VIDEO: Bonnie Prince Charlie banished from Derby again
BEWILDERED townsfolk no-doubt did plenty of double takes when Bonnie Prince Charlie and his 9,000-strong force of Jacobites marched into Derby in 1745.
And, oddly enough, this was exactly the reaction of shoppers yesterday when, 267 years later, a re-enactment group did the same march through the city centre.
Every year, the downfall of the prince is commemorated with two days of parades, concluding with a battle re-enactment on Cathedral Green.
It was the 22nd time the Charles Edward Stuart Society had organised the events in Derby and Swarkestone at the weekend.
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Yesterday, the prince, played by Derby-born historian Arran Johnston, 27, led his army – many wearing tartans and playing the bagpipes – from outside Derby Crown Court.
They travelled down East Street, St Peter's Street, the Cornmarket, Iron Gate, Full Street and to Cathedral Green. Along the way, the army recruited the Deputy Mayor of Derby, councillor Shiraz Khan, to the cause – meeting him at Jorrocks Inn, in Iron Gate.
And, while cameras and mobile phones might not have been invented in the 18th century, they were omnipresent in the 21st century, with shoppers along the route stopping to take a picture.
At Cathedral Green, scores of people who had followed the parade watched as Bonnie Prince Charlie and his men were defeated by Redcoat soldiers loyal to King George.
This was followed by a wreath-laying ceremony at the nearby statue of the prince, before a short service was held at Derby Cathedral.
Among those watching was Anne Ottewell, 56, of Riddings Street, Derby. She said: "It was my birthday on Saturday and, every year, I treat myself by coming to see this event.
"I think it's brilliant. With a lot of Derby's history being lost, it's great to have something like this to remind us of the past."
Christine McClements, 63, of Blackthorn Close, Oakwood, who was with husband Douglas, 68, said: "My husband's Scottish so we saw the advert and knew we'd have to come along."
Mr Khan said: "It's an excellent and really well-managed event – I'm not sure it would have been fun to be the mayor of Derby in 1745 but it would have been interesting."
In 1745, the prince and his band of followers reached Swarkestone but were then driven back north by English troops. His army made it back to Scotland, only to be defeated by the Duke of Cumberland's troops in the battle of Culloden Moor.
This was why the weekend's re-creation started in Swarkestone on Saturday, with Jacobite re-enactors setting up camp and battling for the bridge.
Mr Johnston said: "When Bonnie Prince Charlie came to Derby, all eyes across Europe were on the place, so it's nice to bring that sense of how it was back to the city."