The Info List - Flora MacDonald

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Flora MacDonald
Flora MacDonald
(Gaelic: Fionnghal nic Dhòmhnaill; 1722 – 5 March 1790) was a Scottish Jacobite heroine made famous by her part in the Young Pretender's escape after his defeat at Culloden. She was the daughter of Ranald MacDonald of Milton on the island of South Uist
South Uist
in the Outer Hebrides
Outer Hebrides
of Scotland, and his wife Marion, the daughter of Angus MacDonald. Her father died when she was a child, and her mother was abducted and married by Hugh MacDonald of Armadale, Skye. She was brought up under the care of the chief of her clan, the Macdonalds of Clanranald her father's cousin, and was partly educated in Edinburgh. Throughout her life she was a practising Presbyterian.[1]


1 Biography

1.1 Jacobite risings 1.2 American Revolution 1.3 Isle of Skye

2 In art

2.1 In fiction 2.2 In film

3 See also 4 Gallery 5 Notes 6 References 7 External links

Biography[edit] Jacobite risings[edit] During the Jacobite rising, in June 1746, at the age of 24, she was living on the island of Benbecula
in the Outer Hebrides
Outer Hebrides
when Bonnie Prince Charlie took refuge there after the Battle of Culloden. The prince's companion, a Captain Conn O'Neill of The Feeva, County Antrim, son of Captain Conn Modera of the O'Neills of Clandeboye, sought her assistance to help the prince escape capture. They were distant relatives and had met at the home of their mutual relative, Ambrose O'Neill of Ballybollen. The island was controlled by the Hanoverian government using a local militia, but the MacDonalds were secretly sympathetic with the Jacobite cause. After some hesitation, Flora promised to help the prince escape the island. At a later period she told Frederick the Prince of Wales, son of George II and father of King George III,[2] that she acted from charity and would have helped the duke himself were he in defeat and in distress. The commander of the local militia was her stepfather, Hugh MacDonald. The commander gave her a pass to the mainland for herself, a manservant, an Irish spinning maid, Betty Burke, and a boat's crew of six men. The prince was disguised as Betty Burke. He had left Benbecula
on 27 June. After a first repulse at Waternish, Skye, the party landed at Kilbride, Skye, within easy access of Monkstadt, the seat of Sir Alexander MacDonald. The prince was hidden in rocks while Flora MacDonald found help for him in the neighbourhood. It was arranged that he be taken to Portree, Skye
and from there taken to Glam on the island of Raasay. The talk of the boatmen brought suspicion on Flora MacDonald, and she was arrested and brought to London for aiding the prince's escape. After a short imprisonment in the Tower of London, she was allowed to live outside of it, under the guard of a "messenger" or gaoler. When the Act of Indemnity was passed in 1747 she was released. On 6 November 1750, at the age of 28, she married Allan MacDonald of Kingsburgh, a captain in the army and the eldest son of Alexander MacDonald VI.[3] The couple lived at Flodigarry
on the Isle of Skye where they subsequently were parents to five sons and two daughters. Upon the death of Allan MacDonald's father in 1772, the family moved into the MacDonald family estate at Kingsburgh. Her bravery and loyalty had gained her general sympathy, increased by her good manners and gentle character. Dr. Johnson, who met her in 1773, the year before she moved to America, described her as "a woman of soft features, gentle manners, kind soul and elegant presence." He also paid the tribute that is engraved on her memorial at Kilmuir:

...a name that will be mentioned in history, and if courage and fidelity be virtues, mentioned with honour.

American Revolution[edit] In 1774, she and her husband emigrated to North Carolina.[3] They brought with them the family McBryde who were their servants. During the American War of Independence
American War of Independence
Captain MacDonald served the British government in the 84th Regiment of Foot (Royal Highland Emigrants). Legend has it that she exhorted the Loyalist force at Cross Creek, North Carolina
North Carolina
(present-day Fayetteville) that included her husband, Allan, as it headed off to its eventual defeat at the Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge in February, 1776. He was captured after the battle and was held prisoner for two years until a prisoner exchange occurred in 1777. He was then sent to Fort Edward in Windsor, Nova Scotia where he took command of the 84th Regiment of Foot (Royal Highland Emigrants), Second Battalion. After her husband was taken prisoner, Flora remained in hiding while the American Patriots ravaged her family plantation and took all her possessions. When her husband was released from prison during the fall of 1778, she reunited with him at Fort Edward. Isle of Skye[edit]

Monument in Kilmuir Cemetery

Statue in front of Inverness Castle

In 1779 Flora returned home to Scotland
in a merchant ship. During the passage, the ship was attacked by a privateer. She refused to leave the deck during the attack and was wounded in the arm. Flora resided at the homes of various family members, including Dunvegan, her daughter Anne having married Major General Alexander Macleod.[4] After the war, in 1784, Allan also returned and the family regained possession of the estate in Kingsburgh.[3][5] Flora MacDonald had a large family of sons, who mostly entered the army or navy, and two daughters. She died at Kingsburgh on the Isle of Skye
Isle of Skye
in 1790, at the age of 68. She is buried in the Kilmuir Cemetery. In art[edit] Flora MacDonald
Flora MacDonald
is honored by a bronze statue at Inverness Castle
Inverness Castle
(on Castle Hill, also known as Castle Wynd), designed by Andrew Davidson, erected in 1896.[6] The "Flora MacDonald's Fancy" is a Scottish highland dance choreographed in her honour, supposedly based on a dance she performed for Bonnie Prince Charlie. It is known for its balletic steps and graceful movements. In fiction[edit]

Sir Walter Scott, Waverley (1814) – an early historical novel of the Jacobite rebellion in which the hero must choose between two women, one of whom, Flora MacIvor, seems modeled on Flora MacDonald. This impression is strengthened by the use of Allan Ramsay's portrait of Flora Macdonald (shown above) for the cover of the Penguin(2007) edition of the book. Inglis Fletcher, The Scotswoman (1954) – a novel on Flora MacDonald's later life in North Carolina, during the American war of Independence. Highlander: The Series – in the 3rd-season episode, "Take Back the Night", Ceirdwyn, an Immortal, is living under the name of "Flora MacDonald" when Bonnie Prince Charlie
Bonnie Prince Charlie
and his party stop there on their way to the coast, and the boat to take him from Scotland. The Outlander series
Outlander series
– the 6th book of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series, "A Breath of Snow and Ashes", features an account of Flora MacDonald's arrival in the American colonies.

In film[edit] Flora is portrayed by Margaret Leighton
Margaret Leighton
in the 1948 British historical film Bonnie Prince Charlie
Bonnie Prince Charlie
depicting the 1745 Jacobite rising
1745 Jacobite rising
and the role of Bonnie Prince Charlie
Bonnie Prince Charlie
within it. Filmed in Technicolor, it starred David Niven
David Niven
as the Prince. See also[edit]

Flora MacDonald
Flora MacDonald
College The Skye
Boat Song


Flora MacDonald
Flora MacDonald
statue, Inverness Castle

Flora MacDonald's grave, Isle of Skye


^ "MacDonald, Flora (1722–1790)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/17432.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.) Retrieved 8 September 2008. ^ MacLeod, Ruairidh H. (1995). Flora MacDonald: The Jacobite Heroine in Scotland
and North America. London: Shepheard-Walwyn Publishers. p. 90. ISBN 0-85683-147-6. Alexander MacGregor wrote that, 'All admired the dauntless part she had acted, and her case excited so much interest, that she had the honour of a visit from Frederick, Prince of Wales, father of King George III. His Royal Highness asked her how she had dared to assist a rebel against his father's throne? when she replied, with great simplicity but firmness, that she would have done the same thing for him had she found him in like distress. '   ^ a b c MacInnes, John (December 2009). The Brave Sons of Skye; Containing the Military Records (compiled From Authentic Sources) of the Leading Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers, and private soldiers whom "Eilean a' Cheo" has produced ( Print On Demand
Print On Demand
ed.). General Books. pp. 15–24.  ^ MacGregor, Alexander (December 2009). The life of Flora Macdonald, and her adventures with prince Charles ( Print On Demand
Print On Demand
ed.). Nabu Press. p. 134.  ^ Duncanson, Two Loyalist Townships: Rawdon and Douglas. ^ Historic Environment Scotland. "Inverness, Castle Wynd, Statue Of Flora Macdonald (13434)". Canmore. Retrieved 26 January 2015. 


Alexander Charles Ewald, Life and Times of Prince Charles Edward (1886). F. F. Walde, Autobiography of Flora MacDonald
Flora MacDonald
(1870). Inglis Fletcher, The Scotswoman (1954) – a novel on Flora MacDonald's later life in North Carolina, during the American War of Independence. Rev. William Henry Foote, "Sketches of North Carolina" (1846) Links to: Cover, Contents xix, 80, 126, 134, Chapter XII pg148, 155 (return to NC in 1775)  Henderson, Thomas Finlayson (1893). "Macdonald, Flora". In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography. 35. London: Smith, Elder & Co.   "McDonald, Flora". Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography. 1900. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Flora MacDonald.

Ascanius; or, the Young Adventurer Memorial plaque at Fort Edward (Nova Scotia).

v t e


Main settlements

Portree Broadford Dunvegan Kyleakin Uig

Crofting townships and settlements

Achachork Aird of Sleat Ardvasar Armadale Ashaig Bernisdale Bornesketaig Boreraig Borreraig Borrodale Borve Bracadale Breakish Brogaig Bualintur Camastianavaig Camuscross Carbost, Loch Harport Carbost, Portree Claigan Colbost Drumfearn Drynoch Dunan Duntulm Edinbane Elgol Ellishadder Eynort Eyre Fasach Feorlig Ferindonald Fiskavaig Flashader Flodigarry Galltrigill Garafad Geary Gedintailor Gillen Glendale Halistra Harlosh Heaste Isleornsay Kensaleyre Kilbride Kilmaluag Kilmarie Kilmore Kilmuir Kilvaxter Kingsburgh Kylerhea Lealt Lower Breakish Luib Milovaig Mugeary Ollach Ose Peinachorran Portnalong Ramasaig Roag Sconser Skeabost Sligachan Staffin Stein Struan Suladale Talisker Tarskavaig Teangue Torrin Totaig Tote Treaslane Trumpan Uigshader Ullinish Upper Breakish

Mountains and hills

Am Basteir Beinn na Caillich Blà Bheinn Bruach na Frìthe Clach Glas Glamaig Healabhal Bheag Sgùrr a' Ghreadaidh Sgùrr a' Mhadaidh Sgùrr MhicChoinnich Sgùrr na Banachdaich Sgùrr nan Gillean Sgùrr Dearg Sgùrr a' Mhadaidh
Sgùrr a' Mhadaidh
Ruaidh Marsco Quiraing/Meall na Suiramach Sgùrr Alasdair The Storr

History and prehistory

Armadale Castle Battle of the Braes Battle of the Spoiling Dyke Caisteal Maol Cill Chriosd Corriechatachan Dùn Ringill Dunvegan
Castle Fairy Flag Flora MacDonald High Pasture Cave Sir Lachlan Mackinnon (clan chief) Neil Mackinnon Mugearite Sir Rory Mor's Horn Rubha an Dùnain

Local culture

Isle of Skye
Isle of Skye
Music Festival MacCrimmon pipers Sabhal Mòr Ostaig Skye
Camanachd Talisker
whisky Té Bheag "The Skye
Boat Song"


Duirinish Minginish Sleat Strathaird Trotternish Waternish

Surrounding islands

Ascrib Islands Crowlin Islands Eilean Bàn Eilean Fladday Eilean Mòr Eilean Tigh Eilean Trodday Fladda-chùain Harlosh
Island Isay Lampay Longay Mingay Oronsay Pabay Raasay Scalpay Rona Soay Staffin
Island Tarner Island Wiay


MV Glenachulish Skye

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 77120566 LCCN: n88126880 ISNI: 0000 0000 2779 4200 GND: 119206021 SUDOC: 117345466 BNF: cb124806907 (da