Stuart dynasty ruled in Scotland from 1371 to 1603, and as a result
James IV's marriage to Margaret Tudor, Henry the VIII's older sister,
in 1503, were the natural monarchical choice to succeed Queen Elizabeth
I on her death i 1603, as rulers ofthe two kingdoms. Although the
removal of the Scottish Royal Court from Edinburgh to London resulted
in a serious loss of local patronage in Scotland, the Stuarts were
patrons of all the arts throughout their period in England, especially
The number of musicians,
both performers and composers, who benefited from this support is
large and the quality of music they produced, universally acknowledged
as high. Interestingly, and it is a distinguishing feature of the
Stuarts, while art music flourished under their aegis, they are
also remembered in a surprising number of folk songs and tunes.
THe Jacobite corpus itself is large, and a little research reveals
there were many Royalist songs. Indeed subsequent to the restoration
in 1660, a book of loyalist songs, "The Loyal Garland, containing
Choice Songs and Sonnets of our late Revolution", was published
in 1671 in London and went through a number of later editions.
In making this recording,
it was clear from the outset that an anthology was not possible.
Perhaps a dozen CD's could reasonably address the enormous range
of musical types, vocal and instrumental, that would be required.
Additionally, although the guitar family is suitable for certain
types of older music, because of its inability to sustain notes
(unlike members of the string or wind families) music requiring
this characteristic has to be excluded. In a single recording, the
most that can be achieved is a modest sampling that indicates something
of the character of a particular court period. Thus, many composers
have, regrettably, been excluded in order to gain historical coverage.
Historical coverage begins
with the Scottish Royal Court in the sixteenth century, extends
to James II/VII, then to the court in exile and the end of the Jacobite
era. It thus omits the reigns of William and Mary, and Queen Anne.
While these reigns were by persons of undoubted Stuart lineage,
in the minds of those of Jacobite persuasion, there was a question
of their legitimacy as sovereigns. Jacobites (from the latin 'Jacobus'
= James) saw legitimate succession as passing through James II/VII
to his son, James Francis, born 1688, later known as James III/VIII
to adherents of the Stuart cause, the 'Old Pretender' to supporters
of the Whig government in the eighteenth century.