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After Prince Charles’s secret visit to London in 1750, a group of Jacobites began to plan a coup d’état. Alexander Murray was deeply involved, so the project is known as the ‘Elibank plot’. The idea was to kidnap the ‘Elector’ (George II) and his family, and then take them to France or hold them hostage in the Tower of London. Murray also suggested poisoning George, but Charles vetoed any assassination attempt. The plot was betrayed by a co-conspirator, Alasdair MacDonnell of Glengarry, who operated as ‘Pickle the Spy’. The prime casualty was Archibald Cameron of Lochiel, who was captured in the Highlands where a diversionary uprising was to have taken place. He was hung, drawn and quartered in June 1753 – the last Jacobite execution. Murray eventually returned to Britain with a pardon.


  • Acc. No. PG 3542
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 76.50 x 63.50 cm (framed: 94.50 x 82.80 x 6.60 cm)
  • Credit David Laing bequest to the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. Gifted in 2009