The King Over the Water: A Complete History of the Jacobites

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The King Over the Water: A Complete History of the Jacobites

The King Over the Water: A Complete History of the Jacobites

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But perhaps the best tribute Charles paid to the city can be seen on the plaque itself: ‘The Flemings are the most honest and true-hearted race of people I have met with. While Jacobite agents continued in their attempts to recruit the disaffected, the most committed Jacobites were often linked by relatively small family networks, particularly in Scotland; Jacobite activities in areas like Perthshire and Aberdeenshire centred on a limited number of influential families heavily involved in 1715 and 1745.

However, unlike the Stuart pretenders, none of them has claimed the British throne (or the thrones of England, Scotland or Ireland) or incorporated the arms of these countries in their coats-of-arms. When Henry died childless, the Jacobite claim was then notionally inherited by Henry's nearest relative (a second cousin, twice removed), and then passed through a number of European royal families. A plot to capture or assassinate George II, headed by Alexander Murray of Elibank, was betrayed to the government by Alastair Ruadh MacDonnell, or "Pickle the Spy", but not before Charles had sent two exiles as agents. Otherwise, The King over the Water is highly readable, with brilliantly rendered characters, and thrilling tales of deceit and espionage. Another element in English Jacobitism was a handful of disaffected radicals, for whom the exiled Stuarts provided a potential alternative to the Whig establishment.Nevertheless, fears of resurgent Catholic Jacobitism among the ruling Protestant minority meant anti-Catholic Penal Laws remained in place for most of the eighteenth century. For their part, the Scots were disillusioned by lack of meaningful English or French support, despite constant assurances of both. Upon the death of James, the "Old Pretender", in 1766, Charles, as James's eldest son, assumed his claim to the throne. James II and VII's other grandson, Henry Benedict Stuart, the last of his legitimate descendants, died in 1807, by which time the Jacobite succession ceased to have supporters in any number. His Scottish deposition was not linked to his flight on 11 December 1688, but to his misdemeanours generally.

Some of the most powerful landowning families preserved their establishment loyalties, but maintained traditions of Stuart allegiance by permitting younger sons to become involved in active Jacobitism; in 1745, Lewis Gordon was widely believed to be a proxy for his brother, the Duke of Gordon. The collapse of the South Sea Company, established in an absurd attempt to trade with countries with whom England was also at war – an early example of a speculative bubble – also damaged the king’s reputation. James III and VIII (16 September 1701 – 1 January 1766), James Francis Edward Stuart, also known as the Chevalier de St. But at the same time, he was also planning to invade Ireland: this unfortunately involved an alliance with Irish Catholics, which caused him to become persona non grata with his Dutch in-laws, so he moved first back St Germain in June, and then to Jersey, with the intention of joining his allies in Ireland. After 1690, Irish Jacobites were also split between Tyrconnell's 'Peace party' who continued to seek a negotiated solution, and a 'War party' led by Patrick Sarsfield who favoured fighting on to the end.

In 1685, Gaelic poet Dáibhí Ó Bruadair celebrated his accession as ensuring the supremacy of Catholicism and the Irish language. The night before he was due to be executed, his wife, visiting him in the Tower, ‘framed his face with false curls, rouged and powdered it, dressed him in a cloak and hood, and then led him out, pretending he was her maid’. The concept of ‘the divine right of kings’ was shattered again – as it had been before on the battlefield of Naseby in 1645, and on a scaffold in Whitehall in 1649.

Whether fighting at Killiecrankie, Prestonpans or Culloden, at Aughrim, Limerick or Fontenoy, or dying on the scaffold at Tyburn or the Tower of London, few men gave their lives for a cause with more conviction.It also ignored the impact of the 1685 Edict of Fontainebleau, which revoked tolerance for French Protestants and created an estimated 400,000 refugees, 40,000 of whom settled in London. Nevertheless, since the 19th century, there have been small groups advocating the restoration of the Jacobite succession to the throne. New forts were built, the military road network finally completed and William Roy made the first comprehensive survey of the Highlands. Most of Ireland was still controlled by Tyrconnell, where James landed on 12 March 1689 with 6,000 French troops.

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