~ Scottish Royal Liberty Button ~
The Allegiance to the House of Stuart
Robert J. Silverstein
Co-Contributor Dale Hawley
Color: A Charcoal Green with Silver Highlights.
Metal: Flat, 1-Piece, Impressed Design of Bee then Hand-Engraved Silver-Wash Copper.
The Size: 32mm. Coat Size
Rarity: R-7 (1 or 2 known) Special Order.
Variety Type: Jacobite Liberty Button / Eye of Providence / Honey Bee /13 Stars to Represent Colonies.
Present Condition: An Excavated Specimen, Strong Planchet Condition, A Strong Impression Remains.
Found in the front yard of a home on the River Terrance in the City.
The Restoration of the House of Stuart
This is a Scottish-Rite fraternity pin that was worn in support of the restoration of the House of Stuart. The pin was made as a propaganda piece that seeks the return of Bonnie Prince Charlie to the throne of Scotland, England, and Ireland. After the Battle of Preston in 1715, the fleeing and exiled Jacobites crossed the Atlantic to start a New Republic here in America. Their hope was to lay a new foundation of political and religious freedom that King James afforded Scotland before the Glorious Revolution. A New Republic in America that was free of British control would allow the Stuart family (through the Bonnie Prince) to have an expo-facto legitimate title to America’s throne. Meaning, the original legitimate authority and claim by birthright to the throne in Scotland, England, and Ireland makes him automatically the ruler of the settled colonies in America and throughout the world. Since the Hanoverian victory at Culloden in 1746, the Jacobites were forced to limit their fight against the British Empire’s Royal family. It wasn’t until 30 years later with the American Revolution that gave the exiled Jacobites a new opportunity to rekindle their fight against the British political and social oppression. In early America, the Scottish & English Royal bloodlines controlled the Shipping, The Trade of Goods, and the Artisan Craft Guilds. All of these made-up the business infrastructure of the American colonies. The established Scottish-Rite (Jacobites) lodges within the colonies offered Prince Charlie of Scotland a social & economic power base of affiliation if the American Revolution was successful. So, if your a Jacobite you see two ways the House of Stuart would be restored. One through the limited war in Europe, and the other by the way of the American Revolution.
Robert Scot & James trenchard
I believe Robert Scot and James Trenchard specifically made this button for a direct member of the Royal House of Stuart. When Scot & Trenchard crafted this button, they used their knowledge of Scottish Royal Culture and ancient religious symbols that were used before Christianity’s Cross. This ancient religious aspect stems from the European Merovingian King’s traditions of worship that originated from the Egyptian Magi-Priest / Pharaoh who worshiped the celestial Star Sirius (Dog Star). In a multi-layer allusion, Scot & Trenchard combined the original meanings of these ancient religious symbols with the use of the Phrygian Cap on a Pole. So, there was a layered allusion of meaning to include Egyptian, Roman, and the Scottish use by the Bonnie Prince Charlie in his propaganda war against the British Royals. This should be seen as sort of an analogy to the Jacobite’s circumstances for their struggle against British Royal oppression of Scotland’s legitimate King by religious authority granted by God. In the mid 1700’s Prince Charlie used this symbol on printed propaganda leaflets that were distributed throughout the country in hopes to firing-up a rebellion (the Jacobite cause) against the British Royal families control over economic and political positions. The Phrygian Cap in this button should be seen as a reflection of the Scottish Royal bloodline’s revolt against the British Royal families who stole control over all the key economic positions. This control was also a “Bar of power” against all the Scottish bloodline families. Obviously, the undertone being the unfair deposition of King James VII in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. Robert Scot re-instituted this metaphor on this Jacobite Liberty button for a Scottish Royal Family member who was living in colonial America. This button most likely was only worn at Scottish-Rite fraternities or Jacobite social-political functions. All colonial era Jacobite families would have a firm understanding of the importance, and Royal association of the Honey Bee Hive symbol, and the authority of the wearer to use this symbol as a representation of being a direct member of the House of Stuart.
I believe the Honey Bee & Hive symbol which is depicted within the Phrygian Cap represents the religious authority of the House of Stuart. This gives them the religious authority to rule the sovereign titled European nations. The only legitimate heir of the throne of Scotland has the religious authority to wear the Honey Bee and Hive on their button; this would be a direct family member of the Royal House of Stuart or the Bonnie Prince himself. From several ancient artifacts and writings we are given a sort of time line from the beginning of history. The objects and religious relics that flowed through history which depict the honey bee was used as a Godly authoritative symbol thats use was only permitted by members of the House of Stuart. Throughout history the honey bee was known to be associated with Royals who’s bloodlines had a direct or indirect relation tie to divinity (God). Since the button is Masonic in nature there is a multi-meaning allusions which has layers of meaning in Scottish Royal Culture and Religious divinity. For example, the 7 parts of the honey bee’s body represent the 7 Scottish Earls, and the Two Wings would mean the King and Queen of Scotland. The depiction looks like the ” Dog Star “ or the “All-Seeing-Eye or Eye-of-Providence” but it is not. Even though a very similar designed symbol is used by Scottish-Rite & York-Rite fraternities, it is doubtful they would reference their Masonic social or ritual beliefs. This All Seeing Eye symbol with triangles would be more of a Egyptian religious reflection (symbol) that was used by the Scottish Royal culture granting heraldry from ancient times. Meaning the Seven Circling Triangles around the stipple center is another multi-layer allusion that reflects religious authority through the divine legitimacy of the House of Stuart. The Center Stipple represents, “All of Us” and we as God’s children use the Goodness of God’s and his wishes to do good though us (This is the most important thing i wrote on this whole page, and the hardest thing i have ever figured out in studying religious symbolism)! There are Four Sets of Three Stipple Line Sun Rays. Each set represents another allusion with multi-layer reference to the Scottish Royal culture’s authority, and the Jacobite’s intent for a New Republic. My personal theory as to the meaning would be the sovereign authority granted by God to the House of Stuart over Scotland, England, Ireland, and the fourth set represents the New Republic in America. So, one can conclude the button represents the restoration of the legitimate authority of the House of Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) over all four nations! The Sun’s Rays shine down over a semi-circle of large Circle Stipple Wells that contain Thirteen Five Point Stars. The large stipple wells i am not at Liberty to divulge, but I can say that Scotland is God’s the home for the stars. The 13 American 5 pointed stars that represents the states is another multi-layer allusion that represents the House of Stuart. For the Scotland’s Royal family the stars represents the 5 Petal White Rose that Bonnie Prince picked to symbolize Scotland. In war he paced Scotland’s native flower in his Cockade. For America the 5 pointed Star is our nation’s chosen federal and Revolutionary War Star. The 13 Star Arch is a reflection of religious authority steaming from a symbol of Christianity’s 12 Apostles and the (13) Scottish King’s legitimate authority under God. Probably not Jesus as 13 if wondering, just stick to the button’s intent.
Some of my study notes for the Button’s Research Paper:
Jacobite History With Symbols
When I first saw this button I got excited to see my first true hidden master Scottish-Rite Fraternity Button. The depiction of the Phrygian Cap and the Liberty Pole actually coincided with the re-introduction of these Roman symbols by the Bonnie Prince Charlie in the mid 18th century. He had leaflets printed with the depiction of a man sitting on a rock holding a Liberty Pole with a Phrygian Cap on top. This was propaganda to make a strong social statement among his people toward England’s dethronement of King James the true King and heir of Scotland, Ireland, and England. We also know that 30 years later in America another family decadent from the House of Stuart, John Morin Scot reintroduced this as propaganda in NYC for the Sons of Liberty. It served as a rally cry a second time against the British Empire’s economic oppression for American colonists.
Since this button was found in America, I automatically assumed the button was made for one of the Aristocratic British Jacobite families that fled or was exiled to America. This would be like the Standish, Murcer, or Anson families. Then the location of the recovery fine tuned me to believe that it could have belonged to Brigadier General Hugh Mercer or Robert Scot’s Son, Robert JR. Originally, this was General Mercer’s mother in-law’s property that was sold to George Washington’s nephews who intern sold it to Robert Scot’s son who was a Ship’s Captain and private merchanter. Mercer first, he was a well known outspoken Jacobite surgeon that fought battles in Scotland to reinstitute the House of Stuart and oppose the line of English Kings from William III of Orange and England, and II of Scotland. The earlier background history is that supporters of James II rebelled against the deposing of their favorite monarch in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. They were called Jacobites. A name derived from Jacabus, which is the Latin version of James. In short, these were mostly Scottish Highlanders who were determined to restore James II and VII to the throne Scotland, England , and Ireland. Ultimately their rebellion was crushed and these fugitives fled or was exiled across the Atlantic ocean to America.
In 1715, twenty seven years after the Glorious Revolution there was a rebellion in Preston northern England, and many of these (Jacobites) aristocratic British families were arrested, exiled, or deported to America. These were notable powerful British aristocrats that held hereditary titles and some were made knights and Land Barons. Names like the Standish or Ansons now flee to America with what was believed as a foundation stone of the New Republic. These family members were also the notable Masons that were directly from Scottish Masonic lodges. So any one of these families members could have had been entitled to wear this button depicting the Honey Bee. It should be noted that these families members went on to be founders of the war of independence> the American Revolution. These people represent the Secret Power in America and are the un-named Scottish undercurrent that is not publicized in history books over American public figures like the Adams’s or Hancock’s. Both had common goals against the British and acted as members in the Sons of Liberty.