Jacobite succession

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The Jacobite succession is the line through which the crown in pretence of England and Scotland and Ireland (France also claimed) has descended since the flight of James II & VII from London at the time of the "Glorious Revolution". James and his Jacobite successors were traditionally toasted as "The King over the Water".

House of Stuart[edit]

The Stuarts who claimed the thrones of England, Scotland, Ireland and France after the Glorious Revolution of 1688 were, with the dates of their claim:

Descendant and Dates of Claim Portrait Birth Marriages Death
James II & VII
11 December 1688 (England & Ireland) / 14 March 1689 (Scotland) –
16 September 1701[1]
King James II and VII.jpg 14 October 1633
St. James's Palace
son of Charles I and Henrietta Maria of France[1]
Lady Anne Hyde
(at that time plain Anne Hyde) 3 September 1660
8 children

Princess Mary of Modena
21 November 1673
7 children[1]

16 September 1701
Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye
aged 67[1]
James Francis Edward Stuart
("James III & VIII")
("The Old Pretender")
16 September 1701–
1 January 1766
James 10 June 1688[2]
St. James's Palace
son of James II of England, Ireland & VII of Scotland and Mary of Modena
Princess Clementina Sobieski
3 September 1719
2 children
1 January 1766
Palazzo Muti
aged 77
Charles Edward Stuart
("Charles III")
("The Young Pretender")
("Bonnie Prince Charlie")
1 January 1766–
31 January 1788
Charles 31 December 1720[3]
Palazzo Muti
son of James Francis Edward Stuart and Clementina Sobieski
Princess Louise of Stolberg-Gedern
28 March 1772
no children
(2 illegitimate children)
31 January 1788
Palazzo Muti
aged 67
Henry Benedict Stuart
("Henry IX & I")
("Cardinal Duke of York")
31 January 1788–
13 July 1807
Henry 11 March 1725[4]
son of James Francis Edward Stuart and Clementina Sobieska
never married 13 July 1807
aged 82

Upon Henry's death, the succession passed to a different house, and none of the Jacobite heirs since has actually claimed the thrones of England and Scotland or incorporated the arms of England and Scotland in their coats-of-arms.

House of Savoy[edit]

See also: House of Savoy

Charles Emmanuel IV of Sardinia was a descendant of Charles I through his youngest daughter Henrietta Anne. Her daughter Anne Marie of Orléans married Victor Amadeus II of Sardinia, and Charles Emmanuel IV was great-grandson of Queen Anne Marie in the male line.

Descendent and Dates of Claim Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Charles Emmanuel IV of Sardinia
("Charles IV")
13 July 1807–
6 October 1819
Charles Emmanuel IV 24 May 1751
son of Victor Amadeus III of Sardinia and Maria Antonietta of Bourbon
Princess Marie Clotilde of France
No children
6 October 1819
aged 68
Victor Emmanuel I of Sardinia
6 October 1819–
10 January 1824
Victor Emmanuel I 24 July 1759
son of Victor Amadeus III of Sardinia and Maria Antonietta of Bourbon
Archduchess Maria Teresa of Austria-Este
21 April 1789
7 children
10 January 1824
aged 65
Princess Maria Beatrice of Savoy
("Mary III")[5]
10 January 1824–
15 September 1840
Maria Beatrice Vittoria of Savoy.jpg 6 December 1792
daughter of Victor Emmanuel I of Sardinia and Maria Teresa of Austria-Este
Francis IV, Duke of Modena
20 June 1812
4 children
15 September 1840
aged 48

House of Austria-Este[edit]

Descendent and Dates of Claim Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Francis V, Duke of Modena
("Francis I")
15 September 1840–
20 November 1875
Francesco V d'austria este Duca Modena young.jpg 1 June 1819
son of Maria Beatrice of Savoy and Francis IV, Duke of Modena
Princess Adelgunde of Bavaria
30 March 1842
1 child
20 November 1875
aged 56
Archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria-Este
("Mary IV")[5]
20 November 1875–
3 February 1919
MariaTheresiaAustriaEste.jpg 2 July 1849
daughter of Ferdinand of Austria-Este[6] and Elisabeth of Austria
Ludwig III of Bavaria
13 children
3 February 1919
aged 69

House of Wittelsbach[edit]

Descendent and Dates of Claim Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Rupprecht, Crown Prince of Bavaria
("Robert I & IV")
3 February 1919–
2 August 1955
Rupprecht von Bayern.jpg 18 May 1869
son of Maria Theresa of Austria-Este and Ludwig III of Bavaria
Duchess Marie Gabrielle in Bavaria
10 July 1900
4 children

Princess Antonia of Luxembourg
7 April 1921
6 children
2 August 1955
Schloß Leutstetten
aged 86
Albrecht, Duke of Bavaria
2 August 1955–
8 July 1996
Albrechtbavaria1922.jpg 3 May 1905
son of Rupprecht, Crown Prince of Bavaria and Marie Gabrielle of Bavaria
Countess Maria Draskovich of Trakostjan
4 children

Countess Marie-Jenke Keglevich of Buzin
No children
8 July 1996
Castle Berg
aged 91
Franz, Duke of Bavaria
("Francis II")
8 July 1996–
Franz von bayern.JPG 14 July 1933
son of Albrecht, Duke of Bavaria and Countess Maria Draskovich of Trakostjan
not married

Future succession after the Duke of Bavaria[edit]

The heir presumptive of Franz, Duke of Bavaria, is his younger brother

Family tree[edit]

This is a family tree of the Jacobite lineage. The boldface names are successors, and the italic names are in line of succession.

James VI & I
Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia
m. Frederick V, Elector Palatine
Charles I
Charles I Louis, Elector Palatine
Charles II
James II & VII
Henrietta of England
Philippe I, Duke of Orléans
Elizabeth Charlotte, Princess Palatine
James Francis Edward Stuart

as James III & VIII
Anne Marie d'Orléans
m. Victor Amadeus II of Sardinia
Philippe II, Duke of Orléans
Élisabeth Charlotte d'Orléans
m. Leopold, Duke of Lorraine
Charles Edward Stuart

as Charles III
Henry Benedict Stuart

as Henry IX & I
Charles Emmanuel III of Sardinia
Charlotte Aglaé d'Orléans
m. Francis III, Duke of Modena
Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor
Victor Amadeus III of Sardinia
Ercole III, Duke of Modena
Maria Beatrice d'Este
Ferdinand, Duke of Breisgau
Charles Emmanuel IV of Sardinia

as Charles IV
Victor Emmanuel I of Sardinia

as Victor I
Maria Theresa of Austria-Este
Maria Beatrice of Savoy

as Mary III
Francis IV, Duke of Modena
Francis V, Duke of Modena

as Francis I
Ferdinand Karl Viktor
of Austria-Este
Ludwig III of Bavaria
Maria Theresa of Austria-Este

as Mary IV
Rupprecht, Crown Prince of Bavaria

as Robert I & IV
Albrecht, Duke of Bavaria

as Albert I
Franz, Duke of Bavaria

as Francis II
Prince Max, Duke in Bavaria
Alois, Hereditary Prince of Liechtenstein
Duchess Sophie in Bavaria
Prince Joseph Wenzel of Liechtenstein

Alternative successions[edit]

While Franz of Bavaria is recognized by Jacobites as the Stuart heir, arguments have been made by some people for other candidates.


Maria Beatrice of Savoy married her uncle Francis IV, Duke of Modena. This marriage was concluded validly in Sardinia.[citation needed] However, it would have been illegal for them to marry in Britain, and therefore the Jacobite succession is considered by some[citation needed] to have passed from Maria Beatrice to her younger sister Maria Teresa, who married the Duke of Parma. Her representative today is HRH The Infanta Alicia (b. 1917), Dowager Duchess of Calabria and mother of the heir of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.[7] However, English and Scots law in 1688 (after which point Jacobites must admit it to be static, as changes would require the approval of the monarch, who they hold is not the person actually on the throne) stated that a marriage contracted outside of the realms was not challenged if it was legal in its own land; thus, since Maria Beatrice and her mother's brother Francis IV, Duke of Modena, received the pope's consent to marry, Alicia is not considered a claimant by the Jacobites.

The succession from Maria Teresa is as follows.

Descendent Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Princess Maria Teresa of Savoy
("Mary IV")
15 September 1840–
16 July 1879
Maria Teresa di Savoia.jpg 19 September 1803
Palazzo Colonna
daughter of Victor Emmanuel I of Sardinia and Maria Teresa of Austria-Este
Charles II, Duke of Parma
5 September 1820
(2 children)
16 July 1879
aged 75
Descendent Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Robert I, Duke of Parma
("Robert I and IV")
16 July 1879–
16 November 1907
Robert I duke of parma.jpg 9 July 1848
son of Charles III, Duke of Parma and Louise Marie Thérèse of France
Princess Maria Pia of Bourbon-Two Sicilies
5 April 1869
(12 children)
Infanta Maria Antonia of Portugal
15 October 1884
Schloß Fischhorn
(12 children)
16 November 1907
aged 59
Henry, Duke of Parma
("Henry X and II")
16 November 1907–
16 November 1939
Henry, Duke of Parma titular.png 13 June 1873
son of Robert I, Duke of Parma and Maria Pia of the Two Sicilies
never married 16 November 1939
aged 66
Joseph, Duke of Parma
16 November 1939–
7 January 1950
Joseph, Duke of Parma titular.png 30 June 1875
son of Robert I, Duke of Parma and Maria Pia of the Two Sicilies
never married 7 January 1950
aged 74
Elias, Duke of Parma
7 January 1950–
27 June 1959
23 July 1880
son of Robert I, Duke of Parma and Maria Pia of the Two Sicilies
Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria
25 May 1903
(8 children)
27 June 1959
aged 78
Robert II, Duke of Parma
("Robert II and V")
27 June 1959–
25 November 1974
Robert II, Duke of Parma.jpg 7 August 1909
son of Elias, Duke of Parma and Maria Anna of Austria
never married 25 November 1974
aged 65
Princess Elisabetta of Bourbon-Parma
("Elizabeth II and I")
25 November 1974–
13 June 1983
17 March 1904
daughter of Elias, Duke of Parma and Maria Anna of Austria
never married 13 June 1983
Bad Ischl
aged 79
Princess Maria Francesca of Bourbon-Parma
("Mary V & IV")
13 June 1983–
20 February 1994
5 September 1906
daughter of Elias, Duke of Parma and Maria Anna of Austria
never married 20 February 1994
aged 87
Princess Alicia of Bourbon-Parma
20 February 1994–
13 November 1917
daughter of Elias, Duke of Parma and Maria Anna of Austria
Infante Alfonso, Duke of Calabria
16 April 1936
(3 children)

Victor Emmanuel[edit]

In the early twentieth century Frederick Rolfe claimed that King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy was the rightful King of England, as heir to the Kings of Sardinia.

In 1831 the male descendants of Victor Amadeus II of Sardinia and his wife Anne Marie d'Orléans, a niece of James II, died out and the Savoy succession – but not the Jacobite succession – passed to a distant cousin (with no Stuart ancestry), because the succession in the Kingdom of Sardinia was governed by the Salic Law, which does not recognize claims by or through a female. England and Scotland have never been subject to the Salic Law (if they were, the succession could not have passed to the house of Savoy, nor in fact could the House of Stuart have inherited the thrones of either Scotland or England, as their claims in the two kingdoms derived, respectively, from Marjorie Bruce and Margaret Tudor). Rolfe may not have understood this.

Victor Emmanuel did have Stuart descent, but at the time of his accession to the throne of Italy at least 80 living persons were ahead of him in the Jacobite succession, including his mother.


In his book The Highland Clans, Iain Moncreiffe of that Ilk claimed that Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom "is the lawful Jacobite sovereign of this realm". Moncreiffe made the following argument:

... by the fourteenth century it had become common law (in both England and Scotland) that a person who was not born in the liegeance of the Sovereign, nor naturalised, could not have the capacity to succeed as an heir .... In Scotland, this law was modified in favour of the French from the sixteenth century, but was otherwise rigorously applied until the Whig Revolution of 1688, after which it was gradually done away with by the mid-nineteenth century. It was precisely because of this law that Queen Anne found it necessary to pass a special Act of Parliament naturalising all alien-born potential royal heirs under her Act of Settlement of the throne. But, of course, from the Jacobite point of view, no new statute could be passed after 1688 .... The nearest lawful heir of the Cardinal York in 1807 was, in fact, curiously enough, King George III himself, who had been born in England (and therefore in the technical liegance of James VIII).

Under Moncreiffe's theory, however, James VI of Scotland could never have succeeded as James I of England in 1603. This problem, recognized in 1603, had been circumvented at the time of James's accession by the ahistorical assertion that Scotland and England had been "anciently but one" kingdom, and that the succession of the Scottish monarch to the throne of England was a "reuniting" of two parts of a single kingdom, i.e., that Scotland was not really a foreign country – a concept emphasized by James's insistence on the use of the name Great Britain for the united realms of England and Scotland.

It was not common law but a 15th-century statute that restricted the English crown to those in the liegeance of the Sovereign, and that statute was supplanted by the Acts of Succession passed in Henry VIII's reign. Additionally, Jacobites believe that the royal succession is determined by God and by hereditary right, not by Parliament. For instance, most Jacobites recognise Mary, Queen of Scots as having been the rightful Queen of England – a clear violation of the aforementioned law, which in their view is overridden by Mary's hereditary rights (as granddaughter of Margaret Tudor), and the illegitimacy[8] of Elizabeth I.[9][10][11]

Royal family tree[edit]

Family tree showing the ancestry of the Jacobite Pretenders and their relation to the UK monarchs descended from Sophia of Hanover

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "thePeerage.com – Person Page 10136". Retrieved 2007-10-25. 
  2. ^ "Stuart, James Francis Edward, Duke of Cornwall". Directory of Royal Genealogical Data: University of Hull. Retrieved 2008-03-21. 
  3. ^ "Stuart, Charles Edward Louis Casimer, Prince of Wales". Directory of Royal Genealogical Data: University of Hull. Retrieved 2008-03-21. 
  4. ^ "Stuart, Henry Benedict Thomas Maria, Duke of York". Directory of Royal Genealogical Data: University of Hull. Retrieved 2008-03-21. 
  5. ^ a b Mary III & II and Mary IV & III were numbered in such a way because some Jacobites regard Elizabeth I of England as illegitimate, and therefore consider Mary, Queen of Scots, to have been the rightful Queen Mary II of England from the death of Mary I
  6. ^ Ferdinand was the second son of Francis IV
  7. ^ "The Infanta Alicia of Spain". Jacobite.ca. Retrieved 2008-07-19. 
  8. ^ Hibbert, Christopher (1992). The virgin queen: Elizabeth I, genius of the Golden Age. DaCapo Press. p. 149. ISBN 978-0-201-60817-5. 
  9. ^ Tudor Monarchs – Queen Elizabeth I: Biography, Portraits, Primary Sources. Englishhistory.net. Retrieved on 2012-07-15.
  10. ^ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0.9171,937040,00.html.  Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  11. ^ Jenkins, Elizabeth (2000). Elizabeth the Great. Phoenix Press. ISBN 978-1-84212-162-7. 

External links[edit]