The Jacobite Glass and the House of Stuart

The Jacobite Glass at Chastleton

The House of Stuart was established in England in 1603 when James VI of Scotland became King James I. In 1660, the monarchy was restored under Charles II, and on his death in 1685, his younger brother James II inherited the throne.

A little bit of context...

James II had two daughters, Mary and Anne, from his first marriage to Anne Hyde, both raised in the Protestant faith.

However James was known to be a Catholic and his second marriage to an Italian princess caused much concern amongst the Protestant nobles and Parliament. 

Portrait of James II from Kedlestone Hall, Derbyshire
Portrait of James II from Kedlestone Hall, Derbyshire
Portrait of James II from Kedlestone Hall, Derbyshire

James's daughter had married her cousin, William of Orange,who was invited by Parliament to claim the throne. They landed in 1688, with William at the head of an army. 

However when James II fled to France, it was seen as an abdicatio and William and Mary took the throne without any loss of life, in what became known as the Glorious Revolution. 

James II attempted to regain his throne with the support of a French army in 1689.

He landed in Ireland and received much support, but was defeated by William and spent the remainder of his life in exile in France, dying in 1701.

The Pretender's

On the death of James II, his son James Francis Edward, by his second marriage to Mary of Modena, styled himself as James III and VIII of England and Scotland, but was known as the 'Old Pretender' to his enemies.

Portrait of The Old Pretender from Gunby Hall, Lincolnshire
Portrait of The Old Pretender from Gunby Hall, Lincolnshire
Portrait of The Old Pretender from Gunby Hall, Lincolnshire

He led an uprising in 1715 soon after the crown had passed to the Hanoverian George I.

The 'Young Pretender', Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie), was the grandson of James II and he also led an uprising to regain the throne in 1745. 

Portrait of The Young Pretender from Gunby Hall, Lincolnshire
Portrait of The Young Pretender from Gunby Hall, Lincolnshire
Portrait of The Young Pretender from Gunby Hall, Lincolnshire

Both attempts to regain the throne were unsuccessful, despite there still being many Jacobite supporters in England and Scotland. 

Secret Clubs

Jacobites were mainly Catholics who favoured the return of the Stuart dynasty and who formed secret clubs to work and plot for their aim.

The oldest of these clubs was the Gloucestershire Society founded in 1657 to work originally for the restoration of Charles II.

Henry Jones IV, owner of Chastleton House
Henry Jones IV, owner of Chastleton House
Henry Jones IV, owner of Chastleton House

The President of the club in the early 18th century was Henry Jones, whose great grandfather,Arthur Jones, had fought for the Stuarts in the Civil War. His country house at Chastleton was the centre of its activities and would have provided a suitably remote spot for their meetings. 

Chastleton at dusk
Chastleton at dusk
Chastleton at dusk

Later many Jacobite Cycle Clubs were founded. The name refers to the clubs' procedure of meeting in each of the members houses in turn - hence the name 'cycle'.

The Jacobite Glass

To drink the health of the Stuarts was a treasonable offence but this did not stop Jacobites like Henry Jones having their toasting glasses and decanters engraved with emblems of their faith.

A close up of the decanter at Chastleton
A close up of the decanter at Chastleton
A close up of the decanter at Chastleton

However to avoid discovery, many of these engraved glasses were destroyed and it became the custom to smash the glasses after the toast to the Jacobite cause had been drunk. Luckily this did not happen to the Chastleton glasses and decanter.

Toasting the Stuarts in private was one thing: taking up arms to support them at the decisive moment was quite another.

When Bonnie Prince Charlie marched south towards Derby to reclaim the throne in 1745, Henry Jones and most other English Jacobites prudently stayed at home. The return of the Stuarts remained a romantic dream at the bottom of a glass. 

The glasses in Jacobite collection at Chastleton
The glasses in Jacobite collection at Chastleton
The glasses in Jacobite collection at Chastleton

Toasts would have included 'to the white rose over the water' (the Old Pretender) or 'to the little gentleman in black velvet' (William of Orange had been injured and died after his horse stumbled on a molehill).

The Chastleton glassware is particularly important becasue it is probably the only Jacobite glass still in the original house where it was used in the 18th century.

The Jacobite Glass at Chastleton
The Jacobite Glass at Chastleton
The Jacobite Glass at Chastleton

The design on the Jacobite glass was wheel-engraved using copper discs and an abrasive powder with the discs fixed to a treadle operated lathe. This technique was introduced to Egland from Bohemia around 1730.

The Jacobite Glass is now on display at Chastleton and can be seen in the Great Chamber.