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It Started with Bonnie Prince Charlie: Treachery and Skullduggery Accompany a Hunt for Lost Jacobite Gold in the Scottish Highlands

Wednesday, April 5, 2017 11:09
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(Before It's News)

Author searching for the Jacobite Gold in 2015. Source: Author provided

Although only one leather bag of gold coins has ever been recovered, no other treasure in Scottish history has inspired such controversy as the lost Jacobite Gold. The story begins in 1745 when Prince Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) arrived in Scotland claiming the thrones of Scotland, England and Ireland, in the name of his father James Stuart (the Old Pretender). Charlie managed to secure financial support from both Spain and Rome.

The Story of the Jacobite Gold

Spain pledged 400,000 livres (or Louis d'or) per month for the Jacobite cause in Scotland, but getting these funds to the rebel army was proving difficult. The first instalment of gold was dispatched in 1745 by Charles' brother Henry, who was residing in France. The French sloop Hazard (renamed the Prince Charles) successfully landed its monies on the north coast of Scotland at Tongue, but it was intercepted by men of the Clan Mackay, who were loyal to King George II of England.

In 1746, after Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Jacobite army was massacred at the Battle of Culloden near Inverness, he fled to the Western Isles. Before news of his defeat reached France, two frigates, the Bellona and Mars, were loaded with hundreds of casks of brandy, medical supplies, guns and ammunition, and hidden below deck was the payroll for Charlie’s Jacobite army and funds for his rebellion – 8 big bags of gold coins amounting to 1’200’000 livres. On the 10th of May 1746, the Bellona and Mars sailed into Loch nan Umah near Fort William on Scotland’s west coast – where they unloaded the stores and treasure. Six caskets of gold were transported about 20 miles (32.19 km) overland and buried somewhere near the banks of Loch Arkaig, just north of Fort William. – Reconstructing the story of humanity’s past


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