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July 11th 1746

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A gift with consequences

James Menzies of Culdares in Glenlyon took part in the rebellion of 1715 and was captured at Preston. Later he was taken to London where he was condemned to death but subsequently pardoned. Because of this clemency he decided not to join the rebellion of 1745, but because of his Jacobite sympathies he sent instead a handsome charger, by his servant John Macnaughton, to Prince Charles who was then advancing through England.

The horse was delivered but unfortunately John Macnaughton himself was captured. He was tried at Carlisle and condemned to death. Great efforts were made by the authorities to persuade him to reveal the owner of the horse. He was offered an immediate pardon in exchange for the name of his master but to no avail. When brought out for execution he was again offered his freedom in exchange for the desired information.

He asked if they were serious in supposing him to be such a villain. If he did what they desired and forgot his master and his trust, he could never return to Glenlyon as he would be despised and hunted out of the glen. He was executed taking his secret with him.

James Menzies lived another thirty years.

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