JacobitismThis article is not about the Jacobite Orthodox Church.
Jacobitism was the political movement dedicated to the return of the Stuart kings to the thrones of England and Scotland (and after 1707, the United Kingdom). It was so named after James VI of Scotland and I of England whose name in Latin is Iacobus Rex. It must not be confused with Jacobinism.
Jacobitism was a response to the deposition of James VII and II in 1688 and his replacement with William of Orange and Mary II. The Stuarts lived on the European continent after that, occasionally attempting to regain the throne with the aid of France. Within the British Isles, the primary seats of Jacobitism were Ireland and especially Highland Scotland. There was also some support in Northumberland and other parts of the North of England.
The first Jacobite campaign against the Parliaments of England and Scotland in support of King James VII and II took place in Scotland in 1689 and reached its zenith when the Jacobites won the Battle of Killiecrankie. Unfortunately for them, their leader, Bonnie Dundee, John Graham of Claverhouse, Viscount Dundee, was killed in the fighting and support for them petered out.
The second campaign in favour of James VII and II took place in Ireland in 1690 but ended when the Jacobite forces were defeated at the Battle of the Boyne. An abortive campaign sponsored by the French in 1708 was thwarted by the Royal Navy which prevented the French navy from landing the Old Pretender, James VIII and III.
The third campaign, which was in support of the Old Pretender, took place in 1715 but was short-lived. This is now usually referred to as the first Jacobite Rebellion. A fourth campaign, sponsored by the Spanish in 1719 was defeated, firstly by storms which destroyed most of the invasion force before it even set sail and finally at the Battle of Glen Shiel.
The fifth and most nearly successful campaign (usually referred to as the "Second Jacobite Rebellion"), led by the Young Pretender, Charles Edward Stuart, son of the Old Pretender, in his father's name, took place in 1745. In the 1745 rebellion Jacobite troops advanced into England as far as Derby before turning back. In 1746 they were finally defeated near Inverness at the Battle of Culloden by Hanoverian forces made up of English and Scottish troops. The seemingly suicidal Highland sword charge against cannon and muskets had succeeded earlier in the campaign but failed now owing to the completely unsuitable nature of the battlefield. This battle crushed the rebellion and effectively ended Jacobitism as a serious political force in Britain.
Jacobitism entered permanent decline after the "Forty-Five" rebellion. In an effort to prevent further trouble, the government outlawed many Highland cultural practices. Laws required all swords to be surrendered to the government, that no tartans or kilts be worn, that the Gaelic language not be spoken, and that bagpipes not be played. Government troops were stationed in the Highlands and built roads and barracks to better control the region. The extent of enforcement of the prohibitions was variable and sometimes related to a clan's support of the government during the rebellion.
Afterwards, Jacobitism was mainly a subject of romantic poetry and literature, notably the work of Sir Walter Scott and Robert Burns. The last Stuart pretender to the throne was the self-styled Henry IX, younger brother of Charles Edward. After the collapse of the Stuart cause he became a Roman Catholic priest, and eventually a cardinal. After coming into financial difficulty during the French Revolution, he was granted a stipend by George III. In gratitude he bequeathed the remaining crown jewels of James VII and II to the Prince of Wales, the future George IV, although he never actually surrendered his claims to the throne.
Following the death of Henry IX, the Jacobite claims passed to the House of Savoy. Francis, Duke of Bavaria, is the current Jacobite heir. Neither he nor any of his predecessors since Henry IX's death in 1807 have pursued their claim, although his father was known to wear the Stuart tartan on occasion.
Jacobite Claimants to the Thrones of England, Scotland, (France), and Ireland