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Descendants of James II of England

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Title: Descendants of James II of England  
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Descendants of James II of England

The Jacobite succession is the line through which the crown in pretence of England and Scotland and Ireland has descended since the flight of James II & VII from London at the time of the "Glorious Revolution". James and his Jacobite successors were traditionally toasted as "The King over the Water". Due to their descent from Charles I, as compared to the descent of Queen Elizabeth II from his sister Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia, the Jacobite succession represents the most senior line of descent from William the Conqueror.[1]

House of Stuart

The Stuarts who claimed the thrones of England, Scotland, Ireland and France after the Glorious Revolution of 1688 were, with the dates of their claim:

Descendant and Dates of Claim Portrait Birth Marriages Death
James II & VII
11 December 1688 (England & Ireland) / 14 March 1689 (Scotland) –
16 September 1701[2]
14 October 1633
St. James's Palace
son of Charles I and Henrietta Maria of France[2]
Anne Hyde
3 September 1660
8 children

Mary of Modena
21 November 1673
7 children[2]

16 September 1701
Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye
aged 67[2]
James Francis Edward Stuart
("James III & VIII")
("The Old Pretender")
16 September 1701–
1 January 1766
10 June 1688[3]
St. James's Palace
son of James II of England and Mary of Modena
Clementina Sobieski
3 September 1719
2 children
1 January 1766
Palazzo Muti
aged 77
Charles Edward Stuart
("Charles III")
("The Young Pretender")
("Bonnie Prince Charlie")
1 January 1766–
31 January 1788
31 December 1720[4]
Palazzo Muti
son of James Francis Edward Stuart and Clementina Sobieski
Princess Louise of Stolberg-Gedern
28 March 1772
no children
(2 illegitimate children)
31 January 1788
Palazzo Muti
aged 67
Henry Benedict Stuart
("Henry IX & I")
("Cardinal Duke of York")
31 January 1788–
13 July 1807
11 March 1725[5]
son of James Francis Edward Stuart and Clementina Sobieski
never married 13 July 1807
aged 82

Upon Henry's death, the succession passed to a different house, and none of the Jacobite heirs since has actually claimed the thrones of England and Scotland or incorporated the arms of England and Scotland in their coats-of-arms.

House of Savoy

Charles Emmanuel IV of Sardinia was a descendant of Charles I through his youngest daughter Henrietta Anne. Her daughter Anne Marie of Orléans married Victor Amadeus II of Sardinia, and Charles Emmanuel IV was great-grandson of Queen Anne Marie in the male line.

Descendent and Dates of Claim Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Charles Emmanuel IV of Sardinia
("Charles IV")
13 July 1807–
6 October 1819
24 May 1751
son of Victor Amadeus III of Sardinia and Maria Antonietta of Bourbon
Marie Clotilde of France
No children
6 October 1819
aged 68
Victor Emmanuel I of Sardinia
6 October 1819–
10 January 1824
24 July 1759
son of Victor Amadeus III of Sardinia and Maria Antonietta of Bourbon
Maria Teresa of Austria-Este
21 April 1789
7 children
10 January 1824
aged 65
Maria Beatrice of Savoy
("Mary III & II")[6]
10 January 1824–
15 September 1840
6 December 1792
daughter of Victor Emmanuel I of Sardinia and Maria Teresa of Austria-Este
Francis IV, Duke of Modena
20 June 1812
4 children
15 September 1840
aged 48

House of Austria-Este

Descendent and Dates of Claim Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Francis V, Duke of Modena
("Francis I")
15 September 1840–
20 November 1875
1 June 1819
son of Maria Beatrice of Savoy and Francis IV, Duke of Modena
Adelgunde of Bavaria
30 March 1842
1 child
20 November 1875
aged 56
Maria Theresia of Austria-Este
("Mary IV & III")[6]
20 November 1875–
3 February 1919
2 July 1849
daughter of Ferdinand of Austria-Este[7] and Elisabeth of Austria
Ludwig III of Bavaria
13 children
3 February 1919
aged 69

House of Wittelsbach

Descendent and Dates of Claim Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Rupprecht, Crown Prince of Bavaria
("Robert I & IV")
3 February 1919–
2 August 1955
18 May 1869
son of Maria Theresia of Austria-Este and Ludwig III of Bavaria
Marie Gabrielle of Bavaria
10 July 1900
4 children

Antonia of Luxembourg
7 April 1921
6 children
2 August 1955
Schloß Leutstetten
aged 86
Albrecht, Duke of Bavaria
2 August 1955–
8 July 1996
100px 3 May 1905
son of Rupprecht, Crown Prince of Bavaria and Marie Gabrielle of Bavaria
Countess Maria Draskovich of Trakostjan
4 children

Countess Marie-Jenke Keglevich of Buzin
No children
8 July 1996
Castle Berg
aged 91
Franz, Duke of Bavaria
("Francis II")
8 July 1996–
14 July 1933
son of Albrecht, Duke of Bavaria and Countess Maria Draskovich of Trakostjan
not married

Future descent after the Duke of Bavaria

The heir presumptive of Franz, Duke of Bavaria, is his younger brother

Alternative successions

While Franz of Bavaria is recognized by most Jacobites as the Stuart heir, arguments have been made for several other candidates.


Maria Beatrice of Savoy married her uncle Francis IV, Duke of Modena. This marriage was concluded validly in Sardinia. However, it would have been illegal for them to marry in Britain, and therefore the Jacobite succession is considered by some to have passed from Maria Beatrice to her younger sister Maria Teresa, who married the Duke of Parma. Her representative today is HRH The Infanta Alicia (b. 1917), dowager Duchess of Calabria and mother of the heir of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.[8]

The succession from Maria Teresa is as follows.

Descendent Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Maria Teresa of Savoy
("Mary IV & III")
15 September 1840–
16 July 1879
19 September 1803
Palazzo Colonna
daughter of Victor Emmanuel I of Sardinia and Maria Teresa of Austria-Este
Charles II, Duke of Parma
5 September 1820
(2 children)
16 July 1879
aged 75
Descendent Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Robert I, Duke of Parma
("Robert I and IV")
16 July 1879–
16 November 1907
9 July 1848
son of Charles III, Duke of Parma and Louise Marie Thérèse of France
Maria Pia of the Two Sicilies
5 April 1869
(12 children)
Maria Antonia of Portugal
15 October 1884
Schloß Fischhorn
(12 children)
16 November 1907
aged 59
Henry, Duke of Parma
("Henry X and II")
16 November 1907–
16 November 1939
13 June 1873
son of Robert I, Duke of Parma and Maria Pia of the Two Sicilies
never married 16 November 1939
aged 66
Joseph, Duke of Parma
16 November 1939–
7 January 1950
30 June 1875
son of Robert I, Duke of Parma and Maria Pia of the Two Sicilies
never married 7 January 1950
aged 74
Elias, Duke of Parma
7 January 1950–
27 June 1959
23 July 1880
son of Robert I, Duke of Parma and Maria Pia of the Two Sicilies
Maria Anna of Austria-Teschen
25 May 1903
(8 children)
27 June 1959
aged 78
Robert II, Duke of Parma
("Robert II and V")
27 June 1959–
25 November 1974
100px 7 August 1909
son of Elias, Duke of Parma and Maria Anna of Austria-Teschen
never married 25 November 1974
aged 65
Elisabetta of Bourbon-Parma
("Elizabeth II and I")
25 November 1974–
13 June 1983
17 March 1904
daughter of Elias, Duke of Parma and Maria Anna of Austria-Teschen
never married 13 June 1983
Bad Ischl
aged 79
Maria Francesca of Bourbon-Parma
("Mary V & IV")
13 June 1983–
20 February 1994
5 September 1906
daughter of Elias, Duke of Parma and Maria Anna of Austria-Teschen
never married 20 February 1994
aged 87
Alicia, Duchess of Calabria
20 February 1994–
13 November 1917
daughter of Elias, Duke of Parma and Maria Anna of Austria-Teschen
Infante Alfonso, Duke of Calabria
16 April 1936
(3 children)

Victor Emmanuel

In the early twentieth century Frederick Rolfe claimed that King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy was the rightful King of England, as heir to the Kings of Sardinia.

In 1831 the male descendants of Victor Amadeus II of Sardinia and his wife Anne Marie d'Orléans, a niece of James II, died out and the Savoy succession – but not the Jacobite succession – passed to a distant cousin, because the succession in the Kingdom of Sardinia was governed by the Salic Law, which does not recognize claims by or through a female. England and Scotland have never been subject to the Salic Law (if they were, the succession could not have passed to the house of Savoy, nor in fact could the House of Stuart have inherited the thrones of either Scotland or England, as their claims in the two kingdoms derived, respectively, from Marjorie Bruce and Margaret Tudor). Rolfe may not have understood this.


In his book The Highland Clans, Iain Moncreiffe of that Ilk claimed that Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom "is the lawful Jacobite sovereign of this realm". Moncreiffe made the following argument:

... by the fourteenth century it had become common law (in both England and Scotland) that a person who was not born in the liegeance of the Sovereign, nor naturalised, could not have the capacity to succeed as an heir .... In Scotland, this law was modified in favour of the French from the sixteenth century, but was otherwise rigorously applied until the Whig Revolution of 1688, after which it was gradually done away with by the mid-nineteenth century. It was precisely because of this law that Queen Anne found it necessary to pass a special Act of Parliament naturalising all alien-born potential royal heirs under her Act of Settlement of the throne. But, of course, from the Jacobite point of view, no new statute could be passed after 1688 .... The nearest lawful heir of the Cardinal York in 1807 was, in fact, curiously enough, King George III himself, who had been born in England (and therefore in the technical liegance of James VIII).

Under Moncreiffe's theory, however, James VI of Scotland could never have succeeded as James I of England in 1603. This problem, recognized in 1603, had been circumvented at the time of James's accession by the ahistorical assertion that Scotland and England had been "anciently but one" kingdom, and that the succession of the Scottish monarch to the throne of England was a "reuniting" of two parts of a single kingdom, i.e., that Scotland was not really a foreign country – a concept emphasized by James's insistence on the use of the name Great Britain for the united realms of England and Scotland.

It was not common law but a 15th-century statute that restricted the English crown to those in the liegeance of the Sovereign, and that statute was supplanted by the Acts of Succession passed in Henry VIII's reign. Additionally, Jacobites believe that the royal succession is determined by God and by hereditary right, not by Parliament. For instance, most Jacobites recognise Mary, Queen of Scots as having been the rightful Queen of England – a clear violation of the aforementioned law, which in their view is overridden by Mary's hereditary rights (as granddaughter of Margaret Tudor), and the illegitimacy[9] of Elizabeth I.[10][11][12]

Another interesting question raised by Moncreiffe's theory is that had the Act of Settlement not been passed, then George III would probably not have been born in Britain and so the House of Hanover as well as the House of Savoy would have had to be bypassed on Cardinal York's death, which would mean that he would have had different heirs to Scotland and England as all post-Union of the Crowns lines (i.e. Stuart, Savoy and Hanover) would either be extinct (Stuart) or barred from the succession on the grounds of being foreign (Savoy and Hanover). The logical thing to happen in this instance would have been for parliament to introduce legislation allowing the closest relatives (i.e. The House of Savoy, specifically Charles Emmanuel IV and his family) to be in the line of succession, as was actually done for the closest Protestant relatives of Queen Anne (The House of Hanover; Princess Sophia and her family) via the Sophia Naturalisation Act which ensured the succession as laid down by the Act of Settlement, and confirmed in the Treaty of Union.

Royal family tree

Family tree showing the ancestry of the Jacobite Pretenders and their relation to the UK monarchs descended from Sophia of Hanover

See also


External links

  • The Jacobite Heritage

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