When the young Chevalier and his brother, the Cardinal of York, had
passed away from this world, the royal line of Stuarts had, apparently,
come to an end, and the Jacobites and Nonjurors, feeling that they had no
longer any raison d'être,
resigned themselves to the inevitable, and gave in their allegiance, with
more or less grace, to the reigning royal family of the Hanoverian line.
Some years ago, however, when the present generation was quite young,
visitors to the reading-room of the British Museum were startled at seeing
there day by day two gentlemen clad in the garb of foreigners, who might
have been Charles I and James II, risen from
their graves; so exactly did they resemble in their features and general
contour the portraits of those monarchs.
In the list of those possessing tickets of admission to the
reading-room, these gentlemen, no doubt, figured originally as John Carter
Hay Allan and Charles Manning Allan; but by their personal friends they
were addressed as the Chevaliers John Sobieski Stuart and Charles Edward
Stuart, and they were held to be the grandsons of Prince Charles Edward.
His youthful bride, it was said, was not barren, as is usually
supposed; but gave birth to a son, whilst living with her husband at
Sienna. In 1773, when obstinately clinging to his resolve, that he would
leave no succession of I royal beggars, 'the prince commended his
newly-born babe to a trusted friend, Carter Allan, Admiral of the White,
who was then cruising off Sienna, and who undertook to bring up the royal
babe, thus strangely ejected by his father, as his owl; younger son. The
infant and his nurse were put on board the English man-of-war, and in the
prince's household the event was never disclosed.
Admiral Carter Allan's residence was in Devonshire Place, Marylebone.
He was related to the Marchioness of Salisbury and the Marquis of
Downshire; while he had a claim upon the title of Erroll,
being descended from the old Hays, in the male line. The two boys made his
house ring with childish mirth; the elder, John, when he grew up, became a
captain in the British navy; the younger, Thomas, being at the time a
lieutenant. This young man, when only nineteen years of age, was married,
on October 2nd, 1792, at Goldaming, Surrey, to a Miss Katharine Matilda
Manning, and he seems thereby to have offended his real, or adopted,
father, for, while the admiral left a fortune to his elder son, he cut off
Thomas with a legacy of only five hundred pounds.
Mrs. Thomas Hay Allan, in due time, presented her husband with two
boys, named respectively John Carter Hay and Charles Manning. The marriage
of the younger is thus recorded in Blackwood for November, 1822: 'At
London, Charles Stuart, youngest son of Thomas Hay Allan, of Hay, to Anne,
daughter of the late Right Honorable John Beresford, M.P.'
In the Edinburgh Weekly
Journal, of October 26, 1845, maybe read among the marriages, `At the
chapel of the Bavarian Embassy, London, the Chevalier John Sobieski
Stuart, to Georgina, eldest daughter of Edward Kendall, Esq., of
Their reputed father
lived to see both sons married, and died an admiral, in March, 1851.
Eschewing the sea, the
brothers devoted themselves to literary pursuits and produced several
works, the most remarkable amongst which is one entitled
'Tales of the Century, or Sketches of the
Romance of History, between 1146 and 1846.' This book, in three tales,
narrates the birth, youth, and marriage of one and the self-same hero, who
bears the Gaelic title of 'Solair Dhcarg,' or Red Eagle. In his youth this
individual is taken to Scotland, and there is rapturously received by an
aged Highland chieftain, as the 'Bonny Prince
Charlie; for whom he fought at Preston and Culloden ; but he falls into an
agony of despair when reminded that these battles were fought
half-a-century ago, and, therefore, he must be mistaken in the identity.
In the third tale the hero contracts a stolen marriage, which alienates
his friends and destroys his prospects; so there is little difficulty in
perceiving that the joint authors were writing of their own father tinder
a very transparent cloak.
unquestionable proofs of legitimacy, which they claimed to possess, were
ever submitted to the inspection of their numerous friends, does not
appear; but their tale was certainly believed by many in the north,
including the late Lord Lovat, who hospitably entertained them at Beaufort
Castle, and lent them a house hard by as a residence. It was also accepted
as true by many English men and -women; and by many, who, for a
quarter-of-a-century, had almost daily met them in the great reading-room,
where the occupant of the desk next to John Sobieski Stuart, a devoted
Jacobite, and generally a late comer to the museum, used invariably to
pass him with a nod, saying, 'I will speak to
you, old friend, when I have paid my homage to my King.’
The throneless sovereign
passed away from the earth nearly twenty years ago; and the Chevalier
Charles Edward Stuart must have nearly reached his fourscore years when he
died. The elder brother died childless; the other had one daughter, the
Countess Marie Stuart, to whom the ° Tales of the Century' are dedicated
by her father and uncle.
No one, in the wildest
dream, could imagine there would ever be an actual restoration of the
Stuart line; but this Chevalier's fellow-countrymen would receive with
gratitude and deep interest the publication of the proofs of these
gentlemen's legitimacy; and even should these be never forthcoming, it
may, at least, be conceded that their story is possibly, if not probably,
correct ; since it would satisfactorily account for the Princess Louisa
immediately leaving her husband, when, in order to carry out his own
obstinate ideas, her husband had deprived her of the babe to which she had
just given birth, without holding out any hope of it being ever restored
to her arms.
I have heard it said that, being Roman Catholics, and therefore
unable to enter the British army, both of the brothers became naturalised
in France, and obtained commissions under the great Napoleon; and also
that the elder brother, acting as an aide-de-camp to the Emperor, helped
him to effect his escape from the field of Waterloo, when he saw that all
was lost. But, though I knew both of the brothers personally, I always
felt a scruple at making any allusion to this part of their career, so I
cannot certify to the fact above stated as positively true.
Chapters From the Family Chests, 1887
Chapters From the Family Chest