jueves, 19 de febrero de 2009

Jacobitism Part VI: Henry IX of England, Our Cardinal-King


A child called Henry Benedict Stuart

I've heard of just two cases when a Cardinal succeeded to a throne and became a Cardinal-King, the first case is undisputed, and is that of Henry of Portugal that succeeded at the death of his childless nephew, Sebastian. The second case is however disputed, and is the case that we are going to explore today, the case of Henry Benedict Cardinal Stuart, that for the Jacobites was without any doubt king Henry IX and I of England and Scotland, suceeding his brother Charles III (That died without legitimate issue). Curiously enough both Cardinal-Kings were named Henry.

In both cases the ruling dynasty became extinct in the male line, this led to the Habsburg succession in Portugal and in the second case it lead to the line passing to the House of Savoy, however this also meant that from this point the Jacobite claim became dormant (Or even abeyant), since then no single Jacobite heir has made any public claim to the English throne, leaving the Hanoverian succession uncontested.

For all the past reasons, this will be the last entry on the series of Jacobitism, giving tribute and memory to the last of the Royal Stuarts, Henry Benedict Cardinal Stuart, known to Jacobites as His Majesty Henry IX and adressed as Cardinal-Duke of York at the Papal Court.

Henry Benedict Maria Clement Thomas Francis Xavier Stuart was born in the middle of the exile at Rome, Papal States on 6 March 1725, he was baptized by the reigning pope Benedict XIII (His namesake). Born as the second and last son to the pretender James III of England and his wife, Klementyna Sobieska.


Henry Benedict Stuart in his youth

He had an older brother, the Bonnie Prince Charlie, also known as Charles III of England, subject of study in the past entry. Being the youngest son he was not expected to succeed to the throne (Hoping that Charles would procreate his own legitimate issue), so from a very young age he was prepared to take a formation inside the Church, so he would become a priest.

On his youth he was created Duke of York, the costumary title used for the second eldest son of the reigning monarch, however this title is not recognized by the mainstream royalist community at Great Britain, in fact at his birth the recognized Duke of York, was Prince Ernest Augustus (Brother of George I of Great Britain), and from 1760 to 1767 the title was now on hands of Prince Edward younger brother of George III of Great Britain.

Only one special event related to Jacobitism can be counted in his biography, when he went to France along side his brother to prepare the Jacobite campaign of 1745, however as we have explained in the past entry, this campaign failed and he had to flee again to the Papal States, where he continued with his carrier inside the Church.


The Cardinal-Duke of York

He was soon elevated to the College of Cardinals, when on 30 June 1747, another pope called Benedict, this time the 14th of that name, created him Cardinal-Deacon of S. Maria in Portico, only two months later on August 27 he was eleveated to the four minor orders by the same pope. This showed how much respect and influence had the royal Cardinal at the papal court.

Only one year later on September 1 1748, he was elevated to the degree of Cardinal-Bishop with his titular see still being at S. Maria in Portico, however this changed on 1752 when his see was "transferred" to S. XII Apostoli. During this times Henry few if not communication with his older brother, that was living abroard and was in bad terms with the Catholic church.

On 1761 he was elevated to the position of Cardinal-Bishop with his see at Frascati, to where he move and lived for the rest of his life (Frascati was a suburb of Rome), Frascati was near enough to Rome so he could come everyday on his carriage, to work as the Palazzo della Cancilleria, to where he had right as Vice-Chancellor.


Henry Benedict Stuart in his later years

When his father died on 1766 and his brother succeeded as the Jacobite claimant to the British thrones, he made anything on his hands to try to convince the reiging pope Clement XIII to give his recognition to Charles III, however that recognition never came, in fact from 1766 on the papacy recognized the Hanover monarchs as the legitimate heads of state of the British Islands.

Even holding high offices at the church, now more difficult times were to come to our poor Cardinal-King, his last near relative (His brother Charles III) died on 1788, and even he became for Jacobites the king Henry IX, things were not going to change, and in fact he never made any militar effort to take his thrones.

Another huge blow was coming to Henry's life, the French Revolution meant that the last French Royal benefices had come to an abrupt end, then the french revolutionaries confiscated his properties at Frascati. In the very worst moment of the church, he assisted Pope Pius VI with his last resources, this meant that Henry have now descended to virtual poverty.

In the very last moments, the British minister at Venice arranged a treaty with George III of England, so he would pay an annuity of £4,000 to his rival in the throne, this was seen however only as an act of charity. Henry could then return to Frascati on 1803, and he was now created Dean of the College of Cardinals.


Charles Emmanuel IV of Sardinia, Henry's successor

He was created Bishop of Ostia and Velletri, but remained at Frascati where he died aged 82 on July 13 1807, three years after Pope Pius VII crowned Napoleon Bonaparte as Emperor of the French. He was buried at St. Peter's Basilica. After his death the Jacobite claim passed to his nearest blood relative, Charles Emmanuel IV of Sardinia, however he never made any advance of his new position as Jacobite heir.

Henry's tenure as a cardinal has been one of the longest on papal history serving under five popes (Benedict XIV, Clement XIII, Clement XIV, Pius VI and Pius VII) and living through the tenure of three "legitimate" Dukes of York: Prince Ernest Augustus, Prince Edward and Prince Frederick.


Pius VII, the last pope Henry served

It has been a pleasure to explore the beauty of Jacobitism in this six entries, now I will be talking about Succession Crisis in different thrones, beginning with the arrival to the French throne of Henry IV, and the inauguration of the so interesting and brilliant age of the House of Bourbon.

3 comentarios:

Anónimo dijo...

It is good to see a biography of Henry which does NOT mention he was a homosexual.

Carloslandia dijo...

I did not mention his homosexuality because the personal lives of the subjects of this blog are not a subject of matter or importance.

MadMonarchist dijo...

There is also no need to mention something that is mere rumor and has never been concretely proven. As a celibate it would probably be impossible to prove anyway and is likely either an effort to besmirch his character or to write homosexuals into Jacobite history.