James Radcliffe Derwektwater, third earl of, a leader in the English rebellion of 1715, born in 1689, beheaded Feb. 24,1716. He belonged to an ancient Catholic family in Northumberland, was educated at St. Germain, and succeeded to the earldom in 1705. He joined with other noblemen of the north and west of England, toward the end of 1714, in a plot for the restoration of the Stuarts. The matter coming to the knowledge of the government of George I., the habeas corpus act was suspended and warrants were issued against the suspected. The standard of rebellion having been raised in Scotland, Lord Derwentwater commenced the movement in England, Oct. 6, 1715. Mr. Forster, a Protestant member of parliament for Cumberland, was chosen leader, but recruits came in slowly, and the plans of the leaders were ill formed and ineffective. After marching into Scotland, and returning without accomplishing anything, and skirmishing about in Cumberland and Lancashire, they encountered the British troops under Gen. Wills at Preston, and, after an action in which Der-wentwater displayed great bravery, surrendered on a promise that their lives should be spared.
Lord Derwentwater was impeached and brought to trial in January, 1716. He pleaded guilty, and threw himself on the mercy of the crown, alleging his youth and inexperience as an excuse; but he was condemned to death as a traitor, and notwithstanding great efforts to obtain his pardon was beheaded on Tower hill. He died protesting his loyalty to James III., and asserting that "dishonorable terms had been proposed to him as the price of his life, which he had refused to accept." His life was written by Sydney Gibson.