A Jacobite Gazetteer - Bologna

Palazzo Caprara

Palazzo Caprara is located at Via Quattro Novembre, 24.

One source describes this palace as the scene of the the "last love affair" of King James III and VIII. 1 Maria Vittoria Caprara, the last member and heiress of that noble house, was connected with King James in 1719. 2 At the time, James' engagement to Clementina Sobieska seemed to be at an end on account of her arrest and imprisonment in Innsbruck. The story of the relationship between James and Maria Vittoria Caprara is told in A.E.W. Mason's Clementina. 3 While this is a largely fictionalized account, it does draw upon a number of actual occurrences, e.g. the visit by Clementina Sobieska to the Palazzo Caprara in May 1719. 4

The Cardinal Duke of York (later King Henry IX and I) visited the palace August 21, 1763. He was shown the collection of Turkish arms made by Count Eneo Silvio Caprara who had been present with Henry's great-grandfather King John III of Poland at the siege of Vienna in 1683. 5

The palace was later owned by Eugéne de Beauharnais, and later still by the duc de Montpensier. Today it houses the Prefettura of Bologna.

Palazzo Caprara facade


1 Alice Shield, Henry Stuart, Cardinal of York, and His Times (London: Longmans, Green, 1908), 149.

2 Presumably Maria Vittoria Caprara was a near relative (perhaps the niece) of Cardinal Alessandro Caprara, Protector of England (1626-1711); it was he who took to Loreto the golden angel given by Queen Mary Beatrice in 1687. In 1723 Maria Vittoria Caprara married Count Francesco Raimondo Montecuccoli; they were the parents of Cardinal Giovanni Battista Caprara Montecuccoli.

3 A.E.W. Mason, Clementina (London: Methuen, 1901).

4 Cf. Bonaventure Boylan, "A Journal of the Arrest and Escape of the Princess Sobieski", in Narratives of the Detention, Liberation and Marriage of Maria Clementina Stuart, styled Queen of Great Britain and Ireland, edited by John T. Gilbert. (Dublin: Joseph Dollard, 1894), 28-29.

5 Mary Jane Cryan, Travels to Tuscany and Northern Lazio. (Vetralla, Italy: Davide Ghaleb, 2004), 56-57, 242.

This page is maintained by Noel S. McFerran (noel.mcferran@rogers.com) and was last updated March 21, 2006.
© Noel S. McFerran 2000-2006.