Whom did Flora MacDonald famously help after the Battle of Culloden in April 1746?
Flora MacDonald (1722 – 5 March 1790) was a member of the Macdonalds of Sleat, who helped Charles Edward Stuart (31 December 1720 – 31 January 1788) evade government troops after the Battle of Culloden in April 1746.
Flora was visiting Benbecula in the Outer Hebrides when Prince Charles took refuge there after the Battle of Culloden in June 1746. One of his companions, Captain Conn O'Neill from County Antrim was distantly related to Flora and asked for her help.
MacDonald of Sleat had not joined the Rebellion and Benbecula was controlled by a pro-government militia commanded by Flora's step-father, Hugh MacDonald. This connection allowed her to obtain the necessary permits but she apparently hesitated, fearing the consequences for her family if they were caught. She may have been taking less of a risk than it appears; witnesses later claimed Hugh advised the Prince where to hide from his search parties.
Passes were issued allowing passage to the mainland for Flora, a boat's crew of six men and two personal servants, including Charles disguised as an Irish maid called Betty Burke. On 27 June, they landed near Sir Alexander's house at Monkstadt, near Kilbride, Skye. In his absence, his wife Lady Margaret arranged lodging with her steward, MacDonald of Kingsburgh, who told Charles to remove his disguise, as it simply made him more conspicuous. The next day, Charles was taken from Portree to the island of Raasay; Flora remained on Skye and they never met again.