James Francis Edward Stuart, Old Pretender Timeline 1688-1766

James Francis Edward Stuart

Born – 10th June 1688
Died – 1st January 1766
FatherKing James II (1633 – 1701)
MotherMary of Modena (1658 – 1718)
Spouse – m. 1719 – Maria Clementina Sobieska (1702 – 1735)
ChildrenCharles Edward (1720 – 1788), Henry Benedict (1725 – 1807)


1688 (10th June)
James Francis Edward Stuart, was born to King James II and Mary of Modena at St James’s Palace, London. He was styled Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay.
1688 (mid June)
The birth of James Francis Edward secured the succession but also meant that there was a very strong likelihood that Catholicism would return to Britain, something the majority of people did not want. Rumours spread that James Francis Edward was not James’s true son but had been smuggled into the birthing room.
1688 (30th June)
Glorious Revolution
Seven Protestant nobles, Earl of Shrewsbury, Earl of Devonshire, Earl of Danby, Viscount Lumley, Bishop of London, Edward Russell and Henry Sydney, wrote to William III of Orange, husband of James II’s daughter Mary and asked him to join them in making Mary heir to the throne in place of the newborn prince. William was told that if he landed in England with a small army he would find that he had much support.
1688 (5th November)
Glorious Revolution
William of Orange landed at Brixham in Devon. After the army and navy defected to William, James decided not to march to meet him.
1688 (9th December)
James’s mother, Mary of Modena, took him and escaped London in disguise. They fled to France.
1688 (23rd December)
James’s father was allowed to escape to France. King Louis XIV granted James the palace of Saint-Germain-en-Laye and a pension.
1689 (6th February)
Parliament agreed that since James had fled abroad he was deemed to have abdicated. Both of James’s daughters from his first marriage refused to rule over William so it was agreed that William and Mary should jointly take the throne as William III and Mary II.
1689 (12th March)
James’s father, determined to recover the throne, landed in Ireland at the head of a French force. Those that supported him were known as Jacobites. The name is derived from Jacobus which is Latin for James.
1689 (11th April)
William and Mary were proclaimed King and Queen in Scotland. However, there were many Scots, especially those in the Highlands, that believed that James’s father was still the rightful King. Viscount Dundee, a Jacobite, raised an army against the new monarchs.
1689 (Spring)
The Irish government declared support for James’s father on condition that he restore lands in Ireland that had been confiscated by Oliver Cromwell and allow Catholics to worship freely.
1689 (18th May)
In Scotland, Viscount Dundee marched to try to engage King William’s commander, Hugh Mackay. He was unable to provoke a battle and many of his men went home.
1689 (July)
Jacobite reinforcements arrived in Scotland. On hearing this Hugh Mackay marched to meet them.
1689 (27th July)
Battle of Killiecrankie
This battle was fought between the Jacobites and the Scottish Government army. Although Dundee was killed and Jacobite losses were large, the Jacobites won the battle. However, those that survived were unable to mount further resistance to the rule of William and Mary.
1689 (21st August)
Battle of Dunkeld
This battle saw the Scottish Government army victorious over the Jacobites in Scotland.
1690 (Spring)
King William III went to Ireland to put down the Jacobite rebellion there.
1690 (1st July)
Battle of the Boyne
The forces of William III secured a decisive victory over those of James II. James managed to escape the battlefield and returned to France.
1690 (late Summer)
In France, James and his family took up residence in the chateau of Saint-Germain-en-Laye.
1691 (3rd October)
Treaty of Limerick
This treaty ended Jacobite resistance in Ireland leaving William in control of the country. Jacobite soldiers were given the option of joining William’s army, going to join James in France or going home and living peacefully. The majority, around 14,000 went to France.
1694 (28th December)
James’s half-sister, Queen Mary II, died. William III succeeded as sole monarch of Britain.
1701 (March)
James’s father, suffered a stroke that left him partially paralysed. James Francis Edward became Jacobite claimant to the throne of Great Britain. He was known as the Old Pretender.
1701 (12th June)
Act of Settlement
This act stated that the succession would pass to the heirs of Sophia, Electress of Hanover, Protestant granddaughter of James I if Anne died without an heir. James was excluded from the succession.
1701 (16th September)
James’s father died of a brain haemorrhage at Saint-Germain-en-Laye. James Francis Edward was recognised as King James III by France, Spain, Modena and the Pope.
1702 (2nd March)
In Britain, James Francis Edward was charged with treason for claiming the British throne.
1702 (8th March)
William III died from pneumonia. He was succeeded by his sister-in-law Anne.
1707 (1st May)
Act of Union
This act formally united England and Scotland as Great Britain, to be governed by one parliament. Many Scots were deeply annoyed that Scotland was no longer independent and their dissatisfaction increased support for James Francis Edward.
1708 (during)
The French, who were at war with Britain, offered their support to James Francis Edward. It was agreed that James would seek to unite Scotland as King James III in protest against the Act of Union 1707.
1708 (23rd March)
James Francis Edward Stuart, with a French invasion fleet, reached the Firth of Forth in Scotland but was unable to proceed with a landing because ships from the Royal Navy were waiting for them.
1713 (April)
Treaty of Utrecht
This was a series of peace treaties between Britain, France and Spain. One of the terms of the treaty included a requirement that Louis XIV expel James Frances Edward from France.
1714 (1st August)
Queen Anne died at Kensington Palace, London. Her death ended the Stuart dynasty. As per the terms of the Act of Settlement 1701, George, Elector of Hanover became King of Great Britain. George favoured the Whig party in government and excluded many Tories from government.
1715 (27th August)
John Erskine, Earl of Mar, former Tory member of the government who had been dismissed by King George, supported the overthrow of George and his replacement by James Francis Stuart.
1715 (6th September)
John Erskine, Earl of Mar, raised the standard of James III and VIII and found he had much support among the Scottish Highlanders. Meanwhile, John Campbell, Duke of Argyll raised troops loyal to the crown to counter Erskine’s army.
1715 (October)
John Erskine, Earl of Mar, had taken control of the Scottish Highlands and outnumbered the Royalist army.
1715 (13th November)
Battle of Sheriffmuir
The Jacobites led by the Earl of Mar met the forces of the Duke of Argyll. Despite being outnumbered 2-1 by the Jacobites, the Royal army managed to hold them off and the battle was inconclusive. Many of the Jacobite supporters were disheartened at their army’s failure to win the battle.
1715 (23rd December)
James Francis Edward Stuart arrived at Peterhead from France but following the defeat at Sheriffmuir found it difficult to rekindle enthusiasm for his cause.
1715 (January)
James Francis Stuart established his own court at Scone Palace, Perth, Scotland.
1716 (4th February)
Upon learning of the advance of government troops, James Francis Stuart and the Earl of Mar left Scotland and fled to France.
1716 (mid February)
While he had been in Scotland, King Louis XIV of France, had died. The new King of France, Louis XV did not support James and was not happy with him returning to France.
1716 (April)
James Francis Edward left France and moved to Avignon which was Papal territory.
1717 (February)
James, the Old Pretender, left Avignon and moved to Pesaro in Italy.
1717 (July)
James left Pesaro and moved to Urbino in Italy.
1718 (November)
Pope Clement XI offered James Francis Edward the Palazzo del Re in Rome. James readily accepted the accommodation and a yearly pension. The palace became the focus for Jacobite resistance.
1719 (13th April)
With the support of King Philip of Spain and Spanish troops James Francis Edward landed in Scotland. He succeeded in recruiting a number of Scottish highlanders but they were poorly equipped.
1719 (10th June)
Battle of Glenshiel
The Jacobite/Spanish army met British troops led by Joseph Wightman and George Munro at Glen Shiel. The Jacobites were no match for the British and were defeated. The Spanish surrendered while the Scottish highlanders fled to their homes. James Francis Edward returned to Rome.
1719 (3rd September)
James Francis Edward married Maria Clementina Sobieska at Montefiascone, Viterbo, Italy.
1720 (31st December)
A son, Charles Edward was born to James Francis Edward and Maria Sobieska. He was known as Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Young Pretender.
1722 (during)
Atterbury Plot
This was a new Jacobite uprising planned by Francis Atterbury, Bishop of Rochester. The plot was discovered before it could be put into operation.
1725 (11th March)
A son, Henry Benecict was born to James Francis Edward and Maria Sobieska.
1727 (11th June)
King George I died. He was succeeded by his son, King George II.
1744 (early)
James Francis Edward Stuart managed to regain French support. However, A French invasion of Britain led by James’s son, Charles Edward Stuart, the Young Pretender, was abandoned due to poor weather.
1745 (23rd July)
Charles Edward Stuart landed at Eriskay in the Outer Hebrides. He planned to gain Scottish support and then march south, Meanwhile the French would invade the south and when the two armies met they would remove George II from the throne.
1745 (19th August)
Charles Edward Stuart raised his standard at Glenfinnan and after attracting an army marched south.
1745 (17th September)
The Scottish capital, Edinburgh, surrendered to Charles Edward Stuart.
1745 (21st September)
Battle of Prestonpans
This battle between the Jacobites led by Charles Edward Stuart and Royal forces led by Sir John Cope saw the Jacobites victorious.
1745 (early November)
The Jacobites took Carlisle in the north of England. Bonnie Prince Charlie’s army was now around 6,000.
1745 (4th December)
The Jacobite army reached Derby. Charles’s commander, Lord George Murray, decided not to continue to London due to lack of support among the English and headed back to Scotland.
1746 (17th January)
Battle of Falkirk Muir
This battle between the Jacobites led by Charles Edward Stuart and George Murray and Royal forces led by Henry Hawley, saw the Jacobites victorious.
1746 (24th March)
A French ship carrying money and supplies for the Jacobite army was intercepted by the Royal Navy.
1746 (16th April)
Battle of Culloden
The Jacobites led by Charles Edward Stuart faced Royal forces led by King George’s brother, William, Duke of Cumberland. Charles refused to take the advice of his generals and chose to fight on flat, marshy ground. The Jacobites were completely defeated and Charles Edward fled the battlefield and sought refuge in the Highlands.
1746 (27th June)
Charles Edward Stuart reached the Isle of Skye after escaping, disguised as a maid, with the help of Flora MacDonald.
1746 (1st August)
Act of Proscription
This act sought to prevent further Scottish uprisings. It banned the wearing of tartan or kilts and required all swords to be surrendered to the government.
1746 (1st August)
Heritable Jurisdictions (Scotland) Act
This act removed the power of clan chiefs over their clans.
1746 (September)
Charles Edward Stuart reached France.
1748 (18th October)
Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle
This treaty agreed a peace between Britan, France and the Netherlands. With France at peace with Britain Louis XV no longer supported an invasion of Britain by Charles Edward.
1748 (December)
Charles Edward Stuart was exiled from France after continually pestering the French government to support a further invasion of Britain.
1750 (during)
Charles Edward Stuart converted to Anglicanism believing that conversion would give him a better chance of succeeding to the throne.
1750 (during)
Charles Edward Stuart sought the backing of Frederick II of Prussia. Frederick’s support was lukewarm and Charles’s supporters began to realise that there was little hope of gaining foreign support for a further invasion.
1759 (during)
With France and Britain at war again, the French summoned Charles Edward to Paris to negotiate a joint invasion of Britain. However, the French found him overly ambitious and pompous and doubted his military ability.
1759 (18th August)
Battle of Lagos
The French were defeated by the Royal navy and were forced to postpone ideas of an invasion of Britain.
1759 (20th November)
Battle of Quiberon Bay
The French were again defeated by the Royal navy and were now forced to abandon ideas of an invasion of Britain.
1760 (25th October)
King George II died. He was succeeded by his grandson George III.
1766 (1st January)
James Francis Edward Stuart died in Rome. The Pope refused to acknowledge Charles Edward as sovereign of Great Britain. The lack of Papal support was a massive blow for the Young Pretender.


Published Jan 10, 2019 @ 8:05 pm – Updated – [last-modified]

Harvard Reference for this page::

Heather Y Wheeler. (2019 – 2020). James Francis Edward Stuart, Old Pretender 1688 – 1766. https://www.thetimelinegeek.com/james-francis-edward-old-pretender-1688-1766. Last accessed [date]


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