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MacDonald, Flora

MacDonald, Flora (1722–90). Born on South Uist, but educated in Edinburgh, Flora's help was enlisted during a visit to the island of Benbecula for Charles Edward Stuart's escape to Skye, after Culloden. Reluctant, but persuaded to succour one in distress, she sought a passport from her stepfather (in charge of the militia) to enable her to cross the Minch with a manservant and ‘an Irish spinning maid, Betty Burke’; the party then travelled from Kilbride to Portree for a boat to take Charles to Raasay. When the escape became known, she remained self-possessed throughout her arrest and subsequent brief detention in the Tower of London. Once Jacobitism had become a safe lost cause, her actions were heavily romanticized. Described by Johnson as ‘a woman of soft features, gentle manners, and elegant presence’ on meeting her in Kingsburgh (1773), Flora MacDonald emigrated to North Carolina the following year, but later returned to Skye.

A. S. Hargreaves

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Macdonald, Flora

Flora Macdonald, 1722–90, Scottish Jacobite heroine. She aided Charles Edward Stuart, known as Bonnie Prince Charlie, to escape to France after the defeat of the Jacobites at Culloden Moor in 1746. For smuggling the prince, disguised as a woman, to the Isle of Skye, she was imprisoned briefly in the Tower of London. Later she was visited by many celebrities, including Dr. Samuel Johnson (1773). Her romantic aid to the prince is commemorated in Highland ballad and legend.

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Macdonald, Flora

Macdonald, Flora (1722–90) Scottish Jacobite heroine. After the battle of Culloden (1746), Macdonald smuggled the Young Pretender, Charles Edward Stuart, to Skye, disguised as her maid. From there, he sailed safely to Europe.

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