Treacherous rebels or romantic heroes? A doomed cause or a valiant struggle for freedom? 

The story of the Jacobites continues to captivate imaginations all over the world, fuelled in recent years by TV blockbuster Outlander, but their legacy is often shrouded by myth and legend. 

A political movement that supported the restoration of the senior line of the House of Stuart to the British throne, the name derives from the first name of James II and VII, which in Latin translates as Jacobus.

The Herald:

When James went into exile after the November 1688 Glorious Revolution, the Parliament of England argued that he had abandoned the English throne, which they offered to his Protestant daughter Mary II, and her husband William III.

Jacobites argued monarchs were appointed by God, or divine right, and could not be removed, making the post-1688 regime illegitimate.

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The biggest misconception about the cause is that Jacobite Risings were a Scottish versus English conflict, says Jesper Ericsson, who is involved in a new exhibition at the University of Glasgow, organised to tie in with a major conference on the Outlander phenomenon, which runs from July 18-22.

The Herald:

"Earlier this year I went to visit Culloden, because I wanted some inspiration for the exhibition," said Mr Ericsson, who is a curator of Numismatics, which is the study of coins.

"I hadn't been to Culloden in many a year and as always it's a very atmospheric experience.

The Herald:

"You walk from the Jacobite lines trying to image them charging across the wet ground, the lines and muskets facing them and how horrific they must have felt.

"After taking in the outside experience, I went into the exhibition and couldn't help but overhear a comment that a tourist made to one of the front of house staff.

"I'm sure it's something that they hear quite a lot but the tourist basically said to him in a very determined and quite emotional voice, 'I'd be a Jacobite.'

The Herald:

"And a large part of me wanted to go up and say, how do you know? how are you so sure?

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"I think the whole history of the Jacobites is so complex and I suppose that taps into part of the myths and the legends of the Jacobites, that only certain kinds of people became Jacobites, perhaps for political or religious reasons."

The truth of the matter, he says, is that Jacobites came from all walks of life and backgrounds.

"It was a very divisive period in that sense as well," he says.

The Herald:

"There were plenty of English Jacobites, there was plenty of support for the cause in England, as well as Ireland and Wales and abroad.

"If we take Culloden as an example, the British army fought the Jacobite army and the reason why we call it the British army is that Highland and Lowland Scots fought on both sides as well as English, as well as Europeans, as well as Welsh.

"One of the ongoing myths of the whole Jacobite story is that it is Scots versus English and that's simply not true."

Despite victory at Falkirk Muir in January 1746, the Battle of Culloden in April ended the Rebellion and significant backing for the Stuart cause.

Charles escaped to France, but was unable to win support for another attempt, and died in Rome in 1788.

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Chasing the Jacobite Dream at the Hunterian Museum explores how medals played a key role in a long propaganda war, with a new collection, sourced in 2018, on display for the first time.

The British crown used them to assert royal authority and humiliate their enemies. 

For Jacobites, medals were emotive symbols of loyalty and dynamic reminders to the faithful to chase the dream of a Stuart restoration. 

"One of the medals relates to the 45 rising itself," says Mr Ericsson.

"For Jacobites, medals could be very emotional items - it's a reminder to them that the cause is alive.

"It is a medal that is designed to be sewn onto an item of clothing and has an image of Bonnie Prince Charlie on it and is quite worn.

"We have no way of saying that it was worn by a soldier on the march up to Culloden but the fact that it is worn suggests it was an emotional item to the person that owned it.

"We also have a really small medal, which was designed to be put onto a ring or a necklace and it's a very small image of the Prince.

"Depending on how you feel it can be an open symbol of support or a hidden symbol."

Chasing the Jacobite Dream runs until November 5.