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James Maxwell and Prince Charles? Expedition, 1745 - 46

James Maxwell was the eldest son of William and Janet Maxwell of Kirkconnell, near New Abbey. Always a strong supporter of the Stuart cause, James determined to help Prince Charles Edward Stuart in his campaign to claim the British crown for his father, Prince James Francis Edward Stuart. Despite advice from William Craik of Arbigland to the contrary, James and his servant William Carruthers left Kirkconnell in 1745 to join the Prince in Edinburgh.

Maxwell served in the Prince’s army as one of the captains in Lord Elcho’s Troop of Lifeguards. He accompanied the Prince on his expedition into England and the retreat to Scotland, and fought in the battles at Falkirk and Culloden Moor. Afterwards Maxwell went to France in order to escape the vengeance of the Duke of Cumberland’s troops. There he spent his time composing a remarkable narrative of the Prince’s expedition.

Although there are numerous accounts of the events of 1745, the one written by James Maxwell stands out not only because it records intimate details of the meetings of the Prince’s Council of War, but also because it is based on the experiences of a local man.

Visitors to the exhibition can also study maps showing the battle plans at Preston, Falkirk and Culloden, and watch a presentation on dvd of the locations associated with the expedition.