The inscription on this broadsword shows support for James ‘VIII’, the son of the deposed King James VII.
Silver hilt made by Edinburgh goldsmith Harry Bethune
Scotland Transformed, Level 3, National Museum of Scotland
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The blade of the broadsword is elaborately decorated, and includes an image of St Andrew, patron saint of Scotland.
When James VII died in 1701, his son James Frances Edward took up the reins of the Jacobite cause, declaring himself King James VIII of Scotland and III of England.
The inscription on the blade of this broadsword, made around 1715, proclaims support for his cause. The inscription reads: ‘Prosperity to Schotland and no Union’ and ‘For God my Country and King James the 8’.
Smuggled out of England as a baby when his father was deposed, James ‘VIII’ was raised in France. In 1708, supported by the King of France, Louis XIV, he attempted to invade Scotland, but was unable to land.
You can find out more about the broadsword in this short film.
It was seven years before the Jacobites tried again. By this time William and Mary had died and George I, the Elector of Hanover, had succeeded to the throne after the death of Queen Anne, Britain’s last Stuart monarch. The 1715 rising was led by John, Earl of Mar, who switched his allegiance from George to the Jacobites. Although there was powerful support for Mar, he was defeated at the Battle of Sheriffmuir on 13 November 1715.
Find out more about a powder flask engraved with a commemorative inscription which describes the Hanoverian defeat of the 1715 Jacobite challenge.
Find out more about a snuff mull given to Jacobite Colonel Donald Murchison, who fought at the battle of Sheriffmuir in 1715.
James himself finally landed in Scotland in December 1715, but he was not able to revive Jacobite fortunes and left for exile again with some of his leading supporters. In 1719 another Jacobite rising was defeated at the Battle of Glenshiel, in Inverness-shire.
James remained in exile for the rest of his life, dying in Rome in 1766. His ‘reign’ as Pretender to the throne had lasted just over 64 years, longer even than the reign of Queen Victoria.