The Jacobite Movement (1668-1788) Timeline

This timeline details the main events of The Jacobite Movement – the cause of the supporters of the Catholic heirs of King James II from 1668 to 1788 to reclaim the British throne following the Glorious Revolution


1668 (around)
Prince James, brother to Charles II and heir to the throne, converted to Catholicism. His conversion was kept secret and James continued to attend the Anglican church. At Charles’s order his two daughters, Mary and Anne were raised as Protestants.
1673 (29th March)
Test Act
This act stated that anyone in public office had to swear an oath of allegiance and could not be a Catholic.
1673 (during)
Prince James resigned as Lord High Admiral rather than take the Test Act. This move made clear that he had converted to Catholicism.
1678 (during)
Test Act
The 1673 Test Act was extended and effectively barred Catholics from being members of either the House of Commons or the House of Lords.
1685 (6th February)
King Charles II died. He was succeeded by his brother James as King James II.
1686 (March)
James II upset the Scottish council by requesting that they allow toleration for Catholics but not for rebellious Presbyterian Covenanters.
1687 (Autumn)
Determined to gain a repeal of the Test Act, James decided to place his supporters in positions of power and in parliament. Where those in office opposed him he removed them and appointed favourable replacements. This further alienated those who had initially supported James’s rule.
1688 (10th June)
A son, James Francis Edward, was born to 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’s son secured the succession but also meant that there was a very strong likelihood that Catholicism would return to Britain. 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 (24th August)
Feeling that he now had sufficient support, James issued a writ to call a new election.
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 wife, Mary of Modena, escaped London in disguise with baby James Francis Edward and fled to France where King Louis XIV granted him the palace of Saint-Germain-en-Laye and a pension.
1688 (11th December)
King James threw the Great Seal into the River Thames before making for the coast where he hoped to take a boat to France. He was captured in Kent but was allowed to escape to France soon afterwards.
1689 (6th February)
Parliament agreed that since James had fled abroad he was deemed to have abdicated. Both of James’s daughters 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 (March)
A Scottish Convention of 125, mostly Royalist, delegates, was elected to agree to settlement of the monarchy on William and Mary.
1689 (12th March)
James landed in Ireland at the head of a French force determined to regain the crown. Those that supported him were known as Jacobites, collectively known as the Jacobite Movement. 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 was still the rightful King. Viscount Dundee, a member of the Jacobite Movement, raised an army against the new monarchs.
1689 (Spring)
The Irish government declared support for James 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 Jacobite Movement and the Scottish Government army. Although Viscount 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 King William III and Mary II.
1689 (21st August)
Battle of Dunkeld
This battle saw the Scottish Government army victorious over the Jacobite Movement in Scotland.
1689 (16th December)
Bill of Rights
The English parliament drew up this bill which stated basic civil rights and settled the succession. It also stated that no Roman Catholic could take the throne nor could an English monarch marry a Roman Catholic.
1690 (Spring)
William went to Ireland to put down the Jacobite rebellion there. While he was absent, Mary took over the reins of government.
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 fled to France.
1690 (late July)
William returned to England leaving Godert de Ginkell in charge of suppressing further Jacobite resistance in Ireland.
1690 (late Summer)
In France, James took up residence in the chateau of Saint-Germain-en-Laye with his wife and some of his loyal supporters.
1691 (during)
In Scotland, the chiefs of the Highland clans were ordered to swear an Oath of Allegiance to William and Mary. The deadline for taking the oath was 1st January 1692.
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.
1691 (late December)
The chief of the MacDonald clan of Glencoe had put off taking the Oath of Allegiance. He now reluctantly decided to take the Oath and went to Fort William. However, when he arrived he was told that a sheriff needed to be present and that the nearest sheriff was 40 miles away. MacDonald did not reach the sheriff until after the 1st January deadline.
1692 (January)
In Edinburgh John Dalrymple, Secretary of Scotland, was unaware that MacDonald had taken the oath and issued instructions to eliminate the Glencoe clan.
1692 (13th February)
Glencoe Massacre
After spending a number of days as guests of the Glencoe MacDonalds, Campbell of Glenlyon massacred 40 MacDonald men, women and children.
1694 (28th December)
James’s daughter, Mary II, died. Her husband William III succeeded as sole monarch of Britain.
1696 (during)
William III survived an assassination attempt by John Fenwick a member of the Jacobite Movement.
1696 (February)
Jacobite George Barclay hatched a plot to ambush and assassinate William III. The plot was discovered and a number of members of the Jacobite Movement were arrested.
1697 (during)
John Fenwick was found guilty of treason for attempting to assassinate William and was beheaded.
1700 (July)
William, Duke of Gloucester, only surviving son of William’s sister-in-law-Anne, died.
1701 (March)
James II, suffered a stroke that left him partially paralysed. His son, 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. The Catholic heirs of James II were excluded from the succession.
1701 (16th September)
James II died of a brain haemorrhage at Saint-Germain-en-Laye. James Francis Edward was recognised as 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 the Jacobite cause.
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, 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 Queen Anne’s half-brother, James Francis Stuart.
1715 (6th September)
1715 Jacobite Rebellion
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.
1715 (October)
John Erskine, Earl of Mar, had taken control of the Scottish Highlands and outnumbered the Royalist army.
1715 (13th November)
Jacobite Rebellion – Battle of Sheriffmuir
The Jacobites led by the Earl of Mar met the forces of the Duke of Argyll. Despite being outnumbered 2-1, the Royal army managed to hold them off and the battle was inconclusive. The result left many supporters of the Jacobite Movement disheartened at their army’s failure to win the battle.
1715 (23rd December)
James Francis 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, James’s supporter, King Louis XIV of France, had died. The new King of France, Louis XV did not show the same level of support and was not happy with James 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.
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.
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 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 with a handful of men. A second ship carrying money and weapons had been damaged during a fight with a Royal navy ship and had returned to France. 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 (4th September)
Charles took Perth in Scotland.
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 Jacobite Movement victorious.
1745 (31st October)
Although Charles’s advisers counselled him that he should wait in Edinburgh for reinforcements, Charles decided to march south.
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.
1745 (8th December)
The Jacobites took Stirling in 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 (late Spring)
Charles Edward Stuart managed to evade the Royalists by hiding out with Highland clans. Although there was a reward of £30,000 for the capture of Charles Edward, none of the Highlanders gave him up.
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 (during)
Fort George was built near Inverness, Scotland and manned with troops to prevent rebellion in the Scottish Highlands.
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 died. 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.
1772 (14th April)
Charles Edward married Princes Louise of Stolberg-Gedern. They made their home in Rome.
1774 (during)
Charles Edward and Louise of Stolberg-Gedern moved to Florence.
1780 (during)
Charles’s wife, Louise of Stolberg-Gedern left him claiming that she had suffered physical abuse.
1788 (during)
Scottish Catholics swore allegiance to the House of Hanover.
1788 (31st January)
Charles Edward Stuart died of a stroke. His brother, Henry Benedict, made no attempt to take the throne of Britain ending the Jacobite cause.


Published Jan 10, 2018 @ 5:55 pm – Updated – [last-modified]

Harvard Reference for this page::

Heather Y Wheeler. (2018 – 2020). The Jacobite Movement 1668 – 1788. Last accessed [date]


Leave a comment