On November 12th, a stunning wine glass-one of a pair- that was given to Sir John Hay of Restairig by Bonnie Prince Charlie will be auctioned. It is estimated that this goblet is valued at £7,000 – £9,000.
Known as ‘The Hay Goblet’, it dates from approximately 1768, stands 22.8cm high, and is engraved with a seven-petalled formal rose (a common Jacobite motif) and a single bud on a stem crossed with a thistle among three slender leaves.
A label associated with the goblet reads: “One of a pair, stated to have been the gift of Prince Charles to his treasurer and secretary JOHN HAY, who served throughout the 1745 campaign, was major-domo of the Household & went with Charles to Rome in 1766, created a baronet & left Charles’ service in 1768 Dec. 8th.”
Sir John Hay was Prince Charles Edward Stuart’s treasurer and secretary from April 1746 until 8 December 1768, replacing John Murray of Broughton. Unfortunately he was not effective in his role and despite his best intentions, his failings contributed to the destruction of the Jacobites at Culloden Moor that very April.
He remained a close confident of Prince Charles and accompanied him into exile, being appointed Master of the Household of King Charles III as well as a baronet of Scotland.
After the evident failure of the Stuart cause, Charles turned to the bottle and his behavior began to escalate. Sir John Hay’s service, along with several others, ended abruptly in 1768 after allegedly refusing to countenance some outrageous drunken behaviour by Charles.
Sir John Hay returned to England in 1771 and was pardoned by King George III for his role in the Stuart Rising. Charles, however, stayed in Rome, dying a penniless alcoholic in 1788.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Bonhams