THE EARLY GEORGIAN [George II]  BRITISH NATIONAL ANTHEM

 

Coming as I do from the White Rose county, and if I may say so, the Dales, often said to be the nicest part, I am naturally proud of my rallying emblem, especially nowadays, when, and with teasing and taunting, we defend it against those rebels from the other side of the Pennines, the Lancashire mob brandishing their Red Rose, and virtually nobody else.

Now given the antiquity of our emblems [joint] and that we were quite separate people well before the Welsh Tudors invaded England which ultimately led to the joining of those red and white roses, calling the hybrid a Tudor Rose - Ugh, and get real! - but that wasn't the worst, for many years later after another interloper this time the Scottish Stuarts led them [the Scots] to usurping OUR White Rose, or at least their poor artistic attempt of one. That's the one above which became the rallying point for all  Jacobites, the Jacobite Rose/Flag -Ugh, Ugh and yet again Ugh! By the way, a Jacobite is a follower of King James II, Jacobus being Latin for James.

That Stuart family started off OK with King James 1st of England, a staunch protestant bringing the Scots into the protestant camp rather than cajoling the English to accept Catholicism, and by and large he was a successful man who Ms Sturgeon and her storm troopers could well emulate. He died having made the marriage of England and Scotland a defined success.

Now if his eldest boy Prince Henry had lived, he died when eighteen, things might have been very different, but on death the throne passed to King James' only other son King Charles I, and we all [surely] know what happened then and how it ended for him, and temporarily for the Stuarts.  Charles I's  very staunch Catholic wife very nearly brought the Stuarts to their knees and might well have done were history to have nurtured a true hero in getting rid of the Stuart Mon...., whoops Maniac. Instead that Hero, Oliver Cromwell, meted out a ruling hand which was far more unpopular than had been the executed king's rule, resulting in the people, not parliament wanting rid of him and his executive followers. That longing and the chief protagonists in fulfilling that wish, brought back to England from France [in exile] Charles I's son Charles II. Charles II didn't come back to rule but to enjoy himself and that he seemingly did in abundance. Because he didn't "rule" he didn't make many mistakes and avoided at all costs his fathers blunders, that is until the end of his kingship, when as a so-called protestant king [but he wasn't very religious and possibly couldn't have cared less as long as the throne stayed in the family and in the hands of a man] he made the biggest blunder of all, namely handing the throne to a Catholic, notwithstanding that as his brother King James II, he had a right in law to succeed. The country at large was incensed at this decision and demonstrably showed their dissent!

As we know, the rule of James II was disastrous, forcing his daughter Queen Mary II to depose him and with her partner then husband  [William of Orange] King William III, continuing the House of Stuart rule but with a woman at the helm in joint partnership with a foreign Prince, both, as the country wished, staunch protestants.  They were first cousins, William's father [William II] was married to Charles I eldest daughter. The period of William and Mary was a success, cut short sadly, by Queen Mary visiting her brother Charles II in London after the restoration where she caught smallpox and died there in 1694 after just six years as the joint sovereign: she was just thirty two.  King William died eight years later in 1702 after six years as the joint sovereign and a further eight years as sole sovereign: he fell off his horse and broke his collar bone. He never recovered and his health failed rapidly. It is said that after death, on being undressed, he was found to have Queen Mary's wedding ring and a lock of her hair placed over his heart: he was not officially mourned in England being largely disliked.  Seemingly he was the most unattractive man possible for an attractive Mary and evidently she wept buckets on first seeing him and all day long on her wedding day. There were no children of the marriage! Moreover, despite his loyalty to Queen Mary and England, he was far from popular and considered in many quarters as a pompous arrogant foreign upstart. What made them so popular with the masses was their joint assurance to parliament that they would rule guided by parliament, but more importantly the line of succession was set-in-stone to be Queen Mary's own children, followed by her sister Queen Anne-in-waiting, thereafter Queen Anne's children, thereby ensuring a protestant monarch.  With no heirs to the throne on Anne's death she was succeeded by Sophia the grand daughter of King James I.

Before Charles II died [attempts were made by the Duke of Monmouth to rally an army to force James II away from the throne, but were caught red-handed and executed by the infamous hanging-judge Jeffreys] and subsequenly, throughout the William and Mary reign and into Queen Anne's reign the establishment were deeply troubled by the Scots and the Irish demanding that their King, the now deposed James II be reinstated as the ruler of England, Scotland and Ireland and that Catholicism would be the official religion of Great Britain.

During this period the famous [some say infamous] Act of Settlement of 1701 was enacted by parliament which expressly stated that the monarch had to be protestant, so in one stroke any claim by any catholic was rendered groundless, which further angered the Jacobites endeavour. Princess Sophia of Hanover was already elderly when she was nominated the successor to Queen Anne, and on Anne's death would have been the British Queen had she not taken a walk in her native Hanover Germany just before Queen Anne died. During her garden walk the rain came down heavily and Sophia, aged 84 ran for cover. She didn't make it falling to the groud having suffered a massive stroke and soon after passed away. Her son George assumed the throne never having been to England nor speaking one word of English as King George I.

But, the problem persisted with the Jacobites angling to get rid of the House of Hanover at the beginning of the Georgian period. The German monarchy decided, where clearly the English monarchy had failed to do, to once and for all rid the country of Jacobites in all countries making up the British Isles. That meant a large well equipped army acting on a no-holds barred principle and a philosophy of no prisoners taken.

In 1746 the Duke of Cumberland, who was the son of the king, King George II, and known as the butcher of Culloden, arrived in Scotland tasked with getting rid of the clan system in the highlands. He was a fierce and unforgiving adversary and saw all highland Scots as targets including the old, children, and women of any age. He took over from General Hawley who wasn't thought to be completely ruthless enough. Remember that Jacobites had tried to de-stabilise  four thrones [William and Mary - Queen Anne - George I and II] so were to be neutralised and wiped out at all costs - the Duke of Cumberland was the right man to do that!

His base camp was near to Nairn. The Jacobites were led by Prince Charles and Lord George Murray comprising of 7000 men whereas the Duke of Cumberland led 8000 Royal troops.

The Duke cleverly marched his men north around the coasts so that the Royal Navy could supply the Royal Troops on an almost continuous basis. Whilst practicing musketry the Duke introduced the use of the bayonet as a close combat tool.

After the battle which the Duke won hands down with losses [killed] in less than a couple of scores whereas the Scots lost one thousand or so highlanders. The battle closed unfinished on the field by the mass desertions of the Jacobites led by Prince Charles. On completion many took prearranged paths to points of rendezvous escaping eventually to Europe to fight in foreign armies, with others going in large numbers to north America to start a new life. They deserted their families and their wounded colleagues which transcended the numbers killed by many times. Whilst the battle was a good victory for the Duke, what followed was anything but. He released many regiments from his command to return south to their English depots, and as for the remainder he sent them roving over the highlands looking for Scots, any Scots to shoot or bayonet at will so that never again would the Jacobites rise to cause the crown of Great Britain to fret over northern border controls or fear the threat of the soldiers of Rome. At long last the Scots had learned a long hard lesson that James II and his male kin folk [son and grandson] plus followers,  were but a troublesome embarrassment both to the English as well as to them, the Scots.

I started by mentioned the Early Georgian [George II] National Anthem.

In 1750, it had six verses, which are not sung, nay, not known of today especially verse six.

This is what it looked like:-

God save our gracious King
Long live our noble King
God save the King
Send him victorious
Happy and glorious
Long to reign over us
God save our King!

O, Lord our God arise
Scatter his enemies
And make them fall
Confound their politics
Frustrate their knavish tricks
On thee our hopes we fix
God save us all!

Thy choicest gifts in store
On him be pleased to pour
Long may he reign:
May he defend our laws
And ever give us cause
To sing with heart and voice
God save our King!

Not in this land alone
But be God's mercies known
From shore to shore!
Lord make the nations see
That men should brothers be
And form one family
The wide world o'er

From every latent foe
From the assassin's blow
God save the King
O'er he thine arm extend
For Britain's sake defend
Our father, prince and friend
God save the King

Lord Grant that Marshal Wade'
May by thy mighty aid
Victory bring
May he sedition hush
And like a torrent rush
Rebellious Scots to crush
God save the King

 This great general/field marshal [Wade] did more than any officer to appease or quell highlanders and to show them the folly of following a lost cause under Bonny Prince Charles [BPC]. Today, we might refer to BPC as all talk and no do!

The Jacobite rebellion of 1715 saw Wade in his new role of military governor. He twice helped foil Jacobite conspiracies, and even had the Swedish ambassador in London arrested.

In July 1724 General Wade was sent to Scotland on a military mission for George I. In the uncertainty following the 1689 and 1715 Jacobite Risings, he was tasked to ‘inspect the present situation of the Highlanders’ and to ‘make strict inquiry into the last law for disarming the Highlanders’.

Wade reported back that the majority of Highland men able to bear arms were ready to do so against the Crown. George I immediately appointed Wade Commander-in-Chief of North Britain and he began to organise Crown garrisons in the Highlands.

Wade’s plan was to mobilize his soldiers throughout the Highlands, quelling, disarming and forming allegiances with the clans as he went. To do this he needed to be able to move his troops quickly, and by the summer 1725 the first military road was under construction.

Between 1728 and 1730 Wade’s men built the road from Dunkeld to Inverness, connecting Perth and Inverness.

In 1730 the road connecting Stirling with Inverness was constructed. Passing from Crieff through the Sma’ Glen and Aberfeldy and on to Loch Tummel, the road’s line remains the same today. With the road complete, Wade needed to bridge the River Tay at Aberfeldy.

etc etc.

Finally before you go, stand erect to attention and then do a smart naval salute to this White Rose!