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Sunday, 29 May 2011

The 2011 Challenge, Prologue: getting to the start (6)

My stroll around the village took me out to the Jacobite memorial, and I wandered right down to the shores of the loch where I took this photo and tried to envisage the scene in 1745 at Prince Charles Edward Sewart was rowed up the loch to Glanfinnan and raised his standard in an attempt to reclaim the throne of England and Scotland (by now united by the Act of Union) on behalf of his father James Stewart - who would, had the attempt been successful, have been King James III of England and VIII of Scotland.

Interestingly, dies dated 1709 from which coinage for King James III "of Great Britain, France and Ireland" could be struck were prepared prior to an abortive attempt to reclaim the throne in 1708; and further dies for a coinage of King James VIII "of Scotland, England, Fance and Ireland" were prepared before the 1715 Jacobite rising. No dies were prepared before the 1745 rising however. Although none of the Jacobite risings of the 18th century led to the restoration of the Stewart monarchy, and the dies were not used at the time, a number of pieces were struck from these dies in 1828 following which the dies were defaced.

The claim to be king of France was perfectly normal: all British monarchs continued to assert this claim on their coinage until the Currency Reform Act of 1816, even though the reality was that the last English possession in mainland France - Calais - had been lost during the reign of Queen Mary in the 1550s!

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