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State Papers Online

The Stuart and Cumberland Papers

from the Royal Archives, Windsor Castle


The Round Tower, Windsor Castle, UK. Royal Collection Trust/ © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2018
Laura Hobbs, Digital Archivist, Royal Archives


Emeritus Professor Daniel Szechi


Dr Jonathan D. Oates


Emeritus Professor John Miller


Professor Edward Corp


Dr A. R. Gillespie


Professor Allan I. Macinnes


Professor Edward Corp


Professor Paul Monod


Professor Murray Pittock


Dr Nathalie Genet-Rouffiac


Dr Éamonn ó Ciardha
‘A Tale of Two Collections’: The Stuart Papers and
Cumberland Papers at the Royal Archives, Windsor Castle’
Laura Hobbs, Digital Archivist, Royal Archives


Situated within the iconic Round Tower at Windsor Castle, the Royal Archives
holds an unparalleled collection of documents relating to the history of the
British monarchy over the last 250 years, including the personal and official
correspondence of sovereigns and their families, from George III onwards. Yet
the Royal Archives itself is not as old as you might think, having only recently
celebrated its first centenary: in order to explain the history of the archives we
need to return to the beginning of the last century, 1901 to be exact.

Originally, historic records had been stored in tin trunks, cupboards and
storerooms in various royal residences, with no appointed custodian to care
for them. The vast legacy of official and private correspondence generated
during the 63-year reign of Queen Victoria, however, highlighted the need for
a permanent dedicated repository for the papers of the royal family and the
Royal Household. Shortly after Victoria’s death, Edward VII appointed Reginald
Brett, Viscount Esher, as the first Keeper of the Royal Archives, although
a permanent home for the papers still needed to be established. In 1912,
following a declaration from George V that ‘All the Royal Archives shall be
kept in a strong room or rooms in the Round Tower’,[1] work began to create
a Muniment Room in the top half of Edward III’s medieval Great Hall in the
Round Tower. In 1914, the first collections were transferred to the Muniment
Room: the papers of Queen Victoria, Edward VII, the recently-discovered
papers of George III and George IV, as well as archival material previously
stored in the Royal Library.

The Royal Archives grew rapidly in the following decades: Queen Mary, who
had a keen interest in the history of the royal family, wrote to various relatives
encouraging them to deposit their papers in the Round Tower, while other
collections have been presented to the Archives as gifts to the Sovereign and
some papers have been acquired by purchase. The addition of the papers of
George V, Edward VIII, George VI and other members of the royal family, as
well as administrative records of the various Household departments during
these reigns, meant the Royal Archives quickly outgrew the Muniment Room
and spread to other rooms in the Round Tower.[2]

Cumberland Papers

Little is known about where the papers of William Augustus, Duke of

Cumberland, were stored after his death in 1765, although the logical
assumption would be that they remained at his home at Cumberland
Lodge, situated in Windsor Great Park. It is not entirely clear when these
papers first came to the Royal Library, but it is likely to have been sometime
around 1835-1840, on the assumption that they were transferred at the
same time as the Stuart Papers.[3] In 1914 the Cumberland Papers were one
of the first collections to be transferred to the Royal Archives, where they
have remained ever since.

Stuart Papers

The story of how the Stuart Papers became the oldest collection in the
Royal Archives is complicated and intriguing. After the death of Charles
Edward Stuart (grandson of James II and VII) in 1788, his papers and those
of his father, James Francis Edward Stuart (the son of James II and VII),
that were stored in the Palazzo del Re in Rome, were transferred in part
to Charles’s daughter Charlotte, Duchess of Albany, and the other portion
retained by her uncle, Henry Benedict Stuart, Cardinal Duke of York. She
had spent the last few years caring for her father in Florence and Rome,
and died herself in 1789. Under the terms of the Duchess of Albany’s will,
custodianship of the papers in her possession passed to her confessor,
Abbé James Waters. He took the papers from his own library (where they
had been placed following the death of her father) and moved them to his
house in Rome, despite the fact that the Duchess may have asked him to
destroy anything unimportant and send the rest to her uncle, Henry, Cardinal

Royal Archives (RA) GV/PRIV/AA83/4.

For more detailed information about the Royal Archives see: https://www.royal.uk/royal-archives. Julie

Crocker, ‘The Royal Archives at Windsor Castle: Into the 21st Century’, Vorstelijk koninklijk keizerlijk:
Archieven van vorstenhuizen in Europa, Jaarboek 16 (2016) 135-156

Oliver Everett, ‘The Royal Library at Windsor Castle as Developed by Prince Albert and B.B. Woodward’,

The Library: The Transactions of the Bibliographical Society, 7th ser., 3 (2002) 58-88, pp. 58, 63.
Alistair and Henrietta Tayler, The Stuart Papers at Windsor. Being Selections from Hitherto Unprinted

Royal Archives, With Introduction and Notes (London, 1939), p. 9.

The Stuart Papers: an Overview of their Subject Matter and
Value for Researchers
Emeritus Professor Daniel Szechi

One of the key features of the emergence of the modern state has been the
bureaucratisation of government. Simply put, since ca. 1400 the exercise
of power through the written word has progressively become more and
more normative and the key institutional structures (archives and record-
keeping) that underpin this process have become increasingly central to
the authority of princes and their ministers. Knowledge is a key aspect
of power, and the state’s archives gave its controllers an unmatchable
institutional memory. The Stuart Papers are a product of this crucial
shift towards modernity. Technically speaking, they are the archive of the
government-in-exile created and commanded by the main (Catholic) line
of the Stuart dynasty after 1688, when James II and VII fled to France. The
major part of the Stuart Papers is correspondingly composed of a huge
and diverse aggregation of the correspondence, memorandums, accounts,
warrants and other paperwork generated by the exiled Stuarts and their
ministers between 1688 and 1807. But rulers are always in conversation
with the ruled. Hence the other major component of the Stuart Papers
consists of letters, proposals, petitions and so on, stemming from the
Stuarts’ erstwhile subjects in the British Isles (the ‘Jacobites’) and the
Jacobite diaspora in Europe and the wider world.

The range of material the Stuarts’ distant exercise of power produced is

thus, in a sense, typical of the new model bureaucratic European states.
If we take the political correspondence in the Stuart Papers as a case
in point, a very wide spectrum of documents have survived. There are
hundreds of letters between the exiled Stuart monarchs and their peers
in Europe. James III and VIII (the son of James II and VII, a.k.a. the ‘Old
Pretender’) at various times wrote both personally and officially to Louis
XIV and Louis XV of France[1] , Philip V and Charles III of Spain[2], Peter I and
Anna I of Russia[3] , every single reigning pope, Charles XII of Sweden and
the Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI, to name only the most prominent
European princes in the first half of his reign (1701-66). Though some, such

as Charles XII and Charles VI, carefully wrote back only via their ministers
(thus maintaining a discreet distance and diplomatic ‘plausible deniability’),
most communicated directly with James on a monarch-to-monarch basis
(in the process implicitly recognising him as a legitimate member of the
princes’ club)[4]. Even more numerous are the letters written on behalf of
James’s shadow- government to the monarchial favourites, ministers and
senior courtiers of virtually every state in Europe, and replies and further
correspondence from them regarding the exiled Stuarts and their cause.

This top-level communication was fundamentally driven by European great

power politics. The Stuarts needed substantial material support in the form
of men, ships, arms and money to retrieve their lost kingdoms[5]. For their
part, the great powers of Europe, however sympathetic they might be on a
personal level to a kindred dynasty fallen on hard times, easily appreciated
what a useful tool the Jacobite underground in Britain might be if they went
to war against the new order in the British Isles. The English, Irish and
Scots were also famously politically volatile in terms of their allegiances.
Who knew when another revolution would break out amongst them? It was
perfectly possible that the Stuarts might be restored by their own peoples,
as were the Yorkists, Lancastrians and Tudors, to say nothing of the Stuarts
themselves in 1660, and from a European great power perspective it would
be very useful if James III and VIII or Charles ‘III’, reigning in London, could
be reminded of old favours and kindnesses done by a fellow-monarch
during his sojourn abroad.

James Francis Edward Stuart to King of France Louis XV, 7 March 1725. RA SP/Main/80/123.
James Francis Edward Stuart to King of Spain Charles III, 7 March 1729. RA SP/Main/125/125.
James Francis Edward Stuart to Peter the Great, 20 February 1725. RA SP Main/80/66.
King of Spain Charles III to James Francis Edward Stuart, 6 October 1759. RA SP/Main/395/161.
RA SP/Main/17/22.

Royal Archives: The Cumberland Papers
Dr Jonathan D. Oates

The Cumberland Papers are one of the principal collections among the
voluminous holdings of the Royal Archives at Windsor Castle. They are an
important source for eighteenth century British, American and European
history. Yet their very bulk is intimidating. There are tens of thousands of
letters and miscellaneous documents, covering the period 1649-1765, most
of which are manuscript letters. Initially they were only accessible for bona
fide scholars at the Royal Archives at the Round Tower of Windsor Castle.
They were microfilmed in 1968 to make 108 reels of microfilm and became
available in Britain at the British Library and at Cambridge University
Library. Most of the letters are in English but a minority are in French,
especially those from Dutch, French and Austrian correspondents. Access
was thus necessarily restricted. Extracts from the Cumberland Papers
have been cited by historians of the Jacobite campaign of 1745 and by the
biographers of the Duke. A selection concerning the American colonies was
published in 1936 by Pargellis. It is now possible to view these papers in
their entirety, and to search their catalogue, without having to leave one’s
computer and thus they are now more accessible than ever before.

The raison d’etre of this collection is the man from whom it takes its title.
This was the Duke of Cumberland, who was born William Augustus in
London on 15 April 1721 and was the third son of George, Prince of Wales
(George II from 1727-60) and his wife, Caroline of Ansbach, Princess of
Wales. Most of his adult life, from 1741-1757, was spent as a soldier; from
1745 he was Captain General, Britain’s most senior military officer. As such
he fought in Britain’s most significant conflicts in these years, the War of
Austrian Succession of 1740- 1748, the Jacobite campaign of 1745-6 and
the opening stages of the Seven Years War of 1756-1763. He died on 31
October 1765, aged but 44 years.

Of these conflicts, the best known to British historians is the Jacobite

campaign, when Charles Edward Stuart, popularly known as Bonnie Prince

Charlie, tried to overthrow, with predominantly Scottish support, George II
and his government. The popular view of Cumberland, who led the British
Army to total victory against Charles’ forces, is that in his treatment of
enemy forces on British soil, he was ‘the Butcher’, though a minority of
historians, including this writer, have defended his reputation.

The collection is a key source for the history of the Jacobite campaign of
1745 because papers making up a substantial part of the collection were
written at the time by Cumberland, his associates and his enemies. Unlike
the myriad published Jacobite memoirs, which are well known, they were
written without the benefit of hindsight and without a view that they would
ever be made public. This, then, is history in the raw, without the gloss that
comes from hindsight.

For those unacquainted with this treasure trove of historical sources, the
following examples should provide illustrations of some of the material
contained therein. I have tried to provide representative samples from some
of the letters within the Cumberland Papers, which are divided into boxes,
each of several hundred documents.

Cumberland Papers Main series, box/volume one is a miscellaneous

collection of papers from 1649 to 1744, some of them dealing with Scotland,
including orders from the later Stuart monarchs. Others deal with military
aspects of the War of Spanish Succession, such as prisoners taken at

Cumberland Papers Main series, box/volume 2-59 is a roughly

chronological series of letters covering Cumberland’s career from
1745-1765. This is the major sequence of papers. While on campaign
Cumberland wrote on an almost daily basis to senior politicians,
soldiers, sailors and others. These include allies such as the Habsburg
Feldmarschall Lothar Josef von Königsegg-Rothenfels, Lieutenant-General
John Ligonier (later Field Marshal and Viscount Ligonier) and enemies such
as Maréchal Maurice de Saxe, as well as British politicians and diplomats.
About 10% of these papers are letters written by the Duke or his secretary.
Throughout there are documents concerning routes of march, delivery and
payment of forage and supplies, and returns of soldiers.

James II and VII in Exile
Emeritus Professor John Miller

James first experienced exile in his teens. In 1648, when his father was
imprisoned by Parliament, James fled to Holland disguised as a girl, later
joining his mother in France and ending up fighting with the French army in
the Spanish Netherlands. Exile had its privations but James was young and
enjoyed his first experience of foreign travel and military life. He also came
to appreciate that the reality of Catholicism differed markedly from the way
it was represented in Protestant England. From 1660 to 1685 he was Charles
II’s heir presumptive, as Charles had no legitimate children. James extended
his experience of warfare and his attraction to Catholicism hardened into
conviction. He came to believe that only the Catholic Church could claim to
be the one true church amid all the squabbling Protestant denominations.
That certainty never wavered, even when it led to his sacrificing high office
and challenges to his right to succeed to the throne. When he became King of
England he set out to grant Catholics freedom of worship and full access to
public office. In order to promote the Catholics’ interests he worked first with
the Anglican Tories, then with Dissenters and Whigs; he provoked widespread
opposition and the great majority of his subjects refused to oppose William of
Orange’s invasion in 1688. Hitherto James had believed firmly that he was right
and that God’s providence would sustain him. Now, as kinsmen and protégés
turned against him and his subjects showed their hatred for his religion and
questioned the legitimacy of his infant son, James’s self-confidence collapsed.
He resolved to flee to France to preserve his and his son’s right to the throne
and (hopefully) regain his crown with Louis XIV’s help.

James’s experiences in 1688 did much to shape his behaviour in exile. He

never doubted the legitimacy of his claim to the English and Scottish thrones
or the truth of the Catholic religion, but his conviction that God approved, and
would support, his conduct and policies was badly shaken. He felt obliged
to try to recover his throne but was uncertain whether God approved of his
efforts. Lacking a clear sense of direction and purpose he became prone to
vacillation, unwilling to commit wholeheartedly to one line of policy rather than

another. After seemingly reaching a decision he would change his mind; having
apparently endorsed a plan he would seek the advice of others. His court was
full of faction and intrigue and he seemed to lack the ability or will to assert
his authority: there were too many difficult decisions and he began to wonder
whether, in the great scheme of things, these policy decisions really mattered
in comparison with the saving of his soul.

Kingship in Exile

‘Ruling’ in exile was radically different from ruling in a settled kingdom,

in which the king commanded large financial, military and administrative
resources and in which he could expect that his commands would be
obeyed. In exile, James was a supplicant, pleading his cause in the face
of widely divergent expectations. The most powerful figure that he had to
contend with was Louis XIV, King of France. Louis received him courteously
and with due pomp and ceremony, and placed at his disposal the chateau
of Saint-Germain-en- Laye, west of Paris. The chateau was elegant, but
somewhat run-down; as more and more Jacobite exiles from James’s three
kingdoms flocked to his court it became overcrowded, but it provided a not
inappropriate setting for the royal family, who were also well received at
nearby Versailles. Louis was the most powerful monarch in Europe, but
from 1688 he was embroiled in a war with most of the other major powers;
James’s replacement by Louis’s inveterate enemy William III and II ensured
that this war also became a war of the English and Scottish succession.
As the war dragged on even France’s vast resources became seriously
overstretched and many starved as they could not produce enough food to
satisfy the royal tax collectors. Louis (despite his outward courtesy) became
irritated by the demands of his guests and by James’s lack of urgency about
recovering his throne.

James III and VIII
Professor Edward Corp

The life story of James III and VIII is mainly contained within the Stuart
Papers in the Royal Archives at Windsor Castle. They contain thousands
of documents in hundreds of volumes giving details of his political and
personal correspondence, of his finances, and of the management of his
court. Yet it is important to recognise that the Stuart Papers provide a
comprehensive account of the king’s life only from the beginning of 1716,
when he was 27 years old. They tell us very little about the period from his
birth at Whitehall Palace in June 1688 until he reached the age of 25 in
1713, and not much about the next two years from 1713 to the end of 1715.
This is because the archives of the exiled Stuarts covering the years 1689
to 1715 were deposited in the Collège des Ecossais in Paris and nearly all
destroyed during the French Revolution.

James was brought up at Saint-Germain, near Versailles, to be fluent in

both English and French, and competent in Italian (a language he did not
perfect until he moved his court to the Papal States in 1717). As a result, he
was able to conduct an enormous political and personal correspondence
in the three languages, with secretarial assistance, when he reached
manhood. However, he never managed to develop legible handwriting,
so that the papers which he actually wrote himself tend to be extremely
difficult to read. This was a problem which confronted his contemporaries,
and can be a major problem for historians using the Stuart Papers today.
Fortunately, the drafts of the king’s letters have nearly all survived in the
handwriting of his secretaries and clerks.

The king’s life can be divided into two main parts, separated by an extended
period of transition. In the first (1688-1714), during which he mainly lived at
Saint-Germain-en-Laye in France, James had good reason to be confident
that he would one day be restored to the thrones of his father. In the second
(1719-66), when he mainly lived at Rome, he increasingly doubted and
eventually knew that he would never be restored. The turning point came

during the five years from the summer of 1714 to the summer of 1719,
when James experienced a series of major disappointments and reverses
which had a profound effect on his personality.

He had a happy childhood at Saint-Germain, where he was recognised as

the Prince of Wales and then, after the death of his father in September
1701, as the legitimate King of England, Scotland and Ireland. Until the
age of seven he was brought up by servants selected and controlled by
his mother, Queen Mary of Modena, who managed her own household
alongside that of her husband the king. He was then given his own
household under a Catholic governor (James Drummond, 4th Earl, then
1st Jacobite Duke of Perth) who was chosen by both his parents. From 1701
until his eighteenth birthday in June 1706 the queen acted as his guardian
in collaboration with Perth. James was given full royal honours at the
French court, which meant that he was treated as superior to the Dauphin
and all the other French royal princes, and equal (at least in theory) to
Louis XIV. The failure of the Franco-Jacobite attempt to invade Scotland in
1708 was a major disappointment, but it was regarded at the time as merely
postponing the eventual Jacobite restoration. Instead of deposing his half-
sister Queen Anne during her life-time, James accepted that his restoration
would not take place until after her death.

This confident expectation was then shattered by the events of 1714 to

1719. The peaceful accession of the Elector of Hanover as King George I
of Great Britain in 1714, while James was in exile from France in Lorraine,
was followed by the death of Louis XIV (1715), the defeat of the Jacobite
rising in Scotland (1715-16), and the decision of Philippe de Bourbon, Duc
d’Orléans, the new Regent of France, to force James to move his court
further away from England to the papal enclave at Avignon (1716-17), and
then even across the Alps to the Papal States in Italy. After a short time on
the Adriatic coast at Pesaro, and a visit to see Pope Clement XI in Rome,
James established his court in the remote and relatively inaccessible city
of Urbino. The fourteen months that he spent there (1717-18) were deeply
frustrating, and made him feel completely cut off from the world, unable to
do anything practical - apart from writing letters - to affect his restoration.
And then came the biggest disappointment of all.

Maria Clementina, the Unrealised Queen
Dr A. R. Gillespie

Princess Maria Clementina Sobieska (1702-1735), granddaughter of

Jan Sobieski III, the famous King of Poland who defeated the Turks at
the Battle of Vienna in 1683, was known in Jacobite circles from 1719 as
‘our Queene’[1]. Maria Clementina was one of the most well-connected
young ladies in Europe at this time. She was also related to many royal
houses on her mother’s side, which made her a most desirable candidate
for marriage for an exiled king[2]. Among her prestigious relations were
her first cousins Elizabeth Farnese, the Queen of Spain, King John V of
Portugal, and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI. Her second cousins
were Maria Theresa, Queen of Hungary, and Charles, Duke of Parma, later
King of Naples and King Charles III of Spain, and her godfather was Pope
Clement XI. When she became the wife of James Francis Edward Stuart she
was considered Queen of Great Britain and Ireland not only by Jacobites,
but also by contemporary popes and monarchs such as the kings of France,
Spain, Sweden, and the tsar of Russia, to say nothing of a great many of the
European nobility.

The sources relating to Maria Clementina in the Stuart Papers date from
1718 when she was almost 16 years old, and when James, then 30, decided
it was time to find a bride. The letters to and from Clementina end 16 years
later, at the time of her death in 1735. Histories of the exiled Stuarts seldom
give much time to Clementina, except to describe her unhappy marriage,
the birth of two children, her self-imposed exile, her extreme piety, often
depicted as bigotry, and her untimely death, aged just 32. The most
interesting and eventful period in her short life was in the lead up to, and
during, her engagement to James III and VIII, which began in June 1718.

During the years 1717 and 1718 letters were sent secretly the length and
breadth of Europe, between James, a select number of Jacobite supporters,
and Clement XI, regarding his search for a wife. Charles Wogan (1698-
1752?), an Irish soldier and devoted Jacobite, was in charge of touring the
European courts to select a suitable bride[3]. As an afterthought Wogan
had attended the Ohlau court in Silesia and discovered the Polish princess,

the youngest daughter of Prince James Sobieski. As a result ‘Mrs Godfrey’
(Clementina’s codename) was discussed at length in the correspondence,
Wogan observing that she was: ‘[T]he last of ye daughters who is the
darling of the family by the advantage [s]he has over the others in point
of sense, discretion, evenness of temper and a very becoming modesty’[4].
The correspondence between James, John Erskine, Jacobite Duke of Mar,
Wogan and other loyal Jacobites reveals the political importance and
therefore danger of an alliance between the exiled British monarch and the
well-connected Polish princess. Secrecy was paramount, especially once
James’ decision to wed Clementina had been made. The King’s proposal
of marriage was, however, made by James’s emissary, James Murray of
Stormont, and only became known to English ministers on the Continent
due to his lack of discretion[5]. The news was conveyed to George I, who
subsequently threatened the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles VI, with a
breakup of the Triple (soon to be Quadruple) Alliance if he did not prevent
the marriage from taking place. And by the end of September 1718 Princess
Maria Clementina and her mother, Princess Hedwig Elisabeth Sobieska,
formerly the Countess Palatine of Neuburg, were en route to Rome from
Silesia for the marriage. They had to traverse the Emperor’s lands in
order to get there, and were, despite their close familial relationship
with Charles, summarily stopped in Innsbruck and placed under house
arrest. These events in the lead-up to Clementina becoming the exiled
Stuart Queen feature prominently in the correspondence to be found in the
Stuart Papers and have thus been recorded in contemporary memoirs and
included in historical scholarship[6].

Charles Wogan to the Duke of Mar, 6 March 1718. RA SP/Main/28/19.
Edward Corp, The Jacobites at Urbino: An Exiled Court in Transition (New York, 2009), p. 91.
James III to the Duke of Mar, 30 March 1718. RA SP/Main/29/74.
RA SP/Main/28/19.
RA SP/Main/37/88; RA SP/Main/39/144; Peggy Miller, A Wife for the Pretender (London, 1965), p. 39.

RA SP/Main/37/59; [Anon], Female Fortitude Exemplify’d (London, 1722); Sir John T. Gilbert, Narratives

of the Detention, Liberation and Marriage of Maria Clementina Sobieska Styled Queen of Great Britain &
Ireland by Sir Charles Wogan and Others (Dublin, 1894); Andrew Lang, Prince Charles Edward Stuart. The
Young Chevalier (London, 1903); Miller, Wife for the Pretender.

Charles III: the Uncrowned Contender
Professor Allan I. MacInnes

When Prince Charles Edward Stuart departed from Loch-nan-Uamh in

Lochaber for France on 20 September 1746, Alasdair MacMhaighstir
Alasdair (Alexander MacDonald) from Ardnamurchan, the leading Gaelic
poet in eighteenth-century Scotland, was bereft:

• Chaill sinn ar stiùir ‘s ar buill-bheairte

• Dh’fhalbh uainn ar n-acair-bàis,
• Chaill sinn ar compass us ar cairean,
• Ar reul-iùil, ‘s ar beachd ga là.[1]

[We’ve lost our tiller and our rigging, our Sheet-anchor’s torn away, we’ve
lost our charts, our compass with them, our pole-star, our daily guide.]

Charles was clearly a man who inspired strong emotions. He was

charismatic, multi-lingual and purposeful. In his own mind and that of his
many followers in the Forty-Five, he was born to be king. His march south
from Edinburgh to Derby took him to within striking distance of London,
shook the British establishment to its foundations and jeopardised the
continuation of the Hanoverian dynasty which had replaced the Stuarts in
1714. But Charles was never more than an impressive Jacobite contender,
at times fêted but more often shunned by his diplomatic backers, who
included the papacy as well as the monarchs of France and Sweden. He
remained an uncrowned contender.

Prince Charles was born in Rome on 9/20 December 1720, the eldest son
of the uncrowned James ‘III and VIII’ and his queen, Clementina Sobieska,
Princess of Poland. His parent’s marriage was strained and remained so
up to Clementina’s death in January 1735. Charles, and his younger brother
Henry (born in 1724), were tutored by Scottish and Irish governors. Charles,
in contrast to Henry, was given more to socialising than to study. A strong-
willed character, he formed a closer relationship with his Irish Catholic

tutor, Thomas Sheridan than with the Scottish Episcopalian, James Murray,
Jacobite Earl of Dunbar, whom he assaulted when aged 12. In 1734 he got
his first taste of military engagement. He attended the siege of Gaeta near
Naples as an observer. Thereafter, he held no military command nor gained
any active experience in the field until he instigated and led the Forty-Five.

As a member of his father’s council in Rome from 1740, Charles was in

contact with Jacobite agents despatched from Scotland hoping to capitalise
on the outbreak of the War of the Austrian Succession.[2] In the wake of
the Fifteen, Jacobitism in Scotland had adopted the cellular structure
associated with resistance movements[3]. With the formation of the Scottish
Jacobite Association in 1739, the enhanced influence accorded to clan
chiefs reflected the military realities of campaigning which were not always
reported to Rome. Unreliable agents, such as William Drummond (alias
MacGregor) of Balhaldy, acted as freelance informants[4]. Charles accepted
a summons to the French Court at the outset of 1744. Although Louis XV
of France pulled back from a planned invasion of England in March, the
prince was not deterred. Nor was he put off by the arrival in Paris of John
Murray of Broughton that August. The secretary of the Jacobite Association
was adamant that Scottish support for another rising was conditional
on Charles bringing not only ample supplies of arms and munitions but
significant French support in men and money.

John L. Campbell (ed.), Highland Songs of the ‘Forty-Five (Edinburgh, 1984), pp. 90-1.

The War of the Austrian Succession (1740-1748) involved most of Europe in a conflict over the inheritance

of Habsburg possessions after the death of Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor, in 1740. Britain, Austria. the
Dutch Republic, Russia, and Savoy-Sardinia supported the claims of Maria Theresa, against the various
interests of Prussia, France, Bavaria, Piedmont and Spain. Maria Theresa ultimately upheld her claim and
lost only Silesia to Prussia in the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748.
RA SP/Main/41/36, /65, /76, /92.
RA SP/Main/48/92, 68/30-9, 100/8-9, RA SP/Box/1/22-3.

The Jacobite Government-in-Exile
Professor Edward Corp

The Jacobite government-in-exile,[1] originally established at Saint-

Germain-en-Laye but then transferred to Bar-le-Duc (1713), Avignon (1716)
and eventually the Papal States in Italy (1717), consisted of two distinct
parts. There was the ministry, which was soon reduced in size to become
exclusively the secretariat, and there was the household. Nearly all the
documents which now comprise the Stuart Papers in the Royal Archives
can be identified as having belonged to the one or to the other.

Most of the documents belonged to the secretariat, which conducted

the correspondence of the exiled kings with the papacy and the pro-
Jacobite kings and princes of continental Europe. The secretariat also
maintained contact with the Jacobites[2] in England, Scotland and Ireland,
and (especially after 1716) with the many Jacobites living in exile on the
continent, but not at the Stuart court. The papers of the secretariat are
therefore of considerable social as well as diplomatic and political interest.

The papers of the household, which are proportionally much fewer, are
concerned with the management of the Stuart court itself. They mainly
concern the salaries paid to the servants employed by the exiled royal
family, and the pensions paid to the many other Jacobites living in exile,
whether at the court or elsewhere. At first the pensioners included the
members of the ministry and the secretariat, who were regarded as
government officials rather than household servants.

Many, if not most, of the names of these servants and pensioners will be
unfamiliar to people using the Stuart Papers. They can, however, all be
found in the history of the exiled court written by the present author,[3] while
sixteen of them have separate entries in the Oxford Dictionary of National

It must be stressed that the Stuart Papers mainly date from after 1716,
when the exiled court moved to Avignon. The archives of the court at Saint-
Germain and Bar-le-Duc, covering the years 1689 to 1715, were all left

behind in the château-vieux de Saint-Germain and then taken to Paris for
permanent conservation. Some of them were deposited in the Irish Collège
des Lombards in 1734, but the great majority were deposited in the Collège
des Ecossais in 1735. Apart from a few papers which were subsequently
sent at James III and VIIIs’ request to the court in Rome, virtually all the
Jacobite archives of the period 1689-1715 remained in Paris and were
destroyed during the French Revolution. There are relatively few papers which
date from before 1716 in the Stuart Papers today.

Saint-Germain-en-Laye and Bar-le-Duc, 1689-1715: The Secretariat

The ministry was established at Saint-Germain after the return of James II

and VII from Ireland in 1690. It consisted of a Lord Chancellor, a Secretary
of State, and a Secretary of State and War for Ireland. The Lord Chancellor
was Sir Edward Herbert, previously Chief Justice of Common Pleas and now
created Jacobite Earl of Portland. When he died in 1698 he was not replaced,
and his papers were entrusted to the secretariat. The Secretary of State and
War for Ireland was Sir Richard Nagle, previously Attorney General for Ireland.
When he died in 1699 he too was not replaced, but his work was continued by
his under- secretary, John Kearney, who liaised with the Irish troops in the
French army. After Kearney died in 1733 his papers were all taken to the Irish
Collège des Lombards. Although they have not survived, there is an inventory
which indicates what they contained in RA SP/Main/166/55.


After the Glorious Revolution of 1688 removed James II from the thrones of England, Scotland and Ireland

and replaced him with his daughter, Mary, and her husband, William of Orange, James and his family fled to
France with many of their loyal followers, courtiers and advisers, who formed a Government-in-exile. After
James II’s death in 1701, his son succeeded him to become the Jacobite James III and VIII.

These were the remaining supporters of James II and his heirs in England, Scotland and Ireland. The

movement endured throughout most of the eighteenth century. The last legitimate Jacobite claimant to the
throne was Henry Benedict Stuart, youngest grandson of James II, who died in 1807.

Edward Corp, A Court in Exile: The Stuarts in France, 1689-1718 (Cambridge University Press, 2004); The

Jacobites at Urbino: An Exiled Court in Transition (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009); The Stuarts in Italy, 1719-
1766: A Royal Court in Permanent Exile (Cambridge University Press, 2011).

William Dicconson; James Drummond, 4th Earl and 1st Jacobite Duke of Perth; John Drummond, 1st Earl

and 1st Jacobite Duke of Melfort; James Edgar; Sir William Ellis; John Erskine, 6th Earl and 1st Jacobite
Duke of Mar; John Hay, Jacobite Earl then Duke of Inverness; Sir Edward Herbert, Jacobite Earl of Portland;
Sir Thomas Higgons; George Keith, 10th Earl Marischal; Andrew Lumisden; Charles, 2nd Earl of Middleton;
James Murray, Jacobite Earl of Dunbar; Sir Richard Nagle; Sir David Nairne; Sir Thomas Sheridan.

England and the Stuart Papers
Professor Paul Monod

From their first public discovery in the early nineteenth century, the Stuart
Papers were valued mainly for what they might reveal about English
politicians who secretly conspired with the exiled Stuart court. These
revelations turned out to be less sensational than had been hoped, or
feared. Gradually, the Stuart Papers have been recognized as providing a
much more interesting insight: an external perspective on the instability of
eighteenth- century English politics.

A thirst for the secrets of the Stuart Papers began in the 1760s, after the
decline of Jacobitism. The English opposition press became convinced
that ‘Tory’ supporters of King George III were heirs to the odious Jacobites.
‘Shew me a Tory’, fumed John Wilkes, ‘and I will shew you a Jacobite.’[1] The
hidden correspondence of the Stuarts might prove the undoing of ‘Tories’
like Wilkes’s nemesis Lord Chief Justice Mansfield - who had in fact written
a youthful letter declaring his loyalty to the exiled King[2]. To counter these
radical attacks, the Scots writer James Macpherson published a History of
Great Britain that uncovered the ‘secret intrigues’, not of the Tories, but of
their enemies, the Whigs. In what he called the ‘Stuart-Papers’, meaning
those of the Jacobite Undersecretary of State David Nairne, Macpherson
found letters of the 1690s that implicated John Churchill, Earl (later Duke)
of Marlborough, Admiral Edward Russell (later Earl of Orford), Charles
Talbot, Earl (later Duke) of Shrewsbury, and Robert Spencer, Earl of
Sunderland, in plotting with the exiled King James II and VII. The last three
were Whig politicians, and Marlborough was a Whig hero.[3]

The main body of Stuart Papers, kept at Rome by James ‘III and VIII’,
Charles Edward Stuart and his brother Henry Benedict (Cardinal York),
promised to bring further political scandals to light, but they remained in
the family’s hands until the Napoleonic Wars. The Whigs still hoped they
might provide ammunition against their Tory enemies. The negotiation that
led to the purchase of the first batch of them from the Abbé James Waters
at Rome in 1804-5 was initiated by the Opposition M.P. Sir John Coxe
Hippisley, acting with the support of the Whig leader Charles James Fox.

Fox was then preparing a hostile biography of James II and VII, and sought
material damaging to the ‘Tory principles’ that had reappeared in George
III’s governments. The most important document to emerge, however, was
a Life of James II that gave further evidence of the collusion of Marlborough
and Russell with the Stuart court. This was not the scandal that the Whigs
were seeking[4].

They had already been offered a bigger cache of papers by the mysterious
Dr. Robert Watson, a Scottish radical who had fled to France during the
Revolutionary Wars. Watson had obtained the documents in Rome from
Cardinal York’s executor, and offered them in 1815 to Henry Brougham,
the Whig lawyer and politician. Brougham tried unsuccessfully to keep the
papers out of the hands of the despised Prince Regent (the future George
IV), accusing him of wanting to purge them of anything displaying ‘Royal
turpitude.’ Dr. Watson was unmoved; the Prince’s money meant more to
him than anti-Tory solidarity. He was only thwarted when Cardinal Ercole
Consalvi, the Papal Secretary of State, hearing that Watson had been
showing off the papers to English tourists, confiscated them. Consalvi
immediately approached the British government in order to negotiate their
sale to the Prince Regent.[5]

[John Wilkes] The North Briton (2 vols, London, 1776), no. 33, Jan. 15, 1763, p. 187.
RA SP/Main/85/21.

James Macpherson, Original Papers; Containing the Secret History of Great Britain, from the Restoration

to the Accession of the House of Hanover (2 vols, London, 1775), i. 457-9, 475, 479-88. Whig plotting with
James II was first made public in Sir John Dalrymple, Memoirs of Great Britain and Ireland (3 vols., London,

F. H. Blackburne Daniell (ed), Calendar of the Stuart Papers belonging to His Majesty the King, preserved

at Windsor Castle, Vol. 1: 1579-Feb 1716, (Historical Manuscripts Commission, 1902) v-viii; J. S. Clarke,
The Life of James the Second, King of England, &c, Collected out of Memoirs Writ of His Own Hand (2 vols,
London, 1816), ii. 522-3. RA SP/M/1-4.

HMC Stuart, i. iv-xiv; Alistair Tayler, The Stuart Papers at Windsor (London, 1939), pp. 9-31; Dominic

Green, ‘From Jacobite to Jacobin: Robert Watson’s Life in Opposition’, in Allan I. MacInnes, Kieran German
and Leslie Graham (eds), Living with Jacobitism, 1690-1788: The Three Kingdoms and Beyond (Oxford,
2014), pp. 185-96. See also National Archives, Foreign Office 42/16, ‘Stuart Papers, 1817-1830.’

Scotland and the Exiled Stuarts
Professor Murray Pittock

The Stuart dynasty in England had a close, if troubled, relationship with

Scotland, their ‘ancient kingdom’, where their dynasty had ruled since 1371
before assuming the crowns of England and Ireland in 1603. James VI and
I of England had a genuine love-hate relationship with a country which had
chased his mother off the throne and where he had been intimidated and
threatened many times as a boy. Charles I thought he understood the coun-
try in which he was born and whose accent he seems to have retained, but
which proved his downfall by virtue of defeating him in two religious wars,
then offering massive military support to the English Parliamentary army
from 1643-46. Charles II reimposed Episcopacy in the pursuit of a Royalist
Scotland, and ended the forced political union with England under Crom-
well. Charles controlled the country, but was widely hated in it.

In many respects, James II and VII’s relationship to Scotland was the

most interesting. His interrupted sojourn in Edinburgh as Duke of Albany
and York in 1679-82 was intended to get him out of England during the
Exclusion Crisis.[1] It was, however, far more than an exile of convenience,
as James threw himself into the affairs of Scotland after entering it as Duke
of Albany and York and heir to the throne on 21 November 1679. During
his time at Holyrood and as King he would oversee the development of the
Advocates’ Library, the Royal College of Physicians, printing, and a number
of other innovations. James also instituted the offices of Historiographer-
Royal (1681) and Geographer-Royal for Scotland (1682), which remain live
to the present day, and also promoted Scottish games such as curling
(bringing in Irish players) and golf. His understanding of the need to extend
the burgh arguably underpinned the later development of the New Town,
which was enabled by James’s Charter to Edinburgh of 25 September 1688.
He authorized Scottish colonies in South Carolina (1682) and East New
Jersey (1685) and supported a multi-kingdom polity in England, Scotland
and Ireland with internal free trade.

In exile, this remained the political vision of both James and his son.
Although James pursued war to regain his throne principally in Ireland
because of the huge military resources to be found there, he was personally
affected by the unconditional support granted him by John Graham,
Viscount Dundee, Lieutenant-General of his Scottish army in 1688-89.
Despite the defeats the Jacobite forces in Scotland suffered after Dundee’s
death in the moment of victory at Killiecrankie, James proposed to use
them again in May 1692, when he ordered Major-General Thomas Buchan,
then in exile in France, to depart from Le Havre or Dunkirk (Buchan was
in fact at Dunkirk, so military coordination was not the Court’s strong
point), ‘with such Scots officers and soldiers as are at present with him’
preparatory to sailing for Dunottar or Slains Castle on the east coast,
accompanied by orders for William Keith, Lord Keith, to garrison Dunottar
and John Hay, Earl of Erroll, Slains, in preparation for the landing that
never came. Commissions were given to Alexander Cannon (General Officer
Commanding in Scotland in the last phase of the Jacobite war in 1690-91)
as Major-General, and to Keith as Colonel of Horse, while French troops
and English, Scottish and Irish officers in the French service were being
prepared for a Scottish landing. Letters were also sent to the Duke of
Queensberry and the Scots Privy Council, ‘but, the expedition of La Hogue
failing, all the letters were cancelled and most of the commissions’. A large
number of officers required subsistence from the King as a result: a list
dating from December 1692 is in the Stuart Papers[2].


This was an attempt between 1679 and 1681 by certain elements of Parliament to pass bills to prevent the

Roman Catholic James from succeeding his Protestant brother, Charles II, to the throne.
HMC Stuart, i. 72-76; RA SP/M/18/43.

The Jacobite Court in Exile at Saint-Germain
and the Stuart Papers
Dr Nathalie Genet-Rouffiac

By the beginning of 1689, James II and VII and his queen, Mary of Modena,
had fled to France where Louis XIV put at their disposal the castle of Saint-
Germain-en-Laye, near Versailles. Both kings had spent part of their youth
there and they shared common memories of the Stuarts’ first exile (1648-
60). After his defeat in Ireland, James II and VII definitively retired to Saint-
Germain, where he died in 1701. In 1713, anticipating the conclusion of the
treaty of Utrecht,[1] his son James ‘III and VIII’ moved his court from France
to Lorraine, then Avignon and eventually to its last destination, Rome.

The Jacobite court at Saint-Germain

Drawn by the royal family, Jacobites in exile gathered at and around the
court of Saint-Germain. The waves of arrivals and the network of royal
favour can be traced through the appointments of office holders at the court.
Most of them were registered in the Livre royal des Entrées et des Brevets[2]
and they were published in 1904 in The Jacobite Peerage by Melville Massue
de Ruvigny, Marquis de Ruvigny and Raineval[3]. Some of the office holders,
such as William Waldegrave, who had attended Mary of Modena at the birth
of James Edward and was appointed first physician to the King on 23 May/2
June 1695, followed their sovereigns in exile from the time of the Glorious
Revolution. Others were personal friends, such as Bridget Mannock, who
was very close to Queen Mary[4]. As long as the Jacobite court stayed at
Saint-Germain, new appointments were regularly made and they remained
a powerful political tool for the king in exile, enabling him to attract, reward
and encourage the exiled Jacobites. As time went on the offices in the royal
households passed on to a new generation. Thus, in July 1701, Colonel
Henry Slingsby died and was succeeded as gentleman of the Bed Chamber
on 1/12 February 1702 by Richard Baggot[5]. Until 1715, however, most of
the new office-holders were sons and daughters of the first generation of
the exiled courtiers, not newcomers. The court in exile at Saint-Germain
became less and less representative of the political and social realities of
the British Isles, a phenomenon that eventually weakened the ability of the
exiles at Saint-Germain to understand British political life.

Besides individual warrants, several lists of the members of the royal
Households have been preserved for the 1693-1705 period, as well as lists
of pensions. Three of them are part of the Stuart Papers: a list of salaries
and pensions paid by Mary of Modena, ‘for the 3 last months of the year
1693’[6], a compilation of the 137 appointments for the four services of the
court (the King’s, Queen’s and Princess’s households and the Stables)
from October 1701 to July 1702[7] and a list of the members of the Queen’s
household in 1703 [8]. They are complemented by a list of the inhabitants of
the castle of Saint-Germain drawn up before October 1692 and preserved
in the Nairne papers at the Bodleian Library, Oxford[9], an inventory of the
wages and salaries paid by the King and the Queen during the summer of
1696, now preserved at Sizergh castle[10], and a list of the monthly wages
and pensions of the whole royal Household for January 1709 in the British
Library[11]. Finally, a list of James II and VII’s household was procured by
Charles Montagu, Earl of Manchester and William III and II’s envoy at Paris
between 1699 and 1701; it is part of the earl’s papers, now at the Beinecke
Library, Yale[12].


Signed in 1713 to establish the peace at the end of the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714), the

treaty recognised Philip V as King of Spain whilst requiring him to renounce his claims to the French throne.
RA SP/M/18.

[Melville Amadeus Henry Douglas Heddle de la Caillemotte de Massue de Ruvigny], Marquis de, The

Jacobite Peerage, Baronetage, Knightage and Grants of Honour (London, 1904).

F. H. Blackburne Daniell (ed.), Calendar of the Stuart Papers belonging to His Majesty the King, preserved

at Windsor Castle, Vol. 1: 1579-Feb 1716. (Historical Manuscripts Commission, 1902), 103, 164.
HMC Stuart, i. 171; RA SP/M/19/63.
RA SP/Main/1/79.
HMC Stuart, i. 162; RA SP/M/19/45. Also, HMC Stuart, i. 163-176.

Ireland and the Stuart Papers
Dr Éamonn ó Ciardha

Irish Jacobitism, or Irish support for the exiled Stuart monarchs after
1688, at once helped to sustain Irish national identity between the Treaty
of Limerick (1691)[1] and the French Revolution (1789) and explains the
imposition and maintenance of the penal laws against Irish Catholics for
much of the eighteenth century. It also condemned many Irishmen and
women to a life of exile on the continent. The newly accessible, digitized and
heretofore shamefully under−utilized Stuart Papers collection at Windsor
Castle provides the single most comprehensive source for this early
modern Irish émigré community, Irish Jacobitism and eighteenth-century
Irish history more generally.

Irish loyalty to the Stuarts first manifested itself in the immediate aftermath
of James VI and I’s succession to the English throne and Irish crown
in 1603. As the first de facto monarch of the whole kingdom, the king’s
martyred Catholic mother (Mary, Queen of Scots), his impeccably fabricated
Gaelic genealogy and the strategic cultural, diplomatic and theological
trimming of Franciscan and Jesuit theologians and Irish poets and writers
ensured that he had no rivals for Irish royalist affections. Irish loyalty to
his luckless house then largely survived the trauma of the Great Civil War
(1638-52), the Interregnum (1649-1660) and the political frustrations and
disappointments of Charles II’s reign (1660-1685). On the succession of
James II and VII in 1685, many Irishmen accordingly looked to the new
Catholic monarch to repeal anti-Catholic legislation and restore lands they
had lost fighting for his family against the English Parliament. Defeat and
disillusionment at the Boyne (1690), Aughrim and Limerick (1691)[2] initially
dimmed but did not extinguish Irish enthusiasm for his fallen house.

After 1691, often in the context of successive Jacobite plots and invasion
scares (1692, 1695, 1708, 1715, 1719, 1745, 1759), Irish Jacobites looked
to the Stuarts, the exiled Irish aristocracy and the Irish regiments in the
French and Spanish armies to restore their confiscated lands, dissolve the

penal laws and reverse the political, social and cultural domination of the
Irish Protestant Ascendancy. In addition, they also paid careful attention
to Europe’s numerous dynastic wars and ongoing political and military
rivalries and their possible ramifications for the Stuarts’ cause. Thus, the
voluminous Irish correspondence in the Stuart Papers invariably equates
the king’s restoration with the exiles’ return to Ireland, the restitution of
their lands and titles and the rehabilitation of the Catholic Church. In the
meantime, they looked to James for alms, access, certificates of noblesse
and titles to enable them to operate in the restrictive world of elite ancien
régime Europe[3].

This unique archive correspondingly charts the lives and activities of an

extensive and far-flung Irish Jacobite presence on the continent and sheds
new light on early modern Irish military history and historiography. In
particular, it enables us to explore the varied careers, lives, identities and
ideologies of this vibrant expatriate Irish Jacobite community through the
large cache of letters, literary relics, memorials and memoirs they sent
to their exiled sovereigns over the course of nearly 70 years. Providing an
appropriate political and military context for Irish involvement in ongoing
Jacobite plots and in eighteenth-century European military and political
intrigue more generally, they facilitate the re-creation of expatriate Irish
social networks and Irish émigré links with their former homeland. They
shed a great deal of new light on their political, military, socio- economic
and cultural milieux, their active role in Jacobite politics and their attitude
towards Ireland and their exiled king.


Signed in October 1691 at Limerick, this treaty ended the Williamite War in Ireland and saw the end of

Jacobite military opposition to William of Orange in that country.

Williamite forces defeated the Jacobite army first under James II at the Battle of the Boyne on 1 July

1690, then under Lieutenant-General St Ruth at Aughrim on 12 July 1691, after James II had fled to France.
Limerick, a Jacobite stronghold, was under siege from Williamite forces first in August 1690, then once
again in August 1691, ending in the Jacobite surrender and the signing of the Treaty of Limerick.
RA SP/Main/262/152