“The Rout of Moy, which took place on 17th Feb 1746 , is surely one of the most remarkable incidents in the long and dramatic annals of the Highlands .
It features Scotland 's 'Beautiful Rebel lady Anne Mackintosh, known affectionately as "Colonel Anne", and five men who put a vastly superior force to flight. Her husband, Angus, was fighting on Hanoverian side, against Prince Charles Edward Stuart." Undaunted, Anne raised Clan Mackintosh and Clan Chattan to fight for the Prince.
Prince Charles and a guard of about 50 men decided to stop at Moy until enough of his men gathered that he could capture Inverness , then in Hanoverian hands under the Earl of Loudon. Lady Anne served a lavish meal to the prince and his men and they passed the evening with conversation, storytelling and general merriment before retiring at a late hour.
Meantime, Loudon had learned that Charles was at Moy, and thought this a perfect time to seize the Prince. Loudon led 1,500 redcoats to march to Moy, timed to arrive around midnight , when everyone in the house would be asleep.
However, young Lachlan Mackintosh, who lived in Inverness managed to elude the guard at Inverness and proceeded at top speed to Moy Hall where he tipped off Lady Anne of the impending attack. She called for the blacksmith, Donald Fraser and together they quickly hatched a plan. The Prince was awakened and slipped into the nearby woods.
Fraser armed himself and four other Moy men with pistols and muskets. They posted themselves along the road Loudon would have to take to arrive at Moy. Fraser cautioned the four not to fire until he gave the signal. Then, they were to fire one at a time rather than all at once.
Waiting quietly in the dark, Fraser and the four heard the noise of approaching marching men. When the first soldiers came near, Fraser called out loudly, "Here come the villains who want to carry off our Prince. Fire, my lads! Do not spare them! Give them no quarter!"
raser then shot his pistol, which was the signal the other men awaited. Each fired his weapon, and each called loudly on Macdonalds and Camerons to advance. They shouted for Lords Lochiel and Keppoch, who were major chiefs with the Prince's army. They ran back and forth in the wooded area, shouting and shooting in hopes of convincing the English that they had blundered into the entire Highland army.
The rouse succeeded and all 1,500 fled. Many deserted the next day.
Now, there is a lesson in this for us today. The Rout of Moy succeeded because of courage in the face of overwhelming odds, clever planning and disciplined implementation. The ultimate failure of the Jacobite cause on the field of Drumossie Moor was as much as anything down to bad planning and implementation.
Scotland today is poised for great things. We have the potential to shake off a century of low confidence, lethargy and lack of ambition. As a nation we now have the plan, the resources and the ability. All we need is the courage.
Remember the Beautiful Rebel and the five men of Moy!”