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 New light on the Sobieski Stuarts

The biography and background of Thomas Allen the father of John Carter Allen (1795-1872) alias John Sobieski Stuart and Charles Manning Allen (c.1801-1880) alias Charles Edward Stuart, Count of Albany, has received considerable attention from historians over a long period. In 1897 Henry Jenner wrote that the brothers' story, bedevilled by lies and invention, was 'a very slippery one' that had 'eluded the grasp of everyone [1] and a hundred years later Professor Hugh Trevor-Roper wrote that about Thomas Allen, 'nothing seems discoverable' [2]. The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography in 2004 followed Trevor-Roper's outline, but both had overlooked material in articles by Leo Berry in Notes & Queries in 1952 [3] which have led to the present discoveries.

The  basic story if that the two brothers began in the 1830s to say that they were the legitimate grandchildren of the Young Pretender, claiming that the secret of their royal descent had been revealed to them about 1811, that they then fought for Napoleon at Dresden, Leipzig and Waterloo and learned Gaelic in London. John travelled in Argyll and then joined Charles in Edinburgh, they living together in the Finhorn valley from 1826 and moving to Eilean Aigas on the River Beauly in 1838. From there they published a now discredited work on clan tartans in 1842 [4] and a romanticised outline of their ancestral claims in 1847 [5]. Both books were savaged by Professor George Skene of Glasgow University in 1847 [6] and the brothers went overseas, returning to England only in 1868.

The brothers claimed that their father, Thomas Allen, had been born to the Young Pretender in 1773 but spirited away from Italy and adopted by their grandfather Admiral John Carter Allen (1725-1800) who, however, as the Dictionary of National Biography pointed out, was on half-pay from 1771 to 1775 and not in command of any ship at the time. Thomas Allen himself, however, was proud of a Hay descent and seems not to have made these claims to Stuart ancestry [7]. He had married at Godalming in 1792 Catherine Matilda Manning, a daughter of Rev. Owen Manning the historian of Surrey. She had been baptised at Godalming in 1765 and was thus some years older than Thomas. Thomas retired from the Navy in 1798 and his subsequent history was far from clear though his son Charles Manning Allen wrote in 1877 that his father (whom he called James) died in 1839, a date adopted by Trevor-Roper and the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography in rejection of the year 1852 which had been accepted by the old Dictionary of National Biography.

An account of the claims published by Hugh Beveridge in 1909 [8] says that the two brothers 'were extraordinarily like' the Young Pretender (a statement strongly disputed by Leo Berry) [9] but noted that they also resembled their rejected grandfather Admiral John Carter Allen. Beveridge unwisely concluded that either the brothers were the Prince's grandchildren or that the Admiral himself had an illegitimate descent from the Stuarts [10].

Thomas Allen (1767-1852)

Although generally referred to as 'Captain' Thomas Allen and given that description by his family, Berry could find no evidence that he was promoted beyond Second Lieutenant [11]. In 1952 Berry wrote that in retirement Thomas Allen had married secondly about 1812 a much younger woman, Ann Salmon, and had several children by her. Berry had been in touch with a descendant of that 'second marriage' and seen a few family papers that had come down in the family. He and Beveridge before him had no doubt that Thomas's wife Catherine Matilda had died about 1811. Ann's children, they said, were 'looked down on' by the Sobieski Stuarts as 'of much lower rank in life' [12].

However, the statements by Trevor-Roper that Thomas Allen then 'lived mainly abroad, especially in Italy' and by Berry that Thomas, following speculation and other financial problems, was from 1816 to 1829 based at Boulogne, 'a safe refuge for English debtors' [13], cannot be confirmed, but coupled with Beveridge's statement that there had been 'a general break-up of the home' about 1818 and that Thomas's whereabouts were unknown until 1822 [14], have led to a long series of entries in the Middlesex Deeds Registry (MDR) and the London Gazette.

From these we learn that under his marriage settlement with Catherine Matilda Manning, Thomas and their children (the two sons and a daughter Matilda) had a life interest and income from properties in Mare Street and Well Street, Hackney. Indeed Berry had already seen in the Allen family papers that in February 1817 Thomas Allen had appealed to the former Lord Chancellor, Lord Erskine, for help with the possible sale of some trust property but Erskine had replied that he could 'see no immediate remedy for the case you mention' [15].

A last minute attempt to make some arrangement for the future sale of the property and the income meanwhile was made on 17 January 1818 [16] but that same day the unfortunate outcome is revealed by the Middlesex Deeds Registry which records a judgment in the Court of Kings Bench against Thomas and his son John in a plea of debt by James Barstow for £300 and damages [17]. Thomas was consequently imprisoned for debt in the Fleet Prison from January 1818 until 20 December 1819. An Order of the Court for Relief of Insolvent Debtors that his petition for release be heard appeared in the London Gazette for 30 October 1819 when he was described as 'Thomas Allen (alias Thomas Hay Allen, alias Thomas Gatehouse Hay Allen, committed in the name Thomas Hay Allen) formerly of Oystermouth, near Swansea, Glamorgan; Withergate Hill near Nettlebed, Oxon; Frimley, Surrey; Gesling near Hastings, Sussex; Thayer Street, Manchester Square, Middlesex, and late of Greenwich Street, Kent' [18]. His petition was heard at the Guildhall, Westminster, on 22 November 1819 [19] and he was discharged on 20 December 1819 [20].

Thomas had moved from Greenwich to Lambeth by February 1822 [21] but continued to live in fear of his creditors. Proposals for a final settlement with his bankruptcy assignees could not be agreed and he, his wife and children appear in a further series of transactions and mortgages relating to the trust properties, some of which were publicly auctioned on 8 May 1840. [22]. A notice in the London Gazette for 1 October 1841 said that Thomas's creditors were to meet his assignees on 25 October 1841, proposing the purchase of the dividends, interest and produce of the £2,000 to which he was entitled for life at the time of his discharge as a debtor, in case he survived his wife, 'which event has lately happened', or to sell the same by auction in manner and place approved. [23] A final indenture of 4 July 1843 records the purchase by Thomas's son Charles Manning Allen of the family's life interest from the bankruptcy assignees [24]. It is clear from the entries not only that Thomas did not die in 1837 but also that his wife Catherine Matilda did not die about 1811 but had survived until 1841.

Berry said that in 1839 Thomas was in hiding as 'Mr Salmon' at 10 Portland Place North, Clapham Road, Lambeth [25], and looking at the inhabitants of that street in the 1841 census I was amused to see him as 'Thomas MacGaradh', aged 70, independent, claiming to be born in Scotland. He had with him Anne MacGaradh, aged 48 (i.e. his 'second wife'), Eli Bar MacGaradh, aged 12 (i.e. their son Gilbert Hay Allen, born in 1829) and Napoleon de la Fleurier, aged 17 (his daughter's son Napoleon de la Fleuriere). The word 'MacGaradh' was supposed to be a war-cry of the Hay family and was the subject of a poem 'The Gathering of the Hays', parts of which Thomas's eldest son, then calling himself John Hay Allan, claimed to be ancient and had inserted in his book The bridal of Caolchairn and other poems (1822) to show a connection with the Hays of Errol. It contains the lines, "Come in MacGaradh! Come arm'd for the fray! Wide is the war-cry and dark is the day" [26]. George Skene thought the poem a forgery [27] and George Fraser Black wrote that the word 'MacGaradh', which the brothers said was the Gaelic form of the surname Hay, was entirely their invention [28].

Berry says that from 1843 Thomas was confined to his room at 22 Henry Street, Pentonville, and he was there, apparently using Ann's surname, as 'John Salmon', aged 70, independent, with his 'wife' Ann, aged 60, in 1851 [29]. He died at that address on 14 February 1852, aged 84, his death being registered as Thomas Hay Allen. It is said in the 1892 edition of one of his sons' books that he was buried at Old St Pancras [30] and it has been stated that he was buried at St James Clerkenwell [31], but he was actually buried, as Thomas Hay Allen, at St Giles in the Fields, on 23 February 1852 [32].

Catherine Matilda Manning (1765-1841)

Thomas's wife Catherine Matilda had not been mentioned in the wills of her father or mother but in 1818 she was a witness at the marriage of her daughter Matilda in Greenwich and in 1822 she and her husband, then of 23 Lower Charlotte Street, St George the Martyr, consented to and were witnesses at the marriage of their son Charles [33]. She was named in the will of her unmarried sister Matilda Manning in 1827 and asked for an indenture of 1817 to be registered on 4 March 1834 [34].

I had assumed from the published accounts that at some stage Thomas had left the marital home and gone to live with Ann. However, the 1817 indenture speaks of John Carter Allen eldest son of Thomas Allen by Katherine Matilda and 'now residing with them' which, like their son Charles's marriage entry in 1822, indicates that the couple continued to live together.

The record of Katherine Matilda's death in 1841 proved elusive but was found registered by her husband, he calling himself Thomas MacGaradh and, as though unrelated, describing her in her maiden name of Manning and as a 'widow'. She died on 14 February 1841 at 11 Portland Place North, aged 77. The census taken in June shows that Ann then quickly moved into the house.

Charles Manning Allen (1802-1880) [amended 19 February 2020]

It should perhaps be mentioned that Thomas's second legitimate son, Charles Manning Allen, who is variously stated to have been born in April 1797 or on 4 June 1799, was not born until 1802, and was still under age and needing the consent of his parents for his marriage at St George, Hanover Square, on 9 October 1822. A notice of the marriage in The Examiner of 20 October 1822 describes him as 'Charles Stuart Hay Allen' and he used that name when at a Levee by the King in London on 21 April 1823 [35]. That the brothers went to see King George IV in Edinburgh in August 1822 cannot be confirmed. His brother John wrote that Charles had been born on 4 July [36] and [as I wrote in 2016] if that was correct and he was not born until 4 July 1802 he was indeed young to have been fighting at Dresden in August 1813. His baptism has since been found on 3 August 1802 at Rotherfield Greys, Oxfordshire, where the entry gives his date of birth as 4 July and he is entered as 'Charles Manning, son of Thomas & Katharine Matilda Allen'. His elder brother John, we know from Berry's work (but not noted in ODNB), was born at Oystermouth, Glamorgan, 4 August 1795, and baptised there, 5 October 1795 [37].

Matilda Allen (born 1799)

Thomas Allen's daughter Matilda had been born at Oystermouth, Glamorgan, on 18 October 1799 and baptised there on 12 January 1800 [38], though in 1851 she said that she was aged 45 and born in Holland [39]. Berry said that she had been married twice: firstly to Dr Bosanquet who was also known as the Comte de Fleure, by whom she had a son who died unmarried in London and other issue, and secondly in the 1840s to Count Ferdinand de Lancastro, by whom she had another son, 'Charles Ferdinand Montesinore de Lancastro, Count de Lancastro et d'Albanie', born in 1844 [40].

Research has shown that Matilda indeed married at St Alphege, Greenwich, on 8 April 1818, one Henry Timothie Boisquet de la Fleuriere, of Nantes, France, formerly a Captain in Napoleon's Light Horse and previously in the Hussars, who is described in The Times as 'second son of the late Marquis de la Fleuriere'. One may assume that Napoleon de la Fleuriere, who said that he was born at Lambeth about 1823-4 and died an 'author' in 1881, was their son [41]. Berry had seen a letter signed M.B. from Matilda to her father written from abroad which told 'a pathetic and harrowing story of the destitution and even starvation to which she and her children were then reduced' [42]. Berry does not give the date of this letter but says that most of those he had seen related to the years 1812-26 and she perhaps went to France on marriage. None of her children were baptised at Greenwich and Henry Timothie's death has not been found. [For additional information see Note 42B.]

However, Matilda surprisingly re-appears in the above-mentioned 1843 indenture together with her husband as 'Alexander McCaskery and Matilda his wife formerly Matilda Allen spinster'. This Alexander McCaskery, who was presumably her second husband though no marriage entry has been found [see, however, additional footnote 42A], was a police sergeant in Fulham [43]. In 1861 he described himself as married but he was then lodging alone in Fulham [44]. He died in 1870, aged 70 [45]. I have not found where and when his wife Matilda died. The couple had at least three children: Alexander (1835-1848) who died young, Gabriel (1839-1920) a schoolmaster in the army who lived latterly at Battersea in 'a state of semi starvation' [46], and Oscar (1841-1915) a soldier who by 1881 was a patient in a Lunatic Asylum at Norwood [47]. The first child was baptised at St Luke, Chelsea, the other two at St John, Walham Green, Fulham. Neither married.

This McCaskery family is not mentioned in the stories emanating from the Sobieski Stuarts. Instead Matilda, as mentioned, is said to have married secondly an unidentified Count Ferdinand de Lancastro and to have had issue an only son, also Charles Ferdinand, who said in 1871 that he was born in Brunswick in 1844 [48] and is said to have had various military adventures before going to Austria in 1873 [49]. This young man, who was in London with his Sobieski Stuart uncles in 1871, did not go abroad in 1873 but died as 'Charles Ferdinand Stuart' in London that year, aged 29 [50]. He may, of course, have been a child of Matilda and Alexander, born overseas, but if so he was not with his parents as a child in 1851 [51].

Ann Salmon's children

Leo Berry had noted Thomas Allen's use of the surname Salmon in 1839 and Thomas's entry in that surname in the 1851 census returns and he had concluded that Thomas had taken Ann's surname, the couple having with them as a servant in 1851, a niece, Emily Salmon, aged 14, born in Somers Town, St Pancras [52]. According to Berry this girl was the daughter of Richard Salmon of Great James Street, Marylebone, but he provides no evidence for that statement [53].

Thomas and Ann were said to have had five children born at Boulogne between '181-' and 1829 and it is possible that Thomas had gone to France in the early days of his liaison with Ann and perhaps that she was at Boulogne whilst he was in prison. Berry had in 1940 been in touch with a great-granddaughter of Thomas and Ann who said that the youngest of the children, Gilbert Hay Allen, was born on 14 October 1829, but Berry had few details of the other children, giving them all the surname 'Hay Allen' and saying that although on friendly terms with their half-brothers they never adopted a Stuart pose [54]. However, this youngest child, Gilbert, who remained in London and became a police inspector, dying in East Finchley in 1902, consistently said that he was born, not in Boulogne, but in Kennington, Surrey (though in 1851 he said Clapham, probably because Portland Place North was off Clapham Road). His baptismal entry has not been found though his Pension application [dated 15 July 1879] amongst the Metropolitan Police records [No 5036 G or Finsbury Division, dated 15 July 1879] says that he was 'born St Mary's Surrey 14 October 1827 [sic] son of Thomas & Ann'.

Beveridge had also obtained information from an unnamed daughter of Gilbert's elder brother, Donald (who had died, she said, in 1883), and she told him about her uncle William, but nowhere does Beveridge give the surname used by these illegitimate children. Perhaps he wished to preserve the family's anonymity. He denied that Donald had died in 1883, although he certainly did, not in the surname Allen or MacGaradh but in that of MacGarrow, a surname which had been used by Donald's daughter Fanny, who died in 1918, since at least 1851. Indeed, searches have revealed that at least three of Thomas Allen's four other illegitimate children had gone to Scotland and taken that surname and that Donald's children usually called themselves Stuart or Stewart MacGarrow.

Thomas's eldest illegitimate child, William, had a child baptised in that name at Forres, Moray, in 1836 and he died a grocer there in 1878, aged 76. In 1871 he said that he was aged 63 and born in Wales. His brother Donald MacGarrow had his first child Fanny in Ireland about 1840-1 and was also at Forres, a hotel keeper, from at least 1843 until his death in 1883, also aged 76 (though he had a child at Tain, Ross & Cromarty, in 1853). In 1851 Donald had said that he was aged 37, a vintner, and born at Appin, Argyll, but by 1881 he was saying that he was aged 60 and born at Moidart, Inverness. William and Donald's sister, Fanny MacGarrow, died at Forres on 17 March 1861 aged 42 and was not apparently in Scotland, in the surname MacGarrow at least, in 1851. The 'Stuart pose' is obvious but little credence can be given to some of the statements. They may indicate that Ann's family were in Argyll or Inverness before they moved eastwards to Forres.

On the three death certificates the father in each case is given as Thomas MacGarrow, Captain RN (or Merchant Service as in the case of Fanny), but the informants add to the confusion when they each say that the mother's maiden name was not Ann Salmon but Ann Burton, as indeed it may have been as there is so little evidence on the point. Further searches in Scotland may perhaps be worthwhile but meanwhile we have little idea when Thomas Allen's liaison with Ann commenced, where he was when their children were born or in what surname they were baptised. If the papers that Berry saw have survived, it is possible that they would throw additional light on the matter.

Admiral John Carter Allen (1725-1800)

Thomas Allen, the supposed son of the Young Pretender, was himself said to have been born on 7 May 1767, a date calculated from his age at death and from 'family records' [55], and this agrees roughly with his age of 70 in 1841, though he gave the same age in 1851 when he said that he was born at Westminster. No record of his birth or baptism, or of those of his brother Admiral John Allen (said to have been born at Upham in Hampshire on 26 January 1771) [56] and of their sister Jane or Jean Allen who married Thomas Robinson at Brighton in 1788 [57], has been found but it has always been assumed that these three children were legitimate. Their father was to all intents and purposes Admiral John Carter Allen, who died in 1800 [58]. He had named the three children in his will without comment as to their status, though he had bequeathed only £100 to Thomas and £100 and a pair of silver candlesticks to Jane, but leaving £2,200 and the residue to John [59]. The disparity has caused comment but Thomas had an assured income from his marriage settlement.

Leo Berry knew little about John Carter Allen's personal life but research has shown that he was twice married, firstly when in his mid-50s, on 20 June 1780 at St James, Westminster, to Mrs Caroline Addington (died 1796-7) [60], the daughter of Captain Thomas Arnold, R.N., and the widow of William Addington (by whom she had had an only child) [61], and secondly by special licence on 29 June 1799 at No 2 Devonshire Place, St Marylebone [62], to Stella Frances Freeman who died in 1821 aged 92 [63]. It is thus clear that the three children above-mentioned were born prior to Admiral John Carter Allen's first marriage and were thus illegitimate.

Looking for further details of these families I was rewarded by finding the will of John Carter Allen's first mother-in-law, Elizabeth, the widow of Thomas Arnold of Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth who had died in 1737 [64]. Elizabeth survived her husband by fifty years and died in 1789. By her will, proved in 1789 [65], she bequeathed £1,000 to her daughter's husband, 'Admiral John Cator Allen' [sic], and in the twelfth of the sixteen codicils to that will, dated 13 May 1788, she wrote 'I give to Thos John and Jean Allen natural children of Admiral Allen twenty guineas each', thus confirming their illegitimacy. Unfortunately there is no indication as to the name of the children's mother and their baptisms have not been found. In view of Thomas's use in later life of the name Gatehouse it is possible that his mother was a Gatehouse.

Admiral John Carter Allen had himself been born 19 January 1724/5 and baptised at St Dunstan in the West, 31 January 1724/5, the son of Carter Allen.

Carter Allen (1700-1734)

Carter Allen was an attorney in the City of London [66] who had been born 23 December 1700 and baptised at St Sepulchre in the City on 24 December 1700, the son of John and Ann Allen, of Ellis Court [67]. Carter Allen was buried in the Middle Aisle at St Clement Eastcheap on 31 May 1734 [68] and his estate was administered by his wife, formerly Emma Hay [69], whom he had married at St Giles, Camberwell, on 20 April 1724 [70].

The descent from Emma Hay explains Thomas Allen's use of that surname. Contemporaries of Admiral John Carter Allen had recounted at his death in 1800, that the late Lord Hillsborough (who had died in 1793) had said that he had a claim to 'the title of Erroll … as being descended from the old Earl Hay in the male line' [71], a suggestion that clearly has no substance but which impressed Thomas Allen [72].

I have not attempted to take the male ancestry further. Emma was not buried at St Clement Eastcheap and it is possible that she married again. Her husband's early death and the circumstances of her son's early liaison and illegitimate children coupled with the illegitimacies in the next generation would undoubtedly have obscured family traditions from later generations, allowing invention to fill the gaps.


[1] Henry Jenner, 'The Sobieski Stuarts', in The Genealogical Magazine, i (1897) 21-30.

[2] Hugh Trevor Roper, 'Invention of tradition: the highland tradition of Scotland', in Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger, eds., The invention of tradition (University of Cambridge, 1983), reprinted in Journal of the St Andrew's Society of Montreal (September 2006).

[3] Notes and Queries, vol. 197 (1952) 428-29, 455-57, 470-71, 511-13.

[4] John Sobieski Stuart, Vestiarium Scoticum: with an introduction and notes (Edinburgh: William Tait, 1842).

[5] John Sobieski Stuart and Charles Edward Stuart, The tales of the century, or sketches of the romance of history between the years 1746 and 1846 (London: Charles Dolman, 1847).

[6] George Skene, 'The heirs of the Stuarts', in Quarterly Review, vol. 81 (1847) 68-85.

[7] Though he apparently signed himself 'J. T. Stuart Hay' in a letter (? if authentic) to his son 'Ian' in 1829 [Beveridge (1909) 60].

[8] Hugh Beveridge, The Sobieski Stuarts: their claim to be descended from Prince Charlie (Inverness: Robert Carruthers, 1909).

[9] Notes and Queries, vol. 197 (1952) 471.

[10] Beveridge (1909) v.

[11] Notes and Queries, vol. 197 (1952) 455.

[12] Beveridge (1909) 21; he always refers to her as Ann Salmond.

[13] Notes and Queries, vol. 197 (1952) 456.

[14] Beveridge (1909) 21-2.

[15] Notes and Queries, vol. 178 (1940) 367-8.

[16] Registered 21 July 1818, MDR 1818-5-415.

[17] MDR 1818-1-428.

[18] London Gazette, 30 October 1819, No 17530, page 1934a-b.

[19] London Gazette, 30 October 1819, No 17530, page 1934a-b.

[20] London Gazette, 16 October 1821, No 17755, page 2065a-b.

[21] Registered MDR 1842-3-417.

[22] Advertisement in The Morning Chronicle, 23 April 1840, and details in Hackney Archives Department, M220.

[23] London Gazette, 1 October 1841, No 20023, page 2443.

[24] Hackney Archives Department, M220; registered 12 July 1848, MDR 1848-5-607.

[25] Notes and Queries, vol. 197 (1952) 456.

[26] Beveridge (1909) 41-2, 47-8.

[27] George Skene, 'The heirs of the Stuarts', in Quarterly Review, vol. 81 (1847) 68-85.

[28] George Fraser Black, The Surnames of Scotland (New York Public Library, 1946) 494-5.

[29] 1851 Census of 22 Henry Street, Pentonville, HO107/1518-152-33.

[30] The costume of the clans (1892) xvii.

[31] The Genealogical Magazine, i (1897) 23.

[32] Burial Registers, Entry 1056, Page 16v, as Thomas Hay Allen, of Henry Street, aged 84.

[33] Faculty Office marriage licence, 5 October 1822; Marriage Registers of St George Hanover Square, 9 October 1822, Page 587, Entry 826.

[34] MDR 1834-2-373.

[35] Morning Post, 22 April 1823, 2c.

[36] John Hay Allan, The bridal of Caolchairn and other poems (London, 1822) 195.

[37] Notes and Queries, vol. 197 (1952) 511.

[38] Notes and Queries, vol. 197 (1952) 470.

[39] 1851 Census of Prospect Place, Fulham, HO107/147-44-26, as 'McCasling'.

[40] Notes and Queries, vol. 197 (1952) 470.

[41] He had a brief career as Editor of the Morning Advertiser from 8 September 1876 to January 1877 [Edinburgh Evening News, 9 September 1876, 4; Ipswich Journal, 16 January 1877, 2]. The 1881 Census of 34 Albert Street, St Pancras, shows Napoleon de la Fleuriere, lodger, unmarried, aged 57, author, born Lambeth, Surrey [RG11/176-101-25]. Since this article was first published his baptism has been found at St Margaret, Westminster, 8 September 1823, as Napoleon, son of Henri Timothee & Matilda Boisquet de la Fleuriere, of Nantz in France & Norwich in England, Gent., born 22 July [Entry 1272, Page 159].

[42] Notes and Queries, vol. 197 (1952) 470.

[42A] The marriage of "Alexander McCoskery" and "Matilda McFleur" apparently took place at St Mary Abbots, Kensington, on 16 April 1835.

[42B] Further details of Henri Boisquet de la Fleuriere have kindly been provided by Steven Robb from a file at the Archive Nationales, Paris [reference LH/270/39], and given when Madame Boisquet de la Fleuriere solicited the Cross of an Officer of the Legion d'Honneur for her husband in 1854. The 13 documents on file include a certificate of his appointment as Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur by decree, dated 16 January 1833 (No 74233, Register 29, Folio 124) and a certificate of his pensionable service dated at Paris, 24 July 1854. The latter shows that he entered service, 22 December 1804; was prisoner of war, 5 August 1805; returned to France, 1 November 1807; joined 1st Regiment of Hussars, 7 March 1808; brigadier, 11 June 1809; quarter master, 16 November 1809; sub-lieutenant, 27 January 1810; passed to the 2nd Battalion des Colonies, 25 May 1813; resigned, 3 November 1814; sub-lieutenant, 1st Regiment of Hussars, 5 July 1832; lieutenant, 7 April 1833; captain,31 January 1841; captain adjutant de place commanding Le Fort Royal de Cherbourg, 10 September 1846; retired 24 March 1853; service stopped, 15 August 1853. He had served in campaigns from 22 December 1804 to 1 November 1807, was captive 7 March 1808 to 31 May 1814, was in divers place in France, and in Belgium in 1832, and was wounded, 27 September 1810. A letter from his wife at Auteuil, 22 June 1854, speaks of his service from 2 October 1804 and says he was imprisoned at Boulogne from 1815 and that his exile continued until 1830. She had petitioned from Billancourt, 14 May 1853, saying in French that he was a nephew of Admiral Bruis, had entered service as a midshipman, was taken prisoner at the Battle of Trafalgar, 'Persecuted, imprisoned and exiled by the Restoration in 1815, he did not return to France until 1830'. In August 1853 he was in the 'maison d'arret' at Abbeville. The file ends with the Minister of War, Paris, writing on 31 July 1854 to the Grand Chancellor of the Legion d'Honneur saying that he had been solicited by Madame Boisquet in favour of her husband, but the outcome (and the identity of the wife who signs 'M. B. De la Fleuriere' in 1853) are not stated. A record in the British National Archives [ADM 103/346 folio 116] shows that midshipman No 2885, Thimatte Boisquet, on La Faune, National Brig, was taken in the Bay of Biscay, by the Camilla on 15 August and received into custody at Portsmouth, and discharged on parole to the Thurne, 24 August 1805. A short pedigree of 'Ces messieurs de Nantes' on shows Henry Thimotee Boisquet de la Fleuriere as born 1788, the third child of Jacques Louis de Boisquet de la Fleuriere (1744-1813) by his wife Marie Marguerite Julie Richard du Plessis (1760-1817; married 1781).

Additional information, kindly received from Juan Carlos, a descendant of Thomas Hay Allen, was received in 2021 and indicates that Henri Timothee Boisquet de La Fleuriere (born 7 September 1788) had actually married a second time on 24 March 1827 to one Mary Prentice. She died in Paris, 29 March 1863. It thus appears that the Mme M B de la Fleuriere who solicited the Cross of Honour  was not Matilda Allen but Mary Prentice. The details come mainly from Bulletin des Lois de l'Empire Francaise XIe Serie, Regne de Napoleon III, Empereur des Francais, Partie Supplementaire (Paris, 1859), vol. 12, no. 510, which says that Boisquet de la Fleuriere ceased activity 1 January 1854 and died, 'titulaire d'une pension de retrait', 28 March 1856, leaving his widow Marie Prentice (born in Norfolk, England, 3 December 1792) whom he had married 24 March 1827. She lived at Auteuil, Seine, and received a pension of 400 francs from 28 March 1856. The place of their marriage is not indicated and has not been traced.

[43] 1841 Census of Rectory Place, Fulham, HO107/689-14-37v.

[44] 1861 Census of 1 Home Cottages, Fulham, RG9/27-11-18.

[45] Death registered Kensington, March Quarter 1870, aged 70.

[46] Report of inquest in Hull Daily Mail, 26 August 1920, 2e.

[47] 1881 Census of Middlesex Lunatic Asylum, Norwood, RG11/1336-82-32.

[48] 1871 Census of 52 Stanley Street, St George Hanover Square, RG10/111-46-12.

[49] Leo Berry says that he retired to Austria on 28 September 1873 [Notes and Queries, vol. 197 (1952) 470] but he died in London on that date [Pall Mall Gazette, 1 October 1873, page 7].

[50] Death registered St George Hanover Square, aged 29; Notes and Queries, Fifth Series viii (1877) 92. Since the publication of this article I have been indebted to Stephen Robb for a copy of the death certificate of Charles Ferdinand Stuart, Count de Lancastro et d'Albanie. He died 28 September 1873, at 98 Harley Street, aged 29, of inflammation of the lungs, pulmonary collapse, the informant being Charles Edward Hatherly, in attendance, of 115 Belgrave Road, Pimlico. The Count was at balls or receptions in London in newspaper reports on 21 June 1869, 8 June 1870 and 28 June 1871. 98 Harley Street was in 1871 the home of Countess Rachel d'Avigdor (died 1896), a daughter of the 1st Baron Goldsmid and wife of Count Soloman Henry d'Avigdor.

[51] 1851 Census of Prospect Place, Fulham, HO107/147-44-26.

[52] 1851 Census of 22 Henry Street, Pentonville, HO107/1518-152-33.

[53] Notes and Queries, vol. 197 (1952) 456.

[54] Notes and Queries, vol. 197 (1952) 470-1.

[55] Notes and Queries, vol. 197 (1952) 455-6.

[56] Notes and Queries, vol. 199 (1954) 209.

[57] Marriage Registers of St Nicholas, Brighton, Sussex, 22 October 1788.

[58] He is generally stated to have died at his house in Devonshire Place, London, on 2 October 1800 (The Star for 15 October and Gentleman's Magazine, 1800 ii 1010), but the first accounts of his death (in the Courier and Evening Gazette and Morning Post for 9 October and the Oracle and Daily Advertiser for 10 October) say that he died at Bath.

[59] His will dated 11 February 1800 (with codicils 1 March 1800 and 25 March 1800) proved 16 October 1800 (PCC folio 697); text printed in Notes and Queries vol. 203 (1958) 310-11; IR26/44 No 5, Under £5,000.

[60] Married by Licence of Faculty Office, 1 November 1752; her will dated 20 March 1796 proved PCC 14 January 1797, PROB11/1284 folio 1.

[61] His will dated 22 August 1777 proved PCC 8 June 1779, PROB11/1053 folio 230.

[62] Marriage Registers of St Marylebone, 29 June 1799, Page 76, Entry 228.

[63] She was buried at Abbots Langley, Hertfordshire, 12 November 1821, aged 92; her will dated 10 June 1806 with codicils 10 April 1812 and 17 August 1819 proved PCC 21 November 1821, PROB11/1649 folio 583.

[64] John Charnock, Biographia Navalis, iv (1796) 142-4; his will dated 9 August 1737 proved PCC 14 December 1737, PROB11/686 folio 264.

[65] Her will dated 18 May 1788 (with 16 codicils dated at Stratford between 1768 and 1788) proved PCC 21 November 1789, PROB11/1184 folio 528.

[66] London Gazette, No 6654, 27 February 1727.

[67] Baptismal Registers of St Sepulchre, City of London, 24 December 1700, Page 84.

[68] Burial Registers of St Clement Eastcheap, City of London, 31 May 1734; Harleian Society, 68 (1938) 15.

[69] His administration granted PCC, 13 June 1734, PROB6/110 folio 99r.

[70] Marriage Registers of St Giles, Camberwell, Page 339, as 'Mrs Emma Hays'.

[71] Letter of William Scott in Gentleman's Magazine, 1800 ii 1021.

[72] John Carter Allen's younger brother, William Allen (1729-1811), had been a clerk in Lord Hillsborough's office.

(c) Anthony J. Camp, June 2016. First published (with summary pedigree) in Genealogists' Magazine, Volume 31, Number 8, December 2014, pages 298-306; additions made, 6 October 2017 and 19 February 2020.

* * * * * * * * * 

'Dreamy Fables': Hays, Higgenbotham, Allen and the Sobieski Stuarts

Back in 2014, in the abovementioned Magazine, I described recent research on the Sobieski Stuarts and showed that the earliest known male-line ancestor of the two brothers who later claimed to be the great-grandchildren and heirs of Bonnie Prince Charlie, was one Carter Allen, an attorney in the City of London who died, aged 34, in May 1734..

Hay, Hays or Hayes

It had long ago been noticed that the brothers' claims to Stuart ancestry had followed their earlier claims to be descended from the Scottish family of Hay of Errol, Hereditary Constables of Scotland since 1314, a claim ridiculed by Sir  Walter Scott in 1822 [Note 2], but it was not until 2014 that the maiden surname of their great-grandmother, Emma, the wife of the above-named Carter Allen, was found to be Hays or Hayes. Further research has since shown that Emma's father, an undertaker in Southwark, sometimes called himself 'William Hay' and he certainly seems to have had odd ideas about his background.

William Hay, Hays or Hayes

Emma was baptised 'Emm [sic], daughter of William Hayes in Blackman Street an Upholster'. at St George the Martyr, Southwark, on 26 August 1702, and at the time of her marriage in 1724, William described himself as of that address, citizen and upholder of London, quoting (in his will made in Nvember 1727) the articles of marriage settlement made 'by me the said William Hays by the name of William Hay'. He appeared as William Hay, of St George's Church, Southwark in the 1727 Electoral Poll [Note 3].

William Hayes took a series of apprentices, some for very high fees. The first two, Thomas, son of William Russell, citizen and pattenmaker, taken in April 1707, and James, son of James Higgenbotham, of Sutton Cheshire, gentleman, taken in September 1709, were taken before the tax on apprenticeship indentures commenced in 1710, but his later apprentices were (for the record), in June 1713, William, son of Joseph Collis, late of Cambridge, tallow chandler, deceased, taken for 7 years for a fee of £30 and later a Freeman of the City; in February 1714/15, Edward, son of Joseph Stennett, of London, gentleman, taken for 7 years for a fee of £100; in November 1717, John Uslumoff, of London, taken for three years for a fee of £120; in January 1718/19, Cuthbert, son of Robert Cornee, of Durham, turner; in November 1719, John, son of John Pressey, of Richmond, Surrey, carpenter, taken for 7 years for a fee of £40; in February 1723/4, John, son of John Spencer, of Basingstoke, Hampshire, upholder, taken for 6 years for a fee of £100 and later a Freeman of the City; and in July 1727, John, son of Edward Lucas, of London, grocer. who was turned over to Primrose Pearman, citizen and upholder, in April 1733 [Note 4]. In 1707 his name was recorded in the Company records as William Hays but always subsequently as William Hayes. Working as William Hayes from St George's Church, Southwark, between 1727 and 1734, and at Blackman Street in 1729, he took out Sun Fire Insurance policies on three houses for other traders in London [Note 5]. 

His will as 'William Hays', dated 9 November 1727, with a lengthy Presbyterian preamble, was proved by his widow Anne Hays on 18 November 1737 [Note 6]. Their marriage, by licence of the Faculty Office, had been celebrated by Thomas Pocock, curate of St Saviour, Southwark, at St Michael Queenhithe, London, 8 September 1701, and his bride was Anne Baker, of St George the Martyr. William and Anne Hayes were named in the will of her elderly mother, Anne Baker, of St George the Martyr, widow, dated 14 January 1722 and with an undated and unwtnessed codicil, proved by her daughter, 3 February 1736. Anne Baker's grandchild Emma Allen, then of St Margaret, Westminster, and the latter's brother, William Hayes the Younger, tobacconist', were present and formally recognised the handwriting of the codicil [Note 7].

Looking for the elder William's burial I was surprised to see in the registers of St John-at-Hackney, 'William Hayes (Upholder) was bury'd from Southwark in Rowe's Vault, on the 11th day of November', 1737. Of Rowe's Vault more below, but William's widow Anne may be the 'Ann Hayes, widow' also buried at St John-at-Hackney, 15 February 1750.

Carter Allen's estate

William Hayes's young son-in-law, Carter Allen, had apparently been quite active in his profession. He was named in the London Gazette in 1727 as of St Nicholas Lane and in 1732-3 as of St Clemen's Inn [Note 8]. Following his death in May 1734 his widow, Emma, was compelled by a citation of Richard Copestake of St Clement Danes, a tailor with two young children and a house in Kentish Town, to provide a full inventory of Carter's possessions for the Prerogatice Court of Canterbury, from which she had on 13 June 1734 obtained a grant of administration of Carter's estate [Note 9].

This inventory, a twety-nine-page document [Note 10], was compiled by William Hayes, Emma's father, and Foulk Robins, on 21 December 1734, and was sworn and brought into court on 5 February 1736. Much incidental information appears in the inventory which details the contents of the dwelling house in Clement's Lane, down to Carter;s twety-nine shirts and five white waitcoats. The house's lease was said to be worth £40, but he also held two chambers (Nos 1 and 3) in Clifford's Inn valued at £150.

The estate's outgoings included £7 paid to William Taylor for two coffins, shrouds and pillows, for the deceased and his daughter Susannah Allen (who was said to have died just before him) and for an affidavit of her burial in woollen, though no burial entry has been found. The undertaker, Willim Sellon, had been paid £30 for the funeral and affidavit, and £5-14-6 had been paid to the parish clerk for the minister's and parish dues and half a year's tithe.

Some £17 had been paid out in mourning for Carter's four (un-named) children, £10 for his articled clerk and one domestic, and £11 for his wife, The cost of the administration in King's Stamps had been £2-5-0.

Carter Allen had a country house at Plaistow, Essex, leased for £20 a year and £5 had been paid to its landlord William Peck. to cancel the lease. A local farmer had been paid £1-2-0 to bring Carter's effects into London. Payments to  'physitians' during Carter's last illness amounted to £13, and £30 had been paid to Henry Johnson for keeping house at that time.

Carter's debts incuded £6-10-0 due in wages to Mary the cook maid, and £24 ro Sarah Cocker his maidservant. A half year's rent on the house in London (he had died in May) had been £5-12-0 and £1-4-0 had been paid to the negligent George Stamper for his work. John Yaldon, the deceased's barber, received £1-5-0; his footman, Isaac, was owed £9-5-0 in wages and petty expenses, as well as £2-15-0 for asses milk during Carter's last illness. John Smith, a writing master, was owed £1-16-0 for teaching Carter's (unnamed) son.

£40 had been paid to the Society of Clifford's Inn for a new assignment of the deceased's chamber, No.1,  with a new life added thereto for £7-7-0. £30 had been paid for the housekeeping expenses when his clerks lived in the house to dispatch and finish his business. £10-10-0  had beem paid to Revd. Noble for the board of Carter's son. Five weeks grass for Carter's horse had cost 16-6d.

There were a great number of other debts and amounts owed, including £500 on Emma's marriage portion. In total, she had reserved to herself goods worth £981-18-6 and had 'craved allowance' for a total of £1,427-10-2 which she said she had paid out or was owing to her from Carter's estate. This included £10-16-2 for compiling the inventory.

Emma's litigation

Sometime early in 1738 Richard Copestake filed a Bill against Emma Allen in the Court of Chancery, claiming that Carter had owed money on several suits of clothes and that she owed him £48-13-4 for work done for Carter, their children and the servants, Copestake having provided all the materials. These included a white silk waistcoat laced with gold, given at her request to her brother William Hays.

Emma admitted that Carter's account books and affairs had been left 'in great confusion' and she had agreed with Copestake that his might take Carter's old clothes to sell in part payment of the debt and Copestake 'seemed well satisfied'. She had employed Carter's former clerk, George Stamper, to arrange his papers, but Stamper had since left her employment.

She replied to Copestake, 15 April 1738 [Note 11] and he responded, 20 May 1738, pointing out that she had taken out the administration and possessed herself of all Carter's goods. A year later she made a further Answer in which she used the spelling Hay for her father's name, 2 June 1739. This was amended by order of the Court, 5 July 1739, to include the name of her son Henry (who can only have been about fifteen) on whose behalf she had invested in the tenancy of rooms in Clement's Inn, though again his baptism has not been found.

Emma's statement was sworn in Lincoln's Inn on 8 September 1739 and read on 2 October [Note 12]. In it she tried to cast doubt on the amount cccclaimed, Copestake's bill having been submitted after the filing of the inventory. He had sold the old clothes for £7-10-0, but a quantity of gold lace, she said, was still in his possession. The two chambers mentioned in Copestake's Bill she valued at £150 but she claimed to have been a stranger to the proceedings and the citations of the Prerogative Court  and had been directed therein by her proctor. She agreed that she had paid £40 to the Society of Clifford's Inn so that her son ',ight have an additionall estate of another life after his decease in the chambers No 2', and she had paid a further £7-7-0 to that Society for Garrett Chamber No 325,

In her statement Emma also cited her marriage settlement dated 18 March 1723/4 by which £300 was to be paid to her husband as part of her marriage portion. She said that her father, 'William Hay', had reason to believe that his uncle, Humphrey Higgenbotham, of Enfield, Middlesex, would leave him a considerable part of his real and personal estate, and that Humphrey's executors (William Scrimshire and Robert Saunders) would,within a year of his death, transfer a fourth part, this 'special trust' being intended for Carter Allen and, after his death, for Carter and Emma's children. Carter Allen had received from the estate, either in money or as goods, £251-9-3. She therefore said that Carter's estate owed her £300 plus £251-9-3. and that both sums should be applied as her marriage settlement intended.

Emma also said that Copestake had brought an action against her in the Court of King's Bench in Hilary Term 1737, when she gave no defense, so Copestake obtained a verdict for £48-13-4 with £19-7-0 costs. He had said that he had signed a writ of execution against Carter's effects, and she feared that he might try to levy it against those in the Chambers, or that the Sheriffs of London would do so. She admitted that she had entered her son's name and life in the two properties in Clifford's Inn and she claimed that she had no assets with which to pay Copestake's demands, She hoped that the chambers would not be sold to satisfy them. The 'additional estate' (presumably the two chambers) had been granted in October 1734, but she said that she had no received any money or other consideration from her son or any other person. Number 2 was now and had at the time of the filing of the Bill been rented by Mr Meakham at a yearly rent of £16; the other by Mrs Mabberly at £9 a year. She asked that Copestake's case be dismissed with costs.

However, by this time Richard Copestake was probably seriously ill. He made his will on 19 February 1739/40 when 'indisposed in body' and he was buried at St Clement Danes on 26 February 1739/40, his will being proved by his widow, Sarah, on 1 March 1739/50 [Note 13]. Most similar actions in Chancery ended inconclusively and never got beyond the initial pleadings [Note 14] but no search has been made for possible later developments.

Emma's date and place of death have not been found. By February 1736, when executrix to Anne Baker, she had moved to St Margaret, Westminster [Note 15], and she was listed at Park Street in the Rate Book that year [Note 16], but her name was struck through and replaced by that of Robert Pennant in 1737. She was alive in September 1739, but her Deposition in Chancery that years does not name her place of residence. She could be the 'Mrs Allen' at Park Street in the Rate Book for 1755 but other Allen ratepayers were appearing in Park Street by that date.

Higgenbotham-Hayes connection

Emma's expectations under the will of her uncle, Humphry Higgenbotham, of Enfield, hentleman, were confirmed by the latter's will dated 3 September 1725 and proved by his widow Sarah and nephew William Hayes on 19 November 1725 [Note 15]. Amongst other bequests Humphry left an annuity to his wife payable from lands held of the manor of Sewerd Stone at Silver Street, Sewardstone, Waltham Holy Cross, Essex, and from two leasehold houses in Booth Street, Spitalfields, which was later to go to his nephew William Hayes, upholsterer, and his heirs. He also left to his nephews James Higgenbotham and William Hayes £50 each and to the latter, a large silver cup. Humphrey was buried at St Andrew, Enfield,, on 13 November 1725. The will of his widow Sarah Higginbotham (sic), dated 5 October 1726, was proved 7 September 1728 and shows that she had been previously married to John Rusden a London goldsmith. She left 'Emma Allin wife of Carter Allin attorney at law', £100 [Note 18]. A strong Presbyterian attachment is evident in all the Higgenbotham wills.

The apprentice James Higgenbotham, taken by William Hayes in 1707, was thus evidently his nephew and undoubtedly the James Higginbotham gentleman, of the Mill at Sutton, Cheshire, who in 1740 bequeathed to William Hays of the White Lyon in Blakman (sic) Street, near St George's Church, Southwark, London, tobacconist, a house 'over against the church' on Bow Lane (providing he paid off a £300 mortgage pm yjr house), in his will dated 24 September 1740 and proved by his widow Mary Higginbotham in the Consistory Court of Chester, 29 March 1742 [Note 19].

Emma and Carter Allen's children

The exact order of the children of Emma and Carter Allen has not been confirmed. They had married on 20 April 1724 and their eldest child, John Carter Allen, was born 19 January 1724/5 and baptised at St Dunstan in the West, 31 January 1724/5. Their son Henry Allen, named in the Chancery case in 1739, was perhaps bornin 1725, but his baptism and later history have not been found, A daughter, Anne Allen, was born 29 April 1726 and baptised at St Dunstan in the West, 22 May 1726. A son, William Allen, was baptised at St Nicolas Acons, London, 24 July 1729, and is known to have been a clerk in the Colonial Department of the Secretary of State's Office, 1771-81, and then Master of Dulwich College where he was  buried in 1811. The next xhild, Thomas Allen, was born 25 October 1731 and baptised at St Clement Eastcheap, London, 27 November 1731, but was buried at St Clement Eastcheap, 'an infant, middle isle, No. 7' on 22 June 1732. The next xhild, Emma Allen, was born 25 February 1733 and baptised at St Clement Eastcheap, 25 March 1733, and as of St James. Westminster, she married by licence of the Bishop of London at the King Street Chapel, 16 March 1750, Robert Swanton, of St Margaret Westminster. The last child, Susanna Allen, apparently died just vefore her father in 1734, and was named in the Inventory of his estate, but her baptism and burial have not been found.

The cost of mourning for Emma's 'four children' is mentioned in the Inventory dated December 1734 and they were presumably John, Henry, William, and Emma, though nothing more has yet been found about Henry,

Carter Allen's parentage

Carter Allen would probably have been named after a relative named Carter. Several marriages between Carters and Allens have been noted but the only likely marriage yet noted of a John Carter to a wife Anne immediately prior to the birth of Carter Allen in December 1700 is that recorded twice in the registers of the Fleet Prison on 10 August 1699, once as 'John Allen & Cherriz Holmes both of Chelcey' [Note 30] and then again as 'John Allen & Ann Cherriz Holmes both of Chilcey [Note 21]. On the website the name of the bride is transcribed as 'Ann Chering' and the place as 'Chilrey'. However, Chelsea, Middlesex, seems likely to be intended.

No further children of this couple have been  found and their later histories have not been identified, though a pedigree on has, without additional evidence, adopted this marriage as ancestral.

William Hayes's claims

The mention of Rowe's vault, Hackney as the burial place of the undertaker William Hayes recalls a note in the Gentleman's Magazine about Thomas Allen, the father of the Sobieski Stuarts, that 'Lord Hillsborough gave it as his opinion that the title of Erroll belonged to him as being descended from the old Earl Hay in the male line [Note 22], an absurd but perhaps teasing jest to a much younger man, for its author was Wills Hills, created Earl of Hillsborough in 1751, to whom, when Secretary of State in 1771-2, Emma Allen's elder brother William Allen (1729-1811) had been an office clerk [Note 23]. Charles Hay, the 12th Earl of Errol and the last of the old male line, had strongly opposed the Union with Scotland and been imprisoned in Edinburgh Castle. He lived latterly abroad and died without issue in 1717. His brother-in-law, the Earl of Linlithgow and Callander, was attainted in 1716, but escaped to the court of the Old Pretender and died in Rome in 1723,

Wills Hill was the son of Trevor Hill, first Viscount Hillsborough (1693-1742), of whom the antiquary Thomas Hearne (1698-1735) wrote in July 1725, 'is one of those wanton immodest gentlemen, that a year or two ago used to ride naked and made strange work with young women' [Note 26]. Perhaps more importantly in this context, however, Wills Hill's mother was Mary (died 1742), the widow of Sir Edmund Denton, of Hillesden, Buckinghamshire (died 1714) and the eldest daughter of Anthony Rowe, of Muswell Hill, Hackney. The Denton family's manor house at Hillesden had been a royalist garrison in the Civil War and Anthony Rowe, 'a man of loose principles' had been an adjutant and 'a warm and indiscreet' supporter of James, Duke of Monmouth, who led the rebellion against James II in 1685. Rowe was later thrice elected a Member of Parliament but thrice unseated for bribery. He died in 1704. According to Eveline Cruickshanks he was 'the last of the family' [Note 25] though Daniel Lysons has much to say about impoverished Rowes in the parish in 1795 [Note 26].


It seems that the undertaker, William Hayes, admired and had sympathy with these Jacobite supporters of the Stuarts and that he sought to show a connection with them by organising his own burial in the Rowe vault. The chapel containing the vault was demolished in 1896.

In 1881 the Aberdeen Weekly Journal had copied an entry from the Pall Mall Gazette saying, 'A well-known old admiral, John Carter Allen, died in the year 1800, in the full conviction that he was the heir to the Earldom of Erroll. His son Thomas deluded himself that he was the son of Prince Charles Edward Stuart' [Note 27] and the North Wales Chronicle quoted the Daily Telegraph, saying, 'The greater probability is that Lieutenant Thomas Allen, son of Rear Admiral Allen, was not quite right in his mind and that he told a number of dreamy fables to his sons' [Note 28]. That seems to be a very fair summary of this whole story.


1. Genealogists' Magazine, vol. 31, no. 8 (December 2014) 298-306. Some additional information has been included in the above notes to the text of that article.

2. Hugh Beveridge, The Sobieski Stuarts (1909) 23-24.

3. Page 136.

4. Cliff Webb, London Apprentices, vol. 19, Upholders Company 1704-1772 (1998) checked against entries in TNA, IR 1.

5. G. Beard & C. Gilbert, Dictionary of English Furniture Makers (1996) 415.

6.TNA, PROB 11/686 folio 251.

7. TNA, PROB 11/681 folio 18.

8. London Gazette, issue 6654, 27 February 1727, page 3; issue 7094, 23 May 1732, page 2; issue 7280, 12 March 1733, page 4.

9. TNA, PROB 6/110 folio 99r.

10. TNA, PROB 31/161/78.

11. TNA, C 11/2456/2.

12. TNAm C 11/133/27.

13. TNA, PROB 11/701 folios 65-66.

14. Henry Horwitz, Chancery Equity Records and Proceedings 1600-1800 (HMSO, 1995) 24.

15. TNA, PROB11/681 folio 18.

16. St Margaret Westminster Rate Book, 1736, folio 101.

17. TNA, PROB11/606 folio 230-231.

18. TNA, PROB 11/624.

19. Cheshire Wills on Findmypast.

20. TNA, RG7/8 folio 8.

21. TNA, RG7/9 folio 26v.

22. Gentleman's Magazine, 1800, page 1021.

23.J.C. Sainty, Office Holders in Modern Britain, vol. 2 (1973) 63.

24.The Complete Peerage, vi (1926) 524.

25. B.D. Henning, ed., The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690 (1983) sub Anthony Rowe.

26. The Environs of London, vol. 2, County of Middlesex (1795) sub Hackney, 450-516. 

27. Aberdeen Weekly Journal, 15 January 1881, issue 6939.

28. North Wales Chronicle, 12 March 1881, issue 2804.

(c) Anthony J. Camp, November 2021. First published (with summary pedigree) in Genealogists' Magazine, vol. 34, no. 3 (September 2022) 135-140.

* * * * * * * * *

Below is a summary of the details  about the brothers, placed here 29 March 2020, and as drafted for Wikipedia:

The Sobieski Stuarts

In the 1820s two English brothers, John Carter Allen (1795-1872) and Charles Manning Allen (1802-1880) adopted the names John Sobieski Stuart and Charles Edward Stuart, moved to Scotland, became Roman Catholics, and about 1839 began to claim that their father, Thomas Allen (1767-1852), a former Lieutenant in the British Navy, had been born in Italy the only legitimate child of Prince Charles Edward Stuart and his wife Princess Louise of Stolberg-Gedern. They claimed that Thomas had, for fear of kidnapping or assassination, been brought secretly to England on a ship captained by their grandfather, Admiral John Carter Allen (1725-1800), and adopted by him. Thomas thus had, they claimed, a direct claim to the throne and 'They succeeded in fabricating around them an aura of bogus royalty which attracted the allegiance of a few romantic Jacobites in Victorian times' [James Lees-Milne, The last Stuarts (1984) page 230]. Herbert Vaughan called their story 'an impudent fabrication' and 'an unblushing fraud' [Herbert M. Vaughan, The last of the royal Stuarts: Henry Stuart, Cardinal Duke of York (1906) page 280] but it was as Sir Charles Petrie wrote 'proof of the hold which the House of Stuart has never ceased to exercise upon popular imagination in the British Isles, so that ... if a man were to declare himself the heir to the Yorkist or Tudor dynasty, he would attract but little attention, yet if he claim to be a Stuart he will find hundreds ready to believe him' [Sir Charles Petrie, The Jacobite movement: the last phase: 1716-1807 (London, 1950) 187].

The brothers' two publications, Vestiarium Scoticum (Edinburgh, 1842) and Costume of the Clans (Edinburgh, 1843), described by the historian HughTrevor-Roper as 'shot through with pure fantasy and bare faced forgery' ['Invention of tradition; the Highland tradition of Scotland' in Eric Hobsbawm and Terrence Ranger, eds., The invention of tradition (University of Cambridge, 1983)], have been sources widely used by the tartan industry in Scotland.

Family Background

The brothers' grandfather, John Carter Allen (1725-1800), an admiral in the British navy, had three children: the above-named Lieutenant Thomas Allen (1767-1852), Jane or Jean Allen (c.1768-1829) who married Thomas Robinson, a widower, at Brighton in 1788, and Admiral John Allen (1771-1853). The three were named in John Carter Allen's will, though he bequeathed only £100 to Thomas and £100 and a pair of silver candesticks to Jane, leaving £2,200 and the residue to John. This disparity caused comment and some have speculated that Thomas was illegitimate, but an income had been guaranteed to him under his marriage settlement in 1792.

However, additional research in 2014 showed that John Carter Allen did not marry until 1780 and that his three children were all illegitimate and born in a period in which he held no commission [John Charnock, Biographia Navalis, vol. 6 (1798) 288]. The three were named 'natural children of John Cator Allen' in the twelfth of sixteen codicils to the will of Elizabeth Arnold, his first wife's mother, dated in 1788 and proved in 1789. She left them twenty guineas each and £1,000 to their father. The identity of their mother(s) has not been found. There was much tension in the family later and at one time the youngest son, John, was heard to say of Thomas, 'he is no brother of mine' [Beveridge (1909) 102].

John Carter Allen himself had been baptised at St Dunstan in the West in 1724/5, the son of Carter Allen (1700-1734), an attorney in the parish of St Clement Eastcheap in the City of London, who had married Emma Hay or Hays at St Giles, Camberwell, in 1724. These details also were not known until 2014. Contemporaries of John Carter Allen had said at his death in 1800 that the late Lord Hillsborough (who died in 1793 and for whom John Carter Allen's younger brother William Allen (1729-1811) had worked as an office clerk) had said that 'he had a claim to the title of Erroll ... as being descended from the old Earl Hay in the male line' [Letter of William Scott in Gentleman's Magazine, 1800, vol. i, page 1021], a worthless statement as the peerage had become extinct in the male line in 1717 [The Complete Peerage, vol. v (1926) pages 99-100], but believed by Thomas who added Hay to his name.

However, the uncertainty of their descent and the romantic nature of the various claims surrounding them greatly influenced the two brothers. They also added Hay to their names and in 1822 the eldest son, as John Hay Allan, published a Genealogical table of the Hays, from William de Haya, cupbearer to Malcolm IV, 1170, down to 1840, with all the branches (Edinburgh, 1840), though his descent is not shown in the book and the parentage of Emma Hay or Hays has not been found.

Thomas Allen

Although frequently referred to as Captain Allen, Thomas Allen never attained that rank. He retired from the Navy as a Lieutenant in 1798 and his subsequent history and movements and the extent to which he approved of his sons' later claims, are all far from clear. He had married Catherine Matilda Manning, a daughter of the Rev. Owen Manning the historian of Surrey, at Godalming in 1792. They had three children: (1) John Carter Allen, born at Oystermouth, Glamorgan, 4 August 1795 and baptised there, 5 October 1795; (2) Matilda Allen, born at Oystermouth, Glamorgan, 18 October 1799 and baptised there, 12 January 1800; and (3) Charles Manning Allen, born at Rotherfield Grays, Oxfordshire, 4 July 1802 and baptised there, 3 August 1802. Under their marriage settlement the couple and their future children had a life interest and income from properties in Mare Street and Well Street, Hackney.

However, sometime about 1807 Thomas Allen formed a connection with a much younger woman, Ann, who was born in Hackney about 1790, and by whom he had four or perhaps five illegitimate children between 1808 and 1829. Her surname is usually given as Salmon (as she had a niece of that name living with her in 1851) but the death certificates of several of her children show it as Burton. The first child, William (died 1878), who used the surname MacGarrow, claimed to have been born in Glamorganshire or Wales but his baptism and the exact whereabouts of Thomas and Ann at this time have not been determined. It is said that from 1816 to 1829 Thomas was based at Boulogne, 'a safe refuge for English debtors' [Notes and Queries, vol. 197 (1952) 456]. He certainly had increasing financial problems and in February 1817 he unsuccessfully appealed to the former Lord Chancellor, Lord Erskine, for help with the possible sale of some of the property held in trust under his marriage settlement. A last minute attempt to come to an arrangement about it failed and on 17 January 1818, as the result of an action in the Court of Kings Bench against Thomas and his son John (in a plea of debt for £300 and damages by James Barstow), Thomas was imprisoned for debt in the Fleet Prison. He was released by order of the Court for Relief of Insolvent Debtors on 20 December 1819 but continued to live in fear of his creditors.

His reticence and desired anonymity was probably due to his illegitimacy and his relationship with Anne, but it was complicated by the later statements of his two legitimate sons on whom he looked with some displeasure. He had little in common with them and they in turn looked down on Anne as 'of much lower rank in life' than their mother [Beveridge (1909) 20-21, 102-3]. Thomas and Anne apparently had their last child, Gilbert Hay Allen (1829-1902), in south London in 1829 and in 1839 Thomas was in hiding at 10 Portland Place North, Clapham Road, Lambeth, as 'Mr Salmond' [Beveridge (1909) 102]. In the 1841 census he was entered at that address as 'Thomas MacGaradh', aged 70, and born in Scotland. He ostensibly registered the death of his wife Catherine Matilda at Portland Place North, on 14 February 1841, again calling himself Thomas MacGaradh, but describing her as 'Matilda Manning, widow'. When the census was taken a few months later Anne was living with him at this address as Anne MacGaradh. MacGaradh was, his sons said, a war-cry of the Hay family but it was entirely their creation and it seems likely that they or Anne were responsible for their father's statements. The death of Catherine Matilda in 1841 did, however, eventually allow the purchase by Charles of the family's life interest in the trust properties from his father's bankruptcy assignees.

It is said that Thomas 'spent the last seven years of his life in bed' [Beveridge (1909) 89, 102], confined to his room at 22 Henry Street, Pentonville. He was there as 'John Salmon' when the Census was taken in 1851 and he died at that address as Thomas Hay Allen on 14 February 1852. He was buried in that name at St Giles in the Fields, Middlesex, on 23 February 1852, aged 84. His son, Charles, in order to distance himself from him, wrote in 1877 that his father was called James and had died in 1839. Some believed that he was buried at Old St Pancras, Middlesex (as stated in the introduction to the 1892 edition of his sons' The costume of the clans, xvii, and repeated in the Dictionary of National Biography) and Beveridge added 'but the stone said to have been placed over his grave cannot now be found' [Beveridge (1909) 89-90].

Sobieski Stuarts

No detail of the educations of Thomas's two sons has been found though they claimed that the secret of their royal descent had been revealed to them about 1811, that they had fought for Napoleon at Dresden (in August 1813), Leipzig (October 1813) and Waterloo (June 1815) and had learned Gaelic in London. The youngest, Charles Manning Allen, who we now know was not born until 1802, married at St George, Hanover Square, on 9 October 1822, Anna Gardiner, who had an income from property in Ireland and was the widow of Major Charles Gardiner (1780-1818), the childless only son of General William Gardiner (1748-1806; DNB) former British Minister in Brussels and Warsaw and younger brother of Luke Gardiner, 1st Viscount Mountjoy (1745-1798). The marriage was publicised as that of 'Charles Stuart Hay Allen'. However, the couple moved to Scotland after marriage and their first child, Anna Marie Stuart, born 27 July 1823, was baptised at Edinburgh and there recorded in the surname Hay on 20 October 1823.

Thomas's eldest son, John Carter Allen, calling himself John Hay Allan, had apparently already been in Scotland for some time and in 1822 he published a volume of poems, Bridal of Caolchairn, and other poems (London, 1822) dedicated to the Duke of Argyll, and revealing a fair knowledge of that county but including several allusions to his claimed descent from the Hays of Errol. From 1826 to 1829, John joined his brother Charles at Windy Hill (now Milton Brodie), Alves, Morayshire, under the patronage of the Earl of Moray [Beveridge (1909) 25]. The brothers were at Logie House, Edinkillie, Morayshire, from 1829 to 1838 [Beveridge (1909) 25], when John used the name Stuart Allan. As John Sobieski Stuart he and his brother, calling themselves 'grandsons to the Pretender', had visited Ireland in May 1836 [The Times, 9 May 1836, quoting the Glasgow Chronicle (Beveridge (1909) 37-38)]. Lord Lovat then built 'an antique shooting lodge' for them on Eilean Aigas, an islet in the river Beauly, near Eskadale, Inverness, and there, always wearing the Stuart tartan, they held court from 1838 to 1845, attending the catholic church at Eskadale and being known as 'the Princes' [Beveridge (1909) 93]. The house is described as 'a very elegant mansion of the Elizabethan style' in the New Statistical Account of Scotland (1842) [Beveridge (1909) 93]. On 18 October 1845, John married at St Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster, Georgina, eldest surviving daughter of Edward Kendall, J.P., of Austrey, Warwickshire [Burke's Landed Gentry (1858) page 643]. She had, he told Dr Robert Chambers, 'only ten thousand pounds, unless she survives her two sisters, who equally share with her' [Beveridge (1909) 100], but the couple then moved to live in London [Beveridge (1909) 27]. In his letter to Chambers just prior to the marriage John asked for a loan of £100 until his wife's dividends were paid but when his father-in-law eventually died in March 1872 the total estate was sworn at 'Under £1,500' and later as 'Under £2,000' [Principal Probate Registry, 10 June 1872].

Thomas Allen's daughter Matilda had married Henry Timothy Boisquet de la Fleuriere, at St Alphege, Greenwich, in 1818, and their son, Napoleon de la Fleuriere (1823-1881), was baptised at St Margaret, Westminster, in 1823. According to Matilda, her husband had been in the French service from 1804 to 1814 and from 1832 to 1853, but had been taken prisoner at Trafalgar and did not return to France until 1830. In 1835 using the name Matilda McFleur she then married at St Mary Abbots, Kensington, one Alexander McCaskery (died 1870), a police serjeant in Fulham, by whom she had at least three children. This seems not to have stopped her from soliciting the Cross of an Officer of the Legion d'Honneur for Henry Timothy in 1854. Her date of death has not been found.

In Scotland the brothers 'conducted themselves as members of a reigning dynasty who wished to preserve their incognito' [Sir Charles Petrie, The Jacobite Movement: the last phase: 1716-1807 (London, 1950) 191] and their claims 'were accorded a level of credence' (as the Dictionary of National Biography said at the end of the century) by 'men of rank and intelligence, such as the tenth Earl of Moray (1771-1848), the fourteenth Lord Lovat (1802-1875), the late Marquis of Bute (1793-1848), Sir Thomas Dick-Lauder, Bt (1784-1848), and Dr Robert Chambers (1802-1871)'. However, the delusional John Sobieski Stuart, in spite of his expressed desire to withdraw from the public eye, went so far as to claim, in a letter to Chambers, that he and his brother had 'a body of supporters ready to push their claims to the uttermost' [Sir Charles Petrie, The Jacobite Movement: the last phase: 1716-1807 (London, 1950) 191-2].

The Claims

In June 1829 the elder brother had shown a manuscript, containing tartan patterns and dated in 1721, to Sir Thomas Dick-Lauder who was much impressed by it, but Sir Walter Scott warned Dick-Lauder that the brothers 'are men of warm imaginations ... of much accomplishment but little probity - that is, in antiquarian matters' [Beveridge (1909) 59]. Sir Walter Scott, who died in 1832, had rejected the entire notion of clan tartans, saying that the 'idea of distinguishing the clans by their tartans is but a fashion of modern date'. On behalf of the Society of Scottish Antiquaries he was shown a transcript of part of the brothers' manuscript but from its language alone 'indignantly declared his conviction that the MS itself must be an absolute fabrication' [Quarterly Review, vol. 81, June-September 1847, page 64]. Scott remembered seeing one of the brothers wearing the badge of High Constable of Scotland (as the Earls of Errol were), 'which he could have no more right to wear than the Crown' [Beveridge (1909) 24]. Dick-Lauder was himself an author of historical romances and had put up a monument to the Lauder family in Edinburgh showing a quite spurious descent, but one 'as he wished it to be' [Complete Baronetage (vol. 4, 1904) page 362, note a].

However, calling himself John Sobieski Stuart, the elder brother then produced the lavish Vestiarium Scoticum (Edinburgh, 1842), costing ten guineas, which purported to be a reproduction, with colour illustrations, of a better version of the 1721 manuscript, this one being dated to 1571. This John claimed had passed through the hands of Prince Charles Edward Stuart to his father Thomas, though his father's letter on the subject, addressed to him as Ian and signed 'J. T. Stuart Hay' in 1829 [Beveridge (1909) 60], seems likely to be bogus.

Considerable interest in clans and tartans continued, and the following year, under the name John Sobieski Stolberg Stuart, John and his brother Charles published The costume of the clans: with observations upon the literature, arts, manufactures and commerce of the Highland and Western Isles during the middle ages; and the influence of the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries upon their present condition (Edinburgh, 1843) which, as noted above, received intense criticism.

Using the names John Sobieski Stuart and Charles Edward Stuart the brothers followed this with their Tales of the Century, or sketches of the romances of history between 1745 and 1845 (Edinburgh, 1847) in which they provided three scenes of the birth, youth and marriage of a man known by the Gaelic name of Iolair dhearg or the Red Eagle, said to have been recounted by an aged Jacobite in exile, Dr Beaton. After being called to attend the birth of a son to a young woman in Tuscany in 1773, where portraits of the Old and Young Pretenders were prominent, Beaton claimed to have been sworn to secrecy, but later to have seen a baby taken on board a British warship, HMS Albina, under Commodore O'Haloran. In the second tale, some years later, the grown child arrived in the Western Highlands of Scotland where, although called O'Haloran and thought to be the son of the former captain, he is known as The Red Eagle and addressed as a prince. In the third tale, which takes place in the Peak District of Derbyshire, a traveller meets The Red Eagle who, after various adventures, marries at Berwick, Catharine Bruce, the daughter of a Derbyshire local landowner.

The stories, taken together, were designed in a roundabout way to suggest that the brothers' supposed grandfather was in reality Commodore O'Haloran, and that the child, their father (known as Thomas Allen), was in reality the child of Prince Charles Edward Stuart and Louise of Stolberg, and thus de jure monarch of England. Although the tales were 'copiously augmented with historical notes' [Hugh Douglas, Bonnie Prince Charlie in love (1995) 218], in truth Admiral John Carter Allen did not command any ship in 1773, being on half-pay from 1771 to 1775.

A strong attack on both the Vestiarium Scoticum and their Tales of the Century then followed and the brothers ancestral claims, which had received little acceptance in England, and the Vestiarium were completely discredited in a devastating anonymous article 'The heirs of the Stuarts', believed to be by George Skene (1807-1875), Professor of Law at Glasgow University, which appeared in the Quarterly Review, vol. 81 (June-September 1847) 57-85. He concluded about the Vestiarium that 'this pretended MS of the sixteenth century is an absolute fabrication, and of no authority whatever' and about the Tales that Prince Charles Edward Stuart 'could have had no possible reason for concealing the birth of an heir'; any idea that he had 'left a legitimate male progeny' was 'the silliest of dreams'.

In 1848 John attempted A reply to the Quarterly Review upon the Vestiarium Scoticum (Edinburgh, 1848) and the two brothers then produced Lays of the deer forest: with sketches of olden and modern deer-hunting (2 vols. Edinburgh, 1848), but three of their benefactors, the Earl of Moray, the Marquis of Bute and Thomas Dick-Lauder, died that year and the brothers were now so discredited that Charles took his wife to Prague where their son was in the Austrian army [Beveridge (1909) 101; DNB]) and John followed soon after [Beveridge (1909) 27]. John's wife died at Presburg in 1862 and the brothers did not return to England until 1868. In London they then occupied themselves with research, being well-known figures in the British Museum, wearing Highland dress or military tunics and using pens embellished with gold coronets.

John, who called himself 'The Chevalier John Sobieski Stewart', in 1871 described himself as Count d'Albanie, Colonel of Hussars, and said that he was born at Versailles, France. He died without issue at 52 Stanley Street, St George Hanover Square, 13 February 1872, aged 74, and was buried at Eskadale. His widow died at Bath in 1888.

His brother Charles then assumed the title of Count of Albany and was active in Catholic circles in London but died from the same address (by then called 52 Alderney Street) on a trip to France on the Steamer Rainbow near Bordeaux, 24 December 1880, and was buried at Eskadale. His son Charles Edward Stuart Allen, the last self-styled Count of Albany, died in Jersey in 1882. He had married Lady Alice Hay (1835-1881), a daughter of the 18th Earl of Erroll, but they had no issue.


Hugh Beveridge, The Sobieski Stuarts: their claim to be descended from Prince Charlie (Inverness, 1909). The book had previously been published as a series of articles in The Inverness Courier, commencing in 1907. He concluded (page v) that 'nothing has been found of a sufficiently definite nature to support those claims. At the same time there is not sufficient evidence to damn them'.

C.L. Berry, 'An annotated pedigree of the Allen family and the so-called Sobieski-Stuarts', in Notes and Queries, vol. 197 (1952) 418-29, 455-57, 470-71, 511-13.

Sir Charles Petrie, The Jacobite movement: the last phase:1716-1807 (London, 1950).

James Lees-Milne, The last Stuarts: British royalty in exile (New York, 1984).

Anthony Camp, 'New Light on the Sobieski Stuarts', in Genealogists' Magazine, as above.