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Loyal Exchange: the material and visual culture of Jacobite exile, 1716-60

Dr Georgia Vunghillis successfully defended her thesis in 2021 after 4 years as a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh and co-supervised by National Museums Scotland.

Last updated: 8 February 2022

About the research

From 1716, the exiled claimant to the British thrones, James Frances Edward Stuart, and his court lived in Italy, and after 1719 it settled permanently in Rome. Scottish collections reflect the significance of material and visual culture in articulating, promoting, and prolonging the Jacobite cause in exile.

Using the museum’s collections alongside letters and papers from the time, this project attempted to track the movement of objects and images between the exiled Stuart court and their supporters in Scotland. It brought a better understanding of how material culture was used by supporters to express loyalty to the cause, as well as what that loyalty was based on. Through the exchanges between court and supporters, a material and visual language of Jacobite sympathy emerged, which endured thereafter in the romantic popular culture of the post-1760 Jacobite ‘lost cause’. This research examined how that language was originally developed through networks of personal and symbolic exchange.


Lead image: Finger ring with crowned "JR" under crystal, given by James VII on the night he fled from London on 1688 to Sir Peter Halkett.

Doctoral research project details

Project title

Loyal Exchange: the material and visual culture of Jacobite exile, 1716-60


Dr Georgia Vunghillis

Project active

2017 - 2021


AHRC Scottish Cultural Heritage Consortium (SCHC) – Collaborative Doctoral Partnership

University of Edinburgh Supervisor

Professor Viccy Coltman - History of Art

National Museums Scotland Supervisor

Dr Stuart Allan - Scottish History & Archaeology

Research theme

Scotland's Material Heritage

Email icon Dr Stuart Allan

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