View and zoom into this image on our new collection website
The Baptism of Prince Charles Edward Stuart

Reference URL

The Baptism of Prince Charles Edward Stuart 1725


  • Scottish Art
This monumental painting marks the baptism of Prince Charles Edward Stuart, Stuart heir to the thrones of Great Britain and Ireland. The newborn baby was described as “large and well-made” and his birth on 31 December 1720, caused great rejoicing. Later that evening Charles was baptised in accordance with the rites of the Roman Catholic Church by the Bishop of Montefiascone, in the queen’s chapel in the royal palace. Pope Clement XI, the queen’s godfather, ordered the cannons of Castel Sant’Angelo to be fired, and Jacobites claimed that a new star had appeared in the sky. James commissioned this huge painting in 1725, the year Charles was rebaptised by the Pope and the year his second son, Henry, was born. Charles is shown in the arms of his first governess, Lady Misset.

Glossary Open


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.



  • Acc. No. PG 2511
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 243.90 x 350.30 cm
  • Credit Purchased 1982