The Tercentenary of the Polish Princess Clementina’s Escape
Edited By Richard Maher
In May 1719, the rescue and escape of Princess Maria Clementina Sobieska from her detention in Innsbruck was celebrated throughout Catholic Europe. It was a feat of painstaking planning, daring execution, and steel-nerved improvisation. Masterminded by Kildareman Charles Wogan, he and his Irish and French companions influenced the course of international relations, shocking King George I’s government in London, and providing a much-needed boon to the followers of the exiled Stuart claimant, James Stuart III.
This unique collection of essays does not merely recount the factual story of Maria Clementina’s rescue and subsequent marriage, it provides for the first time in any publication an authoritative analysis of its political and cultural significance and the full historical context in which the event took place. A full image of Europe at the time of the rescue is sketched out, including such topics as the question of the Irish in Europe in the eighteenth century; the illustrious Sobieski family and their origins; a short account of the rescue itself; the fate of Charles Wogan and
his followers after the rescue; the Habsburg-Hanoverian alliance and its context; the marriage of James Stuart III and Maria Clementina Sobieska; details of the collection of Stuart artefacts housed at Trinity College Dublin; and contemporary musical compositions which were written and dedicated to Maria Clementina.
This book is a follow-on publication from a public seminar titled The Irish the Rescue: The Tercentenary of the Polish Princess Clementina’s Escape. The seminar was held at Europe House in Dublin on 30th April 2019.
The seminar and the publication of its proceedings have been generously sponsored by the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Ireland and the Embassy of France in Ireland.
Frontispiece: Antonio David, after Martin van Meytens, Queen Clementina, 1725
Figure 1.1 Antonio David, after Martin van Meytens, King James III, 1725.
Figure 1.2 Portrait of a gentleman [Charles Wogan], c.1700–1710.
Figure 2.1 Portrait of Queen Maria Kazimiera with her son Jakub, c.1676.
Figure 2.2 Benoît Farjat after Henri Gascar, Ioannes III Rex Poloniae Invictissimus, etc.
Figure 4.1 Regimental Insignia of Arthur Dillon’s Irish Regiment.
Figure 5.1 Jan Kupecký, Kaiser Karl VI [Emperor Charles VI], 1716.
Figure 6.1 Agostino Masucci, The Solemnisation of the Marriage of King James III and Queen Clementina at Montefiascone on 1 September 1719, 1735.
Figure 6.2 Francesco Trevisani, Queen Clementina, 1719.
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