The History of Leith

September 7, 2004

Leith’s tribute to heroine of the Jacobites

SHE was the original Charlie’s angel. A pistol-packing sister of the ’45 who defied her husband and rallied 300 troops to stand behind Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobite cause.

Her leadership led to the Rout of Moy, but the bravery of Anne Mackintosh, known as Colonel Anne, is unrecognised and until now she has been buried in an unmarked grave in a Leith cemetery.

Yesterday following a long campaign by representatives of the ’45 Association and Clan Chattan, a bronze plaque was erected in Edinburgh’s North Leith Churchyard to commemorate a stalwart of the 1745 uprising.

The plaque, paid for by Edinburgh City Council, is the first ever memorial to Colonel Anne, one of many women who helped the rebellion.

Anne Mackintosh was just 22 when the 1745 uprising began. Although her husband Aeneas, chief of clan Mackintosh and clan Chattan, was a Hanoverian, the young bride was a committed Jacobite who was unphased by defying her partner.

After Bonnie Prince Charlie’s defeat at Derby, she criss-crossed the countryside on horseback to raise a regiment. Clad in a lace-trimmed riding habit and with a pistol in one hand and a bag of money in the other, she persuaded 300 men to join up, thus acquiring the name Colonel Anne.

The regiment was placed in the hands of Alexander MacGillivray of Dunmaglass and fought at the Battle of Falkirk and later at Culloden where they led the Highland charge

In February 1746 she was instrumental in one of the great routs of the rebellion.

While entertaining Bonnie Prince Charlie at Moy Hall, the Mackintosh home, word came through that 1,500 government men were en route to arrest the prince.

It was Anne who dreamed up a scheme to spirit the prince away to safety, sending four men out to fool Lord Loudon’s troops out into thinking they were up against an army.

On a wild night, with thunder and lighting adding to the atmosphere, the men rushed between the trees firing their muskets and pretending to call out for reinforcements.

They struck such terror into the government troops that they fled and deserted Inverness the following day, leaving it wide open for the Jacobites.

The events became known as the Rout of Moy.

Despite their differences, Anne and her husband apparently lived happily together for the next 24 years until 1770, when Aeneas died.

It was then she moved to Leith, a fashionable place to live in 18th century Scotland, and spent her last years in the area before her death in 1787, aged 64.

She was buried in a vault in the churchyard, but its location is unknown today.

Ronnie Leask who was behind the campaign to recognise Colonel Anne’s final resting place, said many of the area’s heroes remain unknown.

“Leith has been deprived and depressed for so long. If Colonel Anne had been buried somewhere in Edinburgh there would have been a plaque years ago,” he said. “Now there is some regeneration in Leith and this is part of that. There is a lot of Jacobite history in Leith and I am delighted this is finally being recognised.”

Frank O’Donnell
Friday, 6th April 2001
The Scotsman

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