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Born in Milton, South Uist, Flora MacDonald had a parentless upbringing, staying with her brother until the age of 13.

In 1739 she went to live with Sir Alexander MacDonald of the Isles at Monkstadt on Skye.

It was on a return visit to the Clanranald home on Benbecula, in 1746, that she agreed to aid Prince Charles Edward Stuart, fugitive since Culloden, with a price of £30,000 on his head.

He was named Betty Burke on MacDonald's papers and dressed accordingly. Despite such precautions, the Government militia, monitoring the coastline for unusual movements, saw the boat conveying the Prince and his party from Benbecula to Skye, and attempted to sink it. They were unsuccessful, however, allowing Flora to take her companions into the custody of Lady MacDonald of Monkstadt, who provided a nearby cottage for their shelter.

The following day Flora took the Prince to Portree, whence he sailed to Raasay. The grateful Prince, in parting from his saviour, gifted her his portrait in a gold locket saying the words, "I hope, madam, that we may meet in St James' yet'.

Flora, who never saw the Prince again, was arrested on her return to Benbecula and imprisoned in the Tower of London until the Jacobite amnesty of 1747.


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