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Charles Edward Stuart

Stuart or Stewart, Charles Edward, 1720–88, claimant to the British throne, b. Rome. First son of James Francis Edward Stuart (the Old Pretender), he was known as Bonnie Prince Charlie and as the Young Pretender. When the failures and irregular life of the Old Pretender had alienated his followers, Charles Edward, a charming young man, magnanimous and brave, became the hope of the Jacobites. He led them in the rising of 1745, but all his enthusiasm could not avert the defeat at Culloden Moor in 1746. Charles fled to a Highland refuge, then escaped abroad with the aid of Flora Macdonald. He was expelled from France after the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle (1748) and roamed about Europe, a broken drunkard. After his father's death (1766) he lived in Rome as the self-styled count of Albany and in 1772 married Princess Louise of Stolberg-Gedern (see Albany, Louisa, countess of). They separated in 1780, and Charles Edward was attended in his later years by his illegitimate daughter, Charlotte. He died in Rome. There is much English and Scottish poetry and romantic literature about Bonnie Prince Charlie.

See biographies by M. McLaren (1972), D. Daiches (1973), M. Forster (1974), and F. McLynn (1988); see also bibliography under Jacobites.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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