Day 58: The 1715 Jacobite Uprising, As Taught By An Awkward Substitute History Teacher Who Tries Too Hard

originally published February 27, 2012

Yo. My name is Mr. Leppswig, and I’ll be your substitute teacher today. Your teacher, Mrs. Griffle, asked me to lay it down for you all about the 1715 Jacobite Uprising in Great Britain. Will you pick it up? Alright, take out your notebooks.

Last week you learned about the Glorious Revolution of 1689. King James and his posse had to cut out to France, hide out in Le Hood. His daughter and her husband took up in the royal hizz-ouse together: William and Mary. This was Protestant vs. Catholic, total east-coast vs. west-coast on the Jesus spectrum. You with me? Yeah, you’re with me.

Raise da roof fo’ Billy and Marizzle!

The Protestants were pimpos of the land in 1714. You know the term ‘pimpo’? It’s a south Philly term for a pimp, but not with the prostitution and the violence and the whatnot. You kids will all be using that word next year, trust me.

Anyway, the Protestants were running the show, and when Queen Anne got capped (actually, I think she might have had a stroke), George from Hanover was handed the royal bling and declared the Big Shiznit. That’s not a swear, is it? I shouldn’t use that word.

So George was the Protestant King, but James’s kid (also called James) and his homies over in Frogsville were like, “Yo, what up dawg? You be trippin’.” James had a massive crew, it was like Bieber Fever among the Catholics in the UK. Bieber’s still cool, right? Yeah, he’s great. So James wanted someone to have his back. He called up the Pope on the Pope-a-phone and was all, “Boyee, you gots to get me jiggy with my merry olde peeps of England, ya hear?”

Okay, the pope responded, but I don’t want to speak disrespectfully as the pope. There’s nothing cool about disrespecting someone’s religion, kids. When I was young, kids used to throw potatoes at me because I was Jewish. I don’t understand why, I don’t think that was even a thing. But they did it to me. Not cool. You know what I’m talking about, right little Muslim-man? Right on. Peace. Word.

In case you need a visual for this teacher, use this guy.

Carrying on… James wasn’t about to start a war for the throne, but he had a lot of homeboys who would. Like the Earl of Mar, who looked tight in his giant white wig of curls. That was like cornrows back then. He looked dope. He looked plugged in, charged up, and ready to get funky with that juice, you know? Check him:

Oh, he’s totes getting funky with that… juice.

Earl of Mar hopped a boat from London over to Scotland on August 27 – which is Mario’s birthday, by the way. Not the Nintendo guy, the singer. Y’all listen to Mario, right? Just a Friend? Yeah?

So the Earl of Mar got the uprising going. And the Jacobites – that’s what they were called even though the dude’s name was James, not Jacob – they took over the west side. Scotland, I mean. They laid down their grooves in Inverness, played it old school in Aberdeen and croc’ed it out in Dundee. Some bad-ass named Lord Drummond tried to take Edinburgh Castle in the middle of the night, went up against a small army. He failed, but put his foot up, you know? He gave it a shot. Props to him. Word. The bomb.

By October, Earl o’ Mar had all of Scotland in his crew, north of the Firth of Forth. Yeah, that’s a real thing – it’s a river. Pretty great name. My band… yeah, I used to have a band. We were called the Firth of Forth. What’s that? What did we play? A lot of 80’s new wave music, mostly. Flock of Seagulls, that kind of thing. But we had groupies, boy I could tell you stories. You… you want me to? No, no. Gotta finish the lesson.

The Duke of Argyll, who kind of looked like he had two fluffy white fishes hanging off his head, was heading the battle for George’s crew in the south.

So Mar’s Jacobians outnumbered the Duke’s Georgie-boys four-to-one. Mar was closing in, but instead of poppin’ the final cap in the Duke’s hiney, he backed off, got all chill and stuff. You dig?

He never finished the job, and that ain’t a real win in my hood. Back over in England, the Jacobites were fo’ shizzle in the can, like it wasn’t no thang and so on. No, don’t write it down like that. I just mean they didn’t do very well. There were maybe six people in power who dug James, and they were picked up and tossed in the longshoreman’s rucksack.

Anyway, James was all… wait, what? In the longshoreman’s rucksack? Yeah, that means they were taken to jail. No, that isn’t a South Philly term. I don’t… I don’t know what – hey, let’s get back on task, kids.

Together we can make this a saying.

So anyway, James Jr., who was called ‘The Pretender’ because a lot of folks thought he was just a pretender to the throne and all, he went from France over to Scotland to get all crunk with his supporters. Thing is, most of those guys were dead. He had a lot of turf, but not enough peeps, you know?

He hung out for about a month, caught the local shows and stuff, but he could see things weren’t riding the boogie for his side. He packed up and split. France didn’t want him back though, they thought he was kind of a tool. You know, the kind of guy you just want to laugh at? Hey… why are you guys giggling back there? Quiet down.

James Jr. had nowhere to go. The pope was pretty chill though, and he let James come hang with him at the Vatican. Earl o’ Mar gave it up too. He jetted to France and left the rest of his Jacobite homeboys behind.

So the Uprising was bustsville. The Protestants held on to the throne and actually b-slapped a lot of power from royalty while George was The Man. He even appointed the dude who was the first Prime Minister of England. It was pretty wild. But that’s tomorrow’s lesson. Y’all are done here. Peace and out to you.

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