Alternative History

Stewart (Originally)

Stiubhard (in Gaelic)
Royal house
Coat of Arms of England (1603-1649).svg
Motto: Dieu et mon droit (England)
In My Defens God Me Defend (Scotland)
Country England, Scotland and Ireland
Parent house Clan Stewart
Titles King of Scots (1371-1649)

King of England (1567-1649)
King of Ireland (1567-1649)
King of France[1]
High Steward of Scotland
Duke of Aubigny
Earl of Lennox

Earl of Moray
Founded 1371
Founder Robert II of Scotland
Final ruler Charles I of England, Scotland & Ireland
Current head James IV of England, Scotland & Ireland (last official one). Current pretenders are the dukes Walter of York and Matthew of Rohan
Dissolution 1833 (no records of the descendants of James IV)
Deposition 1649
Ethnicity Scottish, English

As yourselves your empires fall,
And every kingdom hath a grave.
(William Habington, Night.)

The state of Monarchy is the supremest thing upon earth; for kings are not only God's lieutenants upon earth and sit upon God's throne, but even by God himself they are called gods.
(James I of England, speech to Parliament at Whitehall (21 March 1609), from Political Works of James I.)

The Stuart Pretenders, also know as the Stuart Succession and later as the Jacobite succession, refers to the royal pretenders to the Crowns of England and Scotland and Ireland after the execution of Charles I of England, Scotland & Ireland in 1649 by the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland.


Despite the Stuart family connections through Henrietta Maria and the Princess of Orange, France and the Dutch Republic allied themselves with the Commonwealth's government from 1654, forcing Charles II to turn for aid to Spain, which at that time ruled the Southern Netherlands. Among the conditions of Treaty of Madrid (1670) between Spain and the Commonwealth was the removal of the Stuart Pretenders from Southern Netherlands. So the Court of Charles II moved to France at Louis XIV's invitation.

Charles initially raised a ragtag army from his exiled subjects. There serious attempts to incite Royalist uprisings in Britain: Glencairn's Uprising in Scotland during 1653-4, Penruddock's Uprising in the West Country of 1655 and Booth's Uprising in Cheshire of 1659. All three were easily suppressed through superior military strength and, in the case of the English uprisings, an efficient intelligence network that infiltrated Royalist conspiracies and allowed the Protectorate government to stay one step ahead of its enemies.

Politics of the Exiled Court and the Cavaliers

The main factions of the exiled court were:

  • the "Louvre" party, which revolved around Henrietta Maria and her close confidante Lord Jermyn. This group was willing to seek alliances with foreign powers (France or Spain) or to make concessions to the Presbyterians and other parliamentary factions in order to restore the monarchy at the earliest opportunity.
  • the "Old Royalist" faction, led by conservatives like Sir Edward Hyde, Sir Edward Nicholas and Lord Hopton. Hyde and his followers argued that it was better to rely exclusively upon old Royalists whose loyalty was assured and to wait for opinion in England to swing over to the King rather than to make compromises for short-term gains; and
  • the "Old Swordsmen" who looked to Prince Rupert for leadership. They had no coherent policies but were largely motivated by personal feuds and jealousies against members of the other factions. This factions was dissolve when Prince Rupert lost the favor of Charles II and Paris in 1654.

However, these factions were unrelated to the internal politics of the Commonwealth, were the Royalist faction or Cavaliers championed the return from exile of Charles II and a royal restoration. Following more closely the strategy of the Old Royalist faction. The Cavaliers rallied behind then the support of the Episcopalians (the old Anglican Church before the Religious Settlement) and the country aristocracy of the Commonwealth and the colonies of Virginia and Maryland.

In the early 1660s they were split between Moderates and Swordsmen. The Moderates or Old Royalists, that also included the Virginian Cavaliers, subscribed to a parliamentary monarchy as worked out by the Long Parliament. The Swordsmen (originally called Louvre Group) upheld absolute sovereignty of the King (royal autocracy) and the use of force by means of military alliances with foreign powers or conspiracies to overthrow the Commonwealth. They became the main faction and gathered around the exiled Royal Court in the Netherlands and later France and Cologne.

The Cavaliers lost most of their raison d'être with the return of Prince Rupert to England in August 1660 and also most of Moderates and their leaders returned to England thanks to the Second Act of General Pardon and Oblivion of November 1663.

The unity of the Cavaliers was furthered broken by the pro-French and pro-Catholicism of the heir presumptive James Duke of York that further excluded from court the protestant cavaliers from the so called court papists. This rift would become the seed of Jacobism as advocated by the Swordsmen. Jacobite ideology would in time develop four main tenets: (a) The divine right of kings, (b) the "accountability of Kings to God alone", (c) inalienable hereditary right, and the (d) "unequivocal scriptural injunction of non-resistance and passive obedience".

The Long French Exile

Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye (Paris, France) Home residence of the Stuart Pretenders until 1789

Exiled and moving between France, Flanders, Spain and Austria, the Pretenders nourish conspiracies and rebellions to return to the Throne. Several adventurers and opportunist became a to common topic and scene of the Exiled Court.

The Scottish Jacobite rebellion of 1683 and during the Nine Years' War (1688–1697) the Jacobite War in Ireland (1688-1690) and the Scottish Jacobite rebellion of 1694 were the last major efforts to restore them.

Crippling for their efforts to personally lead a another uprising was the Pretenders to the Crown Expatriation Act (1695) that forbid and severely punish the transport of any member of the House of Stuart and condemned them or any relative to death if they touch Commonwealth soil.

After the Nine Years' War they were sardonically called the French Pretenders for their league and alliance with France.

The Stuarts as former Kings they still used their prerogative to grant titles of peerage and honours that would be use as a source of income. However shortly after the Peace of Utrecht the Dismissal and Nullification of Titles and Honours Act of 1715 declared null and illegal, and heavily fined the used of the titles and honours granted by the Stuart Pretenders.

The French Revolution caught the pretender Henry IX in Paris serving as a courier to Louis XVII. Saving himself from the guillotine and with his family he traveled with the court and couriers of the Dauphin Louis - later Louis XVIII King of France and Emperor of India - to Louisiana (1791).

The Louisianian Residency

Stuart Mansion (Nouvelle-Orleans, Louisiana)

The exile of the royal French Court in Louisiana brought changes the Stuart as new privileges were given for their loyalty. They were granted the titles of Dukes of Terreboune and large tracts of land that became the Stuart Plantations.

Records or accounts of James IV's descendants are lost after his behaving in 1883 during the Louisianan Revolution and the burning of parish registers.

Pretenders to the Crowns of England, Scotland & Ireland

Portrait Name (Born-Died) Spouse Notes
King Charles II.jpg Charles II of England, Scotland & Ireland
Catherine of Bragança (1638–1705) Prince of Wales, son of Charles I. Died with without legitimate issue
James II 1633-1701.jpg James II of England and Ireland and VII of Scotland
Anne Hyde (1637–1671) Duke of York, brother of Charles II of England, Scotland & Ireland, who died without legitimate issue. Son of Charles I.
James III.jpg Charles III of England, Scotland & Ireland
Princess Clementina Sobieski (1702–1735) Duke of Cambridge, son James II of England and Ireland and VII of Scotland and Anne Hyde. Charles II of England, James' brother, approved of the marriage and the wedding between James and Anne.
James III of England.jpg Charles IV of England, Scotland & Ireland (Charles Edward Stuart)
Beatrice of Modena (1690–1718) and Louisa of Saxe-Hamburg (1687-1756) Duke of Cambridge, son Charles III of England, Scotland & Ireland and Clementina Sobieski.
Edmund VII Wessex (The Kalmar Union).png James III of England, Scotland & Ireland (James Henry Stuart)
Francesca of Tuscany (1724-1804) Duke of Cambridge, son Charles IV of England, Scotland & Ireland and Louisa of Saxe-Hamburg.
Charles V Anglia (The Kalmar Union).png Henry IX of England, Scotland & Ireland (Henry Edward Stuart)
Sophie of Brandenburg (1746-1824) Duke of York. Son James III of England, Scotland & Ireland and Francesca of Tuscany. Accompanied in exile the French Court to Louisiana.
František Tkadlík - Victor Rohan.jpg Charles V of England, Scotland & Ireland (Charles Robert Stuart)
Marie Emilie de Matignon
Carlos Miguel Fitz-James Stuart, XIV Duque de Alba.jpg James IV of England, Scotland & Ireland (James Charles Stuart)
Charlotte de Rohan

  1. Titular claim rather than de facto