Keys to the Past

Glossary

Jacobite

A follower of King James II from the Latin Jacobus for James. James II (reigned 1685-1688AD) was forced into exile by his son-in-law and daughter, William and Mary of Orange, because of his high-handed manner and conversion to become a Catholic William was invited to land by Parliament, forcing James and his son, (also called James), to flee to France. Supporters of the two James's claims to the throne were forced to flee to, or chose exile in, France. Many Jacobites were Catholics but not exclusively so. The younger James was nicknamed 'The Old Pretender'.
There were several Jacobite rebellions, raids and invasion attempts which all failed, (see 1715 rebellion and 1745 rebellion). These rebellions were partly supported by foreign powers, who (for various reasons), sought the removal of the reigning British monarchs. These powers included France and Spain. Such attempts were made through Scotland (1689AD), Ireland (1690AD), in the North Sea (1708AD), and Scotland again (1719AD) in addition to the major 1715 rebellion and 1745 rebellion, whilst an invasion fleet was readied in 1744AD. Clergy who remained loyal to James and his descendants, though stayed in England, where called Non-Jurors.
Jacobitism survived notionally till 1807AD when James II's second grandson, Cardinal Henry, died - though no further rebellions were made after the 1745 rebellion. Further claimants have not actively pursued their claims.

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