Wilson Online Reference
Flora MacDonald, 1722-1790
Connection to Wilson
Biographical Details
Flora Macdonald was the daughter of a Hebrides farmer and was a famous Jacobite heroine. In 1746 she met Prince Charles Edward Stuart ('Bonnie Prince Charlie') on the island of Benbecula, in flight after his defeat at the Battle of Culloden. She helped him escape Scotland via Skye, dressed as her maid, but she was captured and held on English ships for five months on the way to imprisonment in the Tower of London. Released under the Act of Indemnity in 1747 she became something of a celebrity in London enjoying distinguished company through her hostess, Lady Primrose, including that of Frederick, Prince of Wales, in whose circle Wilson had patrons. She was painted by Wilson shortly afterwards (P17 Portrait of Flora MacDonald, Scottish National Portrait Gallery) and gave the painting to a former young officer on one of the ships, Sir Nigel Gresley, who had shown her great kindness (see also P17A Portrait of Flora MacDonald, National Portrait Gallery).