Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

King James VIII lands at Peterhead

Three hundred years ago, on December 22nd 1715, there arrived at Peterhead in Scotland, with the hope of leading an army to his successful installation on the throne, the Stuart claimant King James III and VIII.

Portrait of James Francis Edward Stuart (1688-1766), Alexis Simeon Belle, Follower of

The Jacobite King James III and VIII 
A portrait of c. 1717


An eighteenth century engraving of the landing at Peterhead

Image: Wikipedia

Originally the plan had been to land at Montrose, but the ship sailed north a avoid a vessel there and when the claimant arrived at Peterhead there were no troops to meet him. Unlike the engraving reproduced above James was so ill with seasickness that the ship's captain had to carry him ashore.

By the time he arrived the critical moment in the chances for the success of the rising had already passed, and the coronation as King of Scots on January 23rd at Scone never took place, and in February 1716 he was advised to return to the continent so as to safeguard his person.

On a seasonable Jacobite link it is often said that "O Come, All ye Faithful" originated as a Jacobite anthem. The origins of the hymn and its Jacobite associations are discussed in the online account at

O Come, All ye Faithful 

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