Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Jacobite Claimants and The Claim of Right of Ordinary Citizens

History will record Michael Roger LaFosse as a fraud. Today's Sunday Mail has reported that Michael has departed Scotland for his mother's in Belgium, though one internet forum with sources I trust say that he has gone back to his Father's in Belgium.

Either way his claim has now invoked investigations into his "Charities" and unless this story has a 24-style twist, this is the last we will see of Michael of Albany.

My reason for writing this is neither to gloat, nor to jump on either a Jacobite or Anti-Michael bandwagon. I remain a Republican. I will work with anyone to gain Scottish Independence, but I will never knowingly put a monarch on any throne. My traditions and my history is clear (United Scotsmen, 1820 Martyrs, John Maclean). My purpose is merely to show how a claim of right continues to exist, and exists outside of Michael.

Monitoring the various internet forums is always sketchy, and most of the main players tend to speak in tongues amongst themselves. What has been mentioned is a "Jacobite Council" set in October to discuss this and other issues. It will be interesting to see how this moves the Jacobite movement forward.

Michael's website "The Royal House of Stewart" has ceased broadcasting in the past week. But broadcasts of other claimants continues. I have no knowledge what Scottish Jacobite's think of this, but two claimants are mentioned below.

From Wikipedia (bold, links, italics Wikipedia's own, not mine):

Franz Bonaventura Adalbert Maria Herzog von Bayern (born July 14, 1933), styled as His Royal Highness The Duke of Bavaria, is head of the Wittelsbach family, the former ruling family of the Kingdom of Bavaria. He was born in Munich, the son of Albrecht Herzog von Bayern and of his first wife, Countess Maria Draskovich von Traskotjan. He is a great-grandson of the last King of Bavaria, Ludwig III, who was deposed in 1918. He is also the current heir of James II of England, of the House of Stuart, and thus is considered by Jacobites to be the current rightful ruler of Great Britain, though he himself has never publicly made this claim.
There may, or may not, be Scottish Jacobite supporters for this gentleman. The website "Defenders of Scotland" certainly advertise for "Scots or those of Scots Descent" but the address (should you wish to contact them) is: The Order of the Lion Rampant, P.O. Box 54525, London E15 3WQ.

My sole comment (from a personal perspective) is because of something I spotted on one of the websites dedicated to Franz was the cipher; "FIIR" This, I take exception to. It's located here: Scottish Republicans defaced Elizabeth of England's cipher when they were erected in Scotland in the 1950s on the basis that there had never been an Elizabeth the First in Scotland. I don't see why we should do any different should Franz change his mind and come to Scotland. Rewriting Scottish History is abhorrent and something I campaign against (via the Nine of Diamonds Project). So who, in Scottish History, was "Francis I"?

The other claim I'll point out is: Count Peter Pininski a Polish Historian (and presumably a Count).

History discloses her secrets in curious ways - sometimes centuries if not millennia after the event. Meanwhile myths, legends or, at best, reasoned theories fill the voids. There are few better examples of this than in the chequered lives of the later members of the Royal House of Stuart. But now, the chance linking of clues and discovery of some extraordinary circumstantial evidence held in the archives of seven European countries has resulted in a fundamental review of long-accepted conclusions about the presumed extinction of this most colourful and tragic royal family.

This is a story of love, passion, intrigue and tremendous family loyalty, meticulously traced back over many generations by Count Peter Pininski, an independent historian in Warsaw. It is also his story and it has led him from Scotland across the European continent in his exploration of historic events and the relationships between members of the Scottish, French and Polish nobility, culminating in a ground-breaking historical conclusion.


Interview by Sarah Powell

This guy I only learned about this morning after e-mailing a former Michaelite why the website was down and about the Sunday Mail article. The article comes from remarkable sources: Burke's Peerage, The Guardian, all dating from a couple of year's ago. Now, clearly, there may be other candidates, but given time resources and my own political beliefs, if you want them added to this list you'll have to e-mail me.

In all three cases, there is a common thread: the unexpected and tenuous survival of the Stewart Dynasty. This is not a comment on Current Jacobites, as they are entitled to believe in what they will (given the human resources available to them). But it bears expanding upon: what is the claimants' genuine motive? Is it the wellbeing of the Scottish People; Is it to right a Historical wrong; Is it for personal gain? Franz also claims to be "Pharonic". Right now, you can assume I'm shouting at my computer screen, but to be fair I must only say this: The Pharoh's were conquered fair and square by the Greeks and the Romans, their lands were occupied by Napoleon, the British, etcetera long after the lineage had ceased any genuine claim of right. Even so, the last dynasty wasn't "Egyptian" but a result of the best military tactician in history, Alexander the Great. The last Dynasty (and yes, that includes Cleopatra), was one of Alexander the Great's Generals, Ptolemy.

Franz's website is most curious in that it has an address in London. But why am I complaining, because so did James VI. The current monarchs, the Mountbattens or the Saxe-Cogburg-Gotha's are German as well. The Stewart's also believed in the Divine Right of Kings.

No matter how frustrated I get with the stupidity of the general public at times (cooing over Big Brother / Waynetta Rooney / Who Tommy Sheridan spit-roasted with his brother-in-law) I believe in the Divine Right of the General Public. We fought, and won, the right to vote. I believe we should also fight, and win, the divine right to succeed the Head of State with a man or woman of OUR choosing. Not because we are petty, but because fundamentally we are a good people.

You can see a cenotaph in most towns where the dead of two World Wars are commemorated. You can also plaques and commemorations to the Radicals who fought for the vote. There's one to the United Scotsmen in Huntershill I photographed recently. There is one in Condorrat to our own Radicals. Why must we die to live free and not get to choose our own destiny rather than let genetics pick our leader's for us?

Who are you? You, reading this right now. Who are you? Why should YOU not be leader if you are talented enough? Now, people are going to point out that "Kings" and such are purely tourist roles and make us money. So does selling arms to Muslim fanatics, but no-one's suggesting that's a good idea (actually it's perfectly legal to broker arms deals via third parties, but that kind of destroy's my point...) Trading freedom for money is wrong and devalues the currency of our culture. And also, unlike the Americans, we lose a post which could make our country more effective. The equivalent to Brenda of Buckingham Palace in America is the President. Tony Blair, in terms that are equal, is lower down the pecking order.

But I'm losing my point to ranting, aren't I? Without a figurehead, true or not, the Jacobite's have no claim of right. For Jacobitism to survive they need a figurehead. In real terms they can't get members without someone claiming to be King. You can't replace Brenda of BuckHoose with thin air.

The song said: "Will ye no' come back again?" And he did. But his part was played by a fraudster. So who will, if anyone, succeed? One of the one's I pointed out? The groundswell of support that Michael gained is impressive and one can't deny for anyone who believes they have a true claim of right that it wouldn't be tempting.

But the people concerned, those ordinary Jacobites I've met up and down Scotland. I went into those commemorations with suspicion and craven Republican self-righteousness I now abandon. I will never see them succeed, but I do admire them. They're good people, and they believe in Independence. If believing in a Stuart / Stewart head of state makes them happy, then all well and good. But one must remember the biggest claim of right of all, and that is of the Scottish People themselves. It was not monarchs who created our culture but US. Any potential King or Queen would do well to remember that.

References for aspects of this article:

In relation to Jacobite Claimants:
Sunday Mail Article,3604,683641,00.html

In relation to my "Rant":

Thomas Paine - The Rights of Man
Andrew Hardie - Account of the Bonnymuir Uprising (not currently online or generally available - contact me if you want a copy)
Donnie Fraser - United Scotsmen
Peter Berresford Ellis and Seamus Mac A'Ghobhainn - The Scottish Insurrection of 1820

Open Public Forums discussing aspects related to this article
(note: I'm not a member of either of these - you don't have to be to read them - I'm not on the side of anyone discussing this. I am, and remain on the same side I have always been on: Kenny Sheerin's side. These are for reference only.)


1. Photograph of Michael taken by myself at the Sheriffmuir Anti Pylons Rally
2. Photograph of Franz from his own website (photographer unknown)

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