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The Jacobites

The word Jacobite comes from Jacobus, the latin form of James, so literally meant a supporter of the line of James. James VI of Scotland, from the House of Stewart (or Stuart, the French spelling) was crowned King of England in 1603 and the Stuarts reigned over both Scotland and England until the death of Queen Anne in 1714.

James VII (and II) was forced to abdicate in favour of his daughter, Mary, and her husband William of Orange. James’ son was still a minor when Anne succeeded and, at her death, he was passed over for the Protestant George I of Hanover. Two Jacobite risings on behalf of James and his son, Charles Edward Stuart – popularly known as ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’ – failed to overthrow the next Hanoverian George II.

By the time of the death of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s brother, Henry, Cardinal Duke of York, support for the Jacobite cause had waned and few regarded anyone but George III as the natural successor.

The West Highland Museum has an outstanding collection of objects relating to Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobite Cause. Have a look at our featured objects and enjoy their stories.

We are finding that fans of the Outlander books and TV series are making our Museum a ‘must see’ destination to learn more about the Jacobites and we can give them an excellent insight.  As a guide we have  produced this Outlander leaflet.


Secret Portrait

Now you see me … After the the Battle of Culloden in 1746, it was treasonable to support the Stuart claim to the throne. When the ladies and servants had left the room after dinner, the loyal friends of Prince Charles would place the tray on the table and raise their glasses in a toast […]

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Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Waistcoat

In all his finery: The West Highland Museum holds a fine collection of clothing and objects that once belonged to Bonnie Prince Charlie, as well as objects that are said to have belonged to him, or have been attributed to him and the Jacobite cause. As well as various items of clothing (including his jacket, […]

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Jacobite Fan

Jacobite signs and symbols: Various codes, symbols and emblems were used to signify support for the Jacobite cause, for example the white cockade and the white rose. Images of bees were also used (signifying loyalty), as well as butterflies and moths (signifying the return of the soul).  The museum has a wealth of Jacobite memorabilia, […]

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Hogarth Print

The long march north. This framed print has the following carved as its dedication ‘A representation of the March of the Guards towards Scotland in the Year 1745. ‘To His Majesty the King of Prussia, an Encourager of Arts and Sciences! This Plate is most humbly Dedicated.’ Hogarth himself is to us today one of […]

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