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James Francis Edward Stuart

Stuart or Stewart, James Francis Edward, 1688–1766, claimant to the British throne, son of James II and Mary of Modena; called the Old Pretender. His birth, falsely rumored by Whigs at the time to be supposititious (i.e., of other parents than professed), helped to precipitate the Glorious Revolution of 1688. He was brought up in France and on his father's death (1701) was recognized there as James III of England. In England, however, the Act of Settlement (1701) had excluded the male line of Stuarts from the succession. His restoration to the British throne was the object of numerous plots and rebellions by the Jacobites. After an abortive invasion of Scotland in 1708, James served in the French army at the battles of Oudenarde and Malplaquet, but in the Treaty of Utrecht (1713) Louis XIV was obliged to recognize the succession of the house of Hanover to the English throne, and James was forced to leave France. His hopes of succeeding Queen Anne were dashed by the peaceful succession (1714) of the Hanoverian George I. An uprising in his favor (1715), led by the 6th earl of Mar, brought him to Scotland, but, on the failure of the movement, James retired to France and finally to Rome. In 1719, James married Maria Clementina Sobieski, a Polish princess commonly called Princess Clementina. He did not take part in the Jacobite uprising of 1745, led by his son, Charles Edward Stuart, the Young Pretender.

See biographies by A. Shield and A. Lang (1907), A. N. Tayler and H. A. H. Tayler (1934), and B. Bevan (1967); see also bibliography under Jacobites.

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

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