The Jacobite Cause

It is possible that James Fea VI of Clestrain got his Jacobite sympathies from his time spent in Paris furthering his education.  Certainly, the Scots College there was a centre for Jacobite intrigue.

James Fea was of a restless and ambitious disposition and was the self constituted leader in Orkney of the rebellion, prior to the Prince arriving in the Hebrides.  He had on several occasions openly expressed his dissatisfaction with the Government and made no secret of his Jacobite principles.  When it was known that the Prince was in Scotland, he not only declared his attachment but drank toasts to the House of Stewart.

Some of the Orkney lairds were loyal Hanoverians, including Captain Benjamin Moodie of Melsetter.  He obtained permission from "Butcher Cumberland" to proceed against the Jacobites in Orkney.  He wrote:

"I'll believe if you'll enquire concerning Robert Strange or Strang, ingraver, last apprentice to Mr Cooper at Edinburgh, which Strange was an engraver in the Rebel Army; it can be proved by him and others that Clestrain was at the Pretender's Camp at Falkirk, establishing his credit with the Pretender's son and managing the Orkney affairs."

Prince Charles Edward Stewart was only one night at Falkirk on 16th January 1746 on his retreat northwards and it may well be that Captain Moodie meant Stirling where the Jacobite army camped for some time and received considerable enforcements.  Certainly James Fea had an audience with the Prince.

A number of the Orkney lairds had a leaning towards the Stewarts. This was in great measure due to their long standing grievances, which were ignored. These grievances included the long running Pundlar Process in which they were in dispute with James Douglas, Earl of Morton (1702-1768), a man who was not an Orcadian and was unsympathetic to the old customs and ways. James Douglas was unpopular with the heritors of the land and was a staunch Hanoverian.

James Fea tried to raise men and arms for the Prince.  He was friendly with the Lumisdens in Edinburgh, who were staunch Jacobite supporters.  Like a number of the Orkney lairds, he went into hiding after the failure of the rebellion.  Retribution by the Hanoverians resulted in the destruction of the house of Sound in Shapinsay.