House of Stuart

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Image:J1&2,C1&2 Arms.png
The Coat of Arms of King James I, the first British monarch of the House of Stuart

The House of Stuart or Stewart was a royal house of the Kingdom of Scotland, later also of the Kingdom of England, and finally of the Kingdom of Great Britain. Mary Queen of Scots adopted the French spelling Stuart while in France to ensure that the Scots Stewart was pronounced correctly. The name itself originates from the ancient hereditary Scottish title High Steward of Scotland.

The House of Stuart ruled the Kingdom of Scotland for 336 years, between 1371 and 1707. After the death of Queen Elizabeth I of England, the last monarch from the House of Tudor, the House of Stuart also ascended the thrones of the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Ireland, providing the head of all three states between 1603 and 1707, under a personal union. During this latter period, the Stuarts styled themselves "Kings/Queens of Great Britain", though there was no such political entity. Queen Anne, the last monarch of the House of Stuart, and of the separate kingdoms of Scotland and England, was to be the first monarch of a politically unified Kingdom of Great Britain, ruling until her death in 1714. The Stuarts were followed by the House of Hanover. Members of various cadet and illegitimate branches still survive today.


[edit] History

The earliest known member of the House of Stewart was Flaald I (Flaald the Seneschal), an 11th century Breton noble of Norman descent who was a follower of the Lord of Dol and Combourg. Flaald and his immediate descendants held the hereditary and honorary post of Dapifer (food bearer) in the Lord of Dol's household. His grandson Flaald II was a supporter of Henry I of England and made the crucial move from Brittany to Britain, which was where the future fortunes of the Stewarts lay.

Walter the Steward (died 1177), the grandson of Flaald II, was born in Oswestry (Shropshire). Along with his brother William, ancestor of the Fitzalan family (the Earls of Arundel), he supported Empress Matilda during the period known as the Anarchy. Matilda was aided by her uncle, David I of Scotland, and Walter followed David north in 1141, after Matilda had been usurped by King Stephen. Walter was granted land in Renfrewshire and the position of Lord High Steward. Malcolm IV made the position hereditary and it was inherited by Walter's son, who took the surname Stewart.

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The Crown of Scotland

The sixth High Steward of Scotland, Walter Stewart (1293-1326), married Marjorie, daughter of Robert the Bruce, and also played an important part in the Battle of Bannockburn currying further favour. Their son Robert was heir to the House of Bruce; he eventually inherited the Scottish throne when his uncle David II died childless in 1371.

In 1503, James IV attempted to secure peace with England by marrying King Henry VII's daughter, Margaret Tudor. The birth of their son, later James V, brought the House of Stewart into the line of descent of the House of Tudor, and the English throne.

Margaret Tudor later married Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus, and their daughter, Margaret Douglas, was the mother of Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley. In 1565, Darnley married his half-cousin Mary, the daughter of James V. Darnley's father was Matthew Stewart, 4th Earl of Lennox, a member of the Stewart of Darnley branch of the House. Lennox was a direct descendant of Alexander Stewart, 4th High Steward of Scotland and was also descended from James II, and was Mary's heir presumptive. Therefore Darnley was also related to Mary on his father's side and at the time of their marriage was himself second in line to the Scottish throne. Because of this connection, Mary's heirs remained part of the House of Stewart.

[edit] Heads of the House of Stewart

[edit] Dapifers of Dol

  • Flaithri I (died c.1080)
  • Alan I (died ?)
  • Alan II (died 1095)
  • Flaithri II (died c.1101-1102)
  • Alan III (died c.1121)

[edit] High Stewards of Scotland

[edit] Scottish Monarchs

[edit] Scottish, English and Irish Monarchs

[edit] British Monarchs

[edit] Jacobite Claimants

[edit] See also

[edit] Further reading

  • Addington, Arthur C. The Royal House of Stuart: The Descendants of King James VI of Scotland (James I of England). 3v. Charles Skilton, 1969-76.
  • Cassavetti, Eileen. The Lion & the Lilies: The Stuarts and France. Macdonald & Jane’s,ستيوارت

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House of Stuart

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