John Sobieski Stuart and Charles Edward Stuart were names used by John Carter Allen and Charles Manning Allen, two 19th century English brothers who are best-known for their role in Scottish cultural history. As authors of a dubious book on Scottish tartans and clan dress, the Vestiarium Scoticum, they are the source of some current tartan traditions.

Life and BooksEdit

John and Charles were born in the last decade of the 18th century. Later they would claim to have discovered in 1811 that they were descended from the Stuart kings. They moved to live in Scotland and changed their Allen surname to the more Scottish spelling Allan, then to Hay Allan, and Hay, perhaps implying a link with the Hay family and the Earl of Erroll. In 1840 John would publish a Genealogical table of the Hays (full title: Genealogical table of the Hays, from William de Haya, pincerna Domini Regis Scotiae, 1170 to 1840). This is sometimes attributed to Sir Thomas Dick Lauder, the Scottish antiquarian who was attracted by the Vestiarium.

The date of their arrival in Scotland is unclear, but they are known to have been there in 1822. This is the year John published The bridal of Caölchairn and other poems under the name J.H.Allan. Another edition was published, also in 1822, giving the author's name as Walter Scott. This is now in the British Library's category of "doubtful and supposititious works".

In 1829 they failed to persuade Sir Walter Scott of the authenticity of a document they said was a copy of a "15th century" manuscript about clan tartans. The brothers liked to wear Highland dress themselves, apparently "in all the extravagance of which the Highland costume is capable". Contemporary observer quoted by Trevor-Roper. In the 1830s they moved to Inverness-shire, to a hunting lodge granted them by the Earl of Lovat. Here they "held court" and surrounded themselves with royal paraphernalia: pennants, seals, even thrones. During their time here, they adopted their Stuart names and the Catholic faith. (The Stuarts and their supporters, the Jacobites, were Roman Catholic.) They got to know various important Highland chiefs and noble patrons, one of whom was the Earl of Moray, and pursued the aristocratic pastime of deer-hunting. This was the inspiration for Lay of the Deer Forest. With sketches of olden and modern deer-hunting (1848). [1]

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