Duncan Stewart of Ardsheal, d. 1793

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Duncan Stewart of Ardsheal, d. 1793 1767
  • Scottish Art
This portrait is by the greatest American painter of the eighteenth-century, John Singleton Copley. Together with its companion work, 'Anne Irving, Mrs Duncan Stewart', it would have been painted in Boston where Copley worked until he emigrated to London in 1774. Duncan Stewart came from a famous Highland family which supported Prince Charles Edward Stuart during the Jacobite Rising of 1745. He lived in Connecticut where he held the post of Collector of Customs. During the American War of Independence he took the loyalist side. Eventually, the family estate of Ardsheal in Argyll, confiscated after the 1745 Rising, was restored to him and he returned to Scotland.

Glossary Open

1745 Rising

An attempt by followers of Prince Charles Edward Stuart (or 'Bonnie Prince Charlie') to reclaim the British throne for the Stuart dynasty. The Prince landed in the Outer Hebrides from France in July 1745. With the support of many Highland chiefs he gathered an army and marched south. The rebels had significant victories against the Hanoverian troops and reached as far as Derby. There they turned back, unsure of their ability to take London, and were pursued by government forces. The final battle was held at Culloden in 1746 where Bonnie Prince Charlie was decisively beaten and hopes of a Jacobite restoration were dashed.


Jacobitism was a movement to restore the descendants of the Stuart King James VII and II to the British throne. The first claimant, Prince James Francis Edward (known as 'the Old Pretender') was exiled first in France, then Italy, from where he planned unsuccessful attempts to claim the throne. His son Prince Charles Edward (known as 'Bonnie Prince Charlie' or 'the Young Pretender') famously invaded Britain in 1745, but after some military successes was finally defeated at Culloden in 1746.

1745 Rising, Jacobite


  • Acc. No. PGL 346
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 128.50 x 103.50 cm (framed: 134.40 x 108.20 x 7.60 cm)
  • Credit Long loan in 1991