Tracts Relating to the Pretender. Dying Declarations.

Printed: 1716 -1746

Publisher: R Burleigh. London

Dimensions 13 × 19 × 2.5 cm

Language: Not stated

Size (cminches): 13 x 19 x 2.5


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Tan leather binding with red and brown title plates, gilt banding and lettering on the spine.

The Jacobite Rebellion. Seven tracts bound as one volume.

A unique compilation from Jacobite supporters of the 1715 and 1745 rebellions

An extraordinary set of First Editions worthy of the best of museums.

This copy is reputed to have come from the library of Traquair, Scotland’s Oldest Inhabited House. Visited by 27 Scottish Kings and Queens Traquair dates back to 1107 and has been lived in by the Stuart family since 1491. Originally a royal hunting lodge, Traquair played host to Mary Queen of Scots and later as staunch Catholics they supported the Jacobite cause without counting the cost.

James II and VII (14 October 1633. – 16 September 1701) was King of England and King of Ireland as James II, and King of Scotland as James VII from the death of his brother, Charles II, on 6 February 1685 until he was deposed in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. He was the last Catholic monarch of England, Scotland, and Ireland. His reign is now remembered primarily for struggles over religious tolerance, however, it also involved struggles over the principles of absolutism and the divine right of kings. His deposition ended a century of political and civil strife by confirming the primacy of Parliament over the Crown.

James Francis Edward Stuart (10 June 1688 – 1 January 1766), nicknamed The Old Pretender by Whigs, was the son of King James II and VII of England, Scotland and Ireland, and his second wife, Mary of Modena. He was Prince of Wales from July 1688 until, just months after his birth, his Catholic father was deposed and exiled in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. James II’s Protestant elder daughter (the prince’s half-sister), Mary II, and her husband, William III, became co-monarchs and the Bill of Rights 1689 and Act of Settlement 1701 excluded Catholics from the English throne and, subsequently, the British throne.

James Francis Edward was raised in Continental Europe and known as the Chevalier de St. George. After his father’s death in 1701, he claimed the English, Scottish and Irish crown as James III of England and Ireland and James VIII of Scotland, with the support of his Jacobite followers and his cousin Louis XIV of France. Fourteen years later, he unsuccessfully attempted to gain the throne of Britain during the Jacobite rising of 1715. A final attempt at rebellion, led by his son Charles Edward Stuart, was made in the Jacobite rising of 1745.

Following his death in 1766, his elder son, Charles Edward Stuart, continued to claim the British crown as part of the Jacobite Succession.

Charles Edward Louis John Casimir Sylvester Severino Maria Stuart (20 December 1720 – 30 January 1788) was the elder son of James Francis Edward Stuart, grandson of James II and VII, and the Stuart claimant to the throne of Great Britain after 1766 as “Charles III“. During his lifetime, he was also known as “the Young Pretender” and “the Young Chevalier“; in popular memory, he is “Bonnie Prince Charlie“. He is best remembered for his role in the 1745 rising; his defeat at Culloden in April 1746 effectively ended the Stuart cause, and subsequent attempts failed to materialise, such as a planned French invasion in 1759. His escape from Scotland after the uprising led to his portrayal as a romantic figure of heroic failure.

pretender is someone who claims to be the rightful ruler of a country although not recognized as such by the current government. The term is often used to suggest that a claim is not legitimate. The word may refer to a former monarch or a descendant of a deposed monarchy, although this type of claimant is also referred to as a head of a house.

The word was popularized by Queen Anne, who used it to refer to James Edward Stuart, the Jacobite heir, in an address to parliament in 1708: “The French fleet sailed from Dunkirk […] with the Pretender on board.”

In 1807, French Emperor Napoleon complained that Almanach de Gotha continued to list German princes that he had deposed. This episode established Gotha as an authority on the titles of deposed monarchs and nobility, many of which were restored in 1815 at the end of Napoleon’s reign.

After the execution by England of the Stuart King Charles I in 1649, his son Charles II was proclaimed king in Scotland (where he was crowned in 1651) and Ireland; but those two countries were invaded by English forces and annexed to the Commonwealth of England under Oliver Cromwell in 1653. Thus, Charles II was pretender to the throne of England from 1649 to the restoration of 1660, and exiled/deposed King of Scots and King of Ireland, 1653 to 1660. He died in 1685 and his brother James II and VII came to the throne. He had converted to Catholicism but this only became a worry when his second wife bore a son who would precede his two Protestant daughters. James was thus deposed by his elder daughter and his son-in-law (who was also his nephew, son of his sister Mary) during the Glorious Revolution in December 1688, and was formally offered the English and Scottish thrones by their respective parliaments a month later – which was still 1688 in England (where New Year’s Day was 25 March until 1752) but was already 1689 in Scotland (which adopted 1 January as New Year’s Day in 1600). James made several attempts to regain the throne before his death in 1701, the most important of which was an effort he made with Irish support – that country having not yet acceded to the succession of William and Mary – which led to the Battle of the Boyne and the Battle of Aughrim, and set the stage for the subsequent Jacobite risings (or rebellions). These were a series of uprisings or wars between 1688 and 1746 in which supporters of James, his son (“The Old Pretender”) and grandson (“The Young Pretender”) attempted to restore his direct male line to the throne.

James Francis Edward Stuart, the Roman Catholic son of the deposed James II and VII, was barred from the succession to the throne by the Act of Settlement 1701. Notwithstanding the Act of Union 1707, he claimed the separate thrones of Scotland, as James VIII, and of England and Ireland, as James III, until his death in 1766. In Jacobite terms, Acts of Parliament (of England or Scotland) after 1688, (including the Acts of Union) did not receive the required Royal Assent of the legitimate Jacobite monarch and, therefore, were without legal effect. James was responsible for a number of conspiracies and rebellions, particularly in the Highlands of Scotland. The most notable was the Jacobite rising of 1715–16.

Charles Edward Stuart (“Bonnie Prince Charlie”), James Francis’ elder son and the would-be Charles III, who led in his father’s name the last major Jacobite rebellion, the Jacobite rising of 1745–46. He died in 1788 without legitimate issue.

Henry Benedict Stuart (best known as the Cardinal-Duke of York), the younger brother of Charles Edward and a Roman Catholic Cardinal, who took up the claim to the throne as the would-be Henry IX of England, though he was the final Jacobite heir to publicly do so. He died unmarried in 1807.

After 1807, the line of James VII and II became extinct. The Jacobites had ceased to have much political significance after the failure of the 1745 uprising, and the movement essentially became completely dormant after Henry’s death. Genealogically, the next most senior line to the English and Scottish thrones was through James II’s youngest sister, Henriette Anne, whose daughter had married into the House of Savoy. To the very limited extent that Jacobitism survived the death of Cardinal York, they supported the claims of this line. Its current representative is Franz, Duke of Bavaria, though he himself does not claim the title, his secretary having announced once that “HRM (sic) is very content being a Prince of Bavaria”.

Other pretenders to the English throne have included:

  • Lambert Simnel (c. 1477 – c. 1525) was a pretender to the throne of England. His claim to be Edward Plantagenet, 17th Earl of Warwick in 1487 threatened the newly established reign of King Henry VII (reigned 1485–1509). This was just after The Wars of the Roses. He was just a boy but was used to try to take over the Kingdom.
  • Perkin Warbeck, a Fleming who claimed to be Richard of Shrewsbury, Duke of York, and tried twice to invade England and capture the throne in the late 15th Century.


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