Christendom College’s Founding President Dr. Warren H. Carroll delivered a lecture entitled, “Bonnie Prince Charlie” to the college community on January 28. The lecture launched what will be a series of history lectures over subsequent months.
“He was the last Catholic king of the English-speaking peoples and the last native king of the British family,'” Carroll said at the beginning of his lecture. “The history of the world would have been changed of all present recognition if Charlie had won, as he almost did, and might well have.”
A convert to Christianity, Carroll was educated at Bates College and received a Doctorate of History from Columbia University. After founding Christendom College, he served as the College’s president until 1985 and then as the chairman of its History Department until his retirement in 2002. He is the author of numerous historical works including The Rise and Fall of the Communist Revolution and his major multi-volume work The History of Christendom.
The lecture focused on the “Bonnie Prince” Charles Edward Stuart, son of James II, and his rise and fall as a monarch. “I have called Bonnie Prince Charlie ‘the last knight of Christendom,’” Carroll explained. “In September 1740 he wrote [from Rome] to the clans of Scotland promising soon to deliver them from the yoke of German George, who now ruled Great Britain because of a distant dynastic connection, though he did not speak a word of English.”
Prince Charlie enlisted the aid of France, an old ally of Scotland, and took a French ship loaded with arms back to Scotland. The harsh men of the highlands rallied to the Prince and he marched south. But due to rumors of large English forces gathering, the Prince halted his march, Carroll said.
“On the march south, the army looked like a possible victor, the prince a possible future king.” Carroll said. “On the retreat no such illusions could be entertained.”
“If you ever go to Scotland, try to visit Glenfinnan where the Scots rallied to their true king, the last Catholic king of the English-speaking peoples…there you too can commemorate Bonnie Prince Charlie, your last king,” Carroll concluded.
The lecture was well received by the students and alumni who, after rising for a standing ovation, lingered to ask questions.
Future lectures will be open to the public and will cover such topics as The Conversion of Danton in the French Revolution (February 25), Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin (March 31), and Alexander the Great (April 28). Each talk is held in the chapel crypt and begins promptly at 4:00 p.m.
You can listen to the lecture at Christendom on iTunes U!