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pretender


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A person who puts themself forward as having a rightful claim to someone else's throne. False claims have been put forward by such pretenders as Lambert Simnel and Perkin Warbeck, who claimed the crown of Henry VII of England, and Pugachev during the reign of Catherine II the Great of Russia.

In England the Stuart Pretenders were excluded from the throne because of their religion. The Old Pretender, James Edward Stuart (1688–1766), was the son of the exiled James II and in the eyes of loyal Jacobites became King of England on his father's death in 1701. He was a devout but unimaginative man who failed to win the affection even of his followers. Two Jacobite rebellions, the Fifteen and the Forty-Five, were organized by his supporters to accomplish his restoration, but he arrived in Scotland when the Fifteen was virtually over, and he entrusted the leadership in the Forty-Five Rebellion to his son Charles Edward, the Young Pretender (1720–88). Charles Edward (Bonnie Prince Charlie) had youth and charm, and aroused loyal devotion to his cause, but the Forty-Five was a failure, and Charles's career after his miraculous escape from Scotland was an anti-climax, marred by moral and physical decline.

Subjects: World History.


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