Cameron Chief Backs Prestonpans Tapestry

Charlie embroidery backed by chief clan head’s ancestors fought for young pretender at prestonpans
by ken jones

Aberdeen Press & Journal

Published: 01/05/2010

A clan chief whose ancestors backed Bonnie Prince Charlie in helping to inflict a major victory over English forces at the Battle of Prestonpans has given his support to a project retracing the footsteps of the Young Pretender.

In a massive nationwide community project, an embroidery will illustrate the Prince’s 1745 journey until the battle and the month he spent in the west Highlands, gathering support for his cause.

Inspired by the famous Bayeux tapestry, the Prestonpans Tapestry consists of 103 separate one-yard wide panels which are being embroidered by more than 200 volunteers from around Scotland and beyond.

Each panel depicts a different aspect of the Prince’s journey and, when completed by the end of June, it will be the world’s longest tapestry.

It will hang at Prestonpans heritage centre after touring the Highlands during the summer, visiting Arisaig, Glenuig and Fort William.

Seven Lochaber participants displayed their stitching skills when they met with Donald Cameron of Lochiel, the 27th Chief of Clan Cameron, an early supporter of the prince.

Lochiel’s ancestor was a staunch Jacobite, known as Gentle Lochiel, who was the first clan chief to side with the prince.

Many followed his lead, resulting in a sizeable Highland army of 2,500 which fought so successfully at Prestonpans.

The present clan chief gave the group information on his family’s part in the ’45 Rising and saw for himself the progress of the tapestry.

He said: “This is a very exciting project, and I'm delighted that so many people local to Lochaber are involved in it.

“I am very much looking forward to seeing the completed tapestry when it comes to the area in the summer.”

Arran Johnston, of the Battle of Prestonpans Heritage Trust, said: “From its inception 12 months ago, this project has grown into one of the most ambitious community projects to be seen for a long time.”

“The quality of the work is totally outstanding and we estimate that by the time it is finished it will have taken over 15,000 hours to create.”

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