Collection of Benjamin Weiss
JAMES (III) STUART, THE ELDER PRETENDER: JACOBITE APPEAL AGAINST THE HOUSE OF HANOVER
HAMERANI, Ottone: England, 1721, Bronze, 50 mm
James Francis Edward Stuart (1688-1766) was the son of James II, king of England. He titled himself James III of England (hence, the Elder Pretender) and James VIII of Scotland and spent a good deal of his life attempting to regain control of England back to Catholic rulers from the Protestant and foreign Hanoverians. The establishment of German Hanoverian rulers to the British throne was due entirely to the 1701 Act of Settlement which decreed that a Protestant must follow Queen Anne to the throne. Although a distant relative, George Louis, Elector of Hanover, became king of England because he was the first Protestant in line to the throne. Encouraged by the French king, Louis XIV, James Stuart staged a series of rebellions (the Jacobite Rebellions) against George I, the Hanoverian king of England, each of which ended in failure.
This medal (which is sometimes called The South Sea Bubble, and has also been attributed to Ermenegildo Hamerani) was intended for distribution among the Jacobites and was executed when great efforts were being made secretly to raise troops and supply arms to insurgents in Britain so that another effort might be made to place the Stuarts back on the throne of Britain. The omission of the Prince's name on the medal was intended to increase the interest of his cause. The Jacobites believed that the Lion and the Unicorn were symbols of the Stuarts only, and their treatment on the reverse of this medal was calculated to "fan the flame of indignation against the House of Hanover". (Sanda Lipton web site)
LINK to Biography of James Stuart (from wikipedia)
LINK to the Jacobite Rebellions (from wikipedia)
LINK to article on Medallic History of Religious and Racial Intolerance (by Benjamin Weiss)