Maria Clementina Sobieska

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Maria Clementina Sobieska
Maria Klementyna.jpg
Maria Clementina by Francesco Trevisani
Tenure 3 September 1719 – 18 January 1735
Born 18 July 1702
Ohlau, Silesia
Died 18 January 1735(1735-01-18) (aged 32)
Palazzo Muti, Rome, Italy
Burial St. Peter's Basilica, Rome, Italy
Spouse James Francis Edward Stuart
Issue Charles Edward Stuart
Henry Benedict Stuart
Full name
Maria Clementina Sobieska
House House of Stuart
House of Sobieski
Father James Louis Sobieski
Mother Hedwig Elisabeth of Neuburg

Maria Clementina Sobieska (sometimes spelled:[1] Maria Klementyna Sobieska) (18 July 1702 – 18 January 1735) was a Polish noblewoman, the granddaughter of the Polish king John III Sobieski, and wife of James Francis Edward Stuart, Jacobite pretender to the English throne.


She was born on 18 July 1702 in Ohlau, Silesia, Holy Roman Empire. Her parents were James Louis Sobieski (1667–1737), the eldest son of King John III, and Countess Palatine Hedwig Elisabeth of Neuburg (1673–1722). Her older sister Maria Karolina (known as Charlotte) was the Duchess of Bouillon by marriage.

Being one of Europe's wealthiest heiresses, she was betrothed to James Francis Edward Stuart. King George I of Great Britain was opposed to the marriage because he feared that the union might produce heirs to James Francis Edward's claim to his thrones. To placate him, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI arrested Maria Clementina while on her way to Italy to marry James Francis Edward. She was confined in Innsbruck Castle but eventually the guards were deceived and with the help of Charles Wogan Maria Clementina escaped to Bologna, Italy, where, for safety from further intrusions, she was married by proxy to James who was in Spain at that time.

Maria Clementina's father, James Louis Sobieski, approved her escape declaring that, as she became engaged to James Francis Edward she ought to "follow his fortune and his cause".

Maria Clementina and James Francis Edward were formally married on 3 September 1719 in the Chapel of episcopal palace of Montefiascone, Italy in the Cathedral of Santa Margherita. Following their marriage, James and Maria Clementina were invited to reside in Rome at the special request of Pope Clement XI, who acknowledged them as the King and Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland.

The Pope provided them with a papal guard of troops, gave them the Palazzo Muti in the Piazza dei Santi Apostoli in Rome to live in, plus a country villa at Albano. The Catholic Church also provided them with an annual allowance of 12,000 crowns out of the papal treasury. The Popes Clement XI and Innocent XIII considered James and Maria Clementina the rightful and, more importantly, Catholic King and Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland: the cousin of Pope Innocent XIII, Francesco Maria Conti, from Siena, was here the Gentiluomo di Camera (the chamberlaine) in the little Roman Jacobite court.

Memorial in St. Peter's, Rome

The married life of James and Maria Clementina proved turbulent and unhappy. Soon after their second child's birth, Maria Clementina left him and went to live in Rome in the convent of St. Cecilia. She accused her husband of adultery and he said it was sinful to leave him and her children. It was more than two years before they reconciled. Maria Clementina was prone to depression, spending much of her time praying[citation needed].

Maria Clementina died at the early age of 32 on 18 January 1735. She was interred with full royal honors in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Pope Clement XII ordered that she have a state burial. Pope Benedict XIV commissioned Pietro Bracci (1700–1773) to sculpt a monument to her memory, which was erected in the Basilica.


Maria Clementina and James Francis Edward had two sons:


Titles, styles, honours and arms[edit]

Titles and styles[edit]

  • 18 July 1702 - 3 September 1719: Her Highness Princess Maria Clementina Sobieska of Poland
  • 3 September 1719 - 18 January 1735: Her Highness Princess Maria Clementina, Mrs Stuart
    • Jacobite, 3 September 1719 - 18 January 1735: Her Majesty The Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland


See also[edit]

Titles in pretence
Preceded by
Mary of Modena
Queen consort of England
Queen consort of Ireland

Reason for succession failure:
Glorious revolution
Succeeded by
Louise of Stolberg-Gedern
Queen consort of Scotland
Reason for succession failure:
Glorious revolution


  1. ^ Sobieska is the proper spelling of her last name, for she was female. However, English language literature commonly uses the spelling Sobieski, which is appropriate for a male member of the family.

External links[edit]