Inverness continued meanwhile in possession of the Mackenzies, under command of the Governor, Sir John Mackenzie of Coul, and George Mackenzie of Gruinard. Macdonald of Keppoch was on the march to support Sir John at Inverness, and Lord Lovat, learning this, gathered his men together, and on the 7th of November decided to throw himself across the river Ness and place his forces directly between Keppoch and the Governor. Sir John, on discovering Lovat's movement, resolved to make a sally out of the garrison and place the enemy between him and the advancing Keppoch, where he could attack him with advantage, but Macdonald became alarmed and returned home through Glen-Urquhart, whereupon Lord Lovat marched straight upon Inverness, and took up a position about a mile to the west of the town. The authorities were summoned to send out the garrison and the Governor, or the town would be burnt and the inhabitants put to the sword. Preparations were made for the attack, but Sir John Mackenzie, considering that any further defence was hopeless, on the 10th of November collected together all the boats he could find and at high water safely effected his escape from the town, when Lovat marched in without opposition. His Lordship advised the Earl of Sutherland that he had secured possession of Inverness, and on the 15th of November the latter, leaving Colonel Robert Munro of Fowlis as Governor of Inverness, went with his followers, accompanied by Lord Lovat with some of his men, to Brahan Castle, and compelled the responsible men of the Clan Mackenzie who were not in the South with the Earl of Seaforth to come under an obligation for their peaceable behaviour, and to return the arms previously taken from the Munros by Lord Seaforth at Alness; to release the prisoners in their possession, and promise not to assist Lord Seaforth directly or indirectly in his efforts against the Government; that they would grant to the Earl of Sutherland any sum of money he might require from them upon due notice for the use of the Government; and, finally, that Brahan Castle, the principal residence of the Earl of Seaforth, should be turned into a garrison for King George.
Seaforth returned from Sheriffmuir, and again collected his men near Brahan, but the Earl of Sutherland with a large number of his own men, Lord Reay's, the Munros, Rosses, Culloden's men, and the Frasers, marched to meet him and encamped at Beauly, within a few miles of Mackenzie's camp, and prepared to give him battle, which, when my Lord Seaforth saw, he thought it convenient to capitulate, own the King's authority, disperse his men, and propose the mediation of these Government friends for his pardon. Upon his submission the King was graciously pleased to send down orders that upon giving up his arms and coming into Inverness, he might expect his pardon; yet upon the Pretender's Anvil at Perth and my Lord Huntly's suggestions to him that now was the time for them to appear for their King and country, and that what honour they lost at Dunblane might yet be regained; but while he thus insinuated to my Lord Seaforth, he privately found that my Lord Seaforth had by being an early suitor for the King's pardon, by promising to lay down his arms, and owning the King's authority, claimed in a great measure to an assurance of his life and fortune, which he thought proper for himself to purchase at the rate of disappointing Seaforth, with hopes of standing by the good old cause, till Seaforth, with that vain hope, lost the King's favour that was promised him; which Huntly embraced by taking the very first opportunity of deserting the Chevalier's cause, and surrendering himself upon terms made with him of safety to his life and fortune. This sounded so sweet to him that he sleeped so secure as never to dream of any preservation for a great many good gentlemen that made choice to stand by him and serve under him that many other worthy nobles who would die or banish rather that not show their personal bravery, and all other friendly offices to their adherents." [Lord Lovat's Account of the taking of Inverness. Patten's Rebellion.]
In February, 1716, hopeless of attaining his object, the unfortunate son of James II. left Scotland, the land of his forefathers, never to visit it again, and Earl William followed him to the common resort of the exiled Jacobites of the time. On the 7th of the following May an Act of attainder was passed against the Earl and the other chiefs of the Jacobite party. Their estates were forfeited, though practically in many cases, and especially in that of Seaforth, it was found extremely difficult to carry the forfeiture into effect. The Master of Sinclair is responsible for the base and unfounded allegation that the Earl of Seaforth, the Marquis of Huntly, and other Jacobites, were in treaty with the Government to deliver up the Chevalier to the Duke of Argyll, that they might procure better terms for themselves than they could otherwise expect. This odious charge, which is not corroborated by any other writer, must be looked upon as highly improbable." [Fullarton's Highland Clans, p. 471.] If any proof of the untruthfulness of this charge be required it will be found in the fact that the Earl returned afterwards to the Island of Lewis, and re-embodied his vassals there under an experienced officer, Campbell of Ormundel, who had served with distinction in the Russian army; and it was not until a large Government force was sent over against him, which he found it impossible successfully to oppose, that he recrossed to the mainland and escaped to France.
Among the "gentlemen prisoners" taken to the Castle of Stirling on the day following the Battle of Sheriffmuir the following are found in a list published in Patten's Rebellion--Kenneth Mackenzie, nephew to Sir Alexander Mackenzie of Coul Joh Maclean, adjutant to Colonel Mackenzie's Regiment Colonel Mackenzie of Kildin, Captain of Fairburn's Regiment; Hugh MacRae, Donald MacRae, and Christopher MacRae.
The war declared against Spain in December, 1718, again revived the hopes of the Jacobites, who, in accordance with a stipulation between the British Government and the Duke of Orleans, then Regent of France, had previously, with the Chevalier and the Duke of Ormont at their head, been ordered out of France. They repaired to Madrid, where they held conferences with Cardinal Alberoni, and concerted an invasion of Great Britain. On the 10th of March, 1719, a fleet, consisting of ten men-of-war and twenty-one transports, having on board five thousand men, a large quantity of ammunition, and thirty thousand muskets, sailed from Cadiz under the command of the Duke of Ormond, with instructions to join the rest of the expedition at Corunna, and to make a descent at once upon England, Scotland, and Ireland. The sorry fate of this expedition is well known. Only two frigates reached their destination, the rest having been dispersed and disabled off Cape Finisterre by a violent storm which lasted about twelve days. The two ships which survived the storm and reached Scotland had on board the Earl of Seaforth and Earl Marischal, the Marquis of Tullibardine, some field officers, three hundred Spaniards, and arms and ammunition for two thousand men. They entered Lochalsh about the middle of May; effected a landing in Kintail and were there joined by a body of Seaforth's vassals, and a party of Macgregors under command of the famous Rob Roy; but the other Jacobite chiefs, remembering their previous disappointments and misfortunes, stood aloof until the whole of Ormond's forces should arrive. General Wightman, who was stationed at Inverness, hearing of their arrival, marched to meet them with 2000 Dutch troops and a detachment of the garrison at Inverness. Seaforth's forces and their allies took possession of the pass of Glenshiel, but on the approach of the Government forces they retired to the pass of Strachell, which they decided to defend at all hazards. They were there engaged by General Wightman, who, after a smart skirmish of about three hours duration, and after inflicting some loss upon the Jacobites, drove them from one eminence to another, till night came on, when the Highlanders, their chief having been seriously wounded, and giving up all hopes of a successful resistance, retired during the night to the mountains, carrying Seaforth along with them and the Spaniards next morning surrendered themselves prisoners of war. [The Spaniards kept their powder magazine and ball behind the manse, but after the battle of Glenshiel they set fire to it lest it should fall into the hands of the King's troops. These balls are still gathered up by sportsmen, and are found in great abundance upon the glebe. Old Statistical Account of Kintail.]
Seaforth, Marischal, and Tullibardine, with the other principal officers, managed to effect their escape to the Western Isles, from which they afterwards found their way to the Continent. Rob Roy was placed in ambush with the view of attacking the Royal troops in the rear and it is said of him that having more zeal than prudence he attacked the rear of the enemy's column before they had become engaged in front his small party was routed, and the intention of placing the King's troops between two fires was thus defeated. [A Statistical Account of Glenshiel, by the Rev. John Macrae, who gives a minute description of the scenes of the battle, and informs us that in constructing the parliamentary road which runs through the Glen a few years before he wrote, several bullets and pieces of musket barrels were found and the green mounds which covered the graves of the slain, and the ruins of a rude breast-work which the Highlanders constructed on the crest of the hill to cover their position still marked the scene of the conflict.] General Wightman sent a detachment to Ellandonnan Castle, which he ordered to be blown up and demolished. General Wightman advanced from the Highland Capital by Loch-Ness and a recent writer pertinently asks, "Why he was allowed to pass by such a route without opposition? It is alleged that Marischal and Tullibardine had interrupted the movements of the invaders by ill timed altercations about command, but we are provoked to observe that some extraordinary interposition seems evident to frustrate every scheme towards forwarding the cause of the ill-fated house of Stuart. Had the Chevalier St George arrived earlier, as he might have done; had William Earl of Seaforth joined the Earl of Mar some time before, as he ought to have done; and strengthened as Mar would then have been, had he boldly advanced on Stirling, as it appears he would have done, Argyll's force would have been annihilated, and James VIII. proclaimed at the Cross of Edinburgh. Well did the brave Highlanders indignantly demand, `What did you call us to arms for? Was it to run away? What did our own King come for? Was it to see us butchered by hangmen?' There was a fatuity that accompanied all their undertakings which neutralised intrepidity, devotedness, and bravery which the annals of no other people can exhibit, and paltry jealousies which stultified exertions, which, independently of political results, astonished Europe at large." [Bennetsfield MS.]
An Act of Parliament for disarming the Highlanders was passed in 1716, but in some cases to very little purpose for some of the most disaffected clans were better armed than ever, although by the Act the collectors of taxes were allowed to pay for the arms given in, in no case were any delivered except those which were broken, old, and unfit for use, and these were valued at prices far above what they were really worth. Not only so, but a lively trade in old arms was carried on with Holland and other Continental countries, and these arms were sold to the commissioners as Highland weapons, at exorbitant prices. General Wade afterwards found in the possession of the Highlanders a large quantity of arms which they obtained from the Spaniards who took part in the battle of Glenshiel, and he computed that the Highlanders opposed to the Government possessed at this time no less than five or six thousand arms of various kinds.
Wade arrived in Inverness on the 10th of August, 1723, and in virtue of another Act passed the same year, he was empowered to proceed to the Highlands and to summon the clans to deliver up their arms, and to carry several other recommendations of his own into effect. On his arrival he immediately proceeded to business, went to Brahan Castle, and called on the Mackenzies to deliver up their weapons. He took those presented to him on the word of Murchison, factor on the estate and by the representation of Sir John Mackenzie Lord Tarbat, Sir Kenneth Mackenzie of Cromarty, and Sir Colin Mackenzie of Coul, at the head of a large deputation of the clan, he compromised his more rigid instructions and accepted a selection of worn-out and worthless arms, and at the same time promised that if the clan exhibited a willing disposition to comply with the orders of the Government he would use his influence in the next Parliament to procure a remission for their chief and his followers; and we find, that "through his means, and the action of other minions of Court (Tarbat was then in power), Seaforth received a simple pardon by letters patent in 1726, for himself and his clan, whose submission was recognised in the sham form of delivering their arms, a matter of the less consequence as few of that generation were to have an opportunity of wielding them again in the same cause."