This display toured in advance of our major Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland, opening on 23 June 2017. The sword and the targe (or Highland shield) were probably gifted to Prince Charles Edward Stuart, better known as Bonnie Prince Charlie, by James, 3rd Duke of Perth, a committed supporter of the Jacobite cause.
The son of James VIII and III, the exiled claimant to the thrones of Scotland, England and Ireland, Charles arrived in Scotland in the summer of 1745 intent on raising an army to regain the crown for this father. Others rallied by his side, culminating in the Battle of Culloden where the Jacobites suffered a crushing defeat.
Not weapons of war, but instead symbols of power and status, the sword and targe were discovered after the battle. The targe was recovered by a Jacobite clan chief, while tradition states that the sword was found by government troops and presented to their Commander, the Duke of Cumberland.
This is just one of the fascinating stories to feature in the major exhibition Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites, opening at the National Museum of Scotland on 23 June 2017.
Touring Scotland from October 2016 to May 2017
Perth Museum and Art Gallery
25 October 2016 – 25 February 2017
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
7 March – 20 May 2017