Unique Spottiswoode Letters Auction: Jacobite Rising – Bonnie Prince Charlie

Published 17th February 2013

In the manuscripts section of the Antiquarian Book Auction (BK9) to be held on 20th February 2013 in Dowell Street, Honiton, East Devon is a collection of significant 17th Century letters, passed down by direct descent by the family of John Spottiswoode (1565-1639).


John Spottiswoode was Archbishop of St Andrews and also Lord Chancellor of Scotland. He was one of the most significant figures of his day and is buried in Westminster Abbey.


There are five contemporary letters (BK9/370) sent to John Spottiswoode by an un-named solicitor living in Edinburgh during Prince Charles Edward Stuart’s (Bonnie Prince Charlie) and his Highland armies occupation of the City of Edinburgh for a six week period in 1745.


 spottiswoode letters for auction

 Spottiswoode Letters for auction


These unpublished letters describe in vivid details the panic, the dangers that were faced, the rumours that were rife, the hopes for the settlement, as the Highland army were in the midst of the residents.


None of the letters are signed, one assumes because of the security issues in case they were intercepted.


The first letter is dated September 19th, just two days after the Princes entry into the city. The last is dated 26th October – five days later the Prince marched out of Edinburgh on his ill fated journey South.


This is just one of the lots relating to John Spottiswoode on offer in the manuscripts section of the Antiquarian Book Auction (BK9). To view the others please take a look at the catalogue from lot 366-378 (BK9).

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