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Sir Edward Petre, 3rd Bt; Mary of Modena; Prince James Francis Edward Stuart

10 of 60 portraits of Prince James Francis Edward Stuart

Sir Edward Petre, 3rd Bt; Mary of Modena; Prince James Francis Edward Stuart, attributed to Pieter Schenck, 1688 or after - NPG D10694 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Sir Edward Petre, 3rd Bt; Mary of Modena; Prince James Francis Edward Stuart

attributed to Pieter Schenck
mezzotint, 1688 or after
9 7/8 in. x 7 1/8 in. (250 mm x 182 mm) plate size; 10 1/2 in. x 7 5/8 in. (266 mm x 195 mm) paper size
Purchased, 1966
Reference Collection
NPG D10694

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  • Pieter Schenck (1660-1711), Engraver and publisher. Artist associated with 50 portraits.

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The Catholic king James II was overthrown in 1688 when the birth of a male heir led parliament to invite his Protestant daughter Mary and her husband William of Orange to invade from Holland. This satirical print was produced as part of a propaganda campaign to cast doubts over the new prince's legitimacy. It parodies official prints of the mother and child by implying that the infant's real father is the Jesuit priest Edward Petre. A parallel accusation that the baby was born to a miller's wife and smuggled into the queen's bedchamber in a warming pan is referenced by the toy windmill in the cradle. These rumours successfully undermined James II's authority and helped pave the way for the revolution.

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