Reluctant Romans – the Jacobite Court in Exile

An illustrated talk by Gavin Bell.

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One of the sights of Rome in the 18th century, was the court of James Francis Edward Stuart, the “Old Pretender”, whose Palazzo was open to all and who was often to be seen promenading in the Borghese Gardens, or entertaining in his box at the Opera. 

It was, of course, treasonous for any British citizen to have any contact with the exiled Stuarts, but that did not prevent Grand Tourists of both Jacobite and Hanoverian sympathies finding their way to the Palazzo del Re.  

Apart from making multiple attempts at regaining their throne, James, and (as they grew up) his sons, Charles and Henry, kept hopes alive through a concerted charm offensive, with the help of their contacts in Roman high society,  as well as offering a surprising range of services to British visitors in Rome.  

As we know, the Jacobite cause ended in defeat and despair, but the last Stuarts managed to keep the flame alight in the Eternal City for almost a century

7 November 2019 at 7:15pm.