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Friday, July 2, 1999 Published at 17:19 GMT 18:19 UK


A fragment of Scottish history

Bonnie Prince Charlie hid from the English on Skye

A tiny scrap of Bonnie Prince Charlie's plaid has been sold for three times its estimated price at auction.

The six-inch fragment of cloth - one of only seven still in existence - sold for 1,650.

It is a relic of a classic bluff that put English forces to flight just months before the Battle of Culloden.

The fragment is part of a plaid worn by the Young Pretender in February 1746 when he arrived at Moy Hall, Inverness-shire, with only a small escort and well in advance of his troops.

[ image: The fragment fetched 1,600]
The fragment fetched 1,600
The English garrison in Inverness learned of his presence and 1,500 troops were dispatched.

But they fled when five of the prince's men hoodwinked them into believing that five clans were waiting to face them.

The prince then slept a peaceful night at Moy and left behind his plaid which was later used to make a canopy for his bed at the hall.

Just a few weeks after the incident, Bonnie Prince Charlie's troops were routed at Culloden and he was forced to hide in Skye before escaping to France.

A spokeswoman for Edinburgh-based Phillips auctioneers said the piece had gone to a private buyer and that it would remain in Scotland.

The fragment was sold by a descendant of the Napiers, a leading family in India in the last century.

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