James VIII and III
On the death of James VII and II in 1701, his 13-year-old son James Francis Edward was recognised by both Louis XIV and Pope Clement XI as the rightful king of Scotland, England and Ireland.
For James VIII and III (as he became) these men were powerful supporters who acknowledged his claim to the British throne. Louis in particular was a crucial ally who could provide military aid for the impending challenges to the reigning monarchs in Britain.
James mounted a total of three challenges over the next two decades – the Jacobite campaigns of 1708, 1715 and 1719.
He also took advantage of political discontent in Britain.
In 1707 the Act of Union united the parliaments of Scotland and England. This proved unpopular, in particular in Scotland where, by 1708, promised benefits had still not materialised.
George I, 1660 - 1727. Reigned 1714 - 1727, artist unknown National Galleries of Scotland Creative Commons CC-BY-NC
On the death of James’s half-sister, Anne, in 1714 the throne of Britain passed to George the Protestant Elector of Hanover – a very distant relative and a great-grandson of James VI & I. Despite James’s plea to Anne ‘prefer your own brother, the last of our line’, the Elector became George I. He was the first of the Hanoverian monarchs and an unpopular King.
Let’s find out if James VIII and III was more successful than his father had been in re-claiming the throne.
© National Museums Scotland and University of Edinburgh 2017