Charles Edward Stuart (1720–1788), the “Young Pretender” to the British throne. He was also known as “Bonnie Prince Charlie” and was the dashing hero of many Scottish Highland songs and ballads. He was the grandson of James II of England (James VII of Scotland), the last male Stuart to reign, who was overthrown in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. Charles Edward lived in exile with his father, James Francis Edward, the “Old Pretender”. With their followers, the Jacobites, both plotted to regain the throne.

In 1745 Charles Edward landed in Scotland. Many non-Jacobite Highlanders joined his forces, which he led into England. He reached Derby, about halfway between the Scottish border and London, but his followers became discouraged by the lack of English support and retreated to Scotland. In 1746 Charles lost the battle of Culloden and fled to the western Highlands. There he was hidden and was helped to escape to France by Flora Macdonald. Expelled from France in 1748, he roamed the continent, never to regain importance.