David T. Alexander submitted these notes on James III. Thanks! -Editor
To find out more about James III and the four Stuart claimants to the throne of Great Britain,
our readers might check out the American Numismatic Association DVD "Numismatics of
Britain's Stuart Pretenders, 1688-1807," by David T. Alexander, produced by David Lisot
(firstname.lastname@example.org) from a video of my Numismatic Theater presentation in 2013 at the
Chicago ANA Convention. This is an in-depth survey of the pattern coins, medals and jetons issued
by the exiled Stuarts after King James II was driven into exile in December 1688 after the birth of
his son James Francis Edward aroused fears of a Catholic dynasty.
A cataract of supportive and viciously satirical medals greeted this birth, with the Whig
enemies of the lawful King claiming that his infant son was a changeling introduced into the birth
chamber in a warming pan. On the death of James II in 1701, he was succeeded by his son as James
III of Great Britain and James VIII of Scotland, also called the Old Pretender. This second
claimant continued efforts for a Stuart restoration until his death in 1766.
His son was "Bonnie Prince Charlie," Charles III (1766-1788) to the Jacobites. Charles
led the great rising of 1745 that brought his largely Scottish army to within 100 miles of London.
His defeat led to a wholesale English assault on Scottish culture and language, which reverberates
to this day; recall the recent vote of Scottish independence... The last of the Stuart pretenders
was Henry Benedict Maria, Cardinal Duke of York, who took the title Henry IX on Charles' death
in 1788. Medals of these exiled Stuarts are a marvelous footnote to British history.
King William IV (IIII) had a little-known New York connection, living as Duke of Clarence and
British naval officer on Hanover Square in lower Manhattan during the American Revolution. New York
City remained under British occupation until 1783, and some of George Washington's officers
came to him with a distinctly modern-sounding proposition. They proposed to kidnap William and
offer to return him in exchange for Benedict Arnold, who had recently defected to the British. The
straight-laced Washington refused this novel offer.
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: OCTOBER 26,
Wayne Homren, Editor
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