Bonnie Prince Charlie & the Jacobites - Holyrood Altar Plate
From Fiona Buckland
What is it?
This group of ecclesiastical objects once formed part of James VII and II’s ‘make-over’ of an historic royal chapel.
Who owned it?
James refurbished all of the chapels in Whitehall (London), Windsor, Dublin and Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh for use as Catholic chapels.
The Earl of Perth was responsible for overseeing the changes at Holyroodhouse and commissioned a full suite of silver altar plate from London.
Who made it?
The altar plate was made in 1686 and was probably used in the temporary chapel at Holyroodhouse while work was being carried out on the new chapel.
Once in situ, a sanctus bell (a bell to announce the commencement of Mass) and an incense spoon by the Scottish goldsmiths Zacharius Mellinus and Walter Scott were added to the set.
The chapel was completed in 1688 but never used; later that year, James VII and II fled from Britain and was replaced by his daughter, Mary and her husband William of Orange.
Why is it important?
Think about the significance of the Holyrood altar plate. It was made in 1686 for the Catholic King James VII and II, who was facing opposition in the country on account of his religion.
In this short accompanying film, Assistant Curator Adrienne Hynes looks in more detail at the pieces that make up the Holyrood Altar Plate, on loan to National Museums Scotland.