Flora MacDonald

Flora MacDonald

Flora MacDonald was born in 1722 and is best known for helping Bonnie Prince Charlie escape after the disastrous Battle of Culloden. She was a lady of some status, the daughter of Ranald MacDonald and was born on South Uist. By 1746 she was living on the island of Benbecula and Charlie took refuge there under the protection of the MacDonalds. As the government forces closed in she took Charlie, disguised as a woman, across the sea to Skye, an episode later immortalised by James Boswell and Samuel Johnson.

She was arrested for her crime and imprisoned in the Tower of London but after the Act of Indemnity in 1747 she was released. Johnson and Boswell met her in 1773 shortly before she emigrated to North Carolina. Her husband, Captain Alan MacDonald served the British government in the American War of Independence and was taken prisoner.

In 1779 she returned home to Scotland and she died on Skye in 1790. She was by all accounts a kind and brave woman and she obviously had an effect on Dr. Johnson who said of her "A name that will be mentioned in history, and if courage and fidelity be virtues, mentioned with honour."

Related Links

Battle of Culloden
The Jacobites
Bonnie Prince Charlie