The Situation of the Lodges in the Province of Forfarshire during the 1745-46 Jacobite Uprising

During this time there were only a five Lodges in existence in our area, Kilwinning, at Montrose, St. Thomas at Arbroath, St. Ninian at Brechin, and the two Dundee Lodges, Operative and Ancient.

Montrose and Arbroath were both strongly Jacobite, indeed Montrose was the main supply port for the Jacobite Army, with blockade runners bringing supplies from France. From Sept 1745 a Royal Navy squadron under Admiral Byng maintained a blockade along the eastern coast of Scotland, his ships cruised in the North Sea from the Moray Firth to the mouth of the Tay, when Montrose was abandoned by the Jacobites in Feb 1746 Admiral Byng sent 50 marines ashore to capture the town.
Montrose figured so prominently in the 45 rising that the Duke of Cumberland contemplated landing a force to capture the town and cut of the Jacobite supplies from France.
Montrose and Arbroath both raised 2 companies of men for Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Army, also most of the surrounding towns and the countryside of Angus and the Mearns, being mostly Episcopalian, were strongly Jacobite.
In 1736 when the Duke of Cumberland passed through on his way to Culloden, he found the Angus area very hostile and strongly anti-Hanovarian.

One of the most successful and well disciplined regiments in the Jacobite Army, was raised from the towns and countryside of Angus, and that was Lord David Ogilvie’s cavalry (son of the Earl of Airlie.) This regiment retired in good order and intact from the field of Culloden

The situation seemed to be slightly different in Dundee, where the population (approx 6000) had divided loyalties. The town was surrounded by towns and villages with many supporters of the Jacobites, most of the Angus Lairds had houses in the town and therefore their Jacobite influence was strong, but the town had faired quite badly in previous uprisings for the Stuart cause, and there was some government (Hanovarian) loyalties among the merchants and burgesses, the Provost at that time was Alexander Duncan of Lundie, but the Jacobites had also installed David Fotheringham as a sort of military governor.
However there was still support for the rebel cause, Col Sir James Kinloch collected taxes on behalf of the Jacobites and recruited men for Ogilvie’s regiment.

Only days after the slaughter of Culloden, the Freedom of Dundee was offered to the Duke of Cumberland – which consisted of a scroll in a Gold Box, made in Edinburgh the cost of which bankrupted the town.
What effect these upheavals had on the members of the various Lodges in the area can only be guessed at, there are few minutes and documents to indicate what happened or where the loyalties of the members of the Montrose, Arbroath and Brechin Lodges lay.

It seems that about 15 members of the Lodge of Dundee fought for Bonnie Prince Charlie during the 1745 uprising – Wedderburn the Younger of Blackness had a horrible end, hanged, cut down before death, his entrails cut out and burned before his eyes.
The Duke of Perth died on a ship when fleeing after Culloden. Several including Thomas Haliburton the Wright were in Lord David Ogilvie’s Regiment.

Understandable after the failure of the uprising some of the local Lodges, like those in Montrose, Brechin and Arbroath had to ‘lie low’ for some years. There was a very strong support for the Jacobite cause from the largely Episcopalian population of the countryside and towns of Angus and that must have included many members of the Angus Lodges joining the ‘local’ regiment – Lord Ogilvy’s.

The only details I have managed to pick up from old Lodge histories of events during the 1745 uprising are the following snippets:  –

1) In the record for Montrose Kilwinning – they record a visitation on August 5th 1745, from “our neighbouring Lodge at Arbroath” – They possibly already knew that Prince Charlie had landed, also as Montrose and Arbroath were strong Jacobite towns, we can only speculate regarding the purpose of the meeting and what discussions took place.(Bonnie Prince Charlie landed at Arisaig on the 25th July 1745, and raised his standard at Glenfinnan on the 19th August)

2)Grant Langlands in his excellent research on the history of Lodge St. Thomas says that the Lodge minutes stop in December 1744 and do not resume until December 1748 and it says By reason of the troubles that of late happened in the County, there has not been any regular meeting of the Lodge St Thomas of Arbroath since St. John’s day 1744. There seems to be no record of the visit by the Lodge members to Montrose in August 1745.

Grant goes on to say that at the election of office bearers a certain Patrick Wallace, a member of the Lodge was still Provost of the town and had spent a period as a guest of the government in the Tower of London as a result of his support for Bonnie Prince Charlie and declaring Arbroath for the Jacobites.
In David Dobson’s list of Angus Jacobites, He records two Patrick Wallaces, a Father and son. He says that the father was Provost of the town, but records that it was his son, who was a bailie and linen merchant was the person who was held in the Tower of London.

Iain D. McIntosh 2013

  • Return to Main History Page
  • Return to Top
  • The Grand Lodge of Scotland Website.

    Formed in 1736 theGrand Lodge of Scotland is the governing body for all Freemasonry in Scotland.

    The Provincial Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Angus and Mearns

    Formed in 1861 the Provincial Grand Royal Arch Chapter for Angus and Mearns is the governing body for Royal Arch Masonry in this area.

    FDCA Logo

    Website of the Friends of Dundee City Archives


    Links to other Websites.

    scottish flagsquare & compasses