Battle of Prestonpans 1745

Bonnie Prince Charlie's 300th Birthday Celebrations ... see Facebook ...


We celebrated Bonnie Prince Charlie's Birthday. There were two calendars in use across Europe in 1745 when The Prince formally celebrated his 25th birthday in Glasgow. Pope Gregory had it as 31st; Pope Julian preferred 20th. Julian or Gregorian? The continent had gradually adopted the change to Gregorian but in Britain we waited with Julian until 1752! When it happened "we lost 11 days." December 31st would have been most appropriate since The Prince was born when the Gregorian calendar was in use in Rome - had been since 1582. On December 20th he was still 11 days younger than a birthday justified …. which is why the 1745 Association has opted for 31st. Yet, like The Prince, it seemed to us a good notion to celebrate in the run up to Christmas rather than getting entwinned with New Year - a long established festival attributed in Scotland to invading Vikings in the 8th/ 9th centuries who paid particular attention to the arrival of the Winter Solstice or the shortest day. In Shetland, where the Viking influence remains strongest, New Year is still called Yules which derives from the Scandinavian word for the midwinter festival of Yule.
Executive Trustee Arran Johnston offered two thoughts for the occasion. At lunch time he screened a whimsical 3 minute YouTube tale of the painting of a portrait of The Prince by Ramsay at The Palace of Holyrood House - in fact the filming was in the James Park Bistro of The Gothenburg! Since the idea was conceived there has once again been controversy over whether Ramsay truly was the painter … comme-ci comme ça! And at 8pm Facebook shared an over-subscribed hour long ZOOM Webinar 300th Birthday of Bonnie Prince Charlie. It was as usual a tour de force with Arran boxed top right of images 2 and 3, but he made less reference than he might have done to his earlier Valour Does Not Wait. It had great attendance and augurs well for the putative programme in 2021 we intend and I'd like to think we can get Doline Maclennan to include a Gaelic singing and poetry selection as one of the sessions. The second images shows a generous selection of portraits and the third stars from the movies; the fourth of course shows our 'own' portrait of The Prince.

Published Date: December 21st 2020


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