The Jacobite diaspora, 1688–1788
in The Jacobites (second edition)
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There were two forms of Jacobite exile: a physical one overseas and a spiritual one at home. In the aftermath of defeat in the British Isles waves of Jacobites fled into exile in Europe and the wider world and had there to make new lives for themselves. Some did so by becoming pirates who made a living by attacking the British merchant marine, but mainly the exiles became soldiers, entrepreneurs and merchants in the service of other European great powers. Tens of thousands of young men also chose voluntarily to leave Ireland (and to a lesser extent Scotland) to enlist in the Irish brigades in France and Spain. These multi-layered ethnic and geographic constituencies created an overseas Jacobite community that was loyal to the exiled Stuarts and sought to sustain and further the Jacobite cause through their networks and influence on the Continent and elsewhere. Back in the British Isles, the waning of the Jacobite community and the final collapse of the cause after 1759 dispersed the movement politically, but the hostility to the prevailing order the cause had engendered among them was transmitted by old Jacobites into new causes and further opposition to the Whig regime.

The Jacobites (second edition)

Britain and Europe, 1688–1788

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