One day on our holiday to Scotland, we visited Perth and the popular Blackwatch museum. This is where I was first introduced to the Jacobite rebellion. Cue hours of happy history hunting!
This museum is absolutely full to the brim of Scottish history!
Where they began
James II & VII was King of England and King of Ireland as James II, and King of Scotland as James VII.
The Black Watch was an infantry unit that was created in the aftermath of the First Jacobite Rebellion in 1715. What was the Jacobite rebellion? It was the attempt by James Edward Stuart, (James III and VIII), to regain the throne of England, Ireland and Scotland for the exiled Stuarts.
The start of it all:
William summoned a Convention Parliament to decide how to handle James’s flight. It convened on 22 January 1689.While the Parliament refused to depose him, they declared that James, having fled to France and dropped the Great Seal into the Thames, had effectively abdicated, and that the throne had thereby become vacant. To fill this vacancy, James’s daughter Mary was declared Queen; she was to rule jointly with her husband William, who would be King
Then because of the Act of Settlement in 1701, James Francis Edward Stuart was excluded from the Succession. This ‘Act of Settlement’ made sure that only a protestant would be on the throne. This meant the line of succession went:
Queen Mary died of smallpox 1694 and by 1700 her husband William was dying. Mary’s sister, Anne, was the last Stuart monarch and her heir was the distant relative Sophia of Hanover, James 1 granddaughter. Sadly, Sophia died and her son, George, Elector of Hanover, became George l and the pro-Hanoverian Wigs controlled government for the next 30 years.
In 1689, James II & VII landed in Ireland to try and win his kingdoms back but he was defeated at the Battle of the Boyne in July 1690, when William arrived personally leading an army against him. James returned to France and spent the rest of his life there at Saint Germain. Because he deserted his Irish supporters, James became known in Ireland as Séamus an Chaca or “James the sh*t”.
More attempts in favor of James
Some supporters in England attempted to assassinate William III to restore James II & VII to the throne in 1696, but the plot failed and the backlash made James’s cause less popular. In 1696, Louis XIV of France offered to have James elected King of Poland. James rejected the offer, fearing that accepting the Polish crown might (in the minds of the English people) disqualify him from being King of England. After this, Louis XIV chose to no longer offer assistance to him.
James II & VII died on the 16th September 1701 of a brain haemorrhage.
James Francis Edward
So many James’, it can get confusing!
Well James’ son, James Francis Edward or JFE for short, was recognised as king at his father’s death by Louis XIV of France and James’s remaining supporters (later known as Jacobites) as “James III and VIII”.
War began again when JFE led a rising in Scotland in 1715 shortly after George I’s accession to the throne, but was defeated. Jacobites rose again in 1745 led by Charles Edward Stuart, James II’s grandson, and were again defeated. The risings were the last serious attempts to restore the Stuart dynasty.
These were the last serious uprisings. The house of Robertson were involved with the uprisings, especially the later ones. You can read about this here.
Henry Benedict Stuart, the Dean of the College of Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church, was the last of James II’s legitimate descendants and no relative has publicly acknowledged the Jacobite claim since his death in 1807.
I hope you do not have a headache after the information you read there and that you managed to make sense of the all of the different James’! Let me know what you thought!