The Palazzo Muti: 18th Century Stuart Court

Located in the Piazza dei Santi Apostoli, Rome, the Palazzo Muti Papazzurri (also known as the Palazzo Balestra) is an important place for those interested in Jacobite history; technically, there is more than one building that has the title Palazzo Muti, but together they formed a complex, and the Papazzurri was the central base. In the 18th century it was the permanent residence of the exiled James Francis Edward Stuart, and as such it was known as the Palazzo de Rei – The King’s Palace.

blog1

James Francis Edward Stuart succeeded to the Jacobite claim in 1701. His father, the deposed James VII and II, had been given residence in France and treated as a king by Catholic Monarch Louis XIV from his deposition up until his death. Things were different, however, for James Francis; after an unsuccessful Jacobite Rising in 1715, he returned to France and found that he was no longer welcome. Louis XIV had died and the French Government refused to offer further assistance. James Francis travelled around, and then Pope Clement XI offered him a home at the Palazzo Muti.

James Francis married Maria Sobieska in 1719 and Pope Clement considered them the true King and Queen of Britain. In addition to the Palazzo Muti, he also provided James with papal protection, a villa in the country and an annuity of 12,000 crowns. The Palazzo Muti functioned like a court, with painters gaining patronage, new works by composers being performed for James and meetings with people from abroad. Apart from once in 1719, there was not another serious attempt to overthrow the Hanoverians until 1745.

blog2

Charles Edward Stuart, James and Maria’s first child, was born in 1720; five years later, Maria gave birth to a second son who was named Henry Benedict. The relationship of James and Maria became more and more strained as time went on, and by the time of her death in 1735, they had spent much of their time apart. Both sons were brought up as Princes, with the focus on Carluccio, as his father called him, as heir.

After the defeat at Culloden in 1746, Charles Edward Stuart travelled around Europe, and Henry Benedict was made a Cardinal. James Francis died in 1766, and although Pope Clement XIII allowed him to be given a state funeral, he refused to recognise Charles Edward as King. Charles was allowed to keep the Palazzo Muti, but the papal guard was removed, and so was the royal coat of arms. Charles Edward died there in 1788. Henry Benedict attempted to arrange for his brother to receive a royal funeral and burial at St Peter’s Basilica, where their mother and father had been buried, but he was refused.

Henry Benedict died in 1807. Near the courtyard of the Palazzo Muti complex, there is a plaque in remembrance of him. Below is its English translation.

blog3

THERE LIVED IN THIS PALACE

HENRY, DUKE LATER CARDINAL OF YORK

WHO, SURVING SON OF JAMES III OF ENGLAND

TOOK THE NAME OF HENRY IX

IN HIM IN THE YEAR 1807

THE HOUSE OF STUART EXPIRED

We hoped you enjoyed this post. As always please like, share, tweet and comment.

All the best,

The Culloden Team

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Nairn and the Night Attack

On the 16th of April 1746, the Government army and the Jacobite army fought at Culloden Moor (then known as Drumossie Moor) for their final battle. The day before, the Duke of Cumberland, leader of the Government side, turned twenty-five. He and his troops stopped in Nairn, a seaside town about twelve miles east of Culloden, and celebrated with some brandy. The Jacobites planned to take advantage of this, and in an aim to replicate their success at Prestonpans, they employed one of the same tactics they had used for that battle: a night attack.

The Duke of Cumberland was a son of the Hanovarian King George II. After the Jacobite victories at Prestonpans and Falkirk Muir, the Duke arrived in Edinburgh to take over the command of the Government army. He planned to go to the Highlands, where Charles Edward Stuart was, but deciding to wait until spring for another battle, he first went to Aberdeen. There he had the troops trained in a tactic that rendered the Highland Charge less effective; this was deemed very important as the Highland Charge had been instrumental in the Jacobites’ victories in the previous two battles. From Aberdeen, the Government army marched towards Inverness, and just outside of the town of Nairn, it was decided that they should rest and drink in celebration of the Duke’s birthday.

Charles Edward Stuart, Lord George Murray and the Jacobites were in Culloden. Rather than wait there, it was decided that they should all march to Nairn and attack the Government army during the night. There were immediate obstacles, however; provisions had dwindled, and that day many of the Jacobite troops had only had some hard bread to eat. Some had been wandering around in search of food, and when called back, had responded that they would rather be shot than starve any longer.

The plan was to set out at dusk, with George Murray leading the first column, mostly made up of the clans, and Charles and the Duke of Perth leading the second column, which mainly consisted of the Lowland regiments. The projected arrival time in Nairn was around two in the morning.

The Jacobites set off. Houses were avoided on their journey, as well as anything else that could have alerted the Government army to their whereabouts. From the beginning it was difficult; an aide-de-camp of George Murray and Charles’s later wrote,

“This march across the country, in a dark night, which did not allow us to follow any track, had the inevitable fate of all night-marches. It was extremely fatiguing, and accompanied with confusion and disorder.”

The second column found it difficult to keep up with the first, but even the clansmen, more used to the terrain, struggled due to hunger and exhaustion. George Murray, having been informed that the second column had fallen behind, slowed his pace considerably. They all struggled on until two in the morning, when it was judged that they were still three or four miles away from Nairn. The leaders deliberated, before reaching the conclusion that they should turn back; they reasoned that even if their troops were able to quicken their pace, which seemed unlikely, there was still little chance that they would all get to Nairn before daylight broke.

There was confusion, with not all of the troops being made aware of the changed plan. Charles, not realising that the first column had turned back, carried on to Nairn. When it got to him that the first column had gone back to Culloden, he turned back too. Others had almost reached Nairn before they realised that they were alone, and that many members of the Government army were awake, celebrating the Duke of Cumberland’s birthday. The Government army found out about the planned attack and set off for Culloden between four and five in the morning, eager to fight with the knowledge that the Jacobites would be weaker after walking all night.

We hope enjoyed this short post on the infamous failed night attack. As always please like, share, tweet and comment.

All the best, The Culloden Team

Mary of Modena

In 1673, Mary of Modena married James, who would go on to become James VII & II (King of Scotland, England and Ireland) twelve years later, before being deposed in 1688. In the same year that her husband was deposed, Mary gave birth to a son they named James Francis Edward Stuart. The Jacobites fought across two centuries to get these two Jameses (Jacobus being Latin for James) crowned. Mary, as wife and mother, was at the centre of the civil war from its beginnings to her death in 1718.

mary
Mary of Modena

 

Born in 1658, Mary, whose full name was Maria Beatrice Anna Margherita Isabella d’Este, was the only daughter of Alfonso IV, Duke of Modena, and his wife, Laura Martinozzi. Her father died when she was young, and her brother inherited the title. Mary grew up multilingual and a devout Catholic. She expressed interest in becoming a nun, but when it reached Italy that James, Duke of York, was looking for a new wife, following the death of his first, she was convinced to reconsider.

James and Mary were married by proxy, before having a second ceremony when she arrived in England. The union was unpopular, with many Protestants viewing Mary with suspicion, believing her to be an agent of the Pope. Things worsened for James and Mary when a secretary of theirs was implicated in the fictitious Popish Plot, a plan to assassinate Charles II. This led to the Exclusionist Crisis, an attempt to bar the Catholic James from ever becoming King.

In an effort to ease tensions, Charles II sent his brother and Mary away from London, with them first going to Brussels and then Edinburgh for a few years, only returning to London for brief periods, such as when Charles got sick. In 1683, they enjoyed a boost in popularity after the Rye House Plot was discovered. The Rye House Plot had sought to assassinate both Charles II and James, which prompted many people to sympathise with them. Aware of this shift, Charles invited his brother and sister-in-law back to London. Charles II died in 1685, leaving no legitimate children. His brother was crowned James II and VII.

Since getting married, Mary had suffered several miscarriages, and all of her and James’s children had been stillborn or had died young. In 1688, she gave birth to a healthy son who was named James Francis Edward Stuart. James’s two daughters from his first marriage had been raised as Protestants, despite James’s own beliefs; because of this, Protestants had hoped that one of them would succeed their father. The new child became known by many as the “warming-pan Prince”, named so because of the rumour spread that Mary’s own child had been stillborn and swapped out for a random healthy baby. This, combined with a negative response to James’s policies, led to the Glorious Revolution, which resulted in James being deposed and him and Mary living in exile in France.

Louis XIV of France presented James and Mary with Château de-Saint-en-Layne, where they resided for the rest of their lives. Mary also spent a lot of time at Versailles, where she was well-liked. In 1692, she gave birth to a daughter, Louisa, who lived until 1712. The Jacobites referred to Mary as “The Queen Over the Water”.

In 1701, James VII & II died, and his young son succeeded him to the Jacobite claim. Mary, acting as regent, pushed for her son to be recognised as King. France, Spain, Modena and the Papal States acknowledged him, but in London he was declared a traitor. Though she wanted to promote his claim, she was against him being apart from her before he was of age. She acted as regent until her son turned sixteen.

Mary spent her later years assisting and visiting convents. She died of cancer at the age of fifty-nine. She was buried in the Convent of the Visitation at Chaillot, which was later destroyed during the French Revolution.

Edinburgh and the Jacobites

Culloden Battlefield, located a few miles outside of Inverness, the “capital of the Highlands”, is probably the place that people associate most with Charles Edward Stuart and the Jacobites. Before the Battle of Culloden in 1746, the Jacobites had been attempting to get their rightful king (James VII & II and when he died in 1701, his son, James Francis Edward Stuart) on the thrones of Scotland, England and Ireland for more than fifty years. There are several cities and locations that hold special significance when learning about the Jacobites and their journey; today, we will start with a post about Scotland’s capital.

James VII of Scotland and II of England and Ireland succeeded his brother in 1685, before being deposed three years later during the Glorious Revolution. Not long after becoming King, James had appointed the Duke of Gordon, a fellow Catholic, Constable of Edinburgh Castle. In March 1689, the Castle was besieged by 7,000 Government soldiers, who were there to claim it on behalf of William and Mary.

Viscount Dundee, who went on to fight and die at the Battle of Killiecrankie a few months later, climbed up the Castle in order to urge the Duke of Gordon (whose resolve was shaky) not to surrender. The siege ended up lasting for three months. During that time, serious developments were happening in Parliament; William and Mary had already been proclaimed King and Queen of England and Ireland in February, and on the 11th of April, the Parliament of Scotland, its meeting place being at Parliament Hall, Edinburgh, declared that James was no longer King of Scotland, and that William and Mary were to be the joint sovereigns. They were proclaimed King and Queen of Scotland in Edinburgh the following day.

Meanwhile in Edinburgh Castle, supplies were dwindling and the Government troops were standing strong outside. In addition to these problems, there were instances of sickness and religious discordance among the 160 within the Castle. By the middle of June, the number inside had dropped to 90, and the Duke of Gordon surrendered the Castle. Under the 1707 Acts of Union, Edinburgh was one of four castles, alongside Stirling, Blackness and Dumbarton, to be permanently garrisoned by the Government troops.

There were further attempts by the Jacobites to reclaim the Castle. During the Jacobite Rising of 1715, Lord James Drummond led around 100 Jacobites in an attack. They tried to scale the Castle walls at night, but ladders dropped for them were too short. The Government troops were alerted, and the Jacobites were forced to abandon their siege. Those who had attempted to help them from within the Castle were either whipped or hanged.

Thirty years later, in September 1745, Charles Edward Stuart, campaigning on behalf of his father, James Francis Edward Stuart, arrived in Edinburgh. Thousands of spectators lined the streets as he made his way through the city, and the courtyard fountain at Linlithgow Palace was said to have flowed with red wine in celebration. People cheered as he made his way to Holyrood Palace, where he stayed and held court for the following six weeks.

However, the Government soldiers who garrisoned Edinburgh Castle, led by General George Preston, held out against Charles Edward Stuart and the Jacobites. On the 21st of September, the Jacobites defeated a Government army, headed by Sir John Cope, at Prestonpans, a small fishing town on the east side of Edinburgh but the castle held strong. The Jacobites had no heavy guns with which to combat the shots coming from the Castle, and ended up withdrawing after several lives had been lost and damage had been done to the city.

Finally, in November, Charles Edward Stuart and his army left Edinburgh and marched to England with the expectation that they would find more recruits there and the hope that they would be able to overthrow the Hanoverians. However, it wouldn’t be long before they made their long retreat back north and stood at Culloden for their final battle.

We hope you enjoyed this foray into the Jacobites and Edinburgh. As always please like, share, tweet and comment.

All the best, The Culloden Team

Lion vs Elisabeth

Prince Charles Edward Stuart set sail from Nantes at the end of June 1745 on board the frigate Du Teillay. This ship met up with the larger Elisabeth at Belle-Ile before heading to Scotland with some 700 men, 20 cannon, 11,000 arm and 2,000 broadswords. However, the journey to Scotland would not be plain sailing.

As the ships rounded the south-west coast of England they spotted the royal navy warship HMS Lion. The Lion quickly steered towards Prince Charles’ group and pulled up alongside the Elisabeth. As they came within range both ships opened fire. The Lion was designed for combat with 64 guns whereas the Elisabeth was likely heavier and less well equipped. Nevertheless both ships bombarded each other with shot after shot.

The Du Teillay with Prince Charles aboard apparently tried to fire at the Lion on a couple of occasions but was fairly easily pushed back. The smaller ship had little choice but to hand back out of range and watch as the action between the two ships continued.

lion
Action between HMS Lion and Elizabeth and the Du Teillay, 9 July 1745 Serres, Dominic
1780
© National Maritime Museum Collections

 

It is said the ships fought for several hours. The Elisabeth could not outrun the Lion but it managed to cause substantial damage. After hours of relentless fire the Lions masts were badly damaged, at least 45 men were killed and many more were injured. The Captain of the Lion, Captain Percy Brett was wounded along with most, if not all, of his lieutenants. The Elisabeth though was no better. The British sailors of the Lion had displayed their impressive skill and the Elizabeth was also badly damaged. On board the Captain was killed along with many others. The ships had no choice but to give up and return to their respective ports. The HMS Lion headed back towards Plymouth whilst the Elizabeth would head back to Brest.

This however, left the Jacobite party in a bit of a quandary. The Elisabeth held much of the essential arms and men that the Jacobites needed to kick-start the ’45 Rising with a show of strength, to lose it would be a big loss. With the damage it had incurred the Elisabeth was said to be listing quite badly in the water, so any attempt to try to move supplies across to the Du Teillay would have been too dangerous. Some aboard the Du Teillay suggested they should head back alongside the Elisabeth and regroup to try again another day. However, Prince Charles was seemingly against this as he feared people would see it as another failure and he would face ridicule. Thus the Elisabeth slowly struggled back to Brest whilst the Du Teillay continued on heading for the Western Isles of Scotland.

We hope you enjoyed this little bit of history. As always please like, tweet, share and comment as much as you like.

All the best, The Culloden Team

The Battle of Falkirk Muir

On the 17th January 1746, just under three months before Culloden, the Jacobites won their last battle.

After their success at Prestonpans in September 1745, the general feeling among the Jacobites was one of increased optimism. Charles Edward Stuart, along with the Jacobite army, marched to England in November, reaching Derby in December. He had been hoping to find English and French recruits waiting to join the Jacobites so that they could march on London and overthrow the Hanoverians; upon arriving in England, however, they were all soon disappointed. Back in Montrose, 800 French soldiers had joined, but of the 12,000 that Louis XV had promised to aid an invasion, no more had arrived. There were also fewer English additions than had been expected. Charles wanted to continue onto London regardless, but he was convinced not to, and on the 6th December the Jacobite army began their march back to Scotland.

When the Jacobites returned to Scotland, they were strengthened by the addition of some more recruits, which brought their number to almost 8000 (mostly infantry, with around 300 cavalry). The Jacobites besieged Stirling Castle, which was under the control of Government Major General Blakeney. In an attempt to help Blakeney, Lieutenant General Henry Hawley (known by men as Hangman Hawley due to his harsh treatment of deserters) led a Government army of around 7,000 (mainly infantry, with approximately 700 dragoons) towards Stirling, but found that he was blocked by Lord George Murray at Falkirk Muir.

lordgeorgemurray
Lord George Murray

 

The Jacobite troops were deployed on the 15th and 16th January, as George Murray had been expecting an attack, but the Government army remained in their camp. On the 17th, Henry Hawley, feeling that a battle was not imminent, went to have lunch with Lady Kilmarnock. It was then that George Murray decided to attack, marching the Jacobite army into two lines. As this was happening, Henry Hawley was alerted, and he and his army made the steep climb to meet the Jacobites.

The conditions of the ground at Falkirk Muir, unlike at Culloden, were good for the Highland Charge. Hawley underestimated the power of the Charge, believing that his soldiers would be triumphant due to the speed at which they had shown they could fire volleys of musket shot; on the day, however, as a result of the horrible weather, most of the powder was damp, and as a result the volleys shot were rather weak. A tactic used by the Jacobites to fight the dragoons was to thrust their dirks into the horses’ stomachs, before attacking the dragoons as their horses lost balance.

The battle itself lasted for about twenty minutes, but as a result of the heavy winds, rain and fading light (the battle had begun at 4pm), there was initially a bit of confusion as to who had won. The Government survivors had retreated towards Linlithgow, and it was not until the next day, when George Murray saw more than 300 dead Government men lying on the ground, that he was sure that the Jacobites, who had lost around 50, had won. It is estimated that a further 300 Government soldiers were captured.

falkirk
Battle of Falkirk Memorial

 

The Jacobites abandoned the siege of Stirling Castle, and instead decided to go north to their Highland strongholds with the plan of renewing the campaign in the spring. The Duke of Cumberland arrived in Edinburgh on the 30th January. Henry Hawley met with him and the two, along with the rest of the Government army, travelled to Aberdeen. The Duke of Cumberland made sure than the troops were practised in a new tactic that would make them able to withstand a Highland Charge (in a pair the troops were told to always stab at the right regardless of what was coming towards them, reducing the power of the targe). In pursuit of Charles Edward Stuart and the Jacobites, they reached Culloden in April, where the two armies fought for a final time.

We hope you enjoyed this insight into one of the most famous battles of the ’45. As always please like, share, tweet and comment.

All the best, The Culloden Team

Who wasn’t at Culloden?

We get many people coming through the exhibition here at Culloden Battlefield & Visitor Centre asking where their clan was in the battle and sometimes the answer isn’t always what they expect.

Whilst many men from the Jacobite army were indeed at Culloden there were a couple of parties who didn’t make it to the field of battle on 16th April 1746.

arch
Culloden Battlefield

 

Firstly, the Earl of Cromarties regiment. This regiment originally joined the Jacobite forces in Perth and consisted of men raised by George MacKenzie, 3rd Earl of Cromartie. There were many Mackenzies in the regiment as well as other clan names with MacLeod, Ross, Campbell and MacLean, just to name a few. Around 80 men had been raised from Cromarties own estates and many of the other men were recruited from the northern highland around Dingwall and Tain.

In early 1746 the regiment was ordered north to try and meet with a French ship in the Moray Firth and to try and help contain the Government regiment of Lord Loudon. The regiment was largely successful and took command of Dunrobin Castle as their base. However, the day before Culloden (15th April 1746) the regiment was returning to the castle when they were surprised by a Government force. Many of the men were killed and some 180 men were taken prisoner including the Earl of Cromartie and his son. Thus, the regiment would not be present at Culloden and many of the men would face a spell in prison followed by transportation.

cull5
Jacobite marker at Culloden

 

Another large regiment not present at the battle of Culloden was that of MacPherson of Cluny. This regiment was raised largely in Badenoch by Ewan Macpherson of Cluny and joined the Jacobites in Edinburgh in October 1745. The regiment was the last to leave Derby in the retreat and took a key role in the Battle of Falkirk in January 1746. On the day of Culloden they were said to be just a few miles from the moor when they came across men retreating. The battle had barely lasted an hour and the regiment could not make it to the moor to help their fellow Jacobites in time. They did however, form part of the rear-guard which helped protect the men as they fled to Ruthven Barracks. Following Culloden many of the men later surrendered in Badenoch, however Cluny himself remained a fugitive for 9 years until he finally made his way to France.

As well as these regiments there were many individual men who were absent from the battle. Some were on separate expeditions like these regiments whilst others were simply exhausted from the unsuccessful night march and the lack of provisions. As Culloden was the last of several Jacobite battles there were also many men who were taken prisoner by the Government forces, killed during battles and skirmishes or injured in the Jacobite Rising.

We hope you found this information interesting. As always please like, share, tweet and comment to let us know if there is any topic you’d be interested to know more about.

All the best,

The Culloden Team