Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Ray, James

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RAY, JAMES (fl. 1745), chronicler of the ‘45,’ was a native of Whitehaven in Cumberland. On the advance from Edinburgh of the rebel army under Prince Charles Edward Stuart, in the autumn of 1745, Ray marched with a party of his townsmen, who intended to join the royal garrison at Carlisle. But Carlisle surrendered to the rebels before he arrived, whereupon he followed the advance of the rebels to Derby as closely as he was able. All the information he obtained concerning them he reported to the Duke of Cumberland, whose forces he met at Stafford on 5 Jan. 1746. With the duke's army he continued till the final victory at Culloden. He published, probably in 1746, ‘The Acts of the Rebels, written by an Egyptian. Being an Abstract of the Journal of Mr. James Ray of Whitehaven, Volunteer under the Duke of Cumberland.’ This is a pamphlet of thirty-two pages, and was reprinted at Preston in 1881. About the same date he published ‘A Complete History of the Rebellion in 1745,’ of which many editions appeared (Manchester, 12mo, 1746; York, 12mo, 1749; Bristol, 12mo, 1750; Whitehaven, 8vo, 1754). It is in many ways the best and most trustworthy account extant of the campaign and of the state of feeling in England [cf. art. Home, John].

[Ray's Works.]

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