Chasing the Jacobite Dream

2 June 2023–7 January 2024
Hunterian Museum
Admission free

Oak Society Medal, silver, 1750, England, Thomas Pingo, GLAHM:38779, Hunter.This exhibition reveals The Hunterian's extensive collection of Jacobite medals associated with Charles Edward Stuart, the 1745 Rising and the Battle of Culloden. Alongside historical medals, HND 2 jewellery students from City of Glasgow College have taken inspiration from The Hunterian’s Jacobite collections to create new modern art medals for the display, exploring themes such as identity, symbolism and conflict. 

Jacobus is Latin for James. Jacobites were those who believed James II and VII (r.1685–1688) and his exiled Stuart heirs to be the rightful claimants to the throne of England, Scotland and Ireland. The men and women who rallied to the cause did so for many reasons, often transcending nationalities, politics, religion and social standing.

Medals became powerful objects in a long propaganda war. Able to be produced quickly to respond to events, struck in their thousands, easily transportable and transferable, they were covert, hand-held weapons of subversion and propaganda. The British crown used issues to assert royal authority and humiliate their enemies. For Jacobites, medals were emotive symbols of loyalty and dynamic reminders to the faithful to chase the dream of a Stuart restoration.

Highlights include an exceedingly rare badge depicting Bonnie Prince Charlie worn on campaign by a soldier during the ’45, a scarce medal struck in Edinburgh during the city’s occupation by Jacobite forces in September and October 1745, and a discreet medal designed to be worn as jewellery by supporters of the prince.

Also on show are prints depicting Bonnie Prince Charlie, a snuff box reputed to have been given by Prince Charles to one of his officers, and a sheet of banknotes printed from a salvaged printing plate which provides a glimpse of a Jacobite currency that never came to pass.

Chasing the Jacobite Dream coincides with Outlander Conference Glasgow 2023 (18–22 July 2023).

Image: Oak Society Medal, silver, 1750, England, Thomas Pingo, GLAHM:38779, Hunter.

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  • Chasing the Jacobite Dream is at the Hunterian Museum from 2 June 2023–7 January 2024.
  • Open Tuesday to Sunday 10am–5pm. Closed Monday. Please check our Opening Hours page before you visit.
  • Chasing the Jacobite Dream is in the Main Gallery of the Hunterian Museum. The space is fully accessible via lift. 
  • Back to Exhibition Programme.