- Current Research
Robert Forbes was an Episcopalian minister who was arrested on 7 September, 1745 while en route to join the Jacobite forces. He was imprisoned first at Stirling Castle and then at Edinburgh Castle. Upon his release on 29 May, 1746, Forbes took up residence in Leith where he began to record the experiences of his fellow prisoners. He continued to meet and correspond with other Jacobites, encouraging them to supply him with further information. Within five years, Forbes had filled eight volumes with material; he completed two more volumes of the LiM before his death.
The "Lyon in Mourning" includes items associated with print, oral and manuscript cultures: speeches, songs and eye-witness interviews as well as letters and poems, and pamphlets circulating at the time: everything is curated by Forbes and, apart from two printed pamphlets, copied out in meticulous handwriting. But it also features characteristics of organization commonly associated with printed works, such as elaborate title pages, epigraphs, footnotes and indices. The volumes are also material relics of Jacobite culture. The inside cover of Volume 3, for example, has fabric scraps pasted to it, including a piece of the gown which Charles Stuart wore when disguised as Flora MacDonald’s maidservant. "The Lyon in Mourning" works as a site of Jacobite cultural memory, commemorating the past but also forging new links in the present as Forbes remediates works from different contexts into the material content of his paper memorial, inscribes the comments of his interviewees as traces of contemporary conversations and re-organizes events with new affective connections.