Charles Edward Stuart

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Stuart, Charles Edward (1720–88), the ‘Young Pretender’. Elder son of James Francis Edward Stuart, the son and heir of the exiled James II and VII, Charles was the Jacobite prince of Wales. He was born in December 1720 in Rome to James and his teenage Polish wife Clementina Sobieska. Another son, Henry Stuart, was born in 1725 to this unstable marriage. Charles was a robust and wilful child, who was nominally blooded for war by being present at the age of 13 for a few days at the siege of Gaeta.

Early in 1744 he left Italy for France carrying his father's commission as prince regent, having been summoned to accompany a proposed French invasion of England. It was cancelled. In July 1745 Charles sailed for Scotland to raise a rebellion in the Highlands, with the hope of stimulating French aid. Total self-confidence, plus a limited grasp of reality, and the outstanding generalship of Lord George Murray, carried him through a conquest of Scotland and march to Derby which made him a hero. His period of hiding after his defeat at Culloden endeared him to romantics as ‘ Bonnie Prince Charlie’. Yet he was an embarrassment to Louis XV (who was seeking peace) on his return to France, from which he had to be expelled. The rest of his life was a protracted anti-climax, full of failed relationships and alcoholism. He died in Rome in 1788.

Bruce Philip Lenman

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Charles Edward Stuart, 1720–88, claimant to the British throne, b. Rome. First son of James Francis Edward Stuart (the Old Pretender), he was known as Bonnie Prince Charlie and as the Young Pretender. When the failures and irregular life of the Old Pretender had alienated his followers, Charles Edward, a charming young man, magnanimous and brave, became the hope of the Jacobites. He led them in the rising of 1745, but all his enthusiasm could not avert the defeat at Culloden Moor in 1746. Charles fled to a Highland refuge, then escaped abroad with the aid of Flora Macdonald. He was expelled from France after the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle (1748) and roamed about Europe, a broken drunkard. After his father's death (1766) he lived in Rome as the self-styled count of Albany and in 1772 married Princess Louise of Stolberg-Gedern (see Albany, Louisa, countess of). They separated in 1780, and Charles Edward was attended in his later years by his illegitimate daughter, Charlotte. He died in Rome. There is much English and Scottish poetry and romantic literature about Bonnie Prince Charlie.

See biographies by M. McLaren (1972), D. Daiches (1973), M. Forster (1974), and F. McLynn (1988); see also bibliography under Jacobites.

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Stuart, Charles Edward (1720–88) Scottish Prince, known as ‘ Bonnie Prince Charlie’ or the ‘Young Pretender’. A grandson of the deposed James II, he led the Jacobites in the rebellion of 1745 (‘the '45’) on behalf of his father, James, the ‘Old Pretender’. Landing in the Scottish Highlands without the hoped-for backing of France, Bonnie Prince Charlie gained the support of many clan chiefs, defeated government troops at Prestonpans, e central Scotland, and marched on London. Lacking widespread support in England, he turned back at Derby. The following year, his largely Highland force was decimated in the Battle of Culloden. He escaped to the continent and lived in exile until his death.

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Bonnie Prince Charlie ★★½ 1948

Historical epic opening in 1745 and romanticizing the title pretender to the British throne, who united Scottish clans in a doomed campaign against King George. Talky and rather slow-moving except for stirring battle scenes. A notorious boxoff-ice flop in its native Britain, where the original running time was 140 minutes. 114m/C VHS . GB David Niven, Margaret Leighton, Judy Campbell, Jack Hawkins, Morland Graham, Finlay Currie, Elwyn Brook-Jones, John Laurie; D: Anthony Kimmins.

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Bonnie Prince Charlie name given by his supporters to the young Charles Edward Stuart (1720–88), otherwise known as the Young of Chancery.

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Charles Edward Stuart See Stuart

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Bonnie Prince Charlie See Stuart

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Bonnie Prince Charlie: see Stuart, Charles Edward.

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Charles Edward Stuart: see Stuart, Charles Edward.