The word Jacobite comes from the latin Jacobus (Jacob's), or James' from the Royal House of Stuart. The followers of the James' (James V through to VII) were therefore known as Jacobites. Jacobitism is, however, more than merely a belief that a different person has best right to the throne. It is also a radically different understanding of the place which the monarch and the monarchy have within society. Jacobites reject the idea that the king has his authority delegated to him by Parliament. Many hold that the king's authority comes directly from Almighty God.
Jacobites were adherents of the exiled branch of the Stuart Dynasty who sought to restore James II and his descendants to the English and Scottish thrones after the Glorious Revolution of 1688. Theoretical justification for the Stuart claim was found in the writings of the Nonjurors, who maintained the principles of hereditary succession and the divine right of kings. But the Stuarts' continued adherence to Roman Catholicism, the rash and incompetent leadership of their military ventures, and the duplicity of foreign courts cost the Jacobite cause much support.