Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Another memorial for 13 July

Henry Benedict Maria Thomas Francis Xavier Stuart, the Cardinal Duke of York and by right of succession King Henry IX of England, France, Scotland and Ireland died on this day in 1807. His father was the Old Pretender, King James III and his elder brother, Bonnie Prince Charlie, i.e., King Charles III.

Finding this to be the anniversary of his death was a bit of serendipity. I ran across it while researching a question from another piper who had heard of a tradition that "on the birthday of the Old Pretender, or is it his death day?, a piobaireachd is played on the via dei SS. Apostoli 49 or in St. Peters at his tomb. I can't imagine the swiss guard permitting a weapon of war inside St. Peter's but I wonder if the rumor is true or was true that some one pipes at the birth place of Bonny Prince Charlie, from time to time."

I have no idea if this is true. Do you? It doesn't seem likely. But what a wonderful tradition. Even if his "rumor" does have some untenable presuppositions {via dei SS Apostoli 49 doesn't appear to be in Vatican City, hence the Swiss Guard would have no jurisdiction, nor would it be up to them to decide if a piobaireachd was appropriate in St Peter's; that's Cardinal Marchisano's department as Archpriest of the Patriarchal Vatican Basilica; and Bonnie Prince Charlie wasn't "the Old Pretender", his father James was) still and all it's even a pretty darn good faux tradition. Why, if we start now, in 500 years it will be a real tradition.

But in the meantime, anima eius et omniæ animæ defunctorum requiescant in pace.