James Francis Edward Stuart

(The Old Pretender)

1688 - 1766

Jacobite leader. Born in St. James Palace (London), the son of King James VII (1633 - 1701), who was deposed the following year. On the death of his father he became the focus of the Jacobite cause, and was recognised by France as King James III (of England). The unpopularity of the 1707 Act of Union rekindled some support, and James took full advantage by leading an expedition in 1708, but this was aborted before landing in Scotland. Again there was support for the Jacobite cause following the Hanoverian succession in 1714, and the rising of 1715 resulted. The incompetence of John Erskine, 6th Earl of Mar, ensured that the initiative had been lost and James, who had landed at Peterhead, left for France from Montrose just six weeks later. James never returned to Scotland, instead heading an intrigue-ridden court in exile, initially in France but soon moving to Rome, and passed the baton to his son Prince Charles Edward Stuart (1720 - 1788). His younger son was appointed Cardinal Bishop of Frascati (1761) and Dean of the College of Cardinals (1803).

He died in Rome and is interred in St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, in a tomb which is inscribed Jacobo III.

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