The Legend of the Lost Jacobite Treasure
By Amy Rose Bennett
I have a new Scottish historical romance release in March, The Laird of Blackloch, and it features the legend of a missing treasure—a fortune in gold coins buried somewhere in the Highlands of Scotland ...
After the Battle of Culloden in which Bonnie Prince Charlie’s rebellion was resoundingly crushed by the British, my Jacobite hero-on-the-run Alexander MacIvor, returns home to Blackloch Castle only to discover Malcolm Campbell, the Earl of Tay—who is loyal to the Crown and the head of a rival clan—has ordered his men to lay waste to his estate. Alex’s family and his affianced have been murdered and Blackloch—situated on the shores of Loch Rannoch in Perthshire—is set alight. Alexander escapes by the skin of his teeth and of course vows bloody vengeance on Tay. But he has no idea how to make that happen ... until after hiding out in the Highland wilderness for several months, injured and his spirit all but broken, he accidentally stumbles across Jacobite clansmen burying caskets of gold coins on the shores of Loch Arkaig. With an untold fortune in his possession—Alex cannot resist the temptation of helping himself to the contents of one of the caskets—he now has the means to reinvent himself and thence execute a campaign to slowly destroy his enemy. Thus begins the tale of The Laird of Blackloch.
Legend has it there is a Jacobite treasure hidden somewhere in the Highlands. By all accounts two French frigates, the Bellona and Mars, arrived at Loch nan Uamh on the west coast of Scotland at the end of April 1746 and delivered seven large caskets of gold—worth over one million livres—to support Bonnie Prince Charlie’s cause. However, the Jacobite army had already been defeated at Culloden on 16th April. Apparently the Prince’s former secretary, Murray of Broughton, was entrusted with looking after the treasure; the money was to be used to help fugitive Jacobites. However he was arrested by government troops in June 1746 and the treasure may have been passed to the Camerons of Lochiel for safekeeping. It was reportedly buried on the shores of Loch Arkaig in Lochaber but may have been unearthed and reburied several times over the next few months to prevent loyalist soldiers discovering it. There are also rumours one of the caskets was stolen by the Macdonalds of Barrisdale.
As the story goes, the fugitive Jacobite Ewan ‘Cluny’ Macpherson, the chief of Clan Chattan, was then tasked with looking after and disseminating the gold to Jacobites in need of funds. It’s believed Cluny Macpherson hid himself and perhaps the treasure in a remote mountain cave dubbed ‘Cluny’s Cage’ on the slopes of Ben Alder for nine years. Cluny’s hideout is featured in Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novel ‘Kidnapped’.
In 1753 Bonnie Prince Charlie—who was living in exile on the Continent—sent the younger brother of the Chief of Cameron of Lochiel, Dr. Archibald Cameron back to the Highlands to locate the gold. However Dr. Cameron was captured by the British and executed for his role in the Forty-Five. The only other account about the gold seems to come from the mid nineteenth century; a small bag of French and Spanish gold coins was supposedly discovered near Loch Arkaig but it certainly wasn’t an immense treasure!
Over the years, many have searched for the missing Jacobite gold, but to this day its whereabouts remains an unsolved mystery. I hope readers enjoy The Laird of Blackloch and my little twist to the legend.
Amy Rose Bennett
Amy Rose Bennett has always wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember. An avid reader with a particular love for historical romance, it seemed only natural to write stories in her favorite genre. She has a passion for creating emotion-packed—and sometimes a little racy—stories set in the Georgian and Regency periods. Of course, her strong-willed heroines and rakish heroes always find their happily ever after.
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The Laird of Blackloch
Following the Battle of Culloden, Alexander MacIvor returns to his ancestral home, Blackloch Castle, only to find the Earl of Tay, chief of the rival Clan Campbell, has laid waste to everything he holds dear. In the face of such devastation, Alex seems doomed to live the life of a fugitive Jacobite ... until a stroke of good luck allows him to escape the Highlands and begin again.
Years later, styling himself as a wealthy Englishman, Alexander reclaims his forfeited estate, becoming the new Laird of Blackloch. But it’s not nearly enough to quench his thirst for vengeance. Hell-bent on destroying Lord Tay, he single-mindedly sets about driving his nemesis to bankruptcy. When he learns the earl intends to marry the very beautiful English heiress, Miss Sarah Lambert, thus escaping penury, he devises a devious plan: kidnap Miss Lambert and ransom her to hasten Tay’s ruin.
When Sarah Lambert learns Lord Tay is not the man she thought he was during a masquerade ball in Edinburgh, she is devastated. Reeling from her discovery, things go from bad to worse when a mysterious yet charming guest by the name of Alexander Black turns out to be a true devil in disguise. Abducted and whisked way into the wild Highlands by Black, Sarah is imprisoned in a remote, island-bound tower. Refusing to be a pawn in Black’s diabolical plan for revenge, she determines that somehow, some way, she will regain her freedom. If only she could unlock Black’s secrets ...
Living in such close quarters, Alexander quickly discovers the spirited Sarah is more than a match for him, and even the best laid plans can go awry when passion flares and the spark of love threatens to revive his long-dead heart. When the shadows of the past begin to gather, will Alexander and Sarah find their way forward ... or will the threatening darkness destroy them both?
The Laird of Blackloch will be released on 12th March 2018. You’ll be able to find the buy links at all good ebook retailers on the Harlequin Escape Publishing website or on Amy Rose Bennett’s website very soon.