Stuart, Henry Benedict Maria Clement

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STUART, HENRY BENEDICT MARIA CLEMENT

Cardinal, Jacobite Duke of York, last legitimate heir of the royal house of Stuart; b. Rome, March 6, 1725; d. Frascati, Italy, July 13, 1807. He was the second son of James Stuart (the Old Pretender) and grandson of james ii of england [see jacobites (english)]. When his elder brother Charles (the Young Pretender) invaded Scotland (1745), Henry was placed in command of an army at Dunkirk that never left French soil. He returned to Rome (1746), was created cardinal by Benedict XIV (1747), and was ordained a priest (1748). His ecclesiastical vocation was genuine, but it caused a rift with his brother and displeased Stuart sympathizers in England. It enabled him to maintain his family's cause at the Vatican. At his father's death he tried to have Clement XIII recognize his brother Charles as king of Great Britain. When Charles died (1788), Henry had medals struck with Latin inscriptions: "Henry IX, King of Great Britain; not by the will of men but by the grace of God." In the Roman Curia he held important posts, including that of archpriest of St. Peter's (1751), vice-chancellor of the Roman Church (1763), and dean of the College of Cardinals (1803). He was also titular archbishop of Corinth (1758) and bishop of Frascati (1761). When the army of the French Revolution reached Rome, it sacked his palace. The cardinal lost his fortune and was forced to flee to Naples and then to Venice (1800). King George III was advised of the cardinal's plight and offered him a pension. In gratitude the cardinal of York, as he was called, willed the crown jewels of James II to the Prince of Wales (George IV). He was known as a constant patron of the arts and benefactor of the poor.

Bibliography: b. fothergill, The Cardinal King (London 1958). The Dictionary of National Biography from the Earliest Times to 1900, 63 v. (London 18851900) 9:561562.

[b. fothergill]

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