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The Irish to the Rescue

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.

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Professor EDWARD CORP was Professor of British History at the University of Toulouse. He is a trustee of the Jacobite Studies Trust. He continues his prolific work on the Stuarts in exile which include A Court in Exile: The Stuarts in France, 1689–1718 (Cambridge, 2004); The Jacobites at Urbino: An Exiled Court in Transition (Basingstoke, 2009); The Stuarts in Italy, 1719–1766: A Royal Court in Permanent Exile (Cambridge, 2011); and his latest publication, Sir David Nairne: The Life of a Scottish Jacobite at the Court of the Exiled Stuarts (Oxford, 2018).

DR DECLAN M. DOWNEY, lectures in European and in Japanese diplomatic history at University College Dublin. His research interests include the History of Diplomacy and International Law, Japanese-European relations, and Irish émigrés in Habsburg Europe (1600-1800). His extensive publications and leading role in major international research projects have been recognized with international honours and awards including the Austrian Order of Merit (2003), the Spanish Royal Order of Isabel la Católica (2008), and the Japanese Foreign Minister’s Commendation (2020). In 2009, he became the first Irish citizen to be elected to membership of the Spanish Royal Academy of History (fd.1733). In 2018, he was appointed historical publications adviser to the Austrian Academy of Sciences. He served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Chester Beatty Library in Dublin Castle from 2012 to 2017.

MS ESTELLE GITTINS is an archivist and manuscripts curator in the Research Collections department of...

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