According to the Mitchell Library, in 1745 Bonnie Prince Charlie retreated with his downhearted army stopping briefly in Blantyre. This seems to be confirmed by the “Annals of Blantyre 1883” book which records an anecdote from a local resident, apparently passed this story from his family. It is written in the historical document, the following words,
“There is another relic of that year in the possession on one of our lairds; this is a large square shaped black bottle with the date upon it, 1743. When (in 1745) the Hielandmen returned from England they again passed through Blantyre, but alas! their glory had disappeared, they were straggling batches, foot sore and famishing, and ready to plunder anything and everywhere. Now, the Laird of Bardykes (the current owner of Bardykes Farm, more recently known as Wilkies), wished to save his property, so he stood at his door with the big black bottle filled it with whiskey, and a basket of oatmeal cakes and he gave a glass and a farle to each of the Heilandmen, who thus pleasantly refreshed, passed on to “lift” some other where”
Bardykes House still stands today although is surrounded now at the junction of Bardykes Road and Glasgow Road with a modern housing estate and private homes. Here is a modern picture of the house. We can just picture the owner at the door refilling the bottle with whiskey as the bedraggled army wearily marched passed.
There are other Bonnie Prince Charlie anecdotes about Blantyre featured on our website. Search for Barnhill and High Blantyre. If you can add to these stories about the Prince, please let us know.