I. A Christian sect in the East, particularly in Syria and Mesopotamia. They derive their name from Jacobus Baradaeus, bishop of Edessa, who in the 6th century established a permanent ecclesiastical organization among the Monophysites, or those who maintained that the divine and human natures in Jesus Christ were so united as to form only one nature. At the death of Baradseus in 578, this sect was very numerous in Syria, Mesopotamia, Armenia, Egypt, Nubia, and Abyssinia. The Egyptian Jacobites in the course of ages separated from their Asiatic brethren, and formed the Coptic church. (See Copts.) At the head of the Jacobites is a patriarch, who now resides in a monastery near Mardin. Next to the patriarch is the maphrian, who was formerly the head of the eastern branch of the Jacobites and had power equal to that of the patriarch. At present he has the jurisdiction of a bishop, retaining of his former prerogatives only the title. He resides in a monastery near Mosul. Formerly there were under the jurisdiction of the patriarch 20 metropolitans and 103 bishops; but this number has been reduced to 8 metropolitans and 3 bishops. The Jacobites are reported to number about 34,000 families. In their church service they use the Syriac language, which is no longer understood by the people.
Those Jacobites who have joined the Roman Catholic communion are called United Syrians. They have a patriarch, who has the title of patriarch of Antioch, 4 archbishops, and 8 bishops. The entire population connected with the church is estimated at 30,000. II. A party in Great Britain (so called from Lat. Jacobus, James) who after the revolution of 1688 adhered to the cause of the dethroned King James II. and his descendants. They were numerous and powerful in Scotland, and for more than half a century continued to conspire for the restoration of the exiled house of Stuart. They rose in unsuccessful revolt in 1715, and again in 1745. Their final extinction as a party may be dated from the death of the pretender Charles Edward in 1788, though they had long before ceased to be formidable to the established government.