- Henry Benedict Stuart
Infobox British Royalty|none
name = Henry Benedict Stuart
imgw = 250
caption = Henry Benedict Stuart, "Cardinal-Duke of York"
succession = Jacobite pretender
reign-type = Pretendence
31 January 1788- 13 July 1807
predecessor = "Charles III"
successor = "Charles IV"
full name = Henry Benedict Maria Clement Thomas Francis Xavier Stuart
royal house =
House of Stuart
father = "James III and VIII"
Maria Klementyna Sobieska
date of birth = birth date|1725|3|11|df=yes
place of birth =
date of death = death date and age|1807|7|13|1725|3|11|df=yes
place of death =
place of burial =
St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City|
Henry Benedict Cardinal Stuart (
11 March 1725– 13 July 1807) was the fourth and final Jacobite heir to publicly claim the thrones of England, Scotland, and Ireland. Unlike his father, James Francis Edward Stuart, and brother, Charles Edward Stuart, Henry made no effort to seize the throne. After Charles's death in January 1788 the Papacy did not recognise Henry as the lawful ruler of England, Scotland and Ireland, but referred to him as the Cardinal Duke of York. [MacLeod, 347–348]
He spent his life in the
Papal Statesand had a long career in the clergy of the Roman Catholic Church, rising to become the Dean of the College of Cardinalsand Cardinal-Bishop of Ostia and Velletri. At the time of his death he was (and still is) one of the longest serving Cardinals in the Church's history.
In his youth, Henry's father made him
Duke of York(in the Jacobite peerage), and it was by this title that he was best known. Upon the death of his brother in 1788 Henry became known by Jacobites, and within his personal entourage, as Henry IX of England, although publicly he referred to himself as Cardinal-Duke of York "nuncupatus".
Notwithstanding his claim to the throne, Henry was in general a peaceable man, attentive to his duties, well respected and a generous host in Rome to many English and Scottish visitors, both
Roman Catholicand Protestant.Fact|date=February 2007
Henry Benedict Maria Clement Thomas Francis Xavier Stuart was born in exile at
Romeon 6 March 1725and baptized on the same day by Pope Benedict XIII, 37 years after his grandfather James II of Great Britainlost the throne, and ten years after his father's failed attempt to regain it. His father was James Francis Edward Stuart, known to his opponents as "the Old Pretender". His mother was the Princess Maria Klementyna Sobieska, granddaughter of the Polish King, John III Sobieski.Henry went to Francein 1745 to help his brother, Prince Charles Edward Stuart("Bonnie Prince Charlie", or "the Young Pretender") prepare the Jacobite campaign of that year. After its defeat, Henry Stuart returned to Italy. On 30 June 1747 Pope Benedict XIVconferred him with tonsureand created him Cardinal-Deaconof " S. Maria in Portico" in special consistoryheld on the 3 July 1747. On 27 August 1747he was promoted to the four minor orders by the Pope. He received the subdiaconate on 18 August 1748and diaconate on 25 August 1748. He was ordained priest on 1 September 1748and consecrated titular Archbishopof Corinthon 2 October 1758.
He was advanced to the order of
Cardinal Priestin 1748, maintaining title to "S. Maria in Portico". In 1752 he transferred to the " titulus" of " Ss. XII Apostoli". He was made Cardinal-Bishop of Frascation 13 July 1761, and eventually succeeded to the See of Ostia and Velletrion his appointment as Dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals on 26 September 1803. He lived and worked in Frascati for many years, descending each afternoon in his carriage to Rome, where his position as vice-chancellor entitled him to the " Palazzo della Cancelleria".
French Revolution and later life
At the time of the
French Revolution, he lost his French Royal benefices and sacrificed many other resources to assist Pope Pius VI. This, in addition to the seizure of his Frascati property by the French, caused him to descend into poverty. The British Minister in Venicearranged for Henry to receive an annuity of £4,000 from King George III of Great Britain. Although the British government represented this as an act of charity, Henry and the Jacobites considered it to be a first installment on the money which was legally owed to him. (For many years the British government had promised to return the English dowryof his grandmother, Mary of Modena, but had never actually done so.)
Henry returned to
Frascatiin 1803. In September of that year he became the Dean of the College of Cardinalsand hence Cardinal Bishop of Ostia and Velletri, though he still lived in the episcopal palace at Frascati. He died there on 13 July 1807, aged 82.
Historians have drawn upon the evidence of contemporaries to explore the suggestion that Henry was
homosexual["Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", University of Oxford Press, 2008] . These accounts include the writings of Hester Lynch Thrale [H. Lynch Thrale, "Thraliana: The Diary of Mrs Hester Lynch Thrale", Vol. 2 Oxford, 1951: 874-875] (1741-1821), and the diplomat and writer Giuseppe Gorani [G. Gorani, "Memoires secrets et critiques des cours, des gouvernements et des mouers des principaux etats de l’Italie", Vol. 2 Paris, 1793: 100-2] (1740-1819). However, Gorani admitted to not having gathered sufficient evidence to confirm his suspicions either way.
Gaetano Moroni[D. Anelli, "Storia romana di trent’anni", 1770-1800, Milan, 1931: 98-108] provides the lengthiest account of Henry’s close attachment with Monsignor Lercari, his majordomo. This led to tensions between the cardinal and his father who tried to have Lercari dismissed from service and sent from Rome. A public scandal was only narrowly avoided after the personal intervention of Pope Benedict XIV.
From 1769 onwards Henry remained close to Monsignor Angelo Cesarini, a nobleman from
Perugia, who thanks to Henry’s protection, won various honours, was made canon of the cathedral in Frascati, and finally in 1801 became Bishop of Milevi. When Henry died, Cesarini was still at his side, as he had been for 40 years. Caution should be given, however, against assuming any active sexual relationships, because equally clear in contemporary sources is York's proper and virtuous nature, and horror of all impropriety. [Schofield, Roman Miscellany: The English in Rome, 1550-2000, 2002, p. 98]
Under his will, which he signed as "Henry R", he was succeeded in all his claimed British rights by his friend and nearest blood-relative,
Charles Emmanuel IV of Sardinia. But Charles never publicly claimed nor renounced his Jacobite rights, nor have any of his successors to this day.
Contrary to popular belief, he did not leave the Crown Jewels to the
Prince of Wales, afterwards George IV of the United Kingdom. All his property was entrusted to Monsignor Angelo Cesarini, for distribution. Cesarini sent the Prince of Wales several jewels from Henry's private collection. These included a " Lesser George" (thought to have been worn by Charles I at his execution, and now at Windsor Castle) and a St Andrew's Cross (now at Edinburgh Castlein Edinburgh), which are insignia of the orders of the Garter and the Thistle, and also a rubyring.
sarcophaguswas needed when the bodies were moved in 1938. It is widely held that the cost of that new sarcophagus was paid by King George VI.Fact|date=February 2007
Henry Benedict, his brother, his father and his mother are buried in the crypt of
St. Peter's Basilicain the Vatican. There is a monument to the Royal Stuartsdesigned by Antonio Canovain the basilica to their memory on one of the columns in the basilica proper. This was restored within living memory at the expense of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.
Titles, styles, honours and arms
During his life, Cardinal Stuart was assigned the following "
Diaconia" and "Tituli":
* July 13, 1747
Cardinal Deaconof Santa Maria in Portico
* September 16, 1748
Cardinal Priestof Santa Maria in Portico
* December 18, 1752 Cardinal Priest of
Santi XII Apostoli
* February 12, 1759 Cardinal Priest of
Santa Maria in Trastevere
* July 13, 1761
Cardinal Bishopof Frascati
* January 14, 1763 "Comendatario" of
San Lorenzo in Damaso(proper of the cardinal vice-chancellor, held in addition to the suburbicarian sees)
* September 26, 1803 Cardinal Bishop of Ostia e Velletri (proper of the dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals)
In March 1774 he became Sub-dean, and on
September 15, 1803 - Dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals.
During the pretence of his father and brother, Henry claimed a
coat of armsconsisting of those of the kingdom, differenced by a "crescent argent" [ [http://www.heraldica.org/topics/britain/cadency.htm Marks of Cadency in the British Royal Family] ]
style=font-size: 90%; line-height: 110%;
boxstyle=padding-top: 0; padding-bottom: 0;
1= 1. Henry Benedict Stuart
James Francis Edward Stuart
Maria Klementyna Sobieska
James II of England
Mary of Modena
Jakub Ludwik Sobieski
Countess Palatine Hedwig Elisabeth Amelia of Neuburg
Charles I of England
9= 9. Princess Henrietta Maria of France
10= 10. Alfonso IV d'Este, Duke of Modena
John III Sobieski
Marie Casimire Louise de la Grange d'Arquien
Philipp Wilhelm, Elector Palatine
Landgravine Elisabeth Amalie of Hesse-Darmstadt
James I of England
17= 17. Princess Anne of Denmark
Henry IV of France
Marie de' Medici
20= 20. Francesco I d'Este, Duke of Modena
21= 21. Maria Farnese
22= 22. Hieronymus Martinozzi
23= 23. Laura Mazarini
25= 25. Zofia Teofillia Daniłowicz
Henri Albert de La Grange d'Arquien
27= 27. Françoise de La Châtre
Wolfgang Wilhelm, Count Palatine of Neuburg
Magdalene of Bavaria
George II, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt
Sophia Eleonore of Saxony
* [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14316b.htm Henry Benedict Maria Clement Stuart]
* [http://www.catholic-hierarchy.org/bishop/bstua.html Catholic Hierarchy]
* MacLeod, John, "Dynasty, the Stuarts, 1560–1807", Hodder and Stoughton, London 1999. ISBN 0340707674.
* Schofield, Roman Miscellany: The English in Rome, 1550-2000", 2002
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