Jacobite story inspires first public lecture at University’s new library

Jacobite story inspires first public lecture at University’s new library

The University of Aberdeen’s rich collection of Jacobite material has inspired the first public lecture to take place in the institution’s state-of-the-art new library.

Professor Robert Frost, Chair in Early Modern History, in the School of Divinity, History and Philosophy will present ‘The Sobieski-Stuart Marriage & the Jacobite World’ on Saturday (December 10).

It launches a series of events to be held in connection with the first exhibition in the new Gallery entitled Rebels with a Cause: The Jacobites & The Global Imagination.

The lecture will draw on materials from the University's rich holdings of Jacobite material as Professor Robert Frost employs the collections to examine the marriage of James III, the Stuart claimant to the British throne, to Clementina Sobieska, granddaughter of King John III Sobieski of Poland.

Professor Frost said: “This marriage is used to explore Charles Edward Stuart's Polish heritage and the political world of the Stuart dynasty, and to pose questions about the nature of the Jacobite legacy in modern Scotland.

“This particular aspect of ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’s’ background is little known in Scotland and this talk is intended to illuminate the period of Scottish history defined by the Charles Edward Stuart through illustrating it from a new perspective, as well as strengthening the Scottish-Polish connection.”

Rebels with a Cause The Jacobites & The Global Imagination displays treasures from the University’s rare book, archive and museum collections to explore and challenge traditional assumptions about the Jacobites.  It highlights the worldwide dimension to the Jacobite story, revealing the lives and travels of the historical characters whose ideologies have played a distinctive role in forming part of Scotland’s contemporary cultural identity.

Highlights of the exhibition, which is also open to the public and free of charge, include rare engravings, portraits and letters, a Jacobite recruitment slip and songbook, a letter written by the 'Young Pretender', Charles Edward Stuart, while in exile, a first edition of Sir Walter Scott’s novel Waverley and a selection of artefacts relating to the Jacobite Risings.

One of the rarest artefacts is an ostrich egg carved with secret Jacobite symbols made in memory of the death of James VIII and III.

The lecture ‘The Sobieski-Stuart Marriage & the Jacobite World’ begins at 2pm on Saturday (December 10th) and takes place in the Special Collections Centre (Lower Ground Floor) , University Library, Bedford Road. Places are free, though reservation is advised. Please contact Scott Byrne, Exhibitions & Public Programming Officer at scc.events@abdn.ac.uk