This elaborate set of travelling cutlery and two wine beakers was made by the Edinburgh goldsmith Ebenezer Oliphant in 1740-41, and may have been a 21st birthday gift for Prince Charles Edward Stuart.

Silver travelling canteen fact file

Date: c.1740-1749
Made in: Edinburgh, Scotland
Made by: Ebenezer Oliphant
Made from: Silver
Dimensions: Height 165mm, width 85mm, depth 105mm
Museum reference: H.MEQ 1584.1
On display: Scotland Transformed, Level 3, National Museum of Scotland
Did you know? The Jacobites were supporters of the deposed Catholic King James II. Bonnie Prince Charlie was his grandson.

Who was Bonnie Prince Charlie?

Bonnie Prince Charlie 180Px

Charles Edward Stuart, or Bonnie Prince Charlie as he became known, was born in Rome in 1720. He was the grandson of the deposed Catholic King James II who had fled to France from the Protestant William of Orange's invading army in 1688.

The supporters of the deposed king and his descendants, the Jacobites, had support in Britain and in continental Europe, but their main stronghold was the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.

The Stuarts, in exile across the Channel, nursed their ambition to reclaim the throne. In 1745, Charles travelled to the Highlands to raise the Scottish clans in rebellion against the current British monarch King George II. His plan was to make his father, James Stuart, the 'Old Pretender', king.

Who was Ebeneezer Oliphant?

Ebeneeze Oliphant was a member of the staunchly Jacobite family of the Oliphants of Gask, in Perthshire, and his father and brother (both called Laurence) were ‘out’ with Prince Charles’s army during the 1745-6 Rebellion.

When did the canteen arrive in Scotland?

Charles brought the canteen with him in 1745, when he arrived in Scotland to lead an attempt to regain his father’s lost crowns. When the Rebellion came to a disastrous end in April 1746, with the complete rout of the Jacobite army at Culloden, Charles had the canteen with him in his baggage.


The victorious government commander, William, Duke of Cumberland, captured the canteen and gave it to one of his aides, George Kepple, later the Earl of Albemarle, and it remained in his family until 1963. The canteen was finally acquired by the Museum in 1984, after a successful public fundraising campaign to prevent it being sold abroad.

The outer case of the canteen is decorated with the three-feathered badge of the Prince of Wales, and the Collar and Badge of the Order of the Thistle. In Jacobite eyes, Prince Charles was created Prince of Wales on his birth in 1720, and was made a Knight of the Thistle shortly after.

Silver travelling canteen

The canteen contains 31 pieces in all, including a cruet and a corkscrew/nutmeg grater.