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Bonnie blue bonnets

Updated: Jun 27, 2020

William Mosman; National Galleries of Scotland.

Not much stravaiging here today - rain stopped play!

Picking up on the white rose you may have wondered why the association with Scotland?

When Bonnie Prince Charlie arrived from France in 1745 to claim the thrones of Scotland, England and Ireland in the name of his father, James Francis Edward Stewart, he landed on the small island of Eriskay in the Outer Hebrides. He was determined to rally the support of the Highland clans - always the bedrock for the Stewart cause. Instead he met men dejected and impoverished by years of successive defeats. Alexander Macdonald of Boisdale is said to have warned the Prince that there was little if any support for his cause and that he should return home. His response was to bend over, pluck a white rose which he attached to his hat and reply

“Sir I am come home… ”

Persuasive and eloquent he went on to rally support for his cause and to raise his father’s standard at Glenfinnan. The white rose became an emblem for supporters of the Stewart cause - known as Jacobites from the Latin for James. They would stitch white ribbons together to form a white cockade resembling the rose and wore it on their signature blue bonnets, while ladies would wear it on their bonnet or hair as a symbol of support for their dashing prince.

The White Cockade

My love was born in Aberdeen, The bonniest lad that e'er was seen; But now he makes our hearts fu' sad, He's taen the field wi' his white cockade.

O he's a rantin, rovin blade, He's a brisk and a bonny lad, Betide what may, my heart is glad, To see my lad wi his white cockade.

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