The Mask Revealed (The Jacobite Chronicles Book 2)

 

 

The Mask Revealed

 

The Jacobite Chronicles, Book Two

 

 

Julia Brannan

 

 

 

Copyright© 2015 by Julia Brannan

 

 

Julia Brannan has asserted the right to be identified as the author of this work under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER

 

This novel is a work of fiction, and except in the case of historical fact, any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

 

Formatting by Trevor Gent

 

Cover by Najla Qamber Designs

 

 

To Jason Gardiner and Alyson Cairns, who taught me that I didn’t have to choose between love and freedom, but that both are possible. I love you dearly.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

First of all, I would like to thank my good friend Mary Brady, who painstakingly read and reread every chapter as I wrote, spending hours on the phone with me, giving me encouragement, and valuable suggestions as to how to improve the book. I owe her an enormous debt of gratitude.

 

I also want to thank my wonderful partner Jason Gardiner, who put up with me living in the eighteenth century for over two years while I wrote the first four books in the series.

 

Thanks also to all the friends who read my books and encouraged me to publish them, including Alyson Cairns and Mandy Condon, who has already determined the cast list for the film of the books, and also to everyone who has read Mask of Duplicity, has given me their valuable feedback. I hope you enjoy book two as much as you’ve enjoyed book one!

 

 Thank you to the other successful authors who have so generously given me their time, advice and encouragement, especially Kym Grosso and Victoria Danann.

 

Thanks also have to go to the long-suffering staff of Ystradgynlais library, who hunted down obscure research books for me, and put up with my endless requests for strange information.

 

If I’ve forgotten anyone, please remind me and I will grovel and apologise profusely, and include you in the acknowledgements in my next book!

 

 

 

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND NOTE

Although this series starts in 1742 and deals with the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745, the events that culminated in this uprising started a long time before, in 1685, in fact. This was when King Charles II died without leaving an heir, and the throne passed to his Roman Catholic younger brother James, who then became James II of England and Wales, and VII of Scotland. His attempts to promote toleration of Roman Catholics and Presbyterians did not meet with approval from the Anglican establishment, but he was generally tolerated because he was in his 50s, and his daughters, who would succeed him, were committed Protestants. But in 1688 James’ second wife gave birth to a son, also named James, who was christened Roman Catholic. It now seemed certain that Catholics would return to the throne long-term, which was anathema to Protestants.

Consequently James’ daughter Mary and her husband William of Orange were invited to jointly rule in James’ place, and James was deposed, finally leaving for France in 1689. However, many Catholics, Episcopalians and Tory royalists still considered James to be the legitimate monarch.

The first Jacobite rebellion, led by Viscount Dundee in April 1689, routed King William’s force at the Battle of Killikrankie, but unfortunately Dundee himself was killed, leaving the Jacobite forces leaderless, and in May 1690 they suffered a heavy defeat. King William offered all the Highland clans a pardon if they would take an oath of allegiance in front of a magistrate before 1st January 1692. Due to the weather and a general reluctance, some clans failed to make it to the places appointed for the oath to be taken, resulting in the infamous Glencoe Massacre of Clan MacDonald in February 1692. By spring all the clans had taken the oath, and it seemed that the Stuart cause was dead.

However, a series of economic and political disasters by William and his government left many people dissatisfied with his reign, and a number of these flocked to the Jacobite cause. In 1707, the Act of Union between Scotland and England, one of the intentions of which was to put an end to hopes of a Stuart restoration to the throne, was deeply unpopular with most Scots, as it delivered no benefits to the majority of the Scottish population.

Following the deaths of William and Mary, Mary’s sister Anne became Queen, dying without leaving an heir in 1714, after which George I of Hanover took the throne. This raised the question of the succession again, and in 1715 a number of Scottish nobles and Tories took up arms against the Hanoverian monarch.

The rebellion was led by the Earl of Mar, but he was not a great military leader and the Jacobite army suffered a series of defeats, finally disbanding completely when six thousand Dutch troops landed in support of Hanover. Following this, the Highlands of Scotland were garrisoned and hundreds of miles of new roads were built, in an attempt to thwart any further risings in favour of the Stuarts.

By the early 1740s, this operation was scaled back when it seemed unlikely that the aging James Stuart, ‘the Old Pretender,’ would spearhead another attempt to take the throne. However, the hopes of those who wanted to dissolve the Union and return the Stuarts to their rightful place were centring not on James, but on his young, handsome and charismatic son Charles Edward Stuart, as yet something of an unknown quantity.

 

I would strongly recommend that you read Mask Of Duplicity before starting this one! However, if you are determined not to, here’s a summary to help you enjoy Book Two…

 

The Story So Far

Book One – Mask of Duplicity

Following the death of their father, Elizabeth (Beth) Cunningham and her older half-brother Richard, a dragoon sergeant, are reunited after a thirteen year separation, when he comes home to Manchester to claim his inheritance. He soon discovers that while their father’s will left her a large dowry, the investments which he has inherited will not be sufficient for him to further his military ambitions. He decides therefore to persuade his sister to renew the acquaintance with her aristocratic cousins, in the hope that her looks and dowry will attract a wealthy husband willing to purchase him a commission in the army. Beth refuses, partly because she is happy living an unrestricted lifestyle, and partly because the family rejected her father following his second marriage to her mother, a Scottish seamstress.

Richard, who has few scruples, then embarks on an increasingly vicious campaign to get her to comply with his wishes, threatening her beloved servants and herself. Finally, following a particularly brutal attack, she agrees to comply with his wishes, on the condition that once she is married, he will remove himself from her life entirely.

Her cousin, the pompous Lord Edward and his downtrodden sisters accept Richard and Beth back into the family, where she meets the interesting and gossipy, but very foppish Sir Anthony Peters. After a few weeks of living their monotonous lifestyle, Beth becomes extremely bored and sneaks off to town for a day, where she is followed by a footpad. Taking refuge in a disused room, she inadvertently comes upon a gang of Jacobite plotters, one of whom takes great pains to hide his face, although she notices a scar on his hand. They are impressed by her bravery and instead of killing her, escort her home. A secret Jacobite herself, she doesn’t tell her Hanoverian family what has happened, and soon repairs with them to London for the season.

Once there, she meets many new people and attracts a great number of suitors, but is not interested in any of them until she falls in love with Daniel, the Earl of Highbury’s son. The relationship progresses until she discovers that his main motivation for marrying her is to use her dowry to clear his gambling debts. She rejects him, but becomes increasingly depressed.

In the meantime, the Jacobite gang, the chief members of whom are Alex MacGregor (the scarred man) and his brothers Angus and Duncan, are operating in the London area, smuggling weapons, collecting information, visiting brothels etc.

Sir Anthony, now a regular visitor to the house, becomes a friend of sorts, and introduces her to his wide circle of acquaintance, including the King, the Duke of Cumberland and Edwin Harlow MP and his wife Caroline. Beth does not trust the painted Sir Anthony and thinks him physically repulsive, but finds him amusing. Following an ultimatum from her brother that if she keeps rejecting suitors he will find her a husband himself, she accepts a marriage proposal from Sir Anthony, partly because he seems kind, but chiefly because he has discovered a rosary belonging to her, and she is afraid he will denounce her as a Catholic, which would result in her rejection from society and her brother’s vengeance.

The night before her wedding, Beth is abducted by Daniel, who, in a desperate attempt to avoid being imprisoned for debt, attempts to marry her by force. Beth’s maid, Sarah, alerts the Cunninghams and Sir Anthony to Beth’s plight, and she is rescued by her fiancé. He then gives her the option to call off the wedding, but thinking that being married to him is the best of the limited options she has available to her, she agrees to go ahead as planned.

 

 

LIST OF CHARACTERS

 

Sir Anthony Peters, Baronet

Lady Elizabeth (Beth) Peters, wife to Sir Anthony

 

Sergeant Richard Cunningham, a Dragoon and brother to Beth

Sarah Brown, formerly lady’s maid to Beth.

 

Lord Edward Cunningham, cousin to Richard and Beth

Isabella Cunningham, his eldest sister

Clarissa Cunningham, his middle sister

Charlotte Stanhope, his youngest sister, widow of Frederick

 

King George II, King of Great Britain, Elector of Hanover

Edwin Harlow, MP

Caroline Harlow, his wife

Lord Bartholomew Winter

Lady Wilhelmina Winter, his wife

Anne Maynard, impoverished great-niece of Lord Winter

Lydia Fortesque, his daughter

Jeremiah Johnson, a Puritan gentleman

Thomas Pelham, Duke of Newcastle

 

Gabriel Foley, leader of a smuggling gang

 

Alexander (Alex) MacGregor, Highland Chieftain, currently living in England

Duncan MacGregor, brother to Alex

Angus MacGregor, brother to Alex

 

Iain Gordon, liegeman of Alex

Margaret (Maggie) Gordon, his wife

William (MacGregor) Drummond of Balhaldie, a gentleman

 

Graeme Elliott, formerly Beth’s gardener

Thomas Fletcher, her former steward

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