Letter concerning preparations against the Young Pretender, 1745
©Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Archive Service
Lord Gower was originally a leading Jacobite but changed sides in 1742 by becoming a Whig, which earned him considerable disapproval from Tory families in the county. At the time of the ’45 Jacobite Rebellion, Gower went one step further and also raised a regiment against the Young Pretender, which is referred to in this letter. Gower’s actions resulted in an earldom for him from George II which probably more than made up for the opprobrium of his Tory neighbours.
I am glad to salute you by Mr Fawcett who sets out tomorrow from Ingstre for Oxford, I came to Stafford on Monday, and have scarce a moments leisure to do anything but Regimental affairs, and can neither see nor write to Leacroft which My Good Sister will excuse, Every post brings some fresh alarm of The Rebells sliping General Wade and marching for Lancashire, there is no force of any consequence between us and that Country, The Duke has ordered Lord Gower to acquaint me to be ready to march as soon as we have Arms and Cloathing part of which are come & the rest on the road, impossibilities are expected from us, but the imminent danger calls for all to exert their utmost; You will make haste home to alleviate the fears & apprehension of My Sister & family, and to trie to keep up the Spirits of your Neighbours, and to encourage those who have listed in our County Regiment. There is a force marching this way but ‘tis a little of the latest, however I hope after it has pleas’d God to chastise us which we deserve he will have mercy & put a stop to our growing Calamities, you that are out of the way of Fighting will pray heartily for our Success, ‘tis probable we shall Garrison Chester when we march. I have wrote but not heard from Shrewsbury. I had left Chester before Dick came there. I send home the Mare Mr Conolly having lent me a Horse. When you come back I shall rejoice to see you and am Dear Brother Most Affectionately Yours,
10 November 1745