Bonnie Prince Charlie’s chair to go on show in the Highlands

Share this article
Have your say

A chair which once belonged to Bonnie Prince Charlie is to go on show in the Highlands.

The Stuart chair, which dates to around 1660, was reputedly gifted to the MacDonalds of Glencoe by Princess Charlotte, the daughter of Prince Charles Edward Stuart, after his death in 1788.

Bonnie Prince Charlie's chair pictured before and after the restoration. PIC: Contributed.

Bonnie Prince Charlie's chair pictured before and after the restoration. PIC: Contributed.

It was presented to the Clan Donald Society of Edinburgh by the family of the Chiefs of Glencoe, and later donated to Glencoe Folk Museum.

READ MORE: 7 Jacobite relics still found in the Highlands

The chair has been in storage for a number of years due to its fragile state, but a grant from the Association of Independent Museums’ Pilgrim Trust Conservation Scheme allowed the Museum to have essential restoration work carried out.

Catriona Davidson, curator at Glencoe Folk Museum, said: “It is exciting for us to have such a strong line of provenance for an item of this age.

READ MORE: A Circle of Gentlemen: A once secret Jacobite society

“It is one of our oldest and most significant items, and with interest in the Jacobites increasing thanks to the popularity of the Outlander books and TV series, we feel it is the perfect time to highlight Jacobite collections which remain in the Highlands.”

The conservation work was undertaken by Younger Conservation Ltd, whose client list includes the National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland and Holyrood Palace.

Fiona Watt, textile conservator at the firm, said: “The conservation of the Bonnie Prince Charlie chair was a very rewarding job - at each stage of the treatment, improvement could be seen.

“The appearance of the extremely damaged velvet has been transformed by the support stitching and the dyed support fabric, which tones in with the worn areas. We can’t wait to see the chair back on display.”

Glencoe Folk Museum has a long and strong association with the MacDonalds of Glencoe.

Mrs Jean MacDonald-Clarke – a direct descendant of the MacDonald Chief murdered during the Massacre of 1692 – was very involved in the early days of the museum, and it was through her that a number of the Museum’s more significant Jacobite items came into their collections.

The museum’s Jacobite collection covers a period of over fifty years, spanning from the massacre of the MacDonalds of Glencoe in 1692 to the repression of Highland culture after the Jacobite’s last stand at the Battle of Culloden in 1746.

The Bonnie Prince Charlie Chair will take pride of place in this exhibition this year, alongside other fascinating Jacobite artefacts such as a Bible which belonged to the MacDonald Chiefs, a White Cockade dating to the 1745 uprising, and items belonging to Captain Robert Campbell, the man notorious for leading the Massacre of Glencoe.

The museum will re-open for the season on Saturday, April 6.