Lecture: Maintaining the Stuart Presence in Vienna, 1727-43

Lecture: Maintaining the Stuart Presence in Vienna, 1727-43

Centre for Early Modern Studies Research Seminar Series, 2019-2020


Mr Stephen Griffin (UL)

Agents and Friends: Maintaining the Stuart Presence in Vienna, 1727-43

29th October, 2019, 5.15 p.m., Glucksman Library Boardroom, University of Limerick



Count Owen O'Rouerke, designated plenipotentiary by James Stuart, the Old Pretender arrived in Vienna in April 1727 to represent the Jacobite interest. Initially denied access to the Habsburg court, he was eventually allowed entry though refused any ceremonial privileges. He remained active in the city until January 1743 and maintained a presence at the courts of both the Emperor and his heirs while looking to James's affairs without attracting the ire of the British representatives. The key to comprehending how O'Rouerke did this lies in understanding his social standing and capabilities. A cosmopolitan man from an equally cosmopolitan court in the duchy of Lorraine, he appears to have been well read, spoke several languages and the sources suggest he was well regarded by those who met him. This paper draws together the different factors which enabled him to have an active presence in Vienna; his ability to socialise and utilise contacts to pursue his aims. It should highlight how it was that through social status, networking and a little deceit he was an active agent of the Stuart cause with little to fear by way of British interference. 


Stephen Griffin is a PhD candidate in the Department of History at the University of Limerick. He was awarded the Richard Plaschka pre-doctoral fellowship for the academic year 2017-18 and was the 2019 recipient of the Reverend Liam Swords Foundation Bursary. He is supervised by Dr Richard Kirwan.