Scotlands History

The Jacobites

In 1660, after the death of Oliver Cromwell, the Royalists took control and King Charles II was restored to the throne of England. Charles II ruled as first the Great Plague ravaged London and then, in 1666, the Great Fire of London burned the old city to ashes.

Ten years later, in 1676, the brother of Charles II - James, Duke of York - became a Roman Catholic. He became King James VII of Scotland and II of England when Charles II died in 1685. King James VII and II had a male heir - James Francis Edward Stuart - but the English Protestants asked James’s nephew, Prince William of Orange, to come to Britain to protect Protestantism.

James fled to France with his family and the Dutch Prince William was offered the throne. William and Mary (Mary was James VII and II’s daughter) became king and queen.

Many people believed that James was still the rightful king. They called themselves ‘Jacobites’ as ‘Jacobus’ is Latin for James. Scots loyal to King James, his son, and his grandson ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’ would fight for the exiled Stuarts in a series of Jacobite Risings.

  • Oil painting of Prince James Francis Edward Stewart
  • Coin (Reverse), guinea, of James VIII

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