John Sobieski Stuart

Letter by "John Sobieski Stuart" (John Carter Allen) (1798, 1872). Courtesy The Saleroom.

John Carter Allen (1798 - February 13, 1872), also known as John Hay Allen and John Sobieski Stolberg Stuart,[1] was a Scottish poet.[2]


Allen was born in 1798, the son of Katherine Matilda (Owens) and Captain Thomas Allen (1773-1852).[1] It is known that he was living in Scotland in 1822, the year he published a collection of poetry, The Bridal of Caolchairn, and other poems. However, little else is known of his early life.[2]

By the late 1820's John Allen was living in Moray, Scotland, with his brother,[3] Charles Manning Allen (1799-1880), a.k.a. Charles Hay Allen and Charles Edward Sobieski Stuart.[4] The brothers had changed their names to Stuart, and were claiming to be the grandsons of Charles Edward Stuart, "Bonnie Prince Charlie," the pretender to the British throne.[2]

The brothers, who were staying with Sir Thomas Lauder, showed Lauder a copy of a more ancient manuscript of Scottish tartans, the Vestiarium Scoticum, which had allegedly been in the possession of the pretender. Lauder wrote to Sir Walter Scott, who disputed the manuscript's authenticity. The Vestarium was finally published in 1842.[3]

His reputation made by the Vestiarium, John Carter Allen went on to publish other books on Scottish customs and folklore in the 1840's.[2] An anonymous review of his book, Tales of the Century, in the Edinburgh Quarterly (written by George Skene of Glasgow University and Dr. McKay, editor of the Highland Society's Gaelic Dictionary), exposed the brothers as imposters and the Vestiarium as a forgery. John replied by publishing The Genuineness of the 'Vestiarium Scoticum'.[3]



  • The Bridal of Caolchairn, and other poems. London: T. Hookham, 1822.
  • Lays of the Deer Forest: With ketches of olden and modern deer-hunding; Traits of natural history in the forest; Traditions of the class; Miscellaneous notes. (with Charles Edward Sobieski Stuart). Edinburgh & London: William Blackwood, 1848.

Short fictionEdit

  • Tales of the Century; or, Sketches of the romance of history between the years 1746 and 1846 (with Charles Edward Sobieski Stuart). Edinburgh: J. Marshall, 1847.


  • The Costume of the Clans: With observations upon the literature, arts, manufactures, and commerce of the Highlands and Western Isles during the Middle Ages, and on the influence of the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries upon their present condition (with Charles Edward Sobieski Stuart). Edinburgh: J. Menzies, 1845; Edinburgh: J. Grant, 1892.
  • A Reply to the 'Quarterly Review' upon the 'Vestiarium Scoticum'. Edinburgh: William Blackwood, 1848.


  • Vestiarium Scoticum: From the manuscript formerly in the library of the Scots college at Douay (edited with Sir Richard Urquhart). Edinburgh: W. Tait, 1842.

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy WorldCat.[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 John Sobieski Stolberg Stuart, Web, Apr. 17, 2016.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 John Carter Allen, English Poery, 1579-1830. Web, Apr. 17, 2016.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Vestiarium Scoticum," Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation. Web, Apr. 17, 2016.
  4. Charles Edward Sobieski Stuart, Web, Apr. 17, 2016.
  5. Search results = au:John Sobieski Stuart, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. Web, Apr. 17, 2016.

External linksEdit

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