A Jacobite Gazetteer - Italy

Urbino


Palazzo Ducale
Palazzo Ducale

Palazzo Ducale

Pope Clement XI made the ducal palace available to King James III and VIII as his home from July 1717 until October 1718.

On the piano nobile, in the suite of guest rooms, there is a room which is still called the "King of England's Room". It is in the square tower which juts out from the west facade. One can enter the room from the south west corner of the Sala degli Apostoli.

The room is currently used to display a collection of coins. There is nothing in the room to remind one of its connection with James. On the ceiling are various decorations associated with Guidobaldo da Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino (1472-1508); among these is a garter since Guidobaldo was named a knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter in 1506. 1

King of England's Room
King of England's Room

The palace is open to the public Sunday 9.00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m., Monday 9.00 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday 9.00 a.m. to 7 p.m. (closed January 1, May 1, and December 25).

In a building (perhaps a hotel) across the street from the Palazzo Ducale there is a Latin inscription which refers to James III and VIII.


Notes

1 Guidobaldo was the son of Federico III da Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino (1422-1482) who was also named a knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter in 1474. Among the other symbols displayed in the King of England's Room are the eagle and the unicorn (not the unicorn of Scotland, as is sometimes suggested).

Image 2 (King of England's Room): © Noel S. McFerran 2004.


Oratorio di San Giuseppe
Facade

Oratorio di San Giuseppe

The oratory of the Confraternity of Saint Joseph, located at Via Federico Barocci 40, was established in the sixteenth century. Via Barocci runs parallel to Via Giuseppe Mazzini, the main street which rises into the town from the bus terminus.

In the early eighteenth century the Albani family was responsible for the restoration of the oratory. Between 1711 and 1719 Carlo Roncalli painted the ceiling and several other paintings for the chapel. Sometime in 1717 or 1718 King James III and VIII became a member of the confraternity.

On the left wall of the entrance hall hangs an old list of the members of the confraternity. James appears immediately below Pope Clement XI (born in Urbino 1649; died 1721) and above Francesco Maria I Montefeltro della Rovere, Sovereign Duke of Urbino (died 1538). 1

Oratorio di San Giuseppe
Membership list
Oratorio di San Giuseppe
Membership list close-up

To the left of the entrance hall is the sacristy in which hangs a portrait of King James III and VIII. The portrait appears to be either by Alexis-Simon Belle or a copy of his work. 2

James III and VIII
James III and VIII

The oratory is open weekdays from 10.00 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and from 3.00 p.m. to 5.30 p.m., and Sundays from 10.00 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. There is an entrance fee of 2,00.

Tel. 0722/320936 or 0347/6711181.


Notes

1 Pope Clement XI, a member of the Albani family, was a native of Urbino. It was his nephew Prince Annibale Albani (later Cardinal) who commissioned Roncalli's paintings. Prince Annibale's younger brother Prince Carlo Albani was sent by his uncle the pope to officially welcome James III and VIII into the Papal States in 1717; cf. the painting by Giuseppe Maria Crespi now in the Narodni Gallery in Prague. James and his wife Clementina were guests of the Albani family several times at their palace in Soriano.

2 Alexis-Simon Belle was born in Paris in 1674, and died in the same city in 1734. In spite of the fact that he won the Prix de Rome, he chose not to train at Rome but rather to remain in France. In 1701 he moved to Saint-Germain-en-Laye where he worked for the English and Scottish court. He painted at least ten portraits of King James III and VIII, as well as others of his parents and his sister Princess Louise-Marie. Other portraits of James by Belle can be seen in Pesaro, at the Palazzo Doria Pamphilj in Rome, and at the Hôtel Charost and the Scots Collegein Paris.

All images © Noel S. McFerran 2004.


This page is maintained by Noel S. McFerran (noel.mcferran@rogers.com) and was last updated October 23, 2006.
© Noel S. McFerran 2003-2006.