13th May 1784

Count Roehenstart is baptised

As we saw with Rob Roy, it wasn’t uncommon for the birth dates of characters who later became significant in Scottish and wider British history to have been overlooked. As nobody knew what they would become later in life, the first record of their existence was often that of their baptism which, given the danger of dying in infancy before being welcomed into the church, was usually conducted within days of them entering the world.

Heir to the British throne

Such was the case with Charles Edward Augustus Maximilian Stuart, better known as Count Roehenstart. He claimed he was the rightful heir of the British throne on account of his mother, Charlotte Stuart, being the daughter of Charles Edward Stuart, Bonnie Prince Charlie, who himself was the grandson of James VII of Scotland and II of England. Unfortunately for Roehenstart, his claim would have been difficult to press, even if he had not been quite passive in his assertion following his great-grandfather’s defeat at Culloden.

Roehenstart saw a lot of the world during his lifetime. He was raised a Protestant and educated in Italy, Switzerland and Germany, and spent time in Russia after serving in the Imperial Russian Army. He inherited a great deal of money, but lost a large chunk of this when a company in which he had invested went bankrupt, and almost all of the rest when the bank holding what remained of his fortune similarly failed several years later. Upon suffering this second significant loss, he moved from Russia to America where he stayed for around five years.

Life events

He returned to Scotland, moved to England, married, was widowed, married again, then spent more than two decades travelling around Europe, apparently alone. When his second wife died, he returned to Scotland, and here he was killed in a road accident at Dunkeld in 1854, having never attained the crown he believed was rightly his. He was 73.

Few of the newspapers that reported his death mentioned the manner of his passing, but the Perthshire Advertiser, on 1 July 1858, explained that “while travelling through Athole with some friends in the autumn of 1854, he suffered some severe injuries by the breaking down of a carriage at Inver, near Dunkeld, where, after lingering for six weeks, he died.”



Other events that occured in May

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