Jacobite Resistance after the '15
The 'Battle of Ryton' was the greatest triumph the Northumbrian Jacobites had in the aftermath of the rebellion, but it was not the only act of Jacobite resistance carried out in the years following the Rising.
Some of the local Jacobites had fled to France, but many had returned home and were bitter not only over the failure of many of their so called friends to support them in 1715, but also over the actions of the Commission and those who supported it, like Cotesworth. Over the next few years, it was the Jacobites, rather than their enemies, who were often to have the last laugh.
The Reverend Robert Patten, who had turned king's evidence at the end of the '15 and had written a book poking fun at many of his previous comrades, was driven out of Allendale by his parishioners and had to take a chaplaincy on a war ship. Edward Shafto had acted as a Government witness at the trials of the Jacobite prisoners. He was universally despised in Northumberland and had to move to London. When he visited his son in Northumberland, he had to ask for Government protection. Thomas Sabourn, who had ensured that the keelmen remained loyal to King George, had his business in Newcastle boycotted and went bankrupt. Sir William Blackett's refusal to take part in the rebellion saved his fortune, and possibly his skin, but cost him his reputation. He was slighted when he appeared in public and ridiculed in the streets, and none of the worthies of the town would be seen with him. He lost the election for Mayor in 1717, and was only finally elected with special dispensation from the Secretary of State affirming his Hanoverian loyalties.
The last Jacobite 'rising' worth speaking of occurred in Hexham. The Reverend Robert Weir of Humshaugh met with John Pearson, Dr Edward Charlton ( an escaped prisoner and outlaw), and Jasper Gibson, all Catholics and Jacobites. Over drinks in Hexham a fight broke out between Wear and Gibson about politics. Sixty people gathered to watch and cheer on Gibson.
While this was going on, John Aynsley, who had joined the '15 but then deserted, and had since bought forfeited land, walked past, and he too was set on and badly beaten. Several other locals with known Hanoverian sympathies were also beaten by the mob on the same evening. The constable of Newbrough refused to execute a warrant for the arrest of Charlton and Gibson, and neither was ever apprehended. These incidents, and the business over the Ryton pits, shows the ongoing level of Jacobite sympathy among a large body of the local population, and even amongst minor Government officials. As we shall see, however, this never amounted to open support for another Jacobite rising or any real danger to the Government. In that sense at least, the actions of the Government and of the Commission had been entirely effective.