12 posts in this topic

Ahoy, mates!

I have written an article describing the complex political and historical context of what it meant to be a Jacobite. Please enjoy and parley on the points!

http://bcbrooks.blogspot.com/2016/02/are-jacobites-criminals-or-just-loud.html

Note the article from my book on Richard Tookerman of South Carolina that I referred to in the blog article: http://bcbrooks.blogspot.com/2015/12/south-carolinas-gentleman-pirate.html

Baylus C. Brooks
Candidate in Maritime Studies Program
East Carolina University

Professional Research Historian at Brooks Historical

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Edited by Baylus_Brooks

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I have some thoughts (no surprise there I imagine)

First of all describing the House of Stuart, or anything else, as 'Scots-British' is inaccurate. The phrase you're looking for is either 'Anglo-Scottish' or simply 'British'. The country immediately south of Scotland is not Britain, it's England: Scotland is part of Britain. It's a small point but an important one.

As a general introduction to Jacobitism the article is not bad, but I think when you describe the legal ramifications of being a Jacobite you miss the point. It's true that personally held beliefs could not be prosecuted in law unless those political beliefs led you to illegally protest, and you're quite correct in that statement, but what you miss is just how far the law extended in outlawing Jacobite protest. If, for example, you were heard drinking a toast to the Pretender that was enough to have you reported and the constables banging down your door. Singing a Jacobite song in the wrong part of town could see you beaten up and arrested. Captain John Silk of the London militia was hauled before the Corporation in 1711 to defend himself for having his company musicians play a tune (without words) that sometimes had pro-Jacobite words set to it. So yes, Jacobitism could only be prosecuted as a criminal activity if it involved some kind of protest, but legally speaking almost any form of Jacobite expression counted as protest.

Imagine a state in which you could be arrested for telling your Republican neighbour you were thinking of voting Democrat. In fact, imagine a state in which you didn't have the option to vote Democrat at all, but could be arrested for telling your neighbour that you thought it was a pity there was no Democrat to vote for.

Into that world stepped the pirates of the 'golden age', many of whom had pro-Jacobite sympathies. And not just pirates, but many other criminal groups: smugglers, poachers, highwaymen. It's often difficult to disentangle because charges of Jacobitism were routinely tacked on to other criminal charges in order to vilify the accused, but even so there is enough evidence to show that many criminals (and many non-criminals too) expressed pro-Jacobite sentiments. How far they went in their support for the exiled Stuarts is impossible to quantify. It's been observed that in the early 18th century Jacobitism was really the only discourse of dissent available to those dissatisfied with the Whig regime, but at least in the cases of pirates and smugglers genuine practical assistance was offered to the Jacobite cause.

In case you haven't read it, my article on piracy and Jacobitism from the International Journal of Maritime History can be found here: https://www.academia.edu/772352/Jacobitism_and_the_Golden_Age_of_Piracy_1715-1725

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Hi Old Twillian!

I'll get your article and get back to ya! Thanks!

Later: Got it. Put a link to it on my blog entry (little advertising for you) and corrected the "Scots-British" reference. Excellent! BTW, on numerous occasions, my British History professor had to explain this point over and over to all of his classes. Being American is a hard handicap to overcome. lol

Edited by Baylus_Brooks

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I've lost count of the number of times I've had to explain it here, and yet it's really very simple: historically, England, Scotland, and Ireland were three kingdoms that made up Great Britain. Nowadays it's slightly different - England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland make up Great Britain, but historically Wales was considered part of England and Ireland was united. To differentiate the Scots from the British is akin to differentiating Texans from Americans.

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The there's the whole "Scots-Irish" can of worms...hoo-boy! Wanna see a fight start faster than a hockey game just say that in a bar full of Scotsmen attending a Scottish Highland Games Festival! (or in an Irish bar in Boston, New York, Kansas City,...)

Bo

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Just call 'em British, they won't mind that at all :rolleyes:

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A question about the Britain vs. England, Scotland, etc. Is it at all like the individual states in the U.S. vs. federal government? Granted, it seems like the states are losing more and more power to the federal government these days, but they once were nearly autonomous 'countries'. I may be (and probably am) missing something with this.

Edited by Coastie04

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Well, if we started at the pre-Roman tribal societies and worked through the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms this could be a very long answer indeed, so let's start at the end of the medieval period.

By 1500 England and Ireland were separate countries, but ruled from England by the same monarch. Wales, though it had once been a separate country was now absorbed into England (just to confuse the issue, small parts of France were also 'part of' England). Scotland was a separate country ruled by its own monarch.

In 1603 Queen Elizabeth died childless and the next heir to the throne was James VI of Scotland, so at that point England, Ireland, and Scotland were separate countries, but now ruled by the same monarch (in the same way a Britain, Australia, and Canada all share the Queen now). James favoured the term 'Great Britain' for his territories.

In 1707 the Act of Union was passed, and England and Scotland were united into one country under one government, Now officially called 'Great Britain'. In 1801 Ireland joined Great Britain, and the country officially became 'The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland', or simply the United Kingdom.

Following the 1916 rebellion, Ireland was granted independence in 1922 and reverted to being a separate country, but the largely Protestant population in the Northern part of Ireland opposed independence and elected to remain in the UK, forming the country of Northern Ireland. From that point on the United Kingdom included England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, each culturally distinct but politically united as one country under one government.

In recent years a certain amount of devolution has occurred. There is still a central government in London which rules the United Kingdom, but for purely local matters Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland all have their own legislative assemblies which I suppose are roughly akin to State governments in the US. The exception is England, which does not have its own legislative body.

From my limited understanding of American politics, I think the UK is moving in the opposite direction to the US, with more local power gradually devolving to the provincial assemblies. A year or so ago Scotland held a referendum to decide whether they wanted to become and independent country again, but voted in favour of staying in the UK. How that will affect future devolution of power is difficult to say.

There, clear as Thames mud.

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I would indeed add just one link that could as well be added to some other Jacobite thread. (And if need be people can move this elsewhere.)

This is mostly about the criminals Foxe called individual crews who had little or no contact with other pirates, some of whom served in the forces of pro-Jacobite governments.

However, this is an interesting example of the pragmatic nature of Jacobite sea rovers that pretty much corresponds the offer the Bahamian pirates sent to George Camocke. Even while these pirates were Operating in the Indian Ocean.

I happened to found this article

http://usd.ff.cuni.cz/?q=system/files/wanner%20pirate.pdf

And another, perhaps less professional one

http://www.academia.edu/11341203/King_Charles_XII_of_Sweden_and_the_Jacobite_Pirates_of_Madagascar


Edited by Swashbuckler 1700

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Thanks for posting those articles Swashbuckler, particularly the latter one. When I wrote my article I was aware of the Swedish connection, particularly with the unfortunate John Norcross, and I would have liked to have included something about it, but prohibition of space, and more especially the fact that at that time there was nothing written in English about it, prevented it. I'm really glad to see that it's been addressed in the English language now.

Incidentally, I think the second article is better than the first.

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I have a digital copy of an academic paper written in 1848 regarding the Swedish Madagascar Affair. It’s in Swedish, but since it is digital I guess it can be translated to googlish. It also includes a letter written by Morgane to Charles XII. If anyone is interested, let me know.

There are also traces of this in the Stuart Papers.

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Ed, thank you for that revealing insight to English/British/Great Britain/UK political history. And thank you for not going all the way back to Roman times, though I would probably be interested I doubt I'd have the time for a full read (or I'd have done research myself-impossible with the snot nosed ship's boys I've got running around the house).

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