Outlander history: Who was Flora MacDonald in real history?

Outlander Season 6 -- Courtesy of Robert Wilson/STARZ
Outlander Season 6 -- Courtesy of Robert Wilson/STARZ /

Outlander Season 6 introduced us to Flora MacDonald, a woman from real Scottish history. Who was she, and why was she so important to Bonnie Prince Charlie?

Every now and then, we get to meet characters from real history in Outlander. The sixth season brought us Flora MacDonald, who was also included in the novel A Breath of Snow and Ashes.

The series (and book) certainly gave us the story of Flora. She was responsible for getting Bonnie Prince Charlie across to Skye so he would be able to escape Britain after the failed Jacobite rebellion in 1746. How much of the story told in the series was true to real history?

Who was Outlander’s Flora MacDonald?

The story of Flora is the same as history. She was the one who would help Bonnie Prince Charlie escape, and she is the reason for the Skye Boat Song to be written.

Flora was not a Jacobite in the way of Bonnie Prince Charlie and those who fought by his side at Culloden. However, she did have some sympathy for the cause and for the Prince. She wanted to help him get to freedom considering there was a £30,000 bounty on his head.

When a plan formed to save him, Flora agreed to be a part of it. She didn’t do it for money or even for recognition. She just wanted to get the Bonnie Prince out of the country, and she was the one to row Charles over the sea to Skye, while Charles was dressed as a woman, “Betty Burke.”

Was Flora caught for her actions?

While Bonnie Prince Charlie did get back to Europe, Flora MacDonald was caught and arrested for her actions. She ended up spending some time at the Tower of London, which is something Claire comments on in A Breath of Snow and Ashes.

She wasn’t held for too long. In fact, she became a heroine to many and had the opportunity to meet the Prince of Wales at the time. After that, she married and moved to North Carolina.

Flora didn’t get to stay in North Carolina. She and her husband were on the British side of the Revolutionary War, and we know who actually won that war. Flora and her husband returned to Skye, where she lived until 1790.

Next. 25 best Claire and Jamie moments on Outlander so far. dark

Watch Outlander with a FREE 7-day trial of Amazon Channels!