b. 1722, Milton, South Uist, Outer Hebrides, Scot.
d. March 5, 1790, Kingsburgh House, Skye, Inner Hebrides


Scottish Jacobite heroine who helped Charles Edward (also known as Bonnie Prince Charlie and "the Young Pretender") to escape from Scotland after his defeat in the Jacobite rebellion of 1745-46.

After losing a devastating battle at Culloden in April 1746, and being pursued as he was by the English, Charles headed for safety in the Hebrides, where Flora was visiting some friends. Flora wasn't a Jacobite herself and didn't support Charles' cause, but she and her family, like many others, would never have betrayed him. Persuaded by his beauty or by her family, depending on whose account you believe, she allowed him to join her party disguised as her maid, Betty Burke. (Why Hollywood hasn't made this story into a cross-dressing farce yet, I will never know.) They obtained permission to sail to Skye, where they parted - Bonnie Prince Charlie made it to France, while Flora was discovered and imprisoned for a short time in the Tower of London. She was later released, married her long-time sweetie Allan MacDonald, and they emigrated to North Carolina in 1774. After he was captured in American Revolutionary War (fighting on the British side), Flora returned to Scotland. Allan eventually joined her there, and she died in 1790 on Skye.

There has been much speculation about a romance betwixt the Pretender and Flora MacDonald; if there was a romance, it was much more in the adventure-story sense of the word, rather than a wee Scottish lass and lad making misty eyes at each other.

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