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battle site, Clifton Moor
Battle of Clifton Moor
locality:-   Clifton Moor
locality:-   Clifton
civil parish:-   Clifton (formerly Westmorland)
county:-   Cumbria
locality type:-   battle site
coordinates:-   NY539259
1Km square:-   NY5325
10Km square:-   NY52

BND43.jpg  Memorial to the battle, 18 December 1745. The battle was in and around Clifton, centred to south of the village, behind the houses on the other side of the road, NOT where this monument has you looking.
(taken 3.2.2007)  
BQE94.jpg  Plaque:-
"THE BATTLE OF / CLIFTON MOOR / 18th DECEMBER 1745" (taken 6.3.2009)  

evidence:-   old map:- OS County Series
source data:-   Maps, County Series maps of Great Britain, scales 6 and 25 inches to 1 mile, published by the Ordnance Survey, Southampton, Hampshire, from about 1863 to 1948.
"A skirmish took place here between the Royal troops under the Duke of Cumberland and those of the Pretender: December 1745."

evidence:-   old text:- Gents Mag
item:-  rebellion, 17451745 RebellionBattle of Clifton Moor
source data:-   Magazine, The Gentleman's Magazine or Monthly Intelligencer or Historical Chronicle, published by Edward Cave under the pseudonym Sylvanus Urban, and by other publishers, London, monthly from 1731 to 1922.
image G7450625, button  goto source
Gentleman's Magazine 1745 p.625  "..."
"... Dec. 21 [1745]. Letters receiv'd this morning from the Duke of Cumberland, by a messenger who left his royal highness on Thursday morning last, being an account, that he came up with the rebels on Wednesday night with his cavalry, after ten hours march, just beyond Lowther-Hall, which the rebels abandon'd on our approach, and threw themselves into a village called Clifton, within three miles of Penrith, which village his royal highness immediately attacked with the dragoons dismounted, who behaved extremely well, and drove the rebels out in an hour's time, tho' a very strong and defensible post. The loss of the rebels could not be known, as it was quite dark before the skirmish was over: That of the king's forces amounted to about 40 men kill'd and wounded, and 4 officers wounded, but not mortally, viz. Col. Honeywood, Capt. East,"

evidence:-   old text:- Gents Mag 1745
source data:-   image G7450626, button  goto source
Gentleman's Magazine 1745 p.626  "and the two cornets Owen and Hamilton. A captain Hamilton of the rebels was taken prisoner much wounded. After this action, the rebels retir'd to four mile distance, and his royal highness intended to pursue them as soon as possible."
"From the London Gazetter, Dec. 24."
"Penrith, Dec. 20."
"THE rebels having carried off their killed and wounded, when they were driven out of the village of Clifton by the king's forces, it has not been possible to ascertain their loss; but since that affair about 70 of their people have been taken prisoners."
"Of the king's forces, the regiment that suffer'd most was his majesty's own regiment of dragoons, some officers of which being wounded, the rebels cried, No quarter, - murder them. - and they receiv'd several wounds after they were down."

evidence:-   old text:- Gents Mag
item:-  rebellion, 17451745 Rebellion
source data:-   Magazine, The Gentleman's Magazine or Monthly Intelligencer or Historical Chronicle, published by Edward Cave under the pseudonym Sylvanus Urban, and by other publishers, London, monthly from 1731 to 1922.
image G7460062, button  goto source
Gentleman's Magazine 1746 p.62  "..."
"P.625. Col.2. H. it is said by the Gazette, 'the loss of the rebels could not be known, as it was quite dark before the skirmish was over.' I believe 'tis true, that no body does know the exact number of the kill'd. Five only being found dead upon the field, many suppose that no more were kill'd; I cannot positively assert the contrary; but as I was a very near eye witness of the action, one of the rebels having been kill'd within a few yards of the place where I stood, I had perhaps a fairer oppportunity of seeing what passed than any other person, whether member of the army or not; and do declare, that the second regular fire of the king's men in the field, which was made when the two bodies were about 50 yards distant from each other, did a great deal of execution among the rebels; for I suppose, some scores might fall, and I am sure they never rose again while I kept my station; and after this the rebels receiv'd a full fire from the king's men within a very few yards, which certainly must do very great execution, but as they were immediately involved in smoke I could not see; but as to the first I am positive that numbers were either kill'd or wounded, and their not being found is no objection to the truth of the thing, because they had time enough to carry them off."

evidence:-   old text:- Clarke 1787
source data:-   Guide book, A Survey of the Lakes of Cumberland, Westmorland, and Lancashire, written and published by James Clarke, Penrith, Cumberland, and in London etc, 1787; published 1787-93.
image CL13P007, button  goto source
Page 7:-  "..."
"Near the village [Clifton] is Clifton-Moor, where a battle was fought between a part of the army under William Duke of Cumberland and the Rebels, in the year 1745, at which time Lieutenant-Colonel, (afterwards Lieutenant-General) Honeywood was desperately wounded: he was taken up for dead, having received several wounds on his head; and his hat was cut through in nine several places."

evidence:-   old text:- Camden 1789 (Gough Additions) 
source data:-   Book, Britannia, or A Chorographical Description of the Flourishing Kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland, by William Camden, 1586, translated from the 1607 Latin edition by Richard Gough, published London, 1789.
image CAM2P162, button  goto source
Page 162:-  "..."
"Clifton moor is memorable for a skirmish between the king's troops under the duke of Cumberland and the rebels 1745, in which about 15 were killed on both sides, and lieutenant colonel Honeywood of Howgill castle taken up for dead. ..."

evidence:-   old text:- Gents Mag
item:-  rebellion, 17451745 RebellionBattle of Clifton Moor
source data:-   Magazine, The Gentleman's Magazine or Monthly Intelligencer or Historical Chronicle, published by Edward Cave under the pseudonym Sylvanus Urban, and by other publishers, London, monthly from 1731 to 1922.
image G816B600, button  goto source
Gentleman's Magazine 1816 part 2 p.600 
From the Compendium of County History:-  "1745, ... Dec. 18, at Clifton, skirmish between the rear of the Prince's army and the van of the Duke of Cumberland's. ..."

evidence:-   old text:- Gents Mag 1825
source data:-   image G825A414, button  goto source
Gentleman's Magazine 1825 part 1 p.414 
From the Compendium of County History:-  "1745. At Clifton Moor a smart action took place between the rebel forces and the Duke of Cumberland, in which the former were driven from their advantageous posts. When the rebels, to the numbers of 110, entered Kendal, they were attacked by the inhabitants with clubs, stones, and any thing they could get, which greatly harassed them."

evidence:-   descriptive text:- Ford 1839 (3rd edn 1843) 
source data:-   Guide book, A Description of Scenery in the Lake District, by Rev William Ford, published by Charles Thurnam, Carlisle, by W Edwards, 12 Ave Maria Lane, Charles Tilt, Fleet Street, William Smith, 113 Fleet Street, London, by Currie and Bowman, Newcastle, by Bancks and Co, Manchester, by Oliver and Boyd, Edinburgh, and by Sinclair, Dumfries, 1839.
image FD01P134, button  goto source
Page 134:-  "... [Clifton] ... The moor is famous as having been the scene of an engagement between the Highlanders and the Duke of Cumberland, to which allusion is made in Waverley. ..."

evidence:-   old text:- Gents Mag
source data:-   Magazine, The Gentleman's Magazine or Monthly Intelligencer or Historical Chronicle, published by Edward Cave under the pseudonym Sylvanus Urban, and by other publishers, London, monthly from 1731 to 1922.
image G852A145, button  goto source
Gentleman's Magazine 1852 part 1 p.145  "to our King's men; and the King's Hussars, with some of the Yorkshire Hunters, came down, and so soon as they came opposite to the first ambush the rebels fired upon them, but did no execution, and then issued out of the ambush at my doors, and a furious firing they had, the King's men acting the nimblest and quickest that ever my eyes beheld, not one of them receiving any harm. Some horse followed the former, so that in a few minutes the rebels ran away like mad-men; and just by my doors one of the rebels was brought down and taken, and a Captain Hamilton was also taken at the same time (afterwards executed at York); they were both had up to the Duke. Then it was still about an hour, in which time I abode in the house; the King's troops still standing up on the common, in which time my son went over a little green to see if we could get the cattle brought into their houses, but seeing that in vain, came homewards again, when four rebels on horseback seized him, calling him a spy, and had him down under their horses feet, swearing desperately many times they would shoot him, and three of them commanded the fourth to shoot him, which he attempted with his gun, and then pistol, but neither would fire, so he escaped, and came in; a little after I was again grown uneasy to go out, which I ventured to do, and looking about me I saw the King's men as before, standing on the common; turning me about I saw the rebels filling the town-street north of my house, as also running down and lining the hedges and walls, even down to my house on both sides; then I was in great pain for the duke and his men, who could not see them, it beginning to grow darkish; but I ventured my life, and stood a little off, and waved my hat in my hand, which some of them discovering, one came riding down towards me, and I called to him, bidding him cast his eye about him and see how the town was filled, and hedges lined; after which he returned, and then a party was dismounted and sent down to meet the rebels; and in the time of quietness as above, the rebels had sent off a party of their horse to plunder and burn Lowther Hall and town, and they were also plundering our town, leaving nothing they could lay their hands on, breaking locks, and making ruinous work, even to all our victuals, and little children's clothes of all sorts. Now it beginning to grow dark, and the rebels so thick about my house, we had no hopes of saving ourselves, but concluded to leave the house and go into the fields, if we could but get there. In the middle of the orchard we were parted by the rebels, one part of us driven into the fields, the other back into the house, severely threatening our lives, never expecting to see one another alive again. A son-in-law and his family were in like circumstances, for they seemed more severe upon us then upon others. Now come to the matter above again: we were not all got to the fireside again before the firing on all hands was dreadful, which continued half an hour, in which time were killed ten of the King's men, and twenty-one wounded, and the Duke's footman taken prisoner, who was recovered, and of the rebels, five were killed, and many wounded that night. Early next morning were seventy prisoners under custody; and after the heat of firing was over all seemed still a little space, after which some came, and broke in at my court door, calling sharply to open; but we believing it to be the rebels, I would not open, when they began to be sharp, and orders were given to fire, they supposing the house to be full of rebels, but I called and said I would open as fast as I could, and the first words said to me were, could the Duke lodge here tonight, to which with pleasure I answered yes; and a pleasant and agreeable company he was, a man of good parts, very friendly, and no pride in him. Much on this I could say if it would not be tedious to thee, yet shall mention one thing very remarkable, which was, our cattle were all standing among the slain men, and not one of them hurt, as also them that were banished from our house came in again next morning; the Duke's men said it was a wonder they were not killed, our next neighbour being shot at that same time. Thou mayst also know I had the Duke of Kingston and the Duke of Richmond to lodge, with about a hundred more, and as many horses. I have not yet mentioned a scaffold erected by the rebels behind a wall, at a corner of my house, as we believe to cut off any that might come into my court, which if it had not been that they had fled, the noble Duke had stood a bad chance there."
"I am afraid thou can scarcely read this; but if thou think proper to shew it to any, I would have thee copy it fair over, and shew it to whom thou wilt, even if it be to the King. I conclude with my true love,"

evidence:-   old text:- Gents Mag
item:-  rebellion, 17451745 RebellionBattle of Clifton Moor
source data:-   Magazine, The Gentleman's Magazine or Monthly Intelligencer or Historical Chronicle, published by Edward Cave under the pseudonym Sylvanus Urban, and by other publishers, London, monthly from 1731 to 1922.
image G852A144, button  goto source
Gentleman's Magazine 1852 part 1 p.144  "SKIRMISH AT PENRITH IN 1745."
"Springfield Mount, Leeds, 12 Jan."
"MR URBAN, - AS the accounts of eye-witnesses of memorable transactions are always the most valuable, especially so when, as in the present instance, they were not immediately concerned in the affairs related, and, as much as may be, unswayed by prejudices of party, the following letter from Clifton, near Penrith, detailing the last struggles of the House of Stuart in the year 1745 to regain a lost throne, is both interesting and valuable, not only as showing the position and anxieties of a private individual at that fearful crisis, but also in a national and historical point of view. As the document has never before been published, to the best of my knowledge and belief, you will probably not deem it unworthy a place in your Magazine."
"The writer, it will be perceived, was a member of the Society of Friends, a circumstance which will amply secure the credibilty of all he relates, - the peaceable principles of the denomination to which he belonged (without diminishing in the least from their feelings of loyalty) not allowing him to take part in sanguinary conflicts. I need only add that the original letter is in the possession of his grand-daughter, now resident near London; and the son-in-law he alludes to was the great-grandfather of a lady of Penrith who kindly transcribed it for me."
"Yours, &c. C. J. ARMISTEAD."
"Letter from a Friend at Clifton, written in 1745, relating to a skirmish with the Rebels near Penrith."
"Clifton, 29th of 11th mo. 1745."
"Esteemed friend, Richd. Partridge, -"
"By this know thine I received, and shall hereby give thee hints of the affair here, as it was from the beginning to the end; I being both eye and ear-witness to the truth thereof. But in the first place I cannot easily omit acknowledging the great favour and protecting hand of power to us manifested in so great a danger, as thou by the following account may understand."
"First, as to the rebels: when they came south we did not suffer much, but they seemed to have great assurance that they would proclaim their king in London on the 24th of last month, and crown him on New Year's Day, and then they would send Geordey, as they called him, over to Hanover, and would tread down his turnip-field dikes, highly dis-esteeming the Duke, calling him Geordey's lad and Geordey's Wolly, with many more opprobrious speeches. But on their return north they were cruelly barbarous and inhuman when here; for their leaders gave them liberty to plunder for four hours, and then to burn Lowther, Clifton, Bridge, and Penrith, and some say for six miles around; but, thanks to the Most High, whose power is above the power of man, often preventing the wicked from prosecuting their wicked designs, it certainly was the Lord's doing in bringing forward the noble Duke and his men in the very hour of great distress; as for my part, I must ever love and esteem him as a man of worth."
"Now I shall give thee to understand the beginning and the end of the engagement:-"
"First the rebel Hussars, being gone part way to Penrith, came riding back by my door in haste, between one and two in the afternoon; then in an hour came back again, driving up the rear of their army with whips to my door, and then others took their place, and they wheeled off, and set themselves to ambush against my barn side, being so enclosed with cross houses that our King's men could not see them until close to them, we not knowiing their designs, but I firmly believing them to be evil, and so went into my house, yet could not long be easy there, and ventured forth again, and looking about me I espied the commanders of the King's men appearing on the hill, about 400 yards south of my house, for whom my very heart was in pain; for believing that a great number might be cut off before they were aware, so our care was to give the King's men notice, for which my son ventured his life, and gave them notice about 300 yards before they came to a place where in the meantime a second ambush was laid, about 100 yards nearer"

evidence:-   old text:- Harper 1907
item:-  1745 Rebellionrebellion, 1745
source data:-   Guidebook, The Manchester and Glasgow Road, by Charles G Harper, published by Chapman and Hall Ltd, London, 1907.
Page 116:-  "..."
"Clifton should be marked on maps with the conventional crossed swords indicating the site of a battle, for it was here, on the evening of December 18th, 1745, that the Battle of Clifton Moor, the last ever fought on English ground, was decided. It is true that, judged by the standard of killed and wounded, it was no great affair, but it probably gave a final turn to the fortunes of the Young Pretender. It was fought midway in the panic-stricken retreat from Derby, and was a rearguard action, covering the retirement of the main body upon Penrith and Carlisle. Some two thousand Highlanders made a stand here, in the muddy road and fields, in advance of the village, as the sun went down, and the Duke of Cumberland's force, consisting chiefly of Kerr's, Bland's, Montagu's, Kingston's, and Cobham's dragoons, attacked them in the growing darkness."
Page 117:-  "The rebel cavalry were off at once. According to the account of Lord George Murray, on the Scottish side, "our horsemen, on seeing the enemy went to Penrith:" an innocent phrase, which rather obscures the prudent, if inglorious, fact that they "bunked," as a schoolboy would say, or "did a guy," as the slangy would remark: leaving the Highland infantry to do the best they could. It was a haphazard hurly-burly that ensued. No one could see any one. The Highlanders were quite invisible, and the English dragoons only to be seen by the gleam of their buff belts in the darkness. Mr. Thomas Savage, a Quaker, whose house"
"was in the thick of the encounter, was anxious for himself, and for his cattle, which interposed between the combatants, but he had really little cause for alarm; for both sides fired so high and so wide that not even a cow was killed, and after all the shooting and the hacking was done, and the rebels had fled, leaving the more or less stricken field in the possession of the enemy, it was found that but twelve (or according to one account, five) Highlanders had been killed and some forty to seventy made prisoners. On the English side, eleven dragoons were killed, and twenty-nine wounded. Many a railway accident has wrought more havoc."
"The registers of Clifton church bear witness to this event, in the following entries:"
""The 19th December, 1745, Ten Dragoons, to wit, six"
Page 118:-  "of Bland's, three of Cobham's, and one of Mark Kerr's Regiment, buried, who was killed ye evening before by ye Rebels in ye skirmish between ye Duke of Cumberland's army and them at ye end of Clifton Moor next ye town.""
""Robert Atkins, a private Dragoon of General Bland's Regiment, buried ye 8th Day of January, 1746.""
"This last was obviously one of the wounded."
"The Duke of Cumberland wanted a lodging for the night, and stayed accordingly in the house of Mr. Savage, who, during the progress of the affair, had locked himself in, while his daughter-in-law hid in the kitchen cupboard. The Quaker's account of the Duke was, "pleasant agreeable company he was - a man of parts, very friendly, and no pride in him.""
"None came so well out of that fight as Colonel Honeywood of Howgill, who seems to have been a host in himself, and would have done even better had it not been for an accident by which even the bravest of the brave might be brought ingloriously to earth. His prowess was vouched for by a Highlander, who, asked how his people got on, quaintly replied: "We gat on vary weel, till the lang man in the muckle boots cam ower the dyke, but his fut slipped on a turd, and we gat him down." The Highlanders nearly did for the "lang man," for they gave him three sword cuts on the head, and then left. He seems to have lived a charmed life, for he was at that time invalided home from Continental warfare, in which, at the Battle of Dettingen, he had received no fewer than twenty-three broadsword cuts and two musket balls."
"His hurts do not seem to have permanently harmed him for he lived forty years longer."

evidence:-   old text:- Burrow 1920s
source data:-   Road book, strip maps with parts in Westmorland, Cumberland etc, irregular scales about 1.5 miles to 1 inch, by E J Burrow and Co, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, 1920s.
"... It was on Clifton Moor that Prince Charlie's band of Highlanders fought and lost the last battle to take place on English soil in 1745. ..."

evidence:-   old map:- Johnstone 1820
source data:-   Map, uncoloured engraving, Skirmish at Clifton Hall, 18th December, 1745, engraved by Sidney Hall, Bury Street, Bloomsbury, published by Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown, Paternoster Row, London, 1820.
image  click to enlarge
Map, uncoloured engraving, Skirmish at Clifton Hall, 18 December 1745, by the Chevalier de Johnstone, engraved by Sidney Hall, Bury Street, Bloomsbury, published by Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown, Paternoster Row, London, 1820. 
Included in the Memoirs of the Rebellion in 1745 and 1746. 
The map shows troop positions of the rebels and the Duke of Cumberland's forces. Troops are labelled by a letter referring to a table in which phrases 'Our detachment with the Artillery' and 'The 4000 Men of the Duke of Cumberland in march to cut off our detachment' confirm that the map was drawn by a rebel sympathiser. 
The map has been intrepretted as well as may be by Ian Lewis:- 
The river probably represents the Eamont, the major river obstacle between Clifton and Penrith. The smaller Lowther which precedes it was probably fordable and thus ignored. 
~H~ = Clifton Hall in key, which is absurd. Clifton Hall is at the northern end of the village of Clifton, way south of the river. Indeed if H is the Hall then what is the gentry house on the map? perhaps Lowther Castle? 
The eminence is probably Brackenber Hill where Butcher Cumberland first appeared at the start of the skirmish. 
The secondary road running off the old A6 with the advancing Hanoverian troops on it is probably the B5320 from Yanwath. Cumberland sent a flanking force to try the cut off the Highlanders at Eamont Bridge. 
Apart from that it is difficult to interpret the map. ~The Farm~ is probably an un-named farm where the Chevalier Johnstone found a replacement farm cart when one of the Highlander~s carts fell apart. 
The map must have been drawn up by memory long after the battle and tries to encompass the events of two days. It is also horribly truncated. There is no indication of the village houses where the Jacobites lay in ambush, nor the church at Clifton. 
printed at upper left:-  "Skirmish / at / CLIFTON HALL, / 18th. December, 1745. O.S."
printed at bottom right, centre:-  "Sidy. Hall, Sculp. Bury Str, Bloomsby. / London, Published by Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme &Brown, Paternoster Row. Augt. 1820."
item:-  private collection : 182.1
Image © see bottom of page

BQE95.jpg  Newer plaque labelling an ash tree:-

: 1995 (?): Introduction to Clifton in Westmorland:::local pamphlett available 2000s

person:-    : Charlie, Bonnie Prince
date:-   18.12.1745
event:-   rebellion
 : 1745 Rebellion
event:-   battle
 : Battle of Clifton Moor (?)

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