King Henry IX & I


The year 2007 was the 200th anniversary of the death of King Henry IX & I and I thought it appropriate that the website should mark the event with this page. I hope you agree.

Prince Henry was born in the Palazzo Muti, Rome on March 06, 1725, the second son of   King James III & VIII and Queen Clementina and  brother of Prince Charles Edward. He was baptized on the day of his birth by Pope Benedict XIII. Shortly after his birth Henry was created Duke of York.

In 1745 Henry traveled to Paris in a successful attempt to  raise French support for his brother's venture designed to restore their father to the throne of Great Britain.  Unfortunately there were numerous delays and neither Henry nor the French force managed to reach Scotland to support the uprising.

In June 1747 Pope Benedict XIV announced his intention to enroll Henry in the Sacred College of Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church and On July 3 1747 Henry was formally created Cardinal-Deacon.  Henceforward he used the title "Cardinal Duke of York".

For most of the next forty years Henry lived in the town of Frascati some ten miles south of Rome. He was a very active bishop and even today is still remembered in the town for his numerous acts of charity.

In 1765 when it became clear that his father King James III and VIII was about to die, Henry sent Pope Clement XIII a memorial in an unsuccessful attempt to receive papal recognition for the rights of his brother Charles III. While at first he issued a protest against the honours Charles bestowed on his illegitimate daughter Charlotte, Duchess of Albany, Henry later came to have a very warm relationship with his niece.

In January of 1784, when it appeared that his brother Charles might be on the point of dying, Henry published a protest in which he affirmed his rights of succession. At the death of his brother Charles, January 30/31, 1788, Henry succeeded to all of his British rights. He was henceforward recognised by the Jacobites as "King Henry IX and I". In accordance with the 1784 protest. Henry made certain changes in accordance with his new station. He now used the title "Cardinal called Duke of York" in order to indicate that this was no longer his real title. He changed his arms from those of a second son (with a crescent in the middle) to the Royal Arms, now surmounted with a royal crown instead of a ducal coronet. The members of his household staff addressed him as Majesty.

Henry's financial situation changed drastically in the late 1790s. For most of his life he had been wealthy, having inherited large amounts of money and jewels from his Polish grandfather and having received a number of lucrative ecclesiastical benefices which provided him with continuous income. However, his financial resources were seriously depleted in his support of the ransom paid to the Bonapartist French armies to prevent them from sacking Rome in 1798. The general upheaval in Europe also meant that he no longer received income from his benefices in France and Spain.

For many years attempts had been made to retrieve the English dowry of his grandmother Mary of Modena, wife of King James II & VII. The de facto British government had repeatedly promised to pay this debt to the Stuarts but had not done so. However, In 1799 the Elector George II of Hanover agreed to pay Henry an annual pension of 4,000. While the supporters of the Elector of Hanover have represented this as an act of charity, for Henry it was no more than a first installment on the money which was legally owed to him. In accepting this money he did not consider that he was renouncing his own hereditary rights or recognising the legitimacy of the Elector of Hanover's government in Britain.

King Henry died in the episcopal palace at Frascati  on July 13, 1807, when he was succeeded in all his British rights by his second cousin, twice removed Charles Emanuel of Savoy. This was confirmed by Henry's will in which he stated that his rights passed to that "prince on whom they devolve by right, by proximity of blood, and by rights of succession". Henry's remains lie in the crypt of the Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican, where a monument designed by Antonio Canova was raised to his memory.


                         Frascati - Cattedrale di San Pietro
Monument to King Charles III & King Henry IX in the Cathedral at Frascati

                                      Here lies
Charles Edward,
                                 whose father
James the Third,
                 King of England, Scotland, France
                                   First born,
                             successor and heir
                to his father's rights and royal dignity.
                    At his beloved residence at Rome
                                  was called
                               Count of Albany.
               He lived sixty-six years and one month.
                              He died in peace
                            January 31, 1788.
Henry, Cardinal Bishop of Frascati,
           to whom his brother's rights and titles fell,
            having resumed the title of Duke of York,
            in his very grief, love, and respect, obeying
            at the funeral appointed for his own church,
            with many tears, being present, he performed 
                the obsequies, and decreed
                 for his most august brother
                  the highest honours of the tomb.

                                 Text on Monument above                                         Translation
Crest at top of Monument "Duke of York St" Frascati

You might like to take a look at Elegant Etruria. Its author is Dr. Mary Jane Cryan: who has lived there for four decades, working in the fields of education, journalism and travel. Amongst her many achievements is the book Travels to Tuscany & Northern Lazio based on the travel diaries of Henry Cardinal Stuart and other historic travelers to central Italy.

There is also a page entitled "Searching for the Stuarts" that has lots of information regarding the Stuarts in Italy complete with photographs of Jacobite monuments. 

To mark the Bicentenary of the death (13 July 1807) of KING HENRY IX & I, Cardinal Bishop of Frascati, the last of the Stuarts in the direct male line, the Council of the Royal Stuart Society organised an event at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, on  Sunday, 15 July 2007, by kind permission of the Governor of the Royal Hospital and upon the initiative of Mr Philip Bonn, a life member of the RSS.

A service was held in the Chapel at 11.00.a.m. with an address given by the Reverend Canon David Skeoch, a long standing member of the RSS and Almoner of the Grand Priory of England and Wales of the Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem.

The service was followed at 12.00. noon by a wreath-laying at the statue of King Charles II in the Figure Court and a brief drinks reception. Afterwards an Official Luncheon was held in the State Apartments.

Royal Stuart Society Council Member (and also President of the 1745 Association) David Lumsden of Cushnie attended the event as did 1745 association members Peter Lole, Christopher Duffy and Evelyn Cruickshanks.

Photographs etc of the event can be viewed at King Henry IX Royal Hospital

1745 Association Homepage

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The Jacobite Magazine 

Much more on Noel McFerran's Jacobite site