Charles Edward Stuart, the Young Pretender (1720-1788)

Eldest son of James Edward Stuart, the Old Pretender, born in exile at Rome. Their claim was supported by the French as part of the War of the Austrian Succession, and Charles was sent to command their proposed invasion in 1743. The following year, a major invasion fleet was prepared, but was stopped from leaving Dunkirk by the English fleet. Finally, in the summer of 1745, Charles reached Scotland, landing on the Hebrides with seven friends, launching the Second Jacobite Revolt. He was much more successful than his father had been in 1715, and having captured Edinburgh, marched deep into England, reaching Derby before his own men and the lack of support in England forced him to return to Scotland. By this point, the duke of Cumberland with an army partly drawn from troops that had been serving in the Netherlands, was threatening Charles, and eventually he was caught at Culloden (16 April 1746), and his army defeated, ending his revolt. He was able to escape capture, and despite a large reward managed to escape to France. He was high-spirited, adventurous, handsome and well able to inspire enthusiasm and loyalty amongst his supporters, and the myth of 'Bonnie Prince Charlie' had proved to have enduring appeal. After the failure of the '45 he alienated most of his remaining supporters, with his drunken behaviour and spent the rest of his life in exile, dying in Rome.
How to cite this article: Rickard, J. (6 November 2000), Charles Edward Stuart, the Young Pretender (1720-1788), http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/people_youngpretender.html

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