ACT OF PROSCRIPTION 1747: PREAMBLE
An act for the more effectual disarming the highlands in Scotland;
AND for the more effectual securing the peace of the said highlands;
AND for restraining the use of the highland dress;
AND for further indemnifying such persons as have acted in the defence of His Majesty's person and government, during the unnatural rebellion;
AND for indemnifying the judges and other officers of the court of judiciary in Scotland, for not performing the northern circuit in May, one thousand seven hundred and forty six;
AND for obliging the masters and teachers of private schools in Scotland, and chaplains, tutors and governors of children or youth, to take the oaths to his Majesty, his heirs and successors,
AND to register the same.
The man on the horse portrays the Duke of Cumberland, more popularly known as "Butcher Cumberland". The painting, "After Culloden- Rebel Hunting" John Seymour Lucas (1849 - 1923), depicts the rigorous search conducted by Government troops for Jacobite supporters in the days that followed the Battle of Culloden.
If you look at this page of dates, it may not be surprising that the British Government was so rough on the 'highland rebels' after 1746: There had been a Scottish rebellion in 1715, ended at Sherrifmuir; and in 1719, an invasion of Scotland by Jacobites and Spaniards, beaten back at the Battle of Glen Shiels. In 1744, France declared war on Britain and Austria; and in 1745, the French took the Austrian Netherlands while Britain took Louisbourg (in Canada). You can see, then, that the British government (including the Duke of Argyll) did not take it kindly when "Bonnie Prince Charlie" invaded Scotland. Also, note that Prince Charles's Jacobite forces depended upon French aid in their venture.
On the other hand, the United Kingdom was at war, and it needed men to fight those battles. In 1759, Britain had vanquished the French in Canada, at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham. The core of that British force was the Fraser Highlanders.
In 1760, a pamphlet was published in Edinburgh (price, 3 pence), entitled Reasons for Extending the Militia Acts to the Disarmed Counties of Scotland. The author claimed that the Pretender's followers did not exceed 2500 men (out Scotland's population of 1.2 million). Furthermore, "even this handful contained many, whose chiefs, by burning their houses, carrying off their cattle and other acts of violence, compelled them to take arms." For every man attached to the Pretender, there were some 48 (at least) "zealous adherents to the present government."
In considering the Highland clans, "the Campbells, the most numerous, the most wealthy, and the most powerful of all the Highland clans, have always been eminent for loyalty.... The Grants, a numerous clan, have been uniformly loyal. The Macleods, during the late Rebellion, took arms in defence of the government and were usefully employed in its service.... The MacKays, the Monroes, the Sutherlands, have always been distinguished as much for their loyalty as their bravery."
The Pretenders were supported by Catholic France and the Papacy. Our Pamphleteer notes that "the Popish religion, most powerful motive for disaffection, is by no means extensive in Scotland.... Papists number only at most 20,000 and most are found in Nithsdale and Galloway."
And further, "Since the commencement of this war, eight battalions, consisting wholly of Highlanders, have been raised. They are allowed to wear their own dress. The private men have been levied in those parts of the country wholse principles are most suspected. The Officers are all native Highlands, or connected with that country..."
"Let them be treated as good citizens and they will become such."