Since 1690, the court at Saint-Germain had been plotting a landing on the Northumbrian coast followed by the seizure of Newcastle. By 1714, with Jacobite hopes of a constitutional restoration ruined and George I firmly on the throne, the idea began to be discussed seriously once again.
Three leading Tories who had all held ministry under Queen Anne had, for different reasons, come over to the Jacobite side, and these three men now took on the planning of an armed Jacobite rising in England. They were John, Earl of Mar, a senior Scottish aristocrat, Henry St. John, Viscount Bolingbroke, Secretary of State to Queen Anne, and James, Duke of Ormonde, an immensely popular Irishman who had fought for William at the Boyne and been Captain-General under Anne.
All three men had seen their political ambitions as well as their ideals dashed by the Hanoverian Succession, and all three had been personally slighted by George I. Their desertion to the Jacobites was a major blow to the Government and their influence could work to bring much of the population over to James's cause. They were able to travel around the kingdom and to France, liaising with leading Jacobites and estimating the strength of Government support.
The conclusions they came to were no surprise to the court at Saint-Germain: Jacobite support was strongest in the Highlands of Scotland, Northumberland and Lancashire, with a wide arc of weaker support in the North and West, from the Scottish Lowlands to Somerset. Throughout 1715, riots, processions and protests occurred throughout these areas against the Hanoverians. Jacobite sentiment was running high, but the wide spread of support across the remotest and poorest areas of the country did not look very promising for a concerted rebellion.