Counting the ‘Cavaliers’: Two Contemporary Analyses of the Political Wing of the Scots Jacobite Underground in the Union Parliament1

Daniel Szechi, Christopher A. Whatley

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Underground movements are understandably reluctant to record the names and numbers of their adherents because any such compilation is manifestly a hostage to fortune. Hence very few lists of politically active Jacobites actually compiled by the Jacobites themselves have survived to the present day. In the French foreign ministry archives at La Corneille, however, there is a rare and previously unknown/unused example of such a list. ‘The Rolls of Parliament as they stand’, is a classic printed, marked list of all the lords entitled to sit in, and commissioners elected to, Queen Anne's Union Parliament. It identifies the political allegiances of the great majority of the sitting commissioners and peers, and in particular the Jacobites among them. Rather better known, yet hitherto seldom consulted or used, is a debriefing document describing the political alignment of a great many of those in parliament and the general political inclination of their constituents written by Captain Harry Straton for the Jacobite King James III and VIII in August 1706. These two sources are the basis of the analysis that follows. The focus is on what these two Jacobite analyses of the state of Scotland and Scottish politics can tell us about the political dynamics of the Scottish Parliament and the country more broadly on the eve of the Union debates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-347
Number of pages39
JournalParliamentary History
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2023


  • Colonel Nathaniel Hooke
  • commoners
  • Country Party
  • espionage
  • government
  • Jacobites
  • politics
  • Scottish Parliament
  • Union
  • votes
  • Whigs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science


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