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James Byres of Tonley and members of his family About 1780


  • Scottish Art
Born in Aberdeenshire, James Byres's Jacobite family left Scotland after the failure of the 1745 Rising. Educated in France, he was in Rome by 1758, training first as a painter and then as an architect. He established himself as a leading art dealer and professional guide in the city. In this portrait, Byres is shown second from the left, with his sister Isabella, Mrs Robert Sandilands, beside him. Her husband had died in 1775 and she is shown wearing mourning. On the far right of the canvas is Charles Norton, Byres's business partner. Byres's parents, Patrick and Janet, are the two central figures. The profile portrait above Norton's head may be of Prince Charles Edward Stuart.

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. PG 2601
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 63.20 x 75.80 cm (framed: 77.10 x 89.80 x 7.00 cm)
  • Credit Purchased 1983 with assistance from the Art Fund