Bitterly divided by politics and religion for centuries, this is the infamous story of how Scotland and England came together in 1707 to form Great Britain.
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In December of 1688, the British King James
arrived in Paris at the Court of Louis XIV.
He was a fugitive.
James had been kicked off his throne by the Dutch usurper,
William of Orange.
Of his vast fortunes as King of England, Scotland and Ireland,
James had managed to escape with just £23,000.
His wife, Mary of Modena, had brought her jewels.
Third and last from the wreckage, but far from least, they had managed
to save their son and heir, little James Francis Edward.
He was just six months old. He was the future.
Louis XIV was generous to a fault.
He gave them a home, his second best palace at Saint-Germain-en-Laye just outside Paris.
It was anything but small.
It was the opposite.
A place in which elegance was magnified, stretched, extended
to levels at which the mind of a mere mortal might easily freeze.
It was a place in which illusions could sustain themselves.
It was a place in which a man who had once been king could pretend that he still was.
King James VII and II had lost his job.
His redundancy had cost several other people their careers,
men with their families, many of them Catholics like James himself.
These Jacobites came to live in France to share his borrowed palace.
He gave them tasks and titles.
In his French court, he built a shadow government.
The shadow court settled down to a rhythm of impoverished display, all paid for by Louis XIV.
And Louis sent daily deliveries of flowers from his greenhouses at Versailles to cheer the Queen.
Chilly blossoms, cold comfort.
James could only watch from France as William of Orange settled into his powers in his palaces
and started telling stories, started spinning.
The invasion that had cost James his kingdom was given a name -
the Glorious Revolution.
Shorthand for a longer myth - William, conquering Protestant hero,
champion of liberty and limited monarchy had come to oust the tyrant, James VII and II,
a Catholic king who rode roughshod over the treasured civil liberties of his freedom-loving subjects.
Spin. Old spin now.
More than three centuries old.
But that doesn't make it any truer.
William of Orange wasn't interested in liberties.
He was interested in war.
The whole point of his invasion had been to prevent a Catholic alliance between England and France.
Once the dust had settled and the blood had dried, William's plans were simple.
He wanted to make war on France and England could do that on its own.
Scotland's job? Keep quiet.
Don't get in the way.
So in Scotland, William's glorious revolution was about management, not liberty.
There were no elections. William allowed the emergency
meeting that had decreed him king to stay on as Scotland's parliament.
And the last ingredient in the recipe was someone to
manage that parliament so that he could ignore it...completely.
It was a job for someone reliable, someone reliably self-interested.
William eventually found his man in the Duke of Queensberry,
who soon erected around himself a clique, the Court Party,
which cheerfully enacted the King's wishes in Scotland.
And that was that.
The Glorious Revolution, not very glorious at all.
But like all good spin,
it contained a solid grain of truth that James could not deny.
As a king, he HAD been authoritarian,
he HAD shown favour towards Catholics.
So he spun back.
Return of service.
In 1693, he dispensed with his Catholic advisers and produced a decree.
The shadow king promised that when he was, once again, the true king, there would be no more absolutism,
nor more religious intolerance and inequity.
Parliament's rights would be protected, the religious settlement would not be tampered with
and there would be no revenge taken, no punishments at all for those who had fought against him.
He remained, of course, a Catholic himself,
for which the supporters of William of Orange can only have been profoundly grateful.
After 1693, there was nothing else to choose between them.
The proclamation ticked every box.
It raised the ghost of a Stuart restoration.
But in the 1690s, Scots were more worried about what to eat.
Thousands had died in the revolution.
The famines that followed killed thousands more.
Scotland desperately needed money for food.
But England was in the way.
Trade with the French was impossible
because the English were fighting them.
Trade with England's juicy colonies in America would have been nice
but the English refused to allow it.
God helps those who help themselves.
In 1695, some of Edinburgh's merchants founded
The Company Of Scotland Trading To Africa And The Indies.
And better still, a financial genius had come to town.
He talked a good game.
The year before, Paterson had been involved in the foundation of the Bank Of England.
He was sacked from its board shortly afterwards, but Paterson rarely mentioned that.
Now he was in Scotland and had helped to found the Bank Of Scotland, too.
He had an air about him of mysterious financial knowledge.
He knew that if you rubbed the numbers the right way,
that a company could almost magically grow in size.
Trade will increase trade, he said, and money will beget money.
The Company Of Scotland had originally planned to trade to West Africa.
The risks would be slight and the profits would be small.
Paterson had another plan.
He knew exactly where the best basket was for all of Scotland's eggs.
They should set up a massive port on the land bridge between the Americas in a place called Darien.
There they would become the middle man in all the trades of the New World.
They would make a mint.
All that optimism ended up on the front page of the company's minute book.
It's a fantastically grand and optimistic cover, isn't it?
Absolutely and it shows that the people who were doing this
had an eye to the fact that they were making history, to put
that right on the front page of your first volume of minutes.
-It stood out amongst the collection of similar documents at the time.
You wouldn't expect something this glamorous on the front of what is essentially a working document.
The rising sun symbol, this glamorous and exotic native American and African.
This is a native American supposedly?
Their idea of what one would have looked like,
and they're carrying these horns of plenty
with this fantastic glamorous golden fruit.
Paterson's scheme was a runaway success.
Scotland's nobles, merchants, boroughs and cities all went home
and dug money from under mattresses, emptied strong boxes and socks.
By some estimates, fully a quarter of Scotland's liquid cash
ended up in the coffers of the Company Of Scotland.
Even the Duke of Queensberry punted 3K on Darien.
This was money that the Scots could ill-afford.
But what could possibly go wrong?
"The bank has the benefit of all monies which it creates out of nothing,"
Paterson is reputed to have said about banking practice and principle.
These days, phrases like that have a hollow ring and in the 1690s,
Paterson was every bit as much of a banker as our current crop.
In the Darien scheme, Paterson would take a substantial slice of Scotland's money
and make it, as if by magic, disappear.
Darien never stood a chance.
The King had told the Scots he didn't want them trading
on the toes of his English interests in the Americas
or on the toes of his Spanish allies.
He told bankers in England and Holland not to invest in Darien.
The colony collapsed and within five years it was clear
that of over £150,000 sterling, there was nothing left at all.
Not a brass farthing.
No doubloons, no ducats, no dosh, no nothing.
William Paterson did the sensible thing.
He moved to London.
Darien left a double legacy.
A Scottish governing class who blamed King William for their poverty
and a King William who could not trust Scotland to keep his peace.
He had taken steps to secure his revolution.
The English parliament had passed laws to exclude Catholics from the throne.
But he had no heir.
His sister-in-law Anne was a Protestant but after her,
the nearest Protestant with a claim were a German family, the Hanoverians.
William secured their agreement to take their throne once Anne was dead.
As for Scotland, in 1603, James VI and I had become king of both countries.
Two kings had become one.
For William it was now a matter of the highest urgency, the kingdoms must do likewise.
He must have union.
In September of 1701, James VII and II, the king in exile, breathed his last.
He was buried here in the church at St Germain.
The shadow king was still warm when Louis XIV proclaimed his
teenage son James King of England, Scotland and Ireland.
And the Pope and the King of Spain added their similar declarations at once.
William of Orange was still warm too.
And these declarations made him positively hot.
He broke off relations with France
and set about all the preparations necessary for a full-scale war.
In the midst of this entirely characteristic flurry of activity,
William decided to take a brief rest.
He had a new horse and he took it for a ride in the grounds of his favourite residence, Hampton Court.
The horse stepped on a molehill and fell.
William broke his collarbone and infection set in.
Almost at once, the mole responsible became the subject of a Jacobite toast.
To the little gentleman in black velvet.
William died two weeks later.
His place on the throne was taken by his sister-in-law, the last Protestant Stuart, Anne.
Anne was dangerously overweight. 17 pregnancies had left their mark.
But, ill-health aside, she knew her duty as a Protestant.
At the head of her to do list was William's priority number one.
She ordered her parliaments north and south of the border to make it happen, quickly.
A new party had formed in Scotland's parliament, the Cavaliers,
loyal to the exiled Stuarts.
George Lockhart of Carnwath was one of its backbenchers.
Lockhart kept a journal and served as a doormat to the acknowledged
leader of this dissident tendency, James Douglas, the Duke of Hamilton.
The Hamiltons were closely related to the Stuarts
and traditionally regarded as Scotland's most senior nobles.
This entitled them to grace and favour apartments rent free in the Palace of Holyrood House,
which was fortunate because the Duke of Hamilton, not to put too fine a point on it, was poor.
All the poorer since Darien.
He had invested £1,000.
In Parliament, Hamilton locked horns with the Crown's representative,
the Duke of Queensberry.
It looked like a life-and-death struggle for Scotland's political independence.
It was actually professional wrestling. Pure theatre.
A leading supporter of the Union later revealed that Hamilton
made several visits to Queensberry's apartments by night.
These were not social calls - he was looking for an income.
Various letters that survive describe his desperate need for money.
"He must have his debts paid," said one.
Another one described him as "a room for rent."
First on the agenda - the committee to discuss the terms of union.
It was vital that the Scots retained the right to make their own nominations to this committee.
But the rentable Duke of Hamilton called a vote when most of his party had gone home for dinner,
with the result that the right to name the committee was placed entirely in the hands of the Crown.
Everything that followed was bitter farce.
Hamilton had opened the door, the English stuck their foot in it.
They would keep it open until their business had been done.
The following summer, the commission to negotiate the terms of the Union got under way.
To the astonishment of none, the nominated commissioners were overwhelmingly pro-Union.
Apart from George Lockhart, who got a place on the committee entirely by mistake.
The commission met in London, in Whitehall.
The Scots sat in one room, the English in another.
And the two parties communicated with each other only in writing.
The committee soon reached the heart of the matter - money.
Union would subject the Scots to higher English taxes.
The English proposed to pay something called an Equivalent, a sum of money to help the Scots cope.
Lockhart raised a question.
How could this money be given to the poor? They would need it most.
In due course, the size of the Equivalent was agreed and of its £400,000,
£217,000 was to go directly to those who had invested in Darien.
Lockhart finally got what the Equivalent was.
It was a bribe, payable to the Scottish elite
whose losses in Darien and had turned them against the English.
Now they would get their money back, with interest,
and their anti-English hearts would soften accordingly.
For Lockhart it was the last straw. He refused to sign the final treaty.
Nobody minded or even noticed.
The treaty was sent to the Scottish and English parliaments for approval.
When the terms of the treaty were published, they proved unpopular.
"The whole nation appears against the Union," wrote Lockhart.
"Ministers roar against it from the pulpits."
He was writing to Hamilton who had somehow re-established himself as the figurehead of resistance.
Lockhart was touchingly trusting.
Outside Parliament, the Union was indeed hugely unpopular.
But inside Parliament, it was not.
Queensberry and his henchmen, John Erskine, the Earl of Mar,
found the fellow Scottish nobles quite biddable.
More than any other class, Scotland's nobles had had to deal
with the fact that in 1603, their king had simply disappeared.
The King of Scotland was a memory,
he was buried inside the King of England.
The Union was a chance to have a king again.
So the nobles voted consistently for bread with English butter, by a factor of 2-1.
Queensberry and Mar brokered a deal with the Church as well,
promising it to the Presbyterians for evermore.
Clause-by-clause, the Act of Union slowly passed.
The pulpits that had roared quite recently began to purr instead.
George Lockhart became increasingly depressed.
It was time for the last resort.
The anti-Unionists would call a vote and accept the Hanoverians as an independent Scotland.
Hey presto, no Union necessary.
It was universally agreed that the man to call the vote should be the Duke of Hamilton.
The vote was planned for 9th January and on that morning,
Hamilton's supporters eagerly awaited his arrival.
A note arrived instead.
"I have a toothache," it said, "and cannot attend Parliament today."
As long as Hamilton was there, whenever one door closed...
..another one would shut.
Six days later, the Act of Union passed in its entirety.
The Duke of Queensberry touched the Act with the sceptre.
It was law.
On 28th April, 1707, the Scottish parliament dissolved itself,
apparently forever. Certainly, this room would never see another.
The Chancellor signed a shortened version of the Act and said as he did so,
"Now there is an end of an old song."
The Chancellor had worked assiduously with Queensberry and Mar to see the Act through Parliament
and must have spoken with a certain amount of satisfaction.
Lockhart disapproved, of course.
"Here was a day never to be forgotten," he wrote, "a day on which Scots were stripped
"of something they had maintained gallantly for centuries - their independence and their sovereignty."
It is hard not to admire the professionalism, the sheer slickness
of the process by which Scotland was groomed for Union.
But there it was, Lockhart's unpleasant truth.
The Glorious Revolution had been at last and irrevocably secured.
Scottish independence had been sold for the sake of English security.
The wounds of the Union were fresh.
Louis XIV decided it was time to apply the salt.
He was losing his war with Britain,
but the shadow king, James the VIII and III, was 19 years old.
A card ripe for playing.
Louis set the date for invasion to restore his throne - spring of the next year.
James had waited all his life for this.
He had become a restrained, focused, methodical young man.
Too methodical. James had a talent for administration.
While the French set about preparing an invasion fleet, James prepared his pitch to the Scottish people.
The Union was deeply unpopular.
He would offer himself as the King of Scots, first and foremost.
He would dissolve the Union.
He would leave the settlement of the Church in Parliament's hands
and he promised that Parliament itself would be free of any interference on his part.
Once again, the exiled Stuarts were offering their people greater freedom,
more, at least, than they currently enjoyed.
In Scotland, George Lockhart calculated,
there were 30,000 or 40,000 men who would rise if James should land.
Most of the government's troops were at war abroad.
There were only 2,500 regulars left in Scotland, 5,000 in England.
It was going to be a walkover.
The French fleet set sail on March 17th,
followed by a British fleet from the very first.
The weather was appalling.
For James, the experience was unpleasantly novel.
The French fleet anchored off Crail in Fife.
It was James's first sight of Scotland.
His feet itched to walk there.
And then the British fleet appeared astern.
James begged the French admiral to put him ashore, but the Admiral refused.
He had been briefed by Louis.
Whatever else, James must return alive.
They sailed north and anchored off Slains Castle, north of Aberdeen.
James begged once again to be set ashore
and was once again refused as the British fleet hove into view.
The chance to land was gone.
The French fleet sailed round the north of Scotland and struggled back to Dunkirk.
Had the weather been better or the French admiral less fearful
of Louis' wrath, James would have landed.
Ordinary Scots hated the Union.
Surely they would have risen for their king?
But the chance was lost. The Union stood.
And the Union disappointed.
It disappointed even those who had helped bring it about.
Free trade had been one of the promised perks of Union,
but the benefits of free trade spread with excruciating slowness.
In the summer of 1711, the Earl of Mar wrote a letter of complaint to the Crown's leading minister.
"I have not yet grown weary of the Union myself,"
wrote Mar, "but the attitude of the English parliament is beyond all sense, reason and fair dealing.
"If nothing is done to encourage our trade it will be more than flesh and blood can bear,
"and what Scotsman will not grow weary of the Union and do all he can to end it?"
And that was a letter from one of the Union's friends.
As the Union grew less popular, the Queen gained weight.
Her health was failing.
It would soon be time to see if the British north and south of the border could really
hand the Crown to the Hanoverians with their distant claim.
James wrote Anne a letter.
"God and nature call you, Madam.
"Settle the succession in the right line once again.
"Make ME your heir."
It was worth a try, but Anne never wrote back.
She sent another sort of answer.
12 years of war between Britain and France were coming to an end.
The British negotiators made it a condition
of the peace treaty that James should be expelled from France.
Louis XIV was tired, old and on the losing side.
Early in 1713, he agreed.
The treaty was concluded in April and James became a wanderer.
He had lived with his shadow court in the Palace of St Germain for 23 years.
It had sustained all of his illusions.
Now his court was to be allowed to stay, but he would have to leave.
It would be harder in the absence of this palace to pretend.
He was offered asylum in Lorraine, a small dukedom
sandwiched uncomfortably between Germany and France.
The home of quiche, the land of cakes,
birthplace of rum babas, macaroons and madeleines.
It was agonising. James was no tourist.
He was a painfully serious young man whose reason for living was across the English Channel.
But then the English broke a promise.
At the Union, they had guaranteed the Scots a permanent holiday from certain taxes, but in 1713,
they ordered the Scots to pay a tax on malt, and at the English rate.
There were riots, there were strikes. The Scots in the House of Lords moved to dissolve the Union
and lost by just four votes.
And Queen Anne at last fell properly ill.
Soon, the Hanoverian George would be king.
It was known that George felt the recent treaty with France had been criminally kind to the French.
While Anne was breathing, the jobs in government of those who had made it were safe.
As soon as she stopped, those jobs were history.
Anne died in August of 1714.
The coffin she was buried in was square.
The new king arrived a month later.
He was a stereotype, humourless, stolid, unimaginative.
His reshuffle was even more thorough than expected.
The Earl of Mar was one of those who found himself without a job, so he went back home to Scotland.
And he arrived there an instant revolutionary.
He spread malicious rumours that the English planned taxes on land, corn, cattle, meal,
malt, horses, sheep, cocks and hens.
And then he raised the standard of the Jacobites on September 6th.
The reliably pro-Stuart Louis XIV had died five days before he did so.
Perhaps Mar should have waited,
perhaps he should have changed his plans.
But the word "plan" does not belong in any sentence describing what Mar did.
All historians agree, when they write their accounts of the Jacobite rising of 1715,
their vocabularies converge on words like
"farce", "buffoon", "idiocy", "incompetent",
"worst possible time", "disintegrate", "pathetic",
"half-cocked", "botched up", "monstrous", "bumbling",
"damp squib", "stupid", "fatuous..."
But the cause, unlike the Union, was popular.
10,000 men rallied to Mar from Scotland's north-east and the Highlands.
In the north of England, a small group of Jacobite aristocrats gathered.
James set forth from France, bringing money.
But Mar was no general.
At Sheriffmuir near Stirling, he met a government army less than half the size of his and failed to beat it.
The next day, the English Jacobites were captured almost to a man.
Now, only a dramatic entrance could save the rebellion.
The arrival of a Catholic Stuart on the mainland for the first time in 26 years.
The shadow king, trailing clouds of glory.
James arrived late in December near Aberdeen.
Always a bad sailor, he was carried ashore by the captain.
There were no clouds of glory, there was just James, two attendants and a chest full of money.
Ordinary, on the beach at Peterhead.
James rendezvoused with Mar, who had returned to Perth.
The army had shrunk.
James estimated their total at 4,000.
There were many things they might have done.
Scone, where the kings of Scotland were traditionally crowned, was hardly far away.
It would have been a moment of great resonance if James had come here.
If the crown, or a reasonable substitute,
had been placed on his head, it might have lit a fire, set the heather burning.
It never happened.
Reality got in the way.
James was, by all unbiased accounts, a fine man, but he was not a charismatic leader.
He was a bureaucrat, he buckled no swash.
The rebellion evaporated like the morning dew.
A little more than three weeks later, James embarked on a ship in Montrose.
Mar was with him, so was his sense of failure.
And Mar's nickname, Bobbing John, was with them too.
James left Scotland a note of apology, together with a large amount of money
for distribution among some of the villages he had been obliged to damage during his retreat.
For two months, James had trod the earth of his ancestral kingdom.
It had shown him up.
He would never return.
In May of 1716, with the recent comedy of the rising as an excuse,
Parliament passed an act reducing the frequency of elections to once every seven years.
The great freedoms of the Glorious Revolution continued to shrink.
James had not given up.
He began looking for two things.
A wife - it was time to secure the future of the dynasty.
And a military sponsor, to replace France.
It was his quest for a wife that bore real fruit,
in the shape of Princess Clementina Sobieski,
a Polish noblewoman whose father certainly couldn't afford a real king.
According to reports, she was a fragile beauty, of gentle temperament and fabulous wealth.
Her jewels were legendary.
The Pope was delighted with the marriage.
He declared them king and queen of Great Britain
and awarded them a generous pension.
They moved to Rome.
British diplomacy had effectively closed every other country's doors.
Being in Rome was bad for James' career.
His future crown depended on him convincing his somewhat bigoted subjects
that his association with the Roman Catholic Church
was anything but close, but here he was at last, cornered in Rome,
with all its bells and smells, its cardinals, monks and nuns, tarred with the brush of popery.
The Pope made a still more generous gift, one that it was churlish to refuse.
So James made his court here, in the Palazzo Del Rei,
the Palace of the King.
After six years of wandering, James once again had a place upon which to build a better future -
substantial, suited to his status, with courtyards and saloons where he could hide from the Roman heat.
A shadow palace.
James and Clementina got down to the pressing business of making babies.
On the last day of 1720, the air of the palace was split by the cries of a very young pretender.
Charles Edward Louis Philippe Casimir Sylvester Maria Stuart.
He was a remarkably bonny baby.
James called him Carluccio,
Italian for "little Charles."
His mother stuck to her native Polish.
She called him Karleusu.
Charles was a source of intense satisfaction for his father.
His very existence was proof that the shadow dynasty was real,
that its fortunes would improve, that it would become a reality.
Charles' upbringing was carefully English.
As a young boy, he was taught to speak English. He ate English.
Roast beef was often on the menu.
James brooded over him.
When the time came for him to take the throne, he would not be, as the Hanoverians were, a foreigner.
He would be going home.
In 1725, two things happened for the second time.
James and Clementina had a second child, Henry.
And in Scotland, the government tried once more to introduce a malt tax.
The riots that followed were predictable and violent.
They had almost nothing to do with Jacobitism.
But George I's government decided to behave as though they did.
They sent one General Wade to Scotland,
with a brief to secure the Highlands against Jacobite insurgents.
The Highlands had remained a nest of Jacobite vipers for so long, because of their inaccessibility.
Wade's job was to tame the Highlands by subjecting them to bridges and roads.
Between 1726 and 1737, Wade would construct 260 miles of roads across the Highlands,
studded every few miles with barracks and forts.
It was a massive demonstration of the Union's power
and an indispensable first step in taming the landscape.
The year after Wade began building his roads, George I died.
His son, George II, succeeded to the throne without a hitch.
And in Montrose, the foundations of a house were laid.
When finished, it would be home to David Erskine, the 13th Laird of Dun -
a close relation of "Bobbing" John Mar.
Erskine was a pillar of the Scottish legal establishment,
best remembered for a legal tome known as Lord Dun's Friendly And Familiar Advices,
a handy-dandy book of tips for dealing with all of life's little legal emergencies.
David Erskine was hardly a threatening figure.
But his heart, like the hearts of many still in Scotland's north-east,
belonged to James Stewart and his infant heir, Charles Edward, who was now five years old.
And at the heart of his house, he allowed himself an expression of his true sympathies.
On one wall, a plea to the sea god Neptune.
Storms had provided the most reliable defence against Jacobite invasion.
"Next time, Neptune, give us a calm and prosperous voyage."
And over the fireplace, Mars, the god of war.
A cunning reference to the Mar family itself.
The pile he's crushing beneath his feet consists of the Crown,
the Union Jack and at the bottom of the heap, the British Lion.
These elaborately violent carvings were commissioned at the last stages of the house's construction in 1740.
They depended entirely on the language of myth, which was what
the dream of Stuart restoration seemed increasingly to be.
The Stuarts had been in exile for over 50 years.
But in fact, the ice was melting.
The French had decided, after 27 years of peace, to make war on Britain once again,
and Charles Edward had matured into the sort of leader his father could never have been,
an athlete of stunning charisma.
In November of 1743, a request arrived at the Palazzo Del Rei,
a request from the King of France for the pleasure of the company of Prince Charles Edward
on an invasion of Britain.
Charles left a month later, incognito.
He took two documents with him.
The first, in James' name, declared him sole regent of England, Scotland and Ireland.
His father had decided, sensibly, to recede into the background.
The other document promised religious liberty, regular parliaments,
a limit on Crown servants in Parliament itself,
all the freedoms that the Glorious Revolution had still not provided.
Everything he needed, bar the weather.
A storm damaged the invasion fleet and the French cancelled the expedition.
Charles Edward, however, did not.
He bought weapons with borrowed money, took with him
seven chosen companions, and sailed for Scotland in July of 1745.
By the second week of August, he had landed on Scotland's west coast.
A week later, he was here in Glenfinnan,
raising the Stuart colours, addressing the faithful Highlanders.
It was like a dream.
A dream he had dreamed all of his life.
"I've not come out of divine right,"
he told the Camerons, the Keppochs, the men of Clanranald.
"I have come to make my beloved subjects happy."
The glen resounded.
The army he addressed was far from large.
Many clans that had once favoured the Jacobites had switched to the Hanoverians.
Much less than half the country would support him.
But much less than half the country would oppose.
By the 1740s, one note was dominant in the minds of most Scots, where the Union was concerned...
But no matter.
As the echoes died away in Glenfinnan, Charles was happy,
and full-to-bursting with hope.
More than those few would rise and follow him.
He was sure of it.
As they marched, some people joined.
Most people simply let them pass.
So the army was small but quite possibly big enough.
In Perth, they were joined by Lord George Murray, who'd fought for James in 1715.
Charles disliked him but Murray was a seasoned soldier.
He became the army's general.
They marched on Edinburgh.
They entered Edinburgh here, in the early hours of 17th September,
through where the city's Netherbow Gate once stood.
The government garrison fled to the castle,
and stayed there.
Charles' officers went to the market square to proclaim the reign of James VIII and III,
King of Scotland, England and Ireland,
leaving Charles free to go to Holyrood, the palace of his ancestors.
Charles' entry to Holyrood Palace was triumphant.
Afterwards, with the crowds still cheering outside,
perhaps he wandered through its empty rooms,
rejoicing amongst the dustsheets.
For a few days, the shadow monarchy and the real world agreed.
Agreed with Charles' vision of himself as well.
See, the conquering hero comes.
There was a Stuart in Holyrood of the true senior line for the first time in almost 60 years.
One fit for purpose, destined for this, fated for this.
Or so it seemed.
He couldn't stay long.
The government's forces had finally concentrated east of Edinburgh at Prestonpans.
Once more, Charles addressed his troops.
Once more, his address was efficient, stirring, short and sharp.
"Gentlemen, I have flung away the scabbard," he said.
"With God's help, I will make you a free and happy people."
God's help wasn't needed.
A local showed them a path through the marshes that defended the government position.
The slaughter was awful, but brief.
Charles called a halt to it, appalled, and ordered his surgeon to attend to the government wounded.
"They are my father's subjects" he said.
After Prestonpans, Lord George Murray told Charles that they should simply take Scotland and keep it.
After all, ending the Union had been a Stuart promise since 1708.
But Charles persuaded his supporters that victory awaited them in London.
They marched south, hugging the west coast.
Two government armies had been deployed against them.
General Wade marched down the other side of the country
and there was a second force somewhere ahead,
led by the son of King George, the Duke of Cumberland.
Charles dragged his army and his increasingly unwilling general as far as Derby.
And there, Murray insisted on a council of war.
Charles urged attack.
London was so close.
But Murray was unmoveable.
There was Wade to the east, the Duke of Cumberland to the south, 10,000 men apiece.
And there was a third force.
Murray had a witness, a man called Dudley Bradstreet.
"Yes," said Bradstreet, "there was a third force."
It was large - 9,000 men, in Northampton.
Charles had Bradstreet ejected from the meeting.
It was too late.
The Jacobite leaders voted to fight another day.
Charles could only watch in horror.
They were voting to make his life meaningless.
But Charles had been right.
Wade was indeed too old and too cautious to engage the Jacobites.
And the Duke of Cumberland's force was only the size of their own.
As for Dudley Bradstreet, he was an English spy.
There was no third force.
There were only nine men ready to resist in Northampton, as Bradstreet later cheerfully confessed.
To make matters worse, on the day they met in Derby,
a French army of 15,000 men was preparing to embark in Boulogne.
Charles could very easily have taken London.
What if Dudley Bradstreet had missed that meeting in Derby?
Charles might have prevailed, taken London and set about
making good on the promises his family had been making since 1693.
Britain would have been a very different place.
In the real world, the freedoms and reforms that the Stuarts promised wouldn't come for almost a century.
But now they were marching north to Charles's appointment with real history,
his true destiny, his fate on Culloden Moor.
By the day of the battle, 16th April, 1746,
Charles's relationship with Murray was one of mutual loathing.
There was virtually no communication between them, so the Jacobites were effectively uncommanded,
left at one point to stand immobile for minutes on end
under a rain of government cannonballs and grapeshot,
as though it was simply weather,
the very heaviest of rain, a mortal downpour.
The defeat was total.
And as the clansmen melted under his superior firepower,
Cumberland let it be known that any of his officers who showed mercy would be severely punished.
No punishments proved necessary.
Charles fled the field.
The remnant of the Jacobite army gathered at the nearby Ruthven Barracks.
4,000 men, enough to try again, enough to need a leader.
Charles never came.
He sent a message instead.
He was going to France.
He would return with an army.
Let each man seek his safety how he will.
For Charles's followers, the message was easily decoded.
"I'm leaving you to your fate."
"There you go," said one of Charles's generals.
"There you go for a damned Italian."
The Prince was gone, vanished into the heather like an embarrassed shadow.
"All flesh is grass."
It said so in the Bible.
The government applied the phrase to the flesh of any Jacobites that it could capture.
The King's son, the Duke of Cumberland, came north for the harvest.
Reports of the horrendous bloodshed must have come to Charles as he fled in the heather, dressed as a woman,
rowed by a woman over the sea to Skye.
The news must have caused him pain and guilt.
But he hid the pain and guilt away.
Charles went AWOL.
He returned to France, but not to Rome.
James wrote him letters, increasingly desperate letters.
"Come home, Carluccio." He was still a father.
Charles was still a son.
They could sit in Rome in a hospitable restaurant and talk about their might-have-beens,
their near misses, their barely averted collisions with real power,
a real throne, a real kingdom.
Perhaps that was why Charles stayed away.
His father had learnt to accept failure.
He would only remind Charles of how real this wrong world was.
In Scotland, the reality of Hanoverian rule was putting down roots.
Wade's roads had made the Highlands reachable.
Now Cumberland ordered the Highlands mapped.
And within ten years, the rugged grandeur, their dim valleys,
their secret places were flattened, tamed and known forever.
As the maps were made, a massive fort was under construction at the top of the Great Glen.
Fort George nailed the Highlands to the Union, almost the last step in the pacification.
That last step required blood and bone for the mortar in the walls.
In the European wars of the 1750s, Highlanders died for Britain in their thousands.
Hanoverian reality grew stronger
and the shadow kings became, at last, impossible.
In 1766, James died.
His reign, had it been real, would have lasted 64 years.
He was laid here, in the crypt of St Peter's.
Charles returned at last to Rome.
He applied for recognition as king of Scotland, England and Ireland.
The Pope refused.
For the rest of his life, Charles devoted himself to desperate schemes for restoration.
He steeped the athlete he'd once been in alcohol.
He never ceased to hate the version of reality he'd been condemned to.
But there was no room in history for Charles,
not since Culloden Moor.
The only place there was room for him was in the realm of myth.
The golden boy, the flight through the heather, over the sea to Skye.
The myth was glorious and it still is.
Not like the real, unreal king, who died in Rome on 31st December, 1788,
when his family had been throneless for just a few months short of a century.
After his death, the Pope relented.
He recognised dead Charles as King of England, Scotland, Ireland.
A monument was given pride of place near the entrance of St Peter's,
dedicated to the Stuarts of Rome, James VIII, his sons Henry and Charles III.
It drew a veil over Charles's real death.
Overweight, stroke-ridden, abscessed, alcoholic, unhappy
and still dreaming
till the moment that his mind fell silent of what might have been.
The shadow king was dead.
The Union was real.
The Scots had learnt long since
to live with it.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Bitterly divided by politics and religion for centuries, this is the infamous story of how Scotland and England came together in 1707 to form Great Britain. Over time the Union matured into one of the longest in European history, but it very nearly ended in divorce.
Exploiting the Union's unpopularity, the exiled Stuarts staged several comebacks, selling themselves as a credible and liberal alternative to the Hanoverian regime. Neil Oliver reveals just how close they came to succeeding.