Flora MacDonald

1722 - 1790

Flora MacDonald Statue at Inverness Castle
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Flora MacDonald Statue at Inverness Castle

Reluctant heroine. Born at Milton on South Uist in the Outer Hebrides, MacDonald's father served with the government army. She was brought up at Flodigarry on the Isle of Skye and attended school in Sleat and then in Edinburgh.

MacDonald reluctantly helped Bonnie Prince Charlie to safety following the failed Jacobite Rebellion of 1745 and his defeat at Culloden the following year. He had become an embarrassment to the Clan Chiefs he met and, in April 1746, she rowed the Prince (who was disguised as a woman-servant, 'Betty Burke') in a boat from Benbecula (Western Isles) to Portree (Skye) before he sailed for France.

MacDonald later emigrated for North Carolina (1774) and was active recruiting Scots to fight for the British in the American War of Independence. She returned to Scotland in 1779, settling in Kingsburgh on Skye.

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