NAPIER, Theodore. ~ The Royal House of Stuart. A Plea for its Restoration being an Appeal to loyal Scotsmen. [Edinburgh: Lorimer and Gillies] for [the author] in Edinburgh: ‘Balmanno’ and London: R. Stewart Meade, 1898.
4to in half sheets (235 × 200 mm), pp. 31, , plus portrait. Ornaments to text. Printed on thick laid paper. Original limp red roan, upper cover lettered in gilt. Small paper shelf label. Inscribed: ‘To Her Most Gracious Majesty The Queen from Her loyal Subject the Author’, additional inscription by the recipient: ‘Matia Theresa’. A fine copy.
First edition, dedication copy, inscribed by the author to ‘The Queen’, that is, the Jacobite claimant of the British Crown, Maria Theresa of Austria-Este (1849-1919). Theodore Napier (1845-1924), Australian-born of Scottish emigrant parentage, became one of the most colourful Scottish patriots and advocates of the Jacobite succession. Adopting full Highland dress and sporting an extravagant white beard he raised eyebrows in Melbourne and Edinburgh alike and he issued a stream of pamphlets advocating Scottish home rule and the Jacobite succession. The frontispiece here depicts Maria Theresa, with the caption: ‘Who, but for the Act of Settlement, would now be reigning as Queen Mary III. of Scotland, and IV. of England and Ireland.’ The pamphlet was issued as number 17 of the publications of the Legitimist Jacobite League of Great Britain and Ireland, but appears here as an offprint (without reference to the series) on thick paper.
Maria Theresa was the niece and heir of the childless Francis V, Duke of Modena who had been, at the time of his death, the Jacobite heir-general to the thrones of England, Scotland and Ireland; as such, she became the heir after his death in 1875. Neither she, nor any of her Jacobite forebears since 1807, ever seriously pursued this claim.