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RA SP/MAIN/115/162 4 May 1728

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Letter written by 'Bonnie Prince Charlie' to his father, 4 May 1728

RA SP/MAIN/115/162 (view the document)

During the reigns of the Hanoverian kings George I (r. 1714–27) and George II there were rival claimants to the British throne: the Catholic Stuarts, descended from James II (r. 1685–88).

After Antonio David (1698-1750), Charles Edward, RCIN 603577 ©

James Francis Edward Stuart, the 'Old Pretender' led an unsuccessful rebellion in 1715, and his son Charles Edward Stuart, now better known as ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’ or the ‘Young Pretender’, led the Jacobite rising of 1745–46, crushed at the Battle of Culloden.

Prince Charles Edward was seven years old when he wrote this letter to his father from Palazzo Muti, the exiled Stuarts' residence in Rome.

He promises to ‘be very Dutifull to Mamma, and not jump too near her’, probably a reference to the health of his mother during an unsuccessful pregnancy at that time.