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Jacobites

Jacobites, the general name given to adherents of the Stewart dynasty after the Revolution of 1688. Etymologically the word means "followers of James" (Jacobus). Their history may be divided into three periods, viz.: - (1) From the Revolution to the death of James II.; (2) from the accession of Anne to 1715; (3) from 1715 to 1745. During the reign of William III., until the Peace of Ryswick, they had the support of France. Their attack on Ireland was, however, foiled at Derry and the Boyne, and a French invasion of England was averted by the victory of La Hogue. After this they were never very strong in England. There were several plots to assassinate William III., and leading men of all parties corresponded with the Court of St. Germains to secure their position in case of a counter-revolution; but the bigotry of James kept dissensions alive, and prevented those who had supported the Revolution in the interests of Protestantism from giving more than a theoretical adhesion to the Jacobite cause. James Edward's recognition by France on the death of his father in 1701 aroused the national jealousy felt by England for that country. In Scotland, however, Jacobitism obtained support from clan-feeling, and the unpopularity of the war with France which grew up after its early years, combined with the good-will of Anne towards her family, made it extremely probable that on her death the Stewarts would be restored. She died, however, before the plans of the Tories were fully matured. The nation as a whole were neutral; but the mercantile classes were interested in the preservation of the Act of Settlement, and the securities given for the safety of the Protestant religion were not deemed adequate. The Whigs, moreover, through the appointment of Shrewsbury as Treasurer, secured the army and the ports. The Regent Orleans had different views from Louis XIV., and in the Fifteen the Jacobites had no French support. The revolt of the Highlanders was led by the unstable Mar, who was soon separated from his English allies, and re-embarked with the old Pretender. The English Jacobites surrendered at Preston, and their leaders were executed. Wyndham and five other Tory-Jacobites, who had seats in Parliament, had been previously secured in the Tower. The Jacobites were now distinctly divided into a parliamentary opposition which allied itself with the malcontent Whigs, and a mere band of intriguers. Bolingbroke. who had been James Edward's Secretary of State at St. Germains for a short time after the Fifteen, came back from France in 1723, and was the soul of the constitutional section. Walpole's policy towards them was a mixture of conciliation and firmness. On his fall and the end of the long alliance with France under Fleury, the warlike party were again in the ascendant. A French invasion of Scotland was prevented by a storm in 1744, but on July 25 of the next year Charles Edward, the young Pretender, landed at Moidart. He was supported by the clans and helped by the incompetence of Sir John Cope, the English general, whom he defeated at Prestonpans. He then out-manoeuvred Wade and marched into England, where, however, he obtained little support. The Highlanders were divided by clan jealousies, and after reaching Derby the invading army marched back to Scotland. Another success was gained at Falkirk, but was soon followed by the disaster of Culloden, after which Jacobitism and the independence of the Highland chiefs, which had been its chief support since 1715, came to an end simultaneously. On the accession of George III. a new Royalist party was formed, in which Jacobitism became merged. As a romantic sentiment it still remained till the days of Scott's childhood.

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