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Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Prince Charles Edward Stuart (1720-1788), Grandson of James II; 'Bonnie Prince Charlie'

Charles Edward Louis Philip Casimir Stuart, 'The Young Pretender', ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie'. Jacobite leader; eldest son of the titular James III, 'The Old Pretender', and grandson of James II; born and educated in Rome; attempted invasion foiled by the English fleet at Dunkirk, 1744; landed in the Hebrides, 1745, entered Edinburgh, was victorious at Prestonpans and reached Derby; retreated and crushed by Cumberland at Culloden, 1746; fugitive in the Highlands, escaped to France, expelled 1748; married Louisa von Stolberg, 1772; separated 1780; removed to Florence; died in Rome.

'The Prince', wrote James Edgar from Rome, 3 August 1737, to Thomas Tyrrell (agent in Florence), 'is in great joy on acct of his hair being cut off this afternoon and his putting on a Wig, I was present at the operation, and the Wig becomes him very well'. [1]

In 1740, Sir Horace Mann noted: 'The young man is above the middle height and very thin. He wears a light bag wig; his face is rather long, the complexion clear, but borders on paleness; the forehead very broad, the eyes fairly large - blue but without sparkle; the mouth large, with the lips slightly curled, and the chin more sharp than rounded'. [2]

Footnotesback to top

1) Extracts from the Stuart papers, Royal Archives, Windsor, II, p 6.
2) Dictionary of National Biography, IV, p 108, when the Prince was passing through Florence on his way to France.

This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Kerslake, Early Georgian Portraits, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1977, and is as published then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.