Monday, October 17, 2016

Skye: Kilmuir Cemetery

This is the grave of Flora MacDonald. The 24 year old Flora helped Bonnie Prince Charlie escape Scotland after his disastrous defeat at Culloden in 1746. He was disguised as her Irish (female) servant. Flora was jailed for a time, but then released. She married Allan MacDonald and they had seven children. They moved to North Carolina in 1774 but returned to Skye in 1779. She died at Kingsburgh and was buried here at Kilmuir in 1790.

A fascinating life and a fascinating story that has captured the attention of many writers and has earned her a place in the famous Skye Boat Song (...rocked in the deep/Flora will keep/watch by your weary head...). The epitaph on her gravestone was written by no less an illuminary than Dr. Johnson: "...a name that will be mentioned in history, and if courage and fidelity be virtues, mentioned with honour". The original gravestone was stolen piecemeal by tourists, until the present one was erected in 1855 by a great-great grandson.

An informative board told the visitor about Flora and some of the other luminaries here interred.

No comments: