The Prisoners are Pardoned

In July 1717 an Act of Grace was passed pardoning all those who had taken part in the Rising and who were still in prison. Another thirty-three were released in the North, the last of the Jacobite prisoners.

Those who had escaped were not pardoned, but most were in exile anyway and no-one was interested in pursuing those who were not. By the end of 1717 all the Northumbrian rebels had either returned home or had started new lives in France or America. Overall, most of the Jacobites had escaped lightly for their part in the rebellion. Only ten had paid the ultimate price. It is interesting to note that all those executed were holders of Government or military office, suggesting it was this, rather than their actual involvement in treason, that sealed their fate in the Government's eyes.

Several more lost their estates, and a dozen were transported to the plantations. Twenty-one had escaped to France and forty-one received full pardons. Yet those who had been out in the Fifteen were never likely to forget their eighteen months of imprisonment nor their lucky escapes. Nor were they likely ever again to openly support the Stuart Cause. They knew that the second time they would receive less mercy from the Government. And for some of the Catholics amongst them, their troubles were only just beginning; the Government was determined to deprive them of their wealth, and of their lands.