually preserve the peace of the county… than rigid and severe methods’.159

Given that Parliament was sitting at this time, most of the bishops were in London. On 11 November, they published a declaration against the rebellion: ‘They own that the clergy and people of the Church of England are the most concern’d to shew themselves hearty for the government’. The bishops signing the document were those of London, Winchester, Lichfield and Coventry, Peterborough, Salisbury, Gloucester, Lincoln, Norwich, Ely, Chichester, Bangor, Saint Asaph and Oxford.160

Nathaniel Crewe, bishop of Durham, who was absent from his diocese, wrote to the dean there ‘immediately summon a chapter, and acquaint them, That I enjoin them to declare upon all occasions, their Abhorrence of such tumultuousness and Rebellious Proceedings that have been lately in Northumberland’. Clergymen were instructed to ‘Preach up Loyalty to His majesty King George’ and prayers were to be distributed among the clergy. Fellow bishop, Nicolson, wrote of ‘such bold strokes of loyalty, such as a hearty Renouncing of the Pretender and adherence to King George… are rightly glorious and praiseworthy’.161

Lower down the Church hierarchy there were other instances. The Rev. Christopher Sudell of Holy Trinity, Chester, preached against ‘the rebels against God and our excellent Constitution in Church and State’.162 Nicolson noted in his diary that ‘Mr Bolton preach’d on Luke 9, 5–6, against ye spirit of Rebellion’.163 This was probably John Bolton (1679–1724), Vicar of Workington in Cumberland. Unfortunately the texts of these sermons do not exist.

All surviving sermons that have been published were delivered in the south of England, because that is where the bulk of the printing presses were, but this is clearly not to say that these were not given elsewhere, only that they were not published or if they were, they have not survived. These were delivered by both Anglican and Dissenting clergymen. Jeremiah Burroughs, a Presbyterian minister of Blackfriars, was one of the latter. He immediately identified Babylon with Rome, a place of sinfulness and plague, and that the people should escape it. He went on to attack the fallacy of the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation.164 He also attacked the alleged Catholic practice of the worship of statues; namely idolatry.165 Catholic cruelties were also referred to. In this they identified with the interests of the Church of England.166 Finally, Burroughs urged the congregation to be thankful for past deliverances, to respect their present government, and its Protestant King ‘where we alone have any outward prospect of safety, namely in His sacred Majesty King George’.167

Dr John Harris, an Anglican clergyman, preaching at St. Dunstan’s in the East, also spent much time attacking the violence of Catholicism, rather than its doctrine per se. He too observed the similarity between the bondage of the Jews in Egypt with that of the Catholic oppression prior to the Reformation and the subsequent deliverance by God of those enslaved. Examples of ‘Popish Cruelty, Treachery and Barbarity’ were given, along with their propensity to violence and murder. These included the ‘Powder Plot’ and the murder of the French King, Henry IV a few years later and the assassination plots against William III.168

Ryder was at St. John’s church, Hackney, on 5 November and noted that the Rev. Peter Newcome ‘preached a sermon full of Whiggish sentiments and expressions of charity and forbearance towards his dissenting brothers’.169 Significantly, the man had been, during Anne’s reign, a Tory but was ‘now much altered’.170 Mr Fernley, a dancing master of Ryder’s acquaintance, was likewise; politically ignorant but a man of good sense, thought Ryder, who also wrote ‘I believe was led away with the cry of the Church so that he was a favourer of the Tories but now begins to see through it and is I believe heartily for King George’.171 Of course, these instances may be wishful thinking of the Whiggish Ryder, wanting to believe that Tories were changing their political allegiances, but it is noteworthy that this was occurring whilst the balance of the military campaign was yet to swing towards the government.

There were also examples of church bells being rung on 20 October, the anniversary of George I’s coronation and on 5 November. 5 November was important for Protestants in England because it was the anniversary of deliverance from Catholicism on two occasions. Firstly the discovery of the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, a Catholic conspiracy to murder the King and the members of the Parliament. Secondly, there was the arrival of William of Orange in England in 1688 on that day to deliver the country from the Catholic James II. It is no surprise, then, that Protestant ministers preached on this day to remind their congregations that the rebellion, which in England was made up of Catholics out of all proportion to their numbers, should be resisted for what might occur if it succeeded. Both these were seen by Protestants as instances of God’s deliverance of England from Catholic machinations, whether that of a Catholic plot to destroy Parliament and kill the King or of a Catholic King attempting to reintroduce Catholicism later in the same century.

There were great rejoicings at Bath on 20 October. Church bells rang and there was a procession to the Abbey, where a loyal sermon was delivered. In the evening there was a ball and outside, bonfires, illuminations and all ‘without the least disorder’.172 At Chester, there were similar festivities. Prescott reported that at Chester on 5 November:

The day is ushered with bells celebrated and carry’d on with the usual Solemnitys. That part of Delivery by King William is commemorated by the soldiers wearing Orange ribbands, with particular respect. From Elixir last night, I confine myself today and read the History of it.173

Elsewhere in the county, at St. Mary’s church at Stockport bellringers were paid 6s 8d for ringing on 5 November and on that day the like occurred at St. John’s church, Macclesfield, where the payment was 18s 6d.174

Likewise, at Gravesend in Kent, the corporation had the church bells rung, and had flags and streamers flying. The mayor and councillors rode from the town hall to the church where ‘they heard a very extraordinary sermon suitable to the occasion’ by the Rev. Mark Gibbin, the curate there. There was a party that night at the Flushing tavern, where the healths of the King, the Prince and Princess of Wales, William III and Marlborough were made. An effigy of the Pretender, complete with beads, crucifix and wooden shoes, making his Catholicism explicit, was carried through the town by the garrison and the people until it was thrown onto a bonfire, with the cries of ‘Long live King George and the Hanoverian succession for ever: No popish Pretender, no wooden shoes [a reference to the alleged poverty in Catholic countries], no rebels’.175

York’s church bells rang out throughout this day, it being ‘here observed with more than usual solemnity’. It began in the morning and continued in the evening, ceasing only at times of services. The Minster bells were said to have rung especially loudly. This action was apparently ‘to the great mortification of the Tories’.176

Church bells rang elsewhere. At Over Kellett, the ringers were paid seven shillings, and at other Lancashire parishes such as Formby and Standish they rang out.177 Parishes in Cumberland and Westmorland did so, too. At Penrith, despite the recent presence of the Jacobite army there (they left on 3 November), or perhaps because of it, the ringers received six shillings for bell ringing two days later. At Kendal, four shillings was spent for bell ringing on 5 November. Heversham parish did likewise and at Kirby Lonsdale ale to the value of 2s 3d was provided for the ringers afterwards. On the following day the Jacobite army arrived at this place and the vicar, Mr John Biggs, fled.178

Apart from bell ringing and sermons there were other loyalist demonstrations on the key dates in the calendar. On 30 October, the Prince of Wales’ birthday, in London, church bells rang, shops were shut and there was a levee at court attended by many of the nobility. There was also a ball at court ‘where was a very great Concourse of Nobility’. Elsewhere there were ‘Great Rejoicings and Expressions of Loyalty all over the City and Suburbs’. In the military camp at Hyde Park, there was an ox roast and hogsheads of beer, ale and wine provided for the soldiers and a guinea per company to drink the King’s health ‘which they did with repeated huzzas and Acclamations of Joy’.179

Demonstrations of support for the dynasty were observable elsewhere; sometimes far from the scene of obvious action. At several places, effigies of prominent Jacobites and their supporters were burnt. James Close informed Gilbert Spearman, a Durham antiquarian, that on 5 November ‘Our mob are tonight huzzaing for King George & the Protestant Religion. I have just passed by with a great cavalcade ye effigy of ye Devil ye Pope, ye Pretender, Ormond, Bolingbroke, Marr in order to burn them.’180

There was another example of such a demonstration of loyalty. This took place on 20 October, the King’s birthday, at Colchester in Essex. Apparently:

The Pretender was carried through the Town in procession… All night the whole Town was extraordinarily illuminated, large Bonfires made, and the Pretender burnt: during all of which time the Bells were ringing, the Drums beating, Hautboys playing, Guns firing and colours flying, with other marks of Joy. It’s remarkable that notwithstanding the Populousness of the Place, there was not the least Disturbance.181

Likewise in London on 5 November, the Loyal Society intended to burn effigies of the Pope, the Pretender, Forster, Viscount Kenmure and John Gordon, the latter being two prominent Scottish Jacobites. On their march through the streets with these effigies, they beat a warming pan, played music and carried torches. The effigies, alongside those of Mar and Ormonde, were placed in carts. That of Ormonde was decked out with scarlet coat and lace, holding a short staff. Mar was adorned similarly though with a silver coat and holding a paper on which was written ‘I have sworn 16 times to the Protestant religion and I ne’er deceived you but once’. On the back of the cart with the effigies of the Pretender and the Pope there was one of Bolingbroke on the tail with a paper ‘Perjury is no crime’. It was written ‘They were all drawn backward in the usual Posture of Traitors, and with halters about their Necks’. The effigies were taken out onto gallows and then put into a bonfire outside the Royal Exchange in the City. There was a large number of people assembled there ‘who made Huzza’s and Acclamations… while the effigies were consum’d in the flames, with the sound of Trumpets and kettle drums’.182

In the previous day, the Loyal Society, based at the Roebuck inn, found that the London Jacobites aimed to burn an effigy of William III on that day. They went to the corner of Old Jewry Lane and took the effigy after a fight: ‘We drove them like sheep before us, making many of them fall on their knees and cry King George forever.’ The loyalists then went back to the Roebuck ‘and finish’d the night with great Joy and Satisfaction’.183

There were ‘great demonstrations of Joy’ and, more sedately, ‘The streets were in general adorn’d with the woollen manufactures of the place, and the Doors of the well affected (which were far the greatest part) were planted with green boughs.’184

Although civil–military relations in the eighteenth century were generally poor, at a time of national emergency, they were much different. Thomas Wilkinson, an MP for Boroughbridge, entertained locals and the men of Molesworth’s dragoons when they passed through the town on their way to Newcastle.185 Likewise, in the following month when General Carpenter was leading his three regiments of dragoons, including Molesworth’s, through the Yorkshire town of Ripon, he received a warm welcome. Apparently

our Town welcomed them with huzzas when they came in; and all our windows full of illuminations and… every private family took their share of both officers and soldiers and took no money, and that morning they went away with the prayers of the town for their Prosperity.186

Private reactions are less easy to discern, but even those living far away from the scene of the violent action were not immune to them, as Isabella Twisden wrote on 5 November from her home in Kent to Mary Hammond of St. Albans: ‘I suppose the publick affairs are the chief part of yr converse, ’tis so with us.’187 Ryder refers in his diary to a conversation he had on 26 October at a chop house in the lawyers’ district of London, The Temple. He began talking to two men, strangers to him, and the conversation turned to politics. Finding that one of the men was a Jacobite, Ryder ‘pressed him with the consequences of the Pretender’s coming and also the very great improbability of his succeeding in his design’. The other man had little to say to this and Ryder recorded his own reaction to this verbal exchange:

I was not at all displeased with myself for what I said upon this occasion, but I cannot but observe that I am not very fit to talk seriously to a Jacobite on these affairs. I am too apt to be worked up into a kind of heat that makes me tremble all over and makes me speak with too much warmth and eagerness.188

Ryder also occasionally commented upon the progress of the military campaign. On 3 November he was dismissive about the Jacobite army in England: ‘The rebels in the North do nothing considerable and have yet gained no success’. He also noted that the Duke of Ormonde, on sailing towards Torbay, did not land because he found no support there for the Jacobite cause.189 He picked up rumours, as one on 5 November which was that Carpenter’s forces had won an overwhelming victory over the Jacobite army and Ryder thought ‘This is not certain but not improbable’.190

Support for the Hanoverian dynasty was visible throughout England; both on the front line and elsewhere. Equally important was the fact that unlike the Jacobite demonstrations in May and June there was very little of such in evidence in these crucial weeks. This is not to say that such loyalty translated into military effectiveness; the posse in Cumberland and the militia in Lancashire were unable to oppose the advance of the Jacobite army. Yet this is no evidence of a lack of support; only that it was ineffectual and this was realised by senior ministers in London who did not censure Lonsdale for that.


1. TNA, SP44/118, p. 334.

2. Durham University Library Archives and Special Collections, 1260/150.

3. Patten, History, p. 32.

4. Ellis, ‘Correspondence’, p. 182.

5. Spencer Cowper, ed, Diary of Lady Mary Cowper (London: John Murray, 1865), pp. 185–186.

6. HALS, D/EP F195, Cotesworth–Liddell, 11 October 1715; Ellis, ‘Correspondence’, p. 215.

7. Cowper, Diary, pp. 185–186.

8. Ellis, ‘Correspondence’, p. 183.

9. Ibid., p. 184.

10. HALS, D/EP F195, Cotesworth–Liddell, 11 October 1715.

11. DULASC, Clavering Correspondence, 25.

12. John Brand, The History and Antiquities of Northumberland (London: B. White and Sons, 1798), p. 511n.

13. Tyne and Wear Archive Service, 589/12, 356.

14. Ibid., 589/12, 361.

15. Daily Courant, 4361, 15 October 1715; Patten, History, pp. 35–36.

16. HALS, D/EP F195, Cowper – Liddell, 19 September 1716.

17. Patten, History, pp. 34–35.

18. TNA, SP35/5, f.179r.

19. Patten, History, pp. 24–25.

20. HALS, D/EP F195, Cotesworth to Liddell, 11 October 1715.

21. DULASC, Clavering Correspondence, 9.

22. Patten, History, p. 34.

23. The Flying Post, 3709, 9–11 October 1715.

24. Northumberland Record Office, ZCE10/2.

25. HALS, D/EP F195, Johnson–Liddell, 9 October 1715.

26. Evening Post, 265, 11–13 October 1715.

27. TNA, SP44/118, p. 340; Ellis, ‘Correspondence’, p. 208.

28. Patten, History, pp. 28–29.

29. Calendar of Treasury Papers, CCXII, p. 16.

30. Ellis, ‘Correspondence’, p. p181–182.

31. TNA, SP44/118, p. 67.

32. HALS, D/EP F195, Johnson–Liddell, 15 October 1715.

33. Ibid.; W. Dickson, ed., ‘Bills of cravings of the Sheriff of Northumberland for 1715’, Archaeologia Aeliana III (1844), p. 33.

34. Daily Courant 4368, 18 October 1715.

35. HALS, D/EP F195, Johnson–Liddell, 15 October 1715.

36. WYAS: Wakefield, QS10/13, p. 129b.

37. HALS, D/EP F195, Johnson–Liddell, 15 October 1715.

38. Ellis, ‘Correspondence’, p. 186.

39. BL. Lansdowne MSS 1024, f.1024, f.429r.

40. HALS, D/EP F195 Cotesworth–Liddell, 11 October 1715; Rae, History, p. 272.

41. Berwick Archives, B1/14, 17 October and 16 December 1715.

42. TNA, SP54/9/76.

43. William Shaw and F.H. Slingsby (eds.), Calendar of Treasury Papers, 1717 (London: HMSO, 1957), p.20).

44. Jarvis, Jacobite Risings, p,159.

45. Rae, History, p. 279.

46. Jarvis, Jacobite Risings, p. 163.

47. Ibid., p. 163.

48. The Manuscripts of the Earl of Carlisle preserved at Castle Howard (London: HMSO, 1897) p. 18.

49. Ibid.

50. Smith, Letter Books, p. 342.

51. Jarvis, Jacobite Risings, p. 162.

52. HMC Carlisle, p. 18.

53. Jarvis, Jacobite Risings, pp. 179, 181.

54. Ibid., pp. 171, 170.

55. Patten, History, pp. 67–68.

56. A Calendar of the deeds and papers’, p. 112.

57. S. Margerison, ed., ‘Memorandum Book of Sir Walter Calverley, Bart., 1663–1717’, Surtees Society, 77, (1886), p. 138.

58. WYAS, Bradford Archives, Spencer Stanhope Mss, Sp/St/10/7/9.

59. WYAS: Wakefield, QS10/13, p. 103.

60. WYAS: Leeds, Bramley Parish, 269, pp. 1–4.

61. Stamford Mercury, 13 October 1715.

62. Margerison, ‘Memorandum Book’, pp. 139–140.

63. TNA, SP44/118, pp. 103, 117.

64. St. James’ Evening Post, 65, 27–29 October 1715.

65. Postman, 11150, 22–25 October 1715.

66. Glasgow Courant, 2, November 1715.

67. Henry Paton, ed., ‘Peter Clarke’s Journal of the Occurrences to Preston’, Miscellany I, Scottish History Society, series 1, (1894), p. 513.

68. Patten, History, p. 64.

69. TNA, SP54/9/107.

70. BL. Add. Mss., 63903, f.60r.

71. Paton, ‘Journal’, p. 513; Matthews, Diary, p. 136.

72. Original Weekly Journal, 355, 19–26 November 1715.

73. R. Thoresby, Letters of Eminent Men addressed to Ralph Thoresby, II (Colburn, 1832), p. 319.

74. Paton, ‘Journal’, p. 513.

75. Original Weekly Journal, 355, 19–26 November 1715.

76. BL. Add. Mss., 63093, f.60r.

77. TNA, SP54/9/107.

78. Patten, History, p. 64.

79. Original Weekly Journal, 355, 19–26 November 1715.

80. BL. Add. Mss., 63093, f.61v.

81. Rae, History, pp. 279–280.

82. Blair Castle Atholl Papers, 45/12/77.

83. Original Weekly Journal, 355, 19–26 November 1715.

84. BL. Add. Mss., 63093, f.61v.

85. Rae, History, p. 280.

86. BL. Add. Mss., 63093, f.61v.

87. Patten, History, pp. 64–66.

88. Bishop of Barrow in Furness, ‘Diaries’, V, p. 6.

89. Smith, Letter Books, pp. 342–343.

90. BL. Add. Mss., 63093, f61v.

91. Ibid.

92. TNA, SP44/118, p. 116.

93. Jarvis, Jacobite Risings, p. 167.

94. CAS: Kendal, WQ/0/2, 347.

95. Patten, History, pp. 67–68.

96. Ibid., pp. 68–69.

97. Paton, ‘Journal’, pp. 515–516.

98. Patten, History, p. 70.

99. Ibid., pp. 71–73.

100. D. Fitzherbert-Brockholes, ‘A Narrative of the Fifteen’, Lancashire and Cheshire Historical Society (1912), p. 250.

101. Jarvis, Collected Papers on the Jacobite Risings, I (Manchester, 1971), p. 178.

102. Paton, ‘Journal’, pp. 517–518.

103. Brockholes, ‘Narrative’, p. 250.

104. Matthews, Diary, p. 136.

105. Weekly Journal, 11 February 1716.

106. LRO, ARR 37/22/32.

107. BL. Add. Mss., 37993, f.30r.

108. LRO, DDHU 53/42.

109. Tyrer, ‘Great Diurnall’, p. 151.

110. Political State, XI (1716), pp. 536–537, 541.

111. Tyrer, ‘Great Diurnall’, p. 151.

112. Rae, History, p. 317.

113. Flying Post, 3731, 1–3 December 1715; Matthews, Dairy, p. 175.

114. St. James’ Evening Post, 72, 12–15 November 1715.

115. Pat Rogers, ed., Daniel Defoe: A Tour through the Whole Island of Great Britain (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1971), p. 541.

116. Flying Post, 3722, 10–12 November. 1715.

117. Lancashire Record Office, QSP1091/8.

118. Hoghton, ‘Hoghton Tower’, p. 113.

119. Addy and McNiven, ‘Diary’, II, pp. 471–472.

120. Anon, A Compleat History of the Late Rebellion (London: Hinchliffe, 1716), p. 71.

121. Craig Horner (ed.), Diary of Edmund Harrold, wigmaker of Manchester, 17121715 (Farnham: Ashgate, 2008), p. 347.7/627.

122. LLSL, Memorandum Book, p. 33; Sheffield Archives, Wentworth Woodhouse, Mss, M16/1.

123. Flying Post, 3723, 12–15 November 1715.

124. Political State X, p. 183.

125. Matthews, Diary, p. 234.

126. LRO, DDX2244/1.

127. Daily Courant, 4391, 19 November 1715.

128. DULASC, Clavering Correspondence, 42.

129. Ibid., 23, 42.

130. YCA, HB Vol. 41, p. xix.

131. Ibid., p. 33a.

132. BIHR, Y/HTG15, p. 269.

133. WYAS, Leeds, TN/PO3/3C/2.

134. Ibid., 3F/1.

135. TNA, SP36/68, f.54r.

136. North Yorkshire County Record Office, ZDN13/6/2/13; WYAS Leeds, Vyner Mss 600/13154.

137. Political State, IX, p. 436.

138. TNA, SP35/4, f.122r.

139. Daily Courant 4371, 27 October 1715.

140. The Weekly Journal, 42, 22 October 1715.

141. Daily Courant 4391, 19 November 1715.

142. St. James’ Evening Post, 65 27–29 October 1715.

143. London Gazette, 25–28 February 1716.

144. TNA, SP35/4, f.61r.

145. Political State, XI, p. 176.

146. BL. Add. Mss., 42078, f.87v.

147. St. James’ Evening Post. 73, 15–17 November 1715; Political State, X p. 446.

148. St. James’ Evening Post, 67, 1–3 November 1715.

149. Evening Post, 967, 15–18 October 1715.

150. Daily Courant 4379, 6 November 1715.

151. WYAS, Wakefield, QS10/13, p. 103a.

152. Ibid., pp. 106a-b.

153. East Riding Record Office, QSV1/2A, f54r.

154. Ibid., QSV1/2A, f.49v.

155. NYCRO, QSM 1716, p. 250a.

156. DULASC, Clavering Correspondence, 44–45.

157. HALS, DP3/9/2.

158. Oates, ‘Berkshire and Jacobitism’, Berkshire Old and New (2007); Seditious Words and Loyal Oaths: Hampshire and the Jacobite Threat (2005).

159. CRO, DSSI1/3/88/6.

160. Flying Post, 3722, 10–12 November 1715.

161. BL Lansdowne Mss. 1024, f.429r, 428v.

162. Green, ‘Peploe’, p. 142.

163. Bishop of Barrow in Furness, ‘Diaries’, V, p. 5.

164. Jeremiah Burroughs, A Short View of Popery (London, 1715), pp. 1, 3.

165. Ibid., p. 9.

166. Ibid., pp. 17–18.

167. Ibid., pp. 20–21.

168. John Harris, A Sermon preach’d on November the 5th… (London, 1715), pp. 4–7, 9.

169. Matthews, Diary, p. 132.

170. Ibid., p. 132.

171. Ibid., p. 133.

172. St. James’ Evening Post, 66, 29 October–2 November 1715.

173. Addy and McNiven, ‘Diaries’, II, p. 471.

174. CRO, P14/3435/8/2 and P85/10/1.

175. St. James Evening Post, 70, 8–10 November 1715.

176. Weekly Post, 249, 12 November 1715.

177. LRO, PR2566, 3360/4/1/1; PR183.

178. CAS: Carlisle, PR110/75; CRO: Kendal, WPR18/W1, WPR43/W1, WPR19.

179. Daily Courant 4376, 2 November 1715.

180. DULASC, Shafto 1167.

181. Political State, X, p. 418.

182. Ibid., pp. 590.

183. Ibid., p. 589.

184. Ibid., p. 418.

185. Flying Post, 3716, 27–29 October 1715.

186. Daily Courant, 4389 17 November 1716.

187. Anon., ‘A Chapter of County Gossip’, p. 99.

188. Matthews, Diary, pp. 124–125.

189. Ibid., p. 131.

190. Ibid., p. 132.

If you find an error or have any questions, please email us at admin@erenow.org. Thank you!