David Octavius Hill & Robert Adamson

Charles Manning Allen or ‘Charles Edward Stuart’, 1799 - 1880

About this artwork

The extraordinary Allen brothers, Charles and John, claimed (falsely) to be the grandsons of Prince Charles Edward Stuart. By 1822 they plunged themselves into traditional Highland life. By the 1830s ‘Charles Edward Stuart’ and ‘John Sobieski Stolberg Stuart’ were presiding over a make-believe royal court on an island in the Beauly River, Inverness-shire. When this photograph was taken they were at the centre of a heated controversy about both the origins of Highland dress and their own ancestry. In 1842 they published what purported to be a sixteenth-century manuscript, the ‘Vestiarium Scoticum’. A related volume, ‘The Costume of the Clans’, appeared two years later. These works, a curious mixture of real scholarship and fantasy, asserted an ancient pedigree for clan tartans.

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David Octavius Hill

Robert Adamson

David Octavius Hill

Robert Adamson