SECRET love letters between an exiled Jacobite and his wife, who were forced apart for 14 years and had to use codes to avoid being found out, have been published.

Military strategist Lord George Murray and his wife, Lady Amelia, were separated after the Battle of Culloden when the Jacobite lieutenant commander went into exile in 1746, remaining in the Netherlands for eight years, after falling out with Bonnie Prince Charlie.

Secret correspondence showed the deep bond that existed and remained between the couple, as they penned notes in the third person to avoid being detected, referred to their “friendship”, and repeatedly affirmed their love for each other.

The letters were often laced with pseudonyms, with numerical codes used to refer to members of their family, which was split over the divisive Jacobite cause.

Lord George vanished to the Netherlands, following an eight-month period spent on the run after the Battle of Culloden, with his wife remaining at the family seat of Blair Castle, Perthshire.

Tragically, they were only reunited shortly before Lord George died, in 1760.

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Keren Guthrie, archivist at Blair Castle said: “Writing from exile in the Netherlands, the letters illustrate the depth of love between the two in terrible circumstances.

“It’s a long-distance love affair against the backdrop of conflict, not only between countries, but also within the family.”

In one particular letter, Lord George wrote: “I am always exceedingly obliged to you, and have not confessions so strong, as can paint the overflowings of my heart, when I consider the innumerable marks I receive of your affections.”

In another, he said: “May every thing that is good constantly attend you and yours; and believe that no person upon earth values, esteems or loves you better.”

The letters – which were delivered using a network of friends – were initially “very formal in tone”, with pseudonyms such as Harry Dow and Mr Fogo appearing in the written correspondence.

Guthrie said: “In 1747, Lord George wrote to Lady Strowan of Arnhall. This letter, as with many others, was intended for his wife, but written under a pseudonym.

“He referred to his wife as Miss Gordon and himself as her friend.

“But the words of devotion are nonetheless prominent throughout, illustrating the strength of feeling.”

Lord George wrote: “Madam, I had the good fortune to see Miss Gordon’s Friend at this place both in his goeing and coming.

“He is in good health and he tells me he is goeing for France.”

Guthrie said the couple – and their children – did manage to meet on occasion.

Once the political situation had calmed down, Lady Amelia took a house in Medemblik in The Netherlands, to be near her husband as he was dying.

It was from here she wrote to her son, saying: “God only knows my sad and afflicted heart, and disconsolate situation in the loss I have made of so kind, affectionate, and inestimable friend and husband.”

Lord George Murray and Bonnie Prince Charlie turned on each other in the latter stages of the 1745 rising.

Murray resigned his command following the siege of Carlisle in November 1745 – although led troops into Derby.

The two became bitterly at odds after Jacobite leaders backed Murray’s decision to then retreat north.

When he went into exile in the Netherlands, it was the third time he had sought safety on the Continent, having fought for the Jacobites in 1715 and 1719.

Several years after Lord George Murray’s death, passing away at the age of 66, Lady Amelia passed away, in the year 1766.