James Fea and Charles Edward Stewart

The extract of the letter from Captain Moodie makes reference to "Clestran" being at the Pretender's camp at Falkirk.  Charles Edward Stewart was only the one night at Falkirk, following the battle there on the afternoon of 16th January 1746.  This was on his northward retreat.  It is likely he would have meant Stirling as the Jacobites were encamped there for some time and received reinforcements.

Allan Fea in "The Real Captain Cleveland" (1912) refers to information coming from letters written by eyewitnesses to support some of the stories.

In an audience with Charles, Clestrain spoke of the various oppressions suffered by his countrymen, and pleaded that in the event of the insurrection having a successful issue, their rights might be looked into.  "He received a paper", continues the account, signed by the Prince to the effect "promising in the strongest manner redress of grievances upon the country's raising and furnishing him with what men and money they were capable to raise."

The Real Captain Cleveland (1912), Allan Fea - page 168

Allan Fea says that James Fea stipulated that those Orcadians  recruited should form a separate regiment called "The Orkney Regiment" but that the Prince was unable to agree to this "as there was in Orkney a gentleman, Sir James Stewart of Burray, of great fortune and consideration, and his great friend, whom perhaps the country would incline to choose their leader."

James Fea returned to Orkney enthusiastic but got practically no response.  The lairds were too cautious to show any act of open rebellion.   He induced Mackenzie of Ardloch to bring a party of Highlanders to Orkney to see if that would spur the Orcadians to action.

The actions of Ardloch were not entirely well received.  Crossing from Caithness, Ardloch put in at Longhope and sent a letter to Donald Smith, the representative of the laird of Melsetter demanding under pain of military execution "a quota of men and money to be provided and ready for him on his return from Kirkwall."

Only James Fea was at Kirkwall to meet Ardloch.  The high handedness of Ardloch was resented and James Fea was told that he had done more harm than good for the Prince's cause.

Failing to raise men, he collected arms at his house of Sound in Shapinsay, which were then taken to the Ayre at Kirkwall where they were landed in secret and taken away by Ardloch, who was waiting to receive them.

Earlier, Fea had heard of a quantity of smuggled brandy being held by Mr John Baikie, the Customs Officer.  He told Baikie, in the presence of the Magistrates, that he must keep it for Ardloch and his men who would soon be in Orkney and that it would be at his peril if it were not produced.  Apparently, Baikie yielded to the circumstances.

On Ardloch's return to Longhope, he sent men to Melsetter.  Donald Smith had little cash and decided to go into hiding.  In the circumstances, Ardloch had instructed his men to take whatever they wanted. According to an account of the devastation of the property to the owner:

This they did on a Sunday's forenoon in a most outrageous and barbarous manner, sparing nothing, but plundering everything that was portable and destroying almost everything else - I beheld a melancholy scene, everything either taken away or demolished and nothing to be seen but waste and desolation, the very beds emptied of the down and scattered through the house, and the tyck carried away.  I shared a little in the common calamity, having a chest with some clothes in the room I used to sleep in, which  they broke up and carried off the clothes, whereby I suffered to the value of some £6 or £7 sterling.

Eyewitness account, quoted in 'The Real Captain Cleveland' (1912), Allan Fea, pages 172-173