1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Jacobites

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JACOBITES (from Lat. Jacobus, James), the name given after the revolution of 1688 to the adherents, first of the exiled English king James II., then of his descendants, and after the extinction of the latter in 1807, of the descendants of Charles I., i.e. of the exiled house of Stuart.

The history of the Jacobites, culminating in the risings of 1715 and 1745, is part of the general history of England (q.v.), and especially of Scotland (q.v.), in which country they were comparatively more numerous and more active, while there was also a large number of Jacobites in Ireland. They were recruited largely, but not solely, from among the Roman Catholics, and the Protestants among them were often identical with the Non-Jurors. Owing to a variety of causes Jacobitism began to lose ground after the accession of George I. and the suppression of the revolt of 1715; and the total failure of the rising of 1745 may be said to mark its end as a serious political force. In 1765 Horace Walpole said that “Jacobitism, the concealed mother of the latter (i.e. Toryism), was extinct,” but as a sentiment it remained for some time longer, and may even be said to exist to-day. In 1750, during a strike of coal workers at Elswick, James III. was proclaimed king; in 1780 certain persons walked out of the Roman Catholic Church at Hexham when George III. was prayed for; and as late as 1784 a Jacobite rising was talked about. Northumberland was thus a Jacobite stronghold; and in Manchester, where in 1777 according to an American observer Jacobitism “is openly professed,” a Jacobite rendezvous known as “John Shaw’s Club” lasted from 1735 to 1892. North Wales was another Jacobite centre. The “Cycle of the White Rose”—the white rose being the badge of the Stuarts—composed of members of the principal Welsh families around Wrexham, including the Williams-Wynns of Wynnstay, lasted from 1710 until some time between 1850 and 1860. Jacobite traditions also lingered among the great families of the Scottish Highlands; the last person to suffer death as a Jacobite was Archibald Cameron, a son of Cameron of Lochiel, who was executed in 1753. Dr Johnson’s Jacobite sympathies are well known, and on the death of Victor Emmanuel I., the ex-king of Sardinia, in 1824, Lord Liverpool wrote to Canning saying “there are those who think that the ex-king was the lawful king of Great Britain.” Until the accession of King Edward VII. finger-bowls were not placed upon the royal dinner-table, because in former times those who secretly sympathized with the Jacobites were in the habit of drinking to the king over the water. The romantic side of Jacobitism was stimulated by Sir Walter Scott’s Waverley, and many Jacobite poems were written during the 19th century.

The chief collections of Jacobite poems are: Charles Mackay’s Jacobite Songs and Ballads of Scotland, 1688–1746, with Appendix of Modern Jacobite Songs (1861); G. S. Macquoid’s Jacobite Songs and Ballads (1888); and English Jacobite Ballads, edited by A. B. Grosart from the Towneley manuscripts (1877).

Upon the death of Henry Stuart, Cardinal York, the last of James II.’s descendants, in 1807, the rightful occupant of the British throne according to legitimist principles was to be found among the descendants of Henrietta, daughter of Charles I., who married Philip I., duke of Orleans. Henrietta’s daughter, Anne Marie (1669–1728), became the wife of Victor Amadeus II., duke of Savoy, afterwards king of Sardinia; her son was King Charles Emmanuel III., and her grandson Victor Amadeus III. The latter’s son, King Victor Emmanuel I., left no sons, and his eldest daughter, Marie Beatrice, married Francis IV., duke of Modena, whose son Ferdinand (d. 1849) left an only daughter, Marie Thérèse (b. 1849). This lady, the wife of Prince Louis of Bavaria, was in 1910 the senior member of the Stuart family, and according to the legitimists the rightful sovereign of Great Britain and Ireland.

Table showing the succession to the crown of Great Britain and Ireland
according to Jacobite principles.
Charles I. (1600–1649)
Henrietta (1644–1670) =
Philip I., duke of Orleans (1640–1701)
Anne Marie (1569–1728) =
Victor Amadeus II., king of Sardinia (1666–1732)
Charles Emmanuel III.
king of Sardinia (1701–1773)
Victor Amadeus III.
king of Sardinia (1726–1796)
Victor Emmanuel I.
king of Sardinia (1759–1824)
Marie Beatrice (c. 1780–1840) =
Francis IV., duke of Modena (1779–1846)
Ferdinand (1821–1849)
Marie Thérèse (b. 1849) =
Louis, prince of Bavaria (b. 1845)
Rupert, prince
 of Bavaria (b. 1869) 
(b. 1874) 
 (b. 1875)
(b. 1901)
(b. 1905)
(b. 1909)

Among the modern Jacobite, or legitimist, societies perhaps the most important is the “Order of the White Rose,” which has a branch in Canada and the United States. The order holds that sovereign authority is of divine sanction, and that the execution of Charles I. and the revolution of 1688 were national crimes; it exists to study the history of the Stuarts, to oppose all democratic tendencies, and in general to maintain the theory that kingship is independent of all parliamentary authority and popular approval. The order, which was instituted in 1886, was responsible for the Stuart exhibition of 1889, and has a newspaper, the Royalist. Among other societies with similar objects in view are the “Thames Valley Legitimist Club” and the “Legitimist Jacobite League of Great Britain and Ireland.”

See Historical Papers relating to the Jacobite Period, edited by J. Allardyce (Aberdeen, 1895–1896); James Hogg, The Jacobite Relics of Scotland (Edinburgh, 1819–1821); and F. W. Head, The Fallen Stuarts (Cambridge, 1901). The marquis de Ruvigny has compiled The Jacobite Peerage (Edinburgh, 1904), a work which purports to give a list of all the titles and honours conferred by the kings of the exiled House of Stuart.  (A. W. H.*)