The Catholic powers gather around the infant James Francis Edward Stuart. Etching by R. de Hooghe, 1688, with letterpress.

  • Hooghe, Romeyn de, 1645-1708.
  • Pictures

About this work


A crowd of people within a loggia formed by an arcade of Corinthian columns. They are crowded around the infant James Francis Edward Stuart, later known as the Old Pretender, who lies in bed, left. On his blanket is a windmill, apparently alluding to a rumour that his real father was a miller. At the foot of the bed sit two women described as the "first mother" (left, talking to Father Petre SJ, far left) and the "second mother" (right). Of the two, the first more resembles portraits of Mary of Modena. However, "scurrilous diatribes accusing Petre of involvement in a plot to switch babies in order to produce a male heir for the king" (ODNB) suggest that the woman he is talking to may be the "real" mother (the interpretation of Muller, loc. cit.) and that the other woman, of regal appearance, is Mary

Behind the second mother are: King James II, being addressed by a midwife (left); then, left to right, "the Jewess of Portugal" (presumably meaning Catherine of Braganza, then still living in England); King Louis XIV as Harlequin; a cardinal (Wilhelm Egon von Fürstenberg?); the Grand Dauphin, Louis of France. Right, in the shadows, the "seller of red hats" or "the old rogue", holding the keys of Saint Peter: presumably Pope Innocent XI

In the background, left, Quakers turning their backs on the prince, set off for Pennsylvania: William Penn had visited the Hague in 1686 on a mission from James II to sound out William and Mary on freedom of religion for Catholics and dissenters, but had been rebuffed. Further to right, musicians, some "Irish witnesses"; a doctor of the Sorbonne arguing against the Reformers, and the "king(s) of the birds"

In the distance, a fleet at sea before a fort: perhaps the fortress of Plymouth, to which the infant James Francis Edward was sent from London after his birth in St James's Palace


[The Netherlands] : [publisher not identified], [1688]

Physical description

1 print : etching, with letterpress ; platemark image 38.3 x 39.8 cm, image and lettering 52.2 x 38 cm


L'Europe allarmée pour le fils d'un meunier. Ik vreesde wel dat dit niet gaan zou … Op, op, na Pensilvania. Père Peters, j'avois bien dit ... Apprendre à filer du coton. Etched lettering within the etching, on the arches: "Het word hier nacht", accompanied by nocturnal animals (a bat and owls). Below the etching, descriptive verses in letterpress with key in Dutch and French to the numbered figures in the etching


[State with descriptive letterpress in four columns: two columns in Dutch in Roman type and two columns in French in Italic type].

References note

British Museum, catalogue of political and personal satires, no. 1158
F. Muller, De nederlandsche geschiedenis in platen, part 1, Amsterdam: Frederik Muller, no. 2760b


Wellcome Collection 2136644i


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