Tuesday 9 May 2023

The '45: Jacobite Flag of the Manchester Regiment (and a possible Prince's standard)

The Jacobite Manchester Regiment:

Raised in Lancashire and Manchester with a nucleus of officers from the Duke of Perth's Regiment, this was the only largely English regiment in the Jacobite army, and it was commanded by Colonel Francis Townley, a Catholic who had served in the French army. At its peak it was about 300 men and marched to Derby but many men were lost by desertion on the retreat and as it then joined the garrison of Carlisle (by which time it was only about 115 strong) it was lost when the city was surrendered on 30th December 1745. Despite apparently being promised clemency, an example was made of the survivors in order to deter other English supporters of the Jacobite cause. Townley and almost all his officers and NCOs were hanged, drawn and quartered (a brutal and theatrical mediaeval punishment designed to intimidate), and the surviving rank and file were mostly deported to the colonies to serve as slaves.

A witness at Townley's show trial said that the regiment's colours had the words Liberty and Property on one side and Church and Country on the other, possibly on a St George's red cross.

The Jacobite flags captured at Culloden were burned by the public hangman in Edinburgh and we have a list of those burned - but the descriptions are not very complete. A few Jacobite flags still survive, as do descriptions of  a few others no longer in existence.

The red flag bordered blue with a central white square may have been one of the Prince's standards: