The Mystery of the Jacobite Poet

A poem by James Murray, the Jacobite Earl of Dunbar, early 1721. Source location: RA. SP Box 3/9/2

│ By Edward Corp, retired Professor of British History at the Université de Toulouse │

There is a poem in the Stuart Papers written by James Murray, the Jacobite Earl of Dunbar.1 Although it is undated it must have been written in January or February 1721 when Dunbar was obliged to leave the Stuart court in Rome because he was so unpopular. The poem reads:

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Romantic Writing: The History of Valentine’s Cards

Valentine’s Day, occurring this coming weekend in many countries, is an increasingly popular phenomenon worldwide. The date, style and manner of recognising the event can differ greatly by location, but aspects of the tradition can now be found on all continents, and in many places it is associated with the exchange of cards. An article in Gale’s Academic OneFile suggests that, according to the Greeting Card Association, one billion cards are now sent each year, making Valentine’s Day ‘the second-largest card-sending holiday of the year, surpassed only by Christmas.’[1] 

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