Blue Toon lane’s Jacobite links

A PETERHEAD lane with ties to a Jacobite uprising has been noted for its historical importance.

Wednesday, 31st August 2011, 9:00 am

The ancient lane, which runs perpendicular to the town’s Seagate, was recognised at a plaque unveiling last week.

One of Peterhead’s oldest streets, Park Lane was home to early eighteenth century merchant James Park. In 1715, the ‘Old Pretender’ or ‘Old Chevalier’ James Stuart spent a night with the Park family on his way to London to attempt to reclaim the throne for the Stuart dynasty.

The son of King James VII of Scotland and II of England, Stuart is noted in history for his opposition to the union of 1707 and remembered as the father of Bonnie Prince Charlie, who would come closer than his father to overthrowing the monarchy during the third Jacobite rising of 1745.

Curatorial Officer for Aberdeenshire Museums, David Bertie, said: “After a tour around Peterhead with the Buchan Field Club, we discovered that Park Lane was not recognised as a site of historical significance. We noticed that it had not been kept clean and had some fish corpses littering the ground - but then again, this may have been similar to the way it would have looked all that time ago.”

Stuart’s night at Park Lane 300 years ago put Peterhead at the centre of British politics for a brief moment.”

Dr Bertie added: “Not many people know about the town’s history and this was a very significant time for Peterhead.”

After leaving Peterhead, Stuart joined forces with the rest of the Jacobites and attempted, unsuccessfully, to reclaim the British throne.

The plaque unveiling was attended by local historians and members of Aberdeenshire Council. Peterhead North & Rattray SNP councillor Anne Allan, who is also president of the Family History Society of Buchan, said: “Park Lane is one of the oldest streets in Peterhead, one of five lanes which ran from Longait to Seagait, and has its own special place in Peterhead’s history, as described in Dr David Bertie’s excellent book on Peterhead street names.All too often redevelopment in our towns result in the loss of parts of our heritage, so to see this ancient street recognised and still used as a thoroughfare is wonderful.”