By: McKenna Corey, ARB 2018-2019 NEH Intern
Simon Lord Lovat (a title of Scottish reverence) was known in his time as “the Fox,” and for good reason. He was well-known to be sly and duplicitous.Within the context of the Jacobite uprisings, he played a special role. After his execution, it was apparent that it was up to interpretation whether he was a traitor or, as he would call himself, “a patriot.
Born into the clan Fraser to Thomas and Sybilla in Scotland, Simon Lord Lovat was a brilliant student in his younger years. After graduating with a Master of Arts in 1695, Simon’s life was full of uncertainty. After the loss of his older brother in his younger years, Simon was declared the heir to his father, Thomas. The Lord Lovat at this time was Hugh Fraser, though his leadership skills weren’t excellent, and it was for this reason that Simon knew that he had to assure that his father would gain the title of Lord Lovat. To do this, he decided to create an army. Continue reading
By McKenna Corey, ARB Intern
A Heroine of the Jacobites
“Had it not been that her prudence and energies were called forth by the important and critical part which she was instrumental in achieving, she might have lived and died unknown to the world.”
-Alexander Macgregor, The Life of Flora Macdonald
In every piece of history, there is a powerful woman, sometimes hidden or obscured from the record, that made all of the difference. This is true of the Jacobite movement as well, and though there are many incredible women that contributed to the movement, today’s post will focus on an incredibly special one. Flora Macdonald, with her bravery and commitment, saved a man’s life. What is even more incredible is that she not only saved a man’s life, but one that is integral to Scottish history.
I realized when I stumbled upon this portrait in the Virginius C. Hall Jacobite Collection, what struck me first was the poise and grace with which Flora poses. I was so enamored with the portrait that I decided to look into its subject, and after some research within the collection, I realized how important to the history of the Jacobite movements she really was. Continue reading
By: McKenna Corey, ARB Intern
It was hard for me to really conceptualize the true narrative power of song until I was reorganizing the Virginius C. Hall Jacobite Collection this week. As I was arranging a stack of books, I saw one that caught my eye. The spine read: The Scottish Jacobites and Their Songs and Music. Written in 1899 by Thomas Newbigging, the book recounts in detail not only the history of the Jacobite movements, but also their rich musical history.
Though I’ve never really had any musical talent (except some early experiences with the recorder), I thought it might be interesting to pursue some further research on the topic. Sure enough, there were further resources on the musical stylings of the Jacobites, and I decided to dig in! Though in this post I’ll only be referencing Newbigging’s book, I’ll include a reading list of some other books I found here at the ARB that focus on the Jacobites’ music and song.
As I read further into Newbigging’s analysis of the songs, I realized how truly important music was to the Jacobites as they pursued their quest to return King James II and VII to the throne, and restore the power of the monarchy to the House of Stuart. The Jacobites were steadfast in their goals; they believed that James’ removal from power was an illegal move, and that he was their rightful ruler. Though the Jacobites were ultimately unsuccessful in their attempts to restore the House of Stuart, their music lives on and preserves their history.
This music served a variety of purposes. Some songs were poetic battle cries that motivated the Jacobites to pursue their goals, some were sad ruminations upon those that were lost, and some took a darkly humorous outlook on a seemingly hopeless situation. Regardless of their intended purposes, these Jacobite songs are poignant reflections on this period in history, including not only the Jacobites’ story, but their spirit. These songs are performed even today. I wanted to pick out a few of my favorites from Newbigging’s book, and include some audio so you can listen to them too! I didn’t think I’d be spending my week listening to bagpipes, but I can’t say I’m upset about it; rather, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. Continue reading
By: Sydney Vollmer
A few weeks ago, Kevin walks into my office and tells me that word on the street is people want me to write about the Jacobins. After reading about the difference between Jacobites and the Jacobean Era, some people wanted to know if Jacobins had anything to do with either one of those. It all has to do with the recent donation of over 500 rare books on the Jacobites in Britain, providing a little context on what we have in the Archives & Rare Books Library and who all these Jackos or Jamesies are. Continue reading
Sydney Vollmer, ARB Intern
I was so confused. For weeks, Kevin and I have been talking about the Jacobites. –Before I get into this conversation, it’s extremely important for me to note that neither my grade school nor high school spent very much time on the subject of history. We excelled in language arts, but not so much the stuff I would one day have to write about.— So, Kevin recently showed me a collection we received from Virginius C. Hall on the Jacobites. Not having any idea who they were, I looked them up. The internet gave me the gist of information I would need to know, so between that and our collection I have been able to piece some things together—until today.
By: Sydney Vollmer
Among the items recently received from the Virginius C. Hall Jacobite Collection in the Archives & Rare Books Library is a watercolor of the “Beheading of the Rebel Lords on Great Tower Hill.” Unfortunately, the image is not one-of-a-kind. It is an incredible work, though. Depicted in this scene is an endless crowd surrounding a scaffold. On the platform, one man has his head down on the chopping block as an ax is raised over his neck. This execution took place in 1746 after the Jacobite Rising in 1745.