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The Rising Burgh: 1560 to 1770s


Clementina Walkinshaw

By Irene Maver

Clementina (or Clementine) Walkinshaw (1720-1802), an ardent Jacobite, is best known because of her romantic relationship with Prince Charles Edward Stuart (1720-1788). Their daughter Charlotte (1753-1789) was the only acknowledged child of the "Young Pretender". During the 17th century Clementina's family acquired considerable wealth in Glasgow as transatlantic traders. At the height of their success the Walkinshaws possessed the lands of Barrowfield and Camlachie and in 1705 Clementina's father, John Walkinshaw (1671-1731), founded the textile village of Calton.

However, Walkinshaw's religion and politics differed radically from those of Glasgow's Presbyterian and Whig mercantile elite. An Episcopalian and Jacobite, he took an active part in the failed military uprising of 1715. He was taken prisoner at the Battle of Sheriffmuir, but escaped from Stirling Castle and fled to Europe. The British government pardoned him in 1717 and he returned to Glasgow. Clementina, his youngest daughter, was probably born in Camlachie, but spent much of her youth in France. Her continental education may have influenced her decision to convert to Roman Catholicism.

Clementina's first meeting with Charles is not known. However, they were possibly introduced at the Shawfield Mansion in December 1745, during his brief residence in Glasgow after the retreat of his army from Derby. In 1752 the couple began to live together in the Flemish city of Ghent. The relationship was volatile and in 1760 Clementina left Charles, claiming physical abuse. Even after this time there were rumours of a secret marriage and in 1784 Charles declared his daughter to be legitimate, giving her the title of Duchess of Albany. Clementina, known latterly as the Countess of Albestroff, died in Switzerland.

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