STUART, STEWART or STEUART, the surname of a family which inherited the Scottish and ultimately the English crown. Their descent is traced to a Breton immigrant, Alan the son of Flaald, which Flaald was a brother of Alan, steward (or seneschal) of Dol in Brittany. This elder Alan, whose name occurs in Breton documents before 1080, went on crusade in 1097, and was apparently succeeded by his brother Flaald, whose son, the younger Alan, enjoyed the favour of Henry I., who bestowed on him Mileham and its barony in Norfolk, where he founded Sporle Priory. By the daughter of Ernulf de Hesdin (in Picardy), a Domesday baron, he ,was father of at least three sons: Jordan, who succeeded to the family office of steward of Dol; William, who inherited Mileham and other estates in England, and who founded the great baronial house of Fitz Alan (afterwards earls of Arundel); and Walter, who was made by David I. steward (dapifer) or seneschal of Scotland. The Scottish king conferred on Walter various lands in Renfrewshire, including Paisley, where he founded the abbeyin 1163. Walter, his grandson, third steward, was appointed by Alexander II. justiciary of Scotland, and, dying in 1246, left four sons and three daughters. The third son, Walter, obtained by marriage the earldom of Menteith, which ultimately came by marriage to Robert, duke of Albany, son of Robert II. Alexander, fourth steward, the eldest son of Walter, third steward, inherited by his marriage with Jean, granddaughter of Somerled, the islands of Bute and Arran, and on the 2nd of October 1263 led the Scots against Haakon IV., king of Norway, at Largs. He had two sons, James and John. The latter, who commanded the men of Bute at the battle of Falkirk in 1298, had seven sons: (i) Sir Alexander, whose grandson George became in 1389 earl of Angus, the title afterwards passing in the female line to the Douglases, and in 1761 to the duke of Hamilton; (2) Sir Alan of Dreghorn, ancestor of the earls and dukes of Lennox, from whom Lord Darnley, husband of Queen Mary, and also Lady Arabella Stuart, were descended; (3) Sir Walter, who obtained the barony of Garlics, Wigtownshire, from his uncle John Randolph, earl of Moray, and was the ancestor of the earls of Galloway, younger branches of the family being the Stewarts of Tonderghie, Wigtownshire, and also those of Physgill and Glenturk in the same county; (4) Sir James, who fell at Dupplin in 1332, ancestor of the lords of Lorn, on whose descendants were conferred at different periods the earldoms of Athole, Buchan and Traquair, and who were also the progenitors of the Stewarts of Appin, Argyllshire, and of Grandtully, Perthshire; (5) Sir John, killed at Halidon Hill in 1333; (6) Sir Hugh, who fought under Edward Bruce in Ireland; and (7) Sir Robert of Daldowie, ancestor of the Stewarts of Allan ton and of Coltness. James Stewart, the elder son of Alexander, fourth steward, succeeded his father in 1283, and, after distinguishing himself in the wars of Wallace .and of Bruce, died in 1309. His son Walter, sixth steward, who had joint command with Sir James Douglas of the left wing at the battle of Bannockburn, married Marjory, daughter of Robert the Bruce, and during the latter's absence in Ireland was entrusted with the government of the kingdom. He died in 1326, leaving an only son, who as Robert II. ascended the throne of Scotland in 1371. Sir Alexander Stewart, earl of Buchan, fourth son of Robert II., who earned by his ferocity the title of the " Wolf of Badenoch," inherited by his wife the earldom of Ross, but died without legitimate issue, although from his illegitimate offspring were descended the Stewarts of Belladrum, of Athole, of Garth, of Urrard and of St Fort. On the death of the " Wolf of Badenoch" the earldom of Buchan passed to his brother Robert, duke of Albany, also earl of Fife and earl of Menteith, but these earldoms were forfeited on the execution of his son Murdoch in 1425, the earldom of Buchan again, however, coming to the house of Stewart in the person of James, second son of Sir James Stewart, the black knight of Lorn, by Joan or Joanna, widow of King James I. From Murdoch, duke of Albany, were descended the Stewarts of Ardvoirlich and other families of the name in Perthshire, and also the Stuarts of Inchbreck and Laithers, Aberdeenshire. From a natural son of Robert II. were descended the Steuarts of Dalguise, Perthshire, and from a natural son of Robert III. the Shaw Stewarts of Blackball and Greenock. The direct male line of the royal family terminated with the death of James V. in 1542, whose daughter Mary was the first to adopt the spelling " Stuart." Mary was succeeded in her lifetime in 1567 by her only son James VI., who through his father .Lord Darnley was also head of the second branch, there being no surviving male issue of the family from progenitors later than Robert II. In James V., son of James IV. by Margaret, daughter of Henry VII., the claims of Margaret's descendants became merged in the Scottish line, and on the death of Queen Elizabeth of England, the last surviving descendant of Henry VIII., James VI. of Scotland, lineally the nearest heir, was proclaimed king of England, in accordance with the arrangements made by Lord Burghley and Elizabeth's other advisers. The accession of James, was, however, contrary to the will of Henry VIII., which favoured the heirs of his younger sister Mary, wife of Charles Brandon, duke of Suffolk, whose succession would probably have marvellously altered the complexion of both Scottish and English history. As it was, the only result of that will was a ^ initiated by Elizabeth and consummated by James. In the Scottish line the nearest heir after James VI., both to the Scottish and English crowns, was Arabella Stuart, only child of [Charles, earl 'of Lennox, younger brother of Lord Drnley Lady Margaret Douglas, the mother of Darnley and his brother, having been the daughter of Archibald, sixth earl of Angus, by Margaret of England, queen dowager of James IV. James VI. (I. of England) was thus nearest heir by a double descent, Arabella Stuart being next heir by a single descent. On account of the descent from Henry VII., the jealousy of Elizabeth had already caused her to imprison Arabella's mother Elizabeth, daughter of Sir William Cavendish, on learning that she had presumed to marry Lennox. The daughter's marriage she was determined by every possible means to prevent. She objected when King James proposed to marry her to Lord Esme Stuart, whom he had created duke of Lennox, but when the appalling news reached her that Arabella had actually found a lover in Edward Seymour, grandson of Catherine Grey, heiress of the Suffolks, she was so deeply alarmed and indignant that she immediately ordered her imprisonment. This happened immediately before Elizabeth's death, after which she obtained her release. Soon after the accession of James a conspiracy, of which she was altogether ignorant, was entered into to advance her to the throne, but this caused no alteration in her treatment by James, who allowed her a maintenance of 800 a year. In February 1610 it was discovered that she was engaged to Seymour, and, although she then promised never to marry him without the king's consent, the marriage took place secretly in July following. In consequence of this her husband was sent to the Tower and she was placed in private confinement. Though separated, both succeeded in escaping simultaneously on the 3rd of June 1611; but, less fortunate than her husband, who got safe to the Continent, she was captured in the straits of Dover and shut up in the Tower of London. Her hopeless captivity deprived her of her reason before her sorrows were ended by death, on the 27th of September 1615.
By the usurpation of Cromwell the Stuarts were excluded from the throne from the defeat of Charles I. at Naseby in 1645 until the restoration of his son Charles II. in 1660. Carlyle refers to the opinion of genealogists that Cromwell " was indubitably either the ninth or the tenth or some other fractional part of half a cousin of Charles Stuart," but this has been completely exploded by Walter Rye in the Genealogist- (" The Steward Genealogy and Cromwell's Royal Descent," new series, vol. ii. pp. 34-42). On the death of Charles II. without issue in 1685, his brother James, duke of York, ascended the throne as James II. but he so alienated the sympathies of the nation by his unconstitutional efforts to further the Roman Catholic religion that an invitation was sent to the prince of Orange to come " to the rescue of the laws and religion of England."
Next to the son of James II., still an infant under his father's control, Mary, princess of Orange, elder daughter of James II., had the strongest claim to the crown; but the claims of the prince of Orange also, even apart from his marriage, were not very remote, since he was the son of Mary, eldest daughter of Charles I. The marriage had strengthened the claims of both, and they were proclaimed joint sovereigns of England on the 12th of February 1689, Scotland following the example of England on the nth of April. They left no issue, and the Act of Settlement passed in 1701, excluding Roman Catholics from the throne, secured the succession to Anne, second daughter of James II., and on her death without issue to the Protestant house of Hanover, descended from the princess Elizabeth, daughter of James I., wife of Frederick V., count palatine of the Rhine. On the death of Anne in 1714, George, elector of Hanover, eldest son of Sophia (youngest child of the princess Elizabeth), and Ernest, elector of Brunswick-Liineburg, or Hanover, consequently became sovereign of Great Britain and Ireland, and, notwithstanding somewhat formidable attempts in behalf of the elder Stuart line in 1715 and 1745, the Hanoverian succession has remained uninterrupted and has ultimately won universal assent. The female issue of James II. ended with the death of his daughter, Queen Anne. James, called James III. by the Jacobites and the Old Pretender by the Hanoverians, had two sons Charles Edward, the Young Pretender, who died without legitimate issue in 1780, and Henry Stuart, titular duke of York, commonly called Cardinal York, on whose death in 1807 the male line of James II. came to an end. Henry was also the last descendant in the lineal male line of any of the crowned heads of the race, so far as either England or Scotland was concerned. In the female line, however, there are among the descendants of James I. representatives of the royal Stuarts who are senior to the house of Hanover, for Philip, duke of Orleans (brother of Louis XIV.), married, as his first wife, Henrietta daughter of Charles I., and, as his second, Charlotte, granddaughter and heiress of the princess Elizabeth (daughter of James I.). By the former, through their daughter, the queen of Sardinia, he was ancestor, among others, of the princess Maria Theresa of Bavaria, who in 1910 was " heir of line " of the house of Stuart, her eldest son, Prince Rupert, being heir to the throne of Bavaria; and from his second marriage descends the house of Orleans. In addition to those descended from these two marriages there are also the descendants of Edward, a brother of the electress Sophia. The male representation of the family, being extinct in the royal lines, is claimed by the earls of Galloway and also by the Stewarts of Castlemilk, but the claims of both are more than doubtful.
See Sir George Mackenzie, Defence of the Royal Line of Scotland (1685), and Antiquity of the Royal Line of Scotland (1686) ; Crawfurd, Genealogical History of the Royal and Illustrious Family of the Stuarts (1710); Duncan Stewart, Genealogical Account of the Surname of Stewart (1739); Andrew Stuart, Genealogical History of the Stuarts (1798); Stodart, House of Stuart (privately printed, 1855); An Abstract of the Evidence to Prove that Sir William Stewart of Jedworth, the Paternal Ancestor of the Present Earl of Galloway, was the Second Son of Sir Alexander Stewart of Darnky (1801) ; Riddell, Stewartiana (1843); W. Townend, Descendants of the_ Stuarts (1858); R. W. Eyton, History of Shropshire (1858), vol. vii. ; Bailey, The Succession to the English Crown (1879); Skelton, The Royal House of Stuart (1890) ; I. H. Round, Studies in Peerage and Family History (1901) ; and S. Cowan, The Royal House of Stuart (1908). The best chart pedigree of the house is that which was prepared for the Stuart Exhibition by W. A. Lindsay.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)