The Gathering Storm (The Jacobite Chronicles Book 3)

By: Julia Brannan


First of all, I would like to thank my good friend Mary Brady, who painstakingly reads and rereads every chapter as I write, spending hours on the phone with me, giving me encouragement and valuable suggestions as to how to improve the book. I owe her an enormous and ongoing debt of gratitude.

I also want to thank my wonderful partner Jason Gardiner, who puts up with me living in the eighteenth century as I write the books in this series, and who has supported and encouraged me through the long months of writing, and hopefully will continue to do so!

Thanks also to all the friends who read my books and encouraged me to publish them, including Alyson Cairns and Mandy Condon, who has already determined the cast list for the film of the books, and also to all the wonderful people who have read Mask of Duplicity and The Mask Revealed, have recommended them to others, and have given me their valuable feedback and reviews. I hope you enjoy book three as much as you’ve enjoyed books one and two!

Thank you to the other successful authors who have so generously given me their time, advice and encouragement, especially Kym Grosso and Victoria Danann.

Thanks also have to go to the long-suffering staff of Ystradgynlais library, who hunted down obscure research books for me, and put up with my endless requests for strange information.

I’d also like to thank Najla Qamber, who once again has come up with a beautiful cover design for my book. She’s wonderful to work with, and I couldn’t do without her.

And to Jason Tobias and Jax Styrna, the models for this cover – thank you for your hard work and professionalism during the photo shoot. You are awesome!

If I’ve forgotten anyone, please remind me and I will grovel and apologise profusely, and include you in the acknowledgements in my next book!


Although this series starts in 1742 and deals with the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745, the events that culminated in this uprising started a long time before, in 1685, in fact. This was when King Charles II died without leaving an heir, and the throne passed to his Roman Catholic younger brother James, who then became James II of England and Wales, and VII of Scotland. His attempts to promote toleration of Roman Catholics and Presbyterians did not meet with approval from the Anglican establishment, but he was generally tolerated because he was in his 50s, and his daughters, who would succeed him, were committed Protestants. But in 1688 James’ second wife gave birth to a son, also named James, who was christened Roman Catholic. It now seemed certain that Catholics would return to the throne long-term, which was anathema to Protestants.

Consequently James’ daughter Mary and her husband William of Orange were invited to jointly rule in James’ place, and James was deposed, finally leaving for France in 1689. However, many Catholics, Episcopalians and Tory royalists still considered James to be the legitimate monarch.

The first Jacobite rebellion, led by Viscount Dundee in April 1689, routed King William’s force at the Battle of Killikrankie, but unfortunately Dundee himself was killed, leaving the Jacobite forces leaderless, and in May 1690 they suffered a heavy defeat. King William offered all the Highland clans a pardon if they would take an oath of allegiance in front of a magistrate before 1st January 1692. Due to the weather and a general reluctance, some clans failed to make it to the places appointed for the oath to be taken, resulting in the infamous Glencoe Massacre of Clan MacDonald in February 1692. By spring all the clans had taken the oath, and it seemed that the Stuart cause was dead.

However, a series of economic and political disasters by William and his government left many people dissatisfied with his reign, and a number of these flocked to the Jacobite cause. In 1707, the Act of union   between Scotland and England, one of the intentions of which was to put an end to hopes of a Stuart restoration to the throne, was deeply unpopular with most Scots, as it delivered no benefits to the majority of the Scottish population.

Following the deaths of William and Mary, Mary’s sister Anne became Queen, dying without leaving an heir in 1714, after which George I of Hanover took the throne. This raised the question of the succession again, and in 1715 a number of Scottish nobles and Tories took up arms against the Hanoverian monarch.

The rebellion was led by the Earl of Mar, but he was not a great military leader and the Jacobite army suffered a series of defeats, finally disbanding completely when six thousand Dutch troops landed in support of Hanover. Following this, the Highlands of Scotland were garrisoned and hundreds of miles of new roads were built, in an attempt to thwart any further risings in favour of the Stuarts.

By the early 1740s, this operation was scaled back when it seemed unlikely that the aging James Stuart, ‘the Old Pretender,’ would spearhead another attempt to take the throne. However, the hopes of those who wanted to dissolve the union   and return the Stuarts to their rightful place were centring not on James, but on his young, handsome and charismatic son Charles Edward Stuart, as yet something of an unknown quantity.

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