Author Topic: Lord Nithsdale  (Read 3696 times)

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palatine

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Lord Nithsdale
« on: January 18, 2006, 03:31:28 PM »
If you’ve ever visited the Tower of London and taken the official tour, you’ll hear the tale of a Jacobite who made a daring escape with the help of his devoted wife.

Lord Nithsdale was one of the Scots who rose in response to the Old Pretender’s attempt to reclaim his thrones in 1715.  The poorly coordinated rising was swiftly crushed.  Nithsdale was taken prisoner and brought to the Tower.  Along with two others, he was scheduled for execution as a warning to anyone else who thought of supporting the Pretender’s claims.  Lady Nithsdale tried to win a reprieve for her husband from King George, but he refused.  

Nithsdale seemed to be resigned to his death, but quietly concocted an escape plan with his wife.  On the night before his execution, she came with a few female friends to the Tower, ostensibly to say goodbye.  Only two of them were permitted to see him at a time.  The precise details of what happened vary depending on who is telling the story, but it seems that she smuggled in women’s clothes to him, dressed him in them, and walked him past the guards in that disguise.  Nithsdale wore a cloak over his dress.  The hood was pulled up, obscuring his face, and he held a handkerchief to his eyes, pretending that he was crying.  The guards were probably in an emotional state themselves due to the constant weeping and sad faces of the women, and were completely fooled.  It was not until long after the ladies had left that the guards decided to check on Nithsdale, only to discover that he was gone.  Nithsdale and his wife took ship to Rome, where they reportedly lived happily ever after.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by palatine »

elena_maria_vidal

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Re: Lord Nithsdale
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2006, 06:07:54 PM »
Great story! I heard of this on a documentary about the Tower, but it is good to have more details. Thank you!

ilyala

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Re: Lord Nithsdale
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2006, 07:21:16 PM »
what happened to the woman that replaced him?

bell_the_cat

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Re: Lord Nithsdale
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2006, 02:54:10 PM »
Quote
what happened to the woman that replaced him?


Somehow they managed to contrive it that there was noone left behind  - maybe David Copperfield helped!