I am of course interested in Jacobite History. I am interested in Church History. I am interested in Military History. It all comes nicely together in the period 1688-1793 and the Wild Geese Period.
Certainly adventure tales like “Kidnapped” (Robert Louis Stevenson) and “The Flight of the Heron” (D K Broster) and music fro, Oro Se Do Bheatha Bhaile thru Jackets Green to Clares Dragoons or stories about Galloping Hogan. Meeting people like the late Sean Ryan (a fokelorist and frankly fantasist) from Portumna and the late Martin Joyce (a primary school teacher) from near Ballinasloe helps. Walking battlefields like Aughrim and Culloden or sitting at Sarsfields Rock as well as a limited ancestral involvement contributes.
And of course castles like Carlisle and the “licking stones” in the dungeons and Athlone.
And of course the entire European connexion…Fontenoy etc.
Necessarily my interest has allowed me to meet people with broadly similar interests. Enthusiatics amateurs like myself and professional historians…and lunatics. There are incredibly people who are still Jacobites or more precisely pretend that they are Jacobites. Fantasists who believe that the entirely blameless Franz, Duke in (sic) Bavaria is actually the lawful King Francis, of England, Scotland and Ireland. To his immense credit he thinks his loyal Jacobite subjects are insane. He is much to polite to say this and his silence is interpreted by the Jacobite lunatics as his “serene and regal discretion”.
But the tweedy aristocratic wannabees in the Jacobite fantasy world are more than snobs, brown-nosing a harmless old buffer (actually the Duke is a very kindly individual) in Bavaria. They are legitimists…firm believers in the historic and religious rights of Monarchy, whether in Britain, Russia, France or Portugal. A divine right as kingdoms were parcelled out by GOD (via the Pope) to the great European warlords …er kings.
Thus in the legitimist world, Ireland, Algeria, Brazil have no right to exist.
Nor does the United States. In “Jacobite” eyes, the USA is in rebellion and must renounce its error and re-join with Canada to re-form British North America and submit to…King Francis I.
I am not holding my breath.
To deviate from accepting this GOD inspired Truth…to embrace Republicanism is to embrace Satanism. Logically…in so far as lunatics can be logical…Satan, the subject who rebelled against GOD was the first Republican. That all ended badly.
I am of course persona non grata in true Jacobite circles. A Republican on a par with …Scottish Nationalists.
Is it possible to be a Jacobite and a Republican? No of course not.
But it is possible to be aware that Irelands 800 year struggle has been against the background of Norman warlords, Anglo-Norman aristocracy, Church rule…the culture wars, European religious wars, Plantation, English Civil War, English dynastic wars (the Jacobites), European dynastic wars, revolutionary/republican wars and the age old “Englands difficulty is Irelands opportunity”
We cannot impose 21st century ideas back thru to the 12th century.
Nor can we impose the Jacobite period on the 21st century.
A republican, indeed anyone with an ounce of wit would reject the Legitimist notion of a Divine Right.
A nationalist would certainly reject the notion of a subservient Kingdom of Ireland.
But legitimists and Jacobites are of course IDIOTS.
It should be possible to mention just two things to them as they tearfully raise a toast to the King Over the Watter (sic).
After the defeat at Culloden in April 1746, the remaining Highland clans gathered at the pre-arranged rendezvous at Ruthven Barracks to hear some inspirational words from their Bonnie Prince Charlie. The fight would continue, would it not?
Well no….because true to form, Charlie, a serial rapist and abuser of women was already on the run thru the heather…on his way back to Europe where he would forever curse the Scots for betraying him.
The inspirational proxy message to the clans at Ruthven was not that inspirational after all. It merely stated that all was lost and the clans “must shift for themselves” (ie look after their own best interests). Charles had abandoned them.
And of course those who were not hanged, transported or starved DID shift for themselves. Many joined or were pressed into Highland regiments. From North America in the 1750s to Aden in the 1960s, they built and lost an empire. Next year in the referendum on Scotland, they will have the opportunity to shift of themselves again.
And of course North America (1776-1783) and France (1789-1793) provided notably for the Irish a degree of inspiration to shift for themselves.
Of course no nation needs an instruction from a useless piece of humanity like Charles Edward Stewart to shift for themselves.
But within the bizarre logic of “true” Jacobitism, the simple fact is that Irish nationalism/republicanism is the fulfilment of Prince Charles last “order”.
But just a final thought the Irish Republican was proclaimed at Easter 1916, when the British were fighting the Germans in the First World War. German weapons were used. The Proclamation of Easter 1916 recognises Gallant German allies. A German UBoat landed Roger Casement in County Kerry. And perhaps most significantly for Jacobites is that those gallant German allies included the so-called Jacobite Crown Prince doing his bit on the Western Front… for his Irish Republican allies.
Even in the crazy Jacobite World, that is de facto recognition of the Republic of Ireland.