May 6

Jacobites in the British election

I was surprised  to find  that the Scottish Jacobite Party, which is standing one candidate in the  British election, is not committed to the Jacobite cause. Instead they are campaigning for Scotland to become an independent republic.

The Jacobites, once a powerful force, have long been committed to the return of the House of Stuart to the throne.  To them the King is the closest descendant of the deposed  King James II of England and James VII of Scotland.

Accordingly, Jacobites believe that the rightful King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland is King Francis II. He however does not claim the throne. He is the Duke of Bavaria, Franz Bonaventura Adalbert Maria Herzog von Bayern. The head of the House of Wittelsbach, he is the great-grandson of the last King of Bavaria, Ludwig III, deposed in 1918. He was christened Franz Bonaventura Adalbert Maria Prinz von Bayern, the surname meaning Prince of Bavaria. When his father died, he changed his surname to Herzog von Bayern, Duke of Bavaria.



So why would some republicans take the name Jacobite for their political party?

….Jacobite Party…

I came across the Jacobite Party in The Australian’s entertaining Strewth column (6/5) where Graeme Leech writes:

 “One British party that's unlikely to get the keys of 10 Downing Street is the Scottish Jacobite Party, a low-budget (this is Scotland) outfit fielding one candidate. History students will remember that the Jacobite cause came to grief at Culloden in 1746 but Glasgow philosopher John Black is having a go at a comeback."

" Not so long ago he raised a Jacobite flag at Glenfinnan, where Bonnie Prince Charlie started the rebellion against the Hanoverian kings of England. Apparently he wants to move the border south, thereby adding Newcastle United, Sunderland, Middlesborough and Carlisle United to the Scottish Premier League. In the 2007 Scottish elections, Black won fewer than 500 votes. But the Scots do like their football, so . . .”

… …a Jacobite in Australia….

This reminded me of late Father James Murray, who used to be the religious affairs correspondent for The Australian. An Anglo-Catholic, he wore a biretta in church.

I once heard him deliver a sermon. Whenever he mentioned the name Jesus, he raised his biretta out of respect. This gesture was misunderstood by one elderly Anglican lady in congregation who remarked quite audibly to the amusement of many : ” This minister does seem to be having a lot of trouble with his little hat.”

 I challenged him once during the referendum for promoting the republican cause in his column in The Australian, a newspaper then obsessed to the point of desperation with removing the Crown. I reminded him, perhaps impertinently, that at his ordination he had taken the Oath of Allegiance.

Some politicians take the oath or affirmation without regard to its seriousness; which would make you wonder about any evidence they may give in court.  But a clergyman would surely be expected to honour his Oath.

In his defence he said “Anyway I’m a Jacobite.“

Pretending to be shocked, I demanded:” What did you say?”

“I’m a Jacobite. The Stuarts are the legitimate Royal Family.”

I said: “I’m relieved, Father. For one terrible moment, I thought you had said you were a Jacobin.”

(The Jacobins were the extreme republican party best remembered for the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution.)

“You monarchists are all the same – impossible,” he laughed.



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