James Francis Edward Stuart, prince of Wales, known as the Chevalier de St. George, and also as the Old Pretender (and sometimes as James III), only son of King James II with his second wife, Mary of Modena, was born at St. James's Palace, London, on 10 June 1688.
He was brought up in France and, on his father?s death in 1701, he was declared King there though this was not legally recognised as he was a Catholic. He was encouraged to claim his kingdom following the 1707 Act of Union, but the voyage was abortive and he returned to France without landing. He fought with the French forces in the following years until rising Jacobite sympathy persuaded him to sail once again for Scotland, only to find that the Jacobite forces were following the Battle of Sheriffmuir, in disarray. James spent some weeks in Scotland before escaping once again to France. He lived first in Lorraine, then in Italy, then in Spain, where he participated in an ill-fated expedition against England.
He finally settled in Rome, and on 28 May 1719 married Clementina Sobieski, with whom he had two sons. He neglected his wife, on account of which she retired to a nunnery in 1725. Their eldest son, Prince Charles Edward Louis Philip Casimir Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie), unsuccessfully attempted to reclaim the throne of Great Britain for the Stuarts in the Jacobite rebellion of 1745-46. James died at Rome on 1 January 1766.