The Southern Rising Collapses
The Northumbrian Jacobites had warned Mar and the other leaders of the projected rising to guard their plans with extreme secrecy. This they had markedly failed to do.
The Hanoverian Government seems to have known exactly what the Jacobites planned to do long before they did it. Only in Northumberland and in the Highlands do the Government seem to have failed to penetrate the Jacobite faction at the highest level. Central to the problem of secrecy was the fact that in material terms people had far more to gain from supporting the Government, and far more to lose by supporting the Jacobites.
Betraying the conspirators was likely to be rewarded with money, land or even a title, or could be used to buy a pardon by Jacobites found guilty of treason. Being caught supporting the rising was likely to lead to fines, forfeiture of lands or titles, imprisonment or even execution. A further problem was the desperation of the Jacobites to recruit supporters who were willing to be actively involved in the rising. They mistook sympathy for open support and it was relatively easy for Government agents to get involved in the plotting. Equally, many of those who expressed some sympathy to the Jacobite plotters were actually more sympathetic to the Government and kept it informed of Jacobite activities. Even Ormonde's private secretary was a Government agent.
As a result of all these factors the Government had a full list of Jacobite plans in the South of England and the names of the leaders. In early October the Government sprang the trap with great efficiency. Four of the five main Jacobite leaders in the South, Vyvan, Arran, Wyndham and Packington, were arrested, and the fifth, Kynaston, fled into exile. Arms were seized at Bath and Bristol, and Oxford subdued at bayonet point. This meant that by 22 October any hope of a rising in the South was gone. It was now up to the Jacobites in Northumberland and Scotland to turn the initial setbacks into success.