Princess of Finsthwaite


In Finsthwaite churchyard, Cumbria, is an unassuming dark gravestone in the shape of a cross. Upon it is written the inscription:

In Memoriam


Jonhannes Sobiesky Douglas

of Waterside,

Buried 16th of mat 1771


There’s little here to suggest anything out of the ordinary, except the deceased’s name. She has a Spanish forename, followed by ones of German, Polish and Scottish origins. She wasn’t just the product of an aspirational Cumberland farmer who liked to think outside of the box. No, indeed, for she is considered the illegitimate daughter of Bonnie Prince Charlie, the much-feted Young Pretender. The evidence isn’t conclusive, but Charlie’s mistress was called Clementina, his mother’s surname Sobieska and Douglas was an alias he sometimes used of himself in hiding.  

Alternatively, and less romantically, she is the daughter of local folk who simply wished to show support for the old Stuart line. I understand that a piper occasionally walks by her grave and white cockades are there left, symbols of the Jacobite cause. So is this the resting place of a descendant of a lost royal house, or some obscure farmer’s daughter with a intriguing string of names?

One thing we can know for certain, is that each Christian, regardless of their parents’ status or bank balance, is a prince or princess, a co-heir with Christ. Your gravestone may not say it, your family may not believe it, but for we whose lives are hid with Christ, a royal future is secure. 

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

-1 Peter 2:9 

The King who cometh for us is not some dandified fornicator in a red velvet jacket and powdered periwig, but the glorious King of kings and Lord of lords.