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January 10th 1715

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The Threiplands of Fingask

The Threiplands of Fingask in the Carse of Gowrie were Jacobites through and through and when almost at the end of the 1715 rising James 8th (third of great Britain) landed at Peterhead it was natural that he should spend the night at Fingask on his way to Perth.

Sir David Threipland with his sons and retainers had already been out at Sheriffmuir but was back to welcome the Pretender. By this time the rebellion was almost over and when James returned to Fingask less than a month later he was scurrying on his way to Montrose to get the next boat to France. Sir David became a fugitive and the castle and estate were occupied by Government troops. Later it was leased back to Lady Threipland.

Some thirty years on in 1745 old Sir David, who was now eighty, was considered too old to join the rebellion, but the story goes that when the Prince returned to Scotland Sir David determined to join him and fell down dead while pulling on his boots for the journey.

Sir David’s two sons, David and Stuart, joined the rebellion from the start. Stuart went through the entire campaign but David was killed after the battle of Prestonpans when he became too enthusiastic in pursuing the retreating Redcoats, became separated from his own men and was cut down by the enemy.

The ladies of the household were also enthusiastic supporters of the Prince and Miss Threipland’s description is often quoted. “If you had beheld my beloved hero, you must confess he is a gift from heaven; but besides his outward appearance which is absolutely the best figure I ever saw. Such vivacity, such piercing wit, woven with a clear judgement and an active genius and allowed by all to have capacity apt to receive such impressions as are not usually stamped on every brain; in short madam, he is the ‘Top of Perfection’ and ‘Heaven’s Darling’.”  It is more a tribute to her loyalty to the House of Stewart than an accurate assessment of the Prince’s character.

As in the 1715 rebellion, the aftermath of the ’45 brought nothing but disaster. After Culloden, Charles Edward like his father, stayed a night at Fingask but Stuart was forced to flee to France, the castle was occupied and plundered by Dragoons and the estates were forfeited. It was 1783, after the Act of Indemnity, when Stuart finally returned and was able to repurchase the estates.

He died February 2nd 1805.

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