Flora MacDonald Needle Packet, T00.11.5
Our Object of the Week is The Flora MacDonald Needle Packet!
The needle packet features the image of Flora MacDonald (1722-1790), a Jacobite heroine, celebrated for her role in facilitating the great escape of a Prince in the mid-18th century!
In 1745, Prince Charles Edward Stuart initiated a Jacobite uprising to restore his family to the thrones of England and Scotland (Outlander, anyone?). The uprising was unsuccessful and the Prince hid in caves, and the huts of shepherds and fishermen in the moors of Scotland, seeking refuge from government officials. Supporters eventually hatched a plan for his escape. A small team travelled to the cave where the Prince was hiding, and gave him a newly-made dress and identity as Flora MacDonald’s Irish spinning-maid, Betty Burke. They travelled in a small boat across stormy waters of the Minch which were being scoured by government vessels searching for the Prince. Despite the treacherous journey, they landed unharmed on the Isle of Skye. MacDonald was imprisoned in the Tower of London for her involvement but was pardoned in 1747.