Flora MacDonald - a brief history
Highland Heroine Flora MacDonald famously helped "Bonnie" Prince Charlie (Charles Edward Stuart, the Young Pretender) escape from the Isle of Uist to Skye. The prince had fled following defeat at the Battle of Culloden in 1746.
Charles had been on the run for two months before he met Flora. Both her fiance Allan MacDonald and her foster-father, Captain Hugh MacDonald of Sleat, were 'Red-Coats' (members of King George's forces) and apparently Flora was unwilling to help until she was told the escape plan had actually been made by her step father and agreed to help.
The Prince was disguised as Flora's 'Irish Maid' - 'Betty Burke' and they made the famous journey by rowing boat to Skye evading capture on the way and eventually landing between Uig and Mogstad in Kilmuir, at what is now called Rudha Phrionnsa (Prince's Point). Flora then aided the Prince in his escape to Portree where they parted company never to meet again. From here on Stuart was able to obtain passage to France and successfully escaped.
Flora was arrested for her part in the escape, and imprisoned at Dunstaffnage Castle, Oban and briefly in the tower of London, she was released in 1747.
In 1750 Flora and her fiance Allan MacDonald of Kingsburgh were married and lived in Flodigarry. Moving to Kingsburgh some time later after the death of her husbands father, the family then emigrated to North Carolina.
In 1774 Allan MacDonald and his sons fought for the British in the American war of Independence and he was captured. Flora was persuaded to return back to Scotland with her daughter, her husband followed her on his release in 1783 and they lived together on Uist and Skye.
Flora MacDonald died on 4th March 1790, her death was deeply mourned by the people of Skye and following a large funeral she was buried at Kilmuir in a sheet in which Bonnie Prince Charlie had slept as her shroud.
The cottage Flora and her family lived in for several years is situated in the grounds of Flodigarry Hotel. The hotel itself was built as a private house in 1895 by Alexander Livingstone MacDonald adjacent to the cottage where his legendary ancestor had once lived.
Flora Macdonald's cottage, which has remained occupied over the centuries, has been completely renovated in recent years and provides comfortable accomodation in a unique setting - a popular choice for Flodigarry Hotel's guests.