Charles Edward Louis Phillip Casimir's attempt to wrest the British Crown from the Protestant George II ended in total failure at Culloden on April 17th 1746. Determined to prevent a similar uprising occurring again the victorious Duke of Cumberland set out on a relentless persual of the beleaguered clans earning himself the nickname 'Butcher Cumberland'
Despite a price of £30,000 on his head, and the fear of instant execution if caught harbouring him, no one betrayed Bonnie Prince Charlie. Indeed many risked everything to assist him, many spurning their own security to ensure his safe passage out of the country.
One such person was Roderick Mackenzie, the son of an Edinburgh Goldsmith. He had fought as an officer amongst the Prince's troops and had performed heroically in battle. He had managed to strike up a friendly rapport with the prince and they were known to enjoy each other's company
He did however possess two exceptional traits. Firstly he possessed an intimate knowledge of the remoter Scottish countryside, borne out of a lifetime living within it. Secondly, and this was critical, he bore an uncanny resemblance to the prince himself.
One day they were both cornered by hostile troops in Glen Morriston, some 10 km west of Inverness. The prince could see no means of escape and gave a final countenance to his loyal followers. Then, just as all appeared lost, Mackenzie appeared drawing the advancing troops away. There was no escape though for him though and he was easily cut down by a soldier's bullet.
As the successful soldiers approached him he was heard to cry out "...you have murdered your prince..."
Jubilant at the thought of collecting the huge reward his slayers proudly bore his head back to Inverness. It was only there that the mistake was discovered by which time of course the real prince had made good his escape. Not before however, burying the headless corpse of his follower in a rudimentary grave close to the river.
The grave and an associated monument can still be easily found close to the A887 as it enters the forest, 2 km before its junction with the A87. Mackenzies cairn lies immediately south of the road. It bears a plaque giving full details of the incident. The actual grave itself however, lies somewhat neglected about 100m diagonally westwards across the road at the bottom of a deep hollow. A cross on it bears the simple inscription: