ALLEN, John Carter (1795?–1872) - ALLEN, Charles Manning (1799?–1880), as "John Sobieski Stuart" and "Charles Edward Stuart". Lays of the Deer Forest. Diss, Norfolk: Antony Atha Publishers Ltd., 1985
Oblong 4to., (9 x 12 inches). AN ORIGINAL PENCIL SKETCH of a Stag signed by the artist Ian Oates, chromolithographed frontispiece and 11 colour plates, illustrated throughout with vignettes, all by Oates. Original publisher's green bevelled morocco, gilt, all edges gilt; preserved in the original green cloth, gilt, clamshell box. AS NEW
Limited issue, number 39 of an unspecified deluxe edition signed by Lord Lovat and the artist, of a total edition of 350 copies. With an introduction by Simon Christopher Joseph Fraser, fifteenth Lord Lovat and fourth Baron Lovat (1911–1995),
The Allen brothers were impostors who claimed to be the heirs of Charles Edward Stuart, the Young Pretender, Bonnie Prince Charlie (1720–1788). Mystery deliberately surrounds the places and dates of their births, and they sought to surround their ancestry with similar obfuscation. They allegedly discovered "the ‘truth’ of their birth in 1811, and promptly offered their services to Napoleon, fighting at Dresden and Leipzig in 1813, and again at Waterloo, where they claimed to have been personally decorated by Napoleon. The date of their first appearance in Scotland is unknown, but they were certainly there with their father in 1822 at the time of George IV's visit to Edinburgh. They threw themselves fervently into the acquisition of Scottish culture, and Scotticized their name first to Allan, then to Hay Allan, and then to Hay, encouraging the belief that they were related to the last Hay earl of Erroll. They gained the patronage of the earl of Moray, and spent much time in Darnaway Forest, where they became expert deer-hunters (the source of their 1848 volume, The Lay of the Deer Forest, with Sketches of Olden and Modern Hunting), and were frequent guests at the homes of many highland chiefs.
"In 1829, the brothers' careers entered a new phase, with the revelation to the antiquary and novelist Sir Thomas Dick Lauder of their possession of what purported to be a late fifteenth-century manuscript, entitled the Vestiarium Scoticum, or, The Garde-Robe of Scotland, depicting the clan tartans of Scottish families. They refused to show the ‘original’ of the manuscript (which, had it been genuine, would have lent substance to the claims then current as to the antiquity of the use of clan tartans), and it was dismissed by Sir Walter Scott as fraudulent. The brothers withdrew to Eilean Aigas, a hunting lodge on an island in the Beauly River in Inverness-shire, the grant of which they had obtained from their new patron, Lord Lovat. They declared themselves to be Roman Catholics and adopted the final version of their names, an unambiguous declaration of their belief in their Stuart ancestry and claims. They set up a miniature court on their island: Elizabeth Grant of Rothiemurchus recalled that ‘for several years they actually reigned in the north country’ (Strachey, 369)" (K. D. Reynolds for DNB).