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April 15th 1746

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Butcher Cumberland's birthday present

The Duke of Cumberland, aptly nicknamed Butcher Cumberland, won the battle of Culloden (but no further victories at home or abroad) and then proceeded to exact such ferocious and bloody revenge upon the Jacobites in general and the Highlanders in particular that even among Government supporters in Scotland his conduct was deplored.

The city of Perth, however, received the Hanoverian troops on their way north under Cumberland with genuine enthusiasm. The Committee of Perth (there being no legally constituted Town Council) demonstrating their loyalty by their unflagging efforts to detect any suspected Jacobites; but they obviously did not think that this was sufficient token of their gratitude.

They decided, quite unconstitutionally, to offer Cumberland “to accept of an absolute gift,”  Gowrie House, “as a testimony of this town and corporation their gratitude for his deliverance of this part of Great Britain from the ruin threatened to us and the whole nation by the present wicked and unnatural rebellion.”  It is said that the Duke when he received the intimation, superciliously enquired “whether the piece of ground called the Carse of Gowrie did not go along with it?” 

There were further celebrations on the Duke’s birthday on April 15th. “They agreed it be solemnised by the ringing of bells.”  The Duke of Cumberland never came back to Perth. One of his first acts when he returned to London was to sell Gowrie House and the grounds to the Government so that it might be turned into barracks. He received around £6,000 for the transaction.

Perhaps by this time he was not quite so popular in Perth.

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