At last, the formal French commitment …
All commentators on the ’45 offer the opinion that a more decisive contribution by the French could have seen the Stuarts restored and the Elector back in Hanover.
From the day the Prince landed on July 23rd and received the advice ‘Go Home’, advice often repeated whilst he sat writing letters at Borrodale in early August, the issue of French commitment was paramount. Some support did arrive but the initial contingent of some 700 French/ Ecosse soldiers aboard L’Elisabeth was turned back at sea of course by HMS Lion.
But after the stunning Victory at Prestonpans the moment did arrive when the French King was prepared to enter into a formal Treaty, at Fontainebleau, on October 24th 1745. The text is brief and to the point, as reprinted in French & English below. Its significance for Prestonpans was that it was our Victory that made such a formal public treaty possible. And it was to be the last formal treaty of the Auld Alliance, some 38 years after our distinct Scottish nation had ceased to exist but just a month after Prince Charles had given it its brief new life.
The Treaty signing will be included in the Prestonpans Tapestry as one of its final panels before the Highlanders mrach into England. And it is to be hoped it can be completed in France with embroiderers there after due ‘sign off’.
click to see the Treaty’s terms