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The Burns Encyclopedia
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Stuart, Charlotte, Duchess of Albany (1753-1789)

Daughter of Prince Charles Edward by his mistress Clementina Walkinshaw, herself the daughter of a Lanarkshire laird, John Walkinshaw of Barrowfield. He had fought at Sherriffmur for the Pretender, and had been his secret agent in Europe. Clementina and Charles had been playmates in Rome when his mother had acted as godmother to Clementina. They met again at Bannockburn during the '45, after the battle of Falkirk, and Clementina followed the Prince to the Continent, where she bore him a daughter, Charlotte, in 1753. She left him in 1760, however, because of ill-usage. Owing to the Prince's having no family by his wife Louise, Princess of Stolberg and mistress of the poet Alfieri, his daughter by Clementina was legitimated under the title of Duchess of Albany, by a deed registered by the Parliament of Paris in 1784.

The Duchess is the subject of Burns's poem 'The Bonnie Lass of Albanie'. He may have been inspired to write it as a result of his recent Highland tour through Stuart country. There is, however, another tradition, that it was the death of the young Pretender on 31st January 1788, which induced Burns to write this poem. After she had been legitimised, the Duchess of Albany went to live with her father, whom she heired, but did not long survive.

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Robert Burns Store

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Complete Burns Songs

linn recordings of burns Linn Records have completed their landmark recording of all 368 Burns songs, available as individual CDs or a 12 volume presentation box set. We have full details. Click here...


Burns Music & Recordings
Search our huge CD and music store for any Burns-related phrase!
Hint: Type "lang syne" or "peck maut" etc. into the Search box there for all artists, titles, descriptions or track listings with the words entered.
Burns Chess Sets

Burns Chess SetsUnique collectors' pieces based on Burns' life and works. (The ideal gift for your Burns Supper guests!) Click here...

Scotweb Store

ScotwebThe finest Scottish shopping site in the world, with the world's largest choice of kilts and tartans, exclusive jewelry, Highland Dress, Bagpipes and piping supplies, cashmere, and much more. Buying from these sites helps pay for the upkeep of Burns Country! Click here...