It is not our intention here by any means to
enter into the general history of the Stewarts but simply to give a short account of those
branches of the family which were located in the Highlands, and to a certain extent were
regarded as Highland clans. With regard to the origin of the Stewarts generally, we shall
content ourselves with making use of Mr Fraser's excellent summary in the introduction to
his "Red Book of Grandtully".
Walter, the son of Alan or Fitz-Alan, the founder of the royal family of the Stewarts,
being the first of that family who established himself in Scotland, came from Shropshire,
in England. Walter's elder brother, William, was progenitor of the family of Fitz-Alan,
Earls of Arundel. Their father, a Norman, married, soon after the Norman Conquest, the
daughter of Warine, sheriff of Shropshire. He acquired
the manor of Ostvestrie or Oswestry
in Shropshire, on the Welsh border. On the death of Henry I of England, in 1135, Walter
and William strenuously supported the claims of the Empress Maud, thus raising themselves
high in the favour of her uncle, David I, king of Scots. When that king, in 1141, was
obliged to retire to Scotland, Walter probably then accompanied him, encouraged, on the
part of the Scottish monarch, by the most liberal promises, which were faithfully
fulfilled; whilst his brother William remained in England, and was rewarded by Maud's son,
Henry II of England. From the munificence of King David I Walter obtained large grants of
land in Renfrewshire and in other places, together with the hereditary office Senescallus
Scocioe, lord high-steward of Scotland, an office from which his grandson, Walter, took
the name Stewart, which the family ever afterwards retained. King Malcolm IV, continuing,
after the example of his grandfather, King David, to extend the royal favour towards this
English emigrant, confirmed and ratified to Walter and his heirs the hereditary office of
high steward of Scotland, and the numerous lands which King David I had granted. In the
annals of the period, Walter is celebrated as the founder, probably about 1163, of the
monastry of Paisley, in the barony of Renfrew. At or after the time of his establishing
himself in Scotland, Walter was followed to that kingdom by many English families from
Shropshire, who settling in Renfrewshire, obtained lands there as vassals of the Stewarts.
Walter married Eschina de Londonia, Lady of Moll, in Roxburghshire, by whom he had a son,
Alan; and dying in 1177, he was succeeded in his estates and office as hereditary steward
of Scotland by that son.
Having thus pointed out the true origin of the family of Stewarts, our subject does not
require us to trace the subsequent history of the main line.
Walter's son and successor, Alan, died in 1204, leaving a son, Walter, who was appointed
by Alexander II justiciary of Scotland, in addition to his hereditary office of
high-steward. He died in 1246, leaving four sons and three daughters. Walter, the third
son, was Earl of Menteith. The eldest son, Alexander, married Jean, daughter and heiress
of James, lord of Bute, and, in her right, he seized both the Isles of Bute and than of
Alexander had two sons - James, his successor, and John, known as Sir John Stewart of
Bonkill, who fell at the battle of Falkirk in 1298. Sir John Stewart had seven sons. 1.
Sir Alexander, ancestor of the Stewarts, Earls of Angus; 2. Sir Alan of Dreghorn, of the
Earls and Dukes of Lennox, of the name of Stewart; 3. Sir Walter, of the Earls of
Galloway; 4. Sir James, of the Earls of Athole, Buchan, and Traquair, and the Lords of
Lorn and Innermeath; 5. Sir John, killed at Halidonhill in 1333; 6. Sir Hugh, who fought
in Ireland under Edward Bruce; 7. Sir Robert of Daldowie.
James, the elder son of Alexander, succeeded as fifth high-steward in 1283. On the death
of Alexander III in 1286, he was one of the six magnates of Scotland chosen to act as
regents of the kingdom. He died in the service of Bruce, in 1309.
His son Walter, the sixth high-steward, when only twnty-one years of age, commanded with
Douglas the left wing of the Scots army at the battle of Bannockburn. King Robert bestowed
his daughter, the Princess Marjory, in marriage upon him, and from them the royal house of
Stuart and the present dynasty of Great Britain are descended.
His son, Robert, seventh lord-high-steward, had been declared heir presumptive to the
throne in 1318, but the birth of a son to Bruce in 1326 interrupted his prospects for a
time. From his grandfather he received large possessions of land in Kintyre. During the
long and disastrous reign of David II the steward acted a patriotic part in the defence of
the kingdom. On the death of David, without issue, February 22d, 1371, the steward, who
was at that time fifty-five years of age, succeeded to the crown as Robert II, being the
first of the family of Stewart who ascended the throne of Scotland.
The direct make line of the elder branch of the Stewarts terminated with James V, and at
the accession of James VI, whose descent on his father's side was through the Earl of
Lennox, the head of the second branch, there did not exist a male offset of the family
which had sprung from an individual later than Robert II. Widely as some branches of the
Stewarts have spread, and numerous as are the families of this name, there is not a lineal
male representative of any of the crowned heads of the race, Henry, Cardinal Duke of York,
who died in 1807, having been the last.
The male representation or chiefship of the family is claimed by the Earl of Galloway; as
also, by the Stewarts of Castlemilk.
The first and principal seat of the Stewarts was in Renfrewshire, but branches of them
penetrated into the Western Highlands and Perthshire, and acquiring territories there,
became founders of distinct families of the name. Of these the principal were the Stewarts
of Lorn, the Stewarts of Athole, and the Stewarts of Balquhidder, from one or other of
which all the rest have been derived. How the Stewarts of Lorn acquired that district is
told in our account of clan Macdougall. The Stewarts of Lorn were descended from a natural
son of John Stewart, the late Lord of Lorn, who, with the assistance of the MacLarens,
retained forcible possession of part of his father's estates.
From this family sprang the Stewarts of Appin, who, with the Athole branches, were
considered in the Highlands as forming the clan Stewart. The badge of the original Stewarts
was the oak, and of the royal Stuarts the thistle.
In the end of the fifteenth century, the Stewarts of Appin were vassals of the Earl of
Argyll in his lordship of Lorn. In 1493 the chief was Dougal Stewart, the natural son of
John Stewart, the last Lord of Lorn, and Isabella, eldest daughter of the first Earl of
Argyll. The assassination of Campbell of Calder, guardian of the young Earl of Argyll, in
February 1592, caused a feud between the Stewarts of Appin and the Campbells, the effects
of which were long felt. During the civil wars, the Stewarts of Appin ranged themselves
under the banners of Montrose, and at the battle of Inverlochy, 2d February 1645, rendered
good service. They and the cause which they upheld were opposed by the Campbells, who
possessed the north side of the same parish, a small rivulet called Con Ruagh, or red bog,
being the dividing line of their lands.
The Stewarts of Appin, under their chief, Robert Stewart, engaged in the rebellion of
1715, when they brought 400 men into the field. They were also "out" in 1745,
under Stewart of Ardshiel, 300 strong; some lands in Appin were forfeited then, but were
afterwards restored. The principal family is extinct, and their estate has passed to
others, chiefly to a family of the name of Downie. There are still, however, many branches
of this tribe remaining in Appin. The chief cadets are the families of Ardshiel,
Invernahyle, Auchnacrone, Fasnacloich, and Balachulish.
Between the Stewarts of Invernahyle and the Campbells of Dunstaffnage there existed a
bitter feud, and about the beginning of the sixteenth century the former family were all
cut off but one child, the infant son of Stewart of Invernahyle, by the chief of
Dunstaffnage, called Cailein Uaine, "Green Colin". The boy's nurse fled with him
to Ardnamurchan, where her husband, the blacksmith of the district, resided. The latter
brought him up to his own trade, and at sixteen years of age he could wield two
forehammers at once, one in each hand, on the anvil, which acquired for him the name of
Domhnull nan ord "Donald of the hammers". Having made a two-edged sword for him,
his foster-father, on presenting it, told him of his birth and lineage, and of the event
which was the cause of his being brought to Ardnamurchan. Burning with a desire for
vengeance, Donald set off with twelve of his companions, for each of whom, at a smithy at
Corpach in Lochaber, he forged a two-edged sword. He then proceeded direct to
Dunstaffnage, where he slew Green Colin and fifteen of his retainers. Having recovered his
inheritance, he ever after proved himself "the unconquered foe of the Campbell".
The chief of the Stewarts of Appin being, at the time, a minor, Donald of the hammers was
appointed tutor of the clan. He commanded the Stewarts of Appin at the battle of Pinkie in
1547, and on their return homewards from that disastrous field, in a famishing condition,
they found in a house at the church of Port of Menteith, some fowls roasting for a
marriage party. These they took fro the spit, and greedily devoured. They then proceeded
on their way. The Earl of Monteith, one of the marriage guests, on being apprised of the
circumstance, pursued them, and came up with them at a place called Tobernareal. To a
taunt from one of the earl's attendants, one of the Stewarts replied by an arrow through
the heart. In the conflict that ensued, the earl fell by the ponderour arm of Donald of
the hammers, and nearly all his followers were killed.
The Stewarts of Athole almost entirely of the descendants, by his five illegitimate sons,
of Sir Alexander Stewart, Earl of Buchan, called, from his ferocity, "The wolf of
Badenoch", the fourth son of Robert II, by his first wife, Elizabeth More. One of his
natural sons, Duncan Stewart, whose disposition was as ferocious as his father's, at the
head of a vast number of wild Catherans, armed only with the sword and target, descended
from the range of hills which divides the counties of Aberdeen and Forfar, and began to
devastate the country and murder the inhabitants. Sir Walter Ogilvy, sheriff of Angus, Sir
Patrick Gray, and Sir David Lindsay of Glenesk, immediately collected a force to repel
them, and a desperate conflict took place at Gasklune, near the water of Isla, in which
the former were overpowered, and most of them slain.
James Stewart, another of the Wolf of Badenoch's natural sons, was the ancestor of the
family of Stewart of Garth, from which proceed almost all the other Athole Stewarts. The
Garth family became extinct in the direct line, by the death of General David Stewart,
author of "Sketches of the Highlanders". The possessions of the Athole Stewarts
lay mainly on the north side of Loch Tay.
The Balquhidder Stewarts derive their origin from illegitimate branches of the Albany
The Stewarts or Steuarts of Grandtully, Perthshire, are descended from James Stewart of
Pierston and Warwickhill, Ayrshire, who fell at Halidon Hill in 1333, fourth son of Sir
John Stewart of Bonkill, son of Alexander, fourth lord-high-steward of Scotland, who died
James Stewart's son was Sir Robert Stewart of Shambothy and Innermeath, whose son, Sir
John Stewart, was the first of the Stewarts of Lorn. The fourth son of the latter,
Alexander Stewart, was ancestor of the Stewarts of Grandtully. "On the resignation of
his father, Sir John (apparently the first Stewart of Grandtully), he received a charter
from Archibald, Earl of Douglas, of the ands of Grandtully, Kyltilich, and Aberfeldy, 30th
March 1414. He married Margaret, sister of John Hay of Tulliebodie".
Of this family was Thomas Stewart of Balcaskie, Fifeshire, a lord of session, created a
baronet of Nova Scotia, June 2, 1683. He was cousin, through his father, of John Stewart,
thirteenth of Grandtully, who died without issue in 1720, and was succeeded by Sir
Thomas's son, Sir George Stewart, who also died without issue. He was succeeded by his
brother, Sir John Stewart, third baronet, an officer of rank in the army, who married, 1st
Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of Sir James Mackenzie of Royston, and had by her an only
surviving son, Sir John, fourth baronet; 2dly, Lady Jane Douglas, only daughter of James
Marquis of Douglas, and his son, by her, Archibald Stewart, after a protracted litigation,
succeeded to the immense estates of his uncle, the last Duke of Douglas, and assuming that
name, was created a peer of the United Kingdom, by the title of Baron Douglas. Sir John
Stewart married, 3dly, Helen, a daughter of the fourth Lord Elibank, without issue. He
died in 1764.
His son, Sir John, fourth baronet, died in 1797.
Sir John's eldest son, Sir George, fifth baronet, married Catherine, eldest daughter of
John Drummond, Esq., of Logie Almond, and died in 1827, leaving five sons and two
The eldest son, Sir Johm, sixth baronet, died without issue, May 20, 1838.
His brother, Sir William Drummond Steuart, born December 26, 1795, succeeded as seventh
baronet. He married in 1830, and had a son William George, Captain 93d Highlanders, born in
February 1831, and died October 1868. Sir William died April 28, 1871, and was succeeded
by his youngest brother Archibald Douglas, born August 29, 1807.
The Stewarts of Drumin, Banffshire, now Belladrum, Inverness-shire, trace their descent
from Sir William Stewart of Strathaven, knighted for his services at the battle of Harlaw
in 1411, one of the illegitimate sons of the Wold of Badenoch, and consequently of royal
The Stewarts of Ardvoirlich, Perthshire, are descended from James Stewart, called James
the Gross, fourth and only surviving son of Murdoch, Duke of Albany, Regent of Scotland,
beheaded in 1425. On the ruin of his family he fled to Ireland, where, by a lady of the
name of Macdonald, he had seven sons and one daughter. James II created Andrew, the eldest
son, Lord Avandale.
James, the third son, ancestor of the Stewarts of Ardvoirlich, married Annabel, daughter
of Buchanan of that ilk.
His son, William Stewart, who succeeded him, married Mariota, daughter of Sir Colin
Campbell of Glenorchy, and had several children. From one of his younger sons, John, the
family of Stewart of Glenbuckie, and from another, that of Stewart of Gartnaferaran, both
in Perthshire, were descended.
His eldest son, Walter Stewart, succeeded his father, and married Euphemia, daughter of
James Reddoch of Cultobraggan, comptroller of the household of James IV.
His son, Alexander Stewart of Ardvourlich, married Margaret, daughter of Drummond of
Drummond Erinoch, and had two sons, James, his successor, and John, ancestor of the
Perthshire families of Stewart of Annat, Stewart of Ballachallan, and Stewart of
The family of Steuart of Dalguise, Perthshire, are descended from Sir John Stewart of
Arntullie and Cardneys, also designed of Dowallie, the youngest natural son of King Robert
II of Scotland, by Marion or Mariota de Cardney, daughter of John de Cardney of that ilk,
sister of Robert Cardney, bishop of Dunkeld from 1396 to 1436.
The Steuarts of Ballechin, in the same county, are descended from Sir John Stewart, an
illegitimate son of King James II of Scotland. Having purchased the lands of Sticks in
Glenquaich from Patrick Cardney of that ild, he got a charter of those lands from King
James III, dated in december 1486. The family afterwards acquired the lands of Ballechin.
There are many other Stewart families throughout Scotland, but as we are concerned only
with these which can be considered Highland, it would be beyond our province to notice any
more. The spelling of this name seems very capticious: the royal spelling is Stuart, while
most families spell it Stewart, and a few Steuart and Steuard. We have endeavored
to give the spelling adhered to by the various families whom we have noticed.
Another Account of the Clan
BADGES: Royal~ez_mdash~Cluaran (carduus)
thistle. Clan~ez_mdash~Darach (Quercus robur) oak.
PIBROCH: Earrach an ~ez_lsquo~aigh~ez_rsquo~s a~ez_rsquo~ ghleann, and Creag-an-Sgairbh.
Shakespeare, in writing Macbeth, paid his great compliment to King
James VI. and I., he was drawing attention to the popular tradition that
the monarch~ez_rsquo~s lineage was at least as far descended as that of the
English nobiliity whose ancestors "came over with William the
Conqueror." Whether the Stewarts were really descended from Banquo,
Thane of Lochaber in the eleventh century, may be disputed, but there can
be no question of their descent from Walter Fitz-Alan, the Shropshire
knight whom David I. settled at Renfrew about the year 1138. [Walter~ez_rsquo~s
elder brother William was the progenitor of the Earls of Arundel; his
younger brother, Simon, of the Boyds, Earls of Kilmarnock and now Earls of
The purpose of that
settlement is tolerably clear. The burning question of the hour for the
Scottish monarch was the menace of Norse invasion in the Firth of Clyde.
To oppose this invasion, David planted Walter Fitz-Alan where he could
best bar the way to the heart of the kingdom, and made him Steward of
Scotland. Most efficiently that guardian of the gate justified his
appointment, driving the Norsemen out of Cowal and Bute, and when the
mighty Somerled of the Isles brought an army to force the passage,
overthrowing and slaying him at Renfrew itself in the year 1164. It was
possibly as a thank-offering for this victory that Walter the Steward
founded Paisley Abbey in that year.
For exactly another hundred
years the great struggle went on, till in 1263, Walter~ez_rsquo~s
great-grandson, Alexander, now Lord High Steward of Scotland, finally
overthrew the Norsemen under their king Hakon, at the battle of Largs.
Alexander~ez_rsquo~s son James,
who died in 1309, was the fifth High Steward or Stewart. From his
brother, Sir John Stewart of Bonkyl,
who fell fighting along with Wallace for the cause of Scottish
independence at the battle of Falkirk in 1298, a number of famous Scottish
families took their origin. The line of his eldest son, Sir Alexander,
became Earls of Angus, and ended in a female who carried the earldom to
the Douglases, who are Earls of Angus and Dukes of Hamilton at the present
day. From his second son, Sir Alan Stewart of Darnley, descended the
Stewart Earls of Lennox, whose heir, Lord Darnley married Mary Queen of
Scots, and became ancestor of the later Stewart kings. From Sir Alan also
descended the Earls of Galloway, who are chiefs of the Stewarts at the
present hour. From Bonkyl~ez_rsquo~s fourth son came the Stewarts of Innermeath
in Strathearn, from whom descended the Stewart Lords of Lorn, the Stewarts
of Murthly and Grandtully, the Stewart Earls of Athol, and the Stewarts of
Appin. And from Bonkyl~ez_rsquo~s sixth son, Sir Robert, came the Stewarts of
Allanton and their cadets.
Meantime Bonkyl~ez_rsquo~s nephew,
Walter, the sixth High Stewart, had greatly distinguished himself in the
cause of King Robert the Bruce, at the great battle of Bannockburn, and at
the heroic defence of Berwick, and as a reward had received the hand of
Bruce~ez_rsquo~s only daughter, the Princess Marjory. Their married life was
short. As she rode by the Knock between Renfrew and Paisley, Marjory was
thrown from her horse and killed, and the life of her infant was only
saved by the cesarean operation. The spot was long marked by a monolith
known as Queen Bleary~ez_rsquo~s Stone. The boy lived, however, and though he
inherited his mother~ez_rsquo~s weakness of the eyes, played a heroic part in
Scottish history. From that old possession of his family, the island of
Bute, which his ancestor had won from the Norsemen, he sallied forth to
attack Dunoon and overthrow the entire conquest of Edward Baliol, and when
he came to the throne as King Robert II. in 1371 he had earned it by his
sword almost as heroically as his grandfather Robert the Bruce himself.
It is a point which has not
been sufficiently noted by Scottish historians that from the two marriages
of Robert II. a large proportion of the later troubles of the Stewart
kings and of the kingdom of Scotland took rise. For centuries it was
questioned whether his first union, with Elizabeth Mure of Rowallan, had
ever been legitimised. In consequence the descendants of his second wife,
Euphemia Ross, again and again made claim to the throne. From this cause
arose directly the murder of King James I. in 1437 and the Douglas wars
against James II. in 1450. James I. was slain by the descendants of King
Robert~ez_rsquo~s second wife, whom he had dispossessed of the royal earldom of
Strathearn; and the ambition of the Earls of Douglas was directly
stimulated by the fact that they had inherited the claims of the family of
Euphemia Ross and of the earlier great house of Comyn.
Other of the troubles of
Scotland arose from the family arrangements of King Robert II. in another
way. One of his daughters, Margaret, he married to John, Lord of the
Isles, and as John was already married to his cousin Amy, he made him put
her away, granted him a charter of her lands, and made the title and great
possessions of the Lord of the Isles to descend to his own grandchildren,
Margaret~ez_rsquo~s sons. From this arrangement came endless trouble. Not even
yet has it been settled absolutely whether Glengarry or Clanranald, the
descendants of John~ez_rsquo~s first wife, or Macdonald of the Isles, the
descendant of his second wife, is the rightful Chief of the Macdonalds.
From the first also there was trouble among the sons and grandsons of
Robert II. His eldest son, King Robert III., whose real name was John, was
practically displaced by his brother Robert, Duke of Albany, who first
starved the king~ez_rsquo~s eldest son to death at Falkland, and then secured the
capture and imprisonment of the second son in England. And by way of
reprisals, when he returned from his captivity, that second son, James I.,
sent to the block the Duke~ez_rsquo~s son and grandsons who had succeeded to
Albany~ez_rsquo~s usurpation. Meanwhile the north of Scotland had been laid waste
by the wars between the Duke of Albany and his sister a son, Donald of the
Isles, for possession of the rich Earldom of Ross~ez_mdash~wars which only came
to an end with the terrific and bloody battle of Harlaw, fought near
Aberdeen in 1411.
The leaders in that
conflict were Donald of the Isles himself and his cousin Alexander
Stewart, Earl of Mar. The latter had obtained his earldom by slaying the
husband of Isabel, Countess of Mar, and then marrying the lady. He was a
natural son of the fierce "Wolf of Badenoch," Alexander Stewart,
Earl of Buchan, third son of King Robert II., who is remembered solely by
his lawless deeds in the north, the burning of Forres and Elgin, and
countless other oppressions. He had many illegitimate children, and many
of the name of Stewart in Atholl and Banffshire are his descendants.
A notable Stewart family in
the south, that of Bute, is directly descended from Robert II. himself. On
succeeding to the throne, that king appointed his natural son, Sir John
Stewart of Dundonald, known as the Red Stewart, to be Constable of
Rothesay Castle and Hereditary Sheriff of Bute, thus handing to his son
and that son~ez_rsquo~s descendants in perpetuity the islands which had been
captured by the sword of his ancestor, Walter Fitz-Alan, the first of the
Stewarts. After the execution of Murdoch, Duke of Albany, and two of his
sons at the instance of James I. in 1425, a third son who had escaped took
vengeance by burning Dunbarton, and in it this same Red Stewart of
Dundonald, uncle of the king. But Sir John Stewart~ez_rsquo~s direct descendant
is Marquess of Bute at the present hour.
Two of the sons of Murdoch,
Duke of Albany, also left natural sons. Of them, Walter Stewart of Morphy,
son of Sir Walter Stewart, beheaded at Stirling, became ancestor of the
Earls of Castle-Stuart in Ireland, and also, by the marriage of a
descendant to the daughter of the Regent Earl of Moray, half-brother of
Mary Queen of Scots, became ancestor of the Earls of Moray of to-day.
Another of Duke Murdoch~ez_rsquo~s sons, Sir James Mohr Stewart, had a natural
son, James "beg" Stewart of Baldorran, who became ancestor of
the Stewarts of Ardvorlich on Lochearnside, whose family history is
recounted by Sir Walter Scott in A
Legend of Montrose.
Most romantic of all the
memories of the Stewarts, however, is probably that connected with the
settlement of the race in Lorn, Appin, and Atholl. On the death of Ewen,
Lord of Lorn, of the days of Robert II., his estates passed to his
daughters and co-heiresses. These daughters had married two brothers, John
and Robert Stewart of Innermeath, descendants of the fourth son of Sir
John Stewart of Bonkyl, already referred to. These two brothers made a
bargain. Robert gave up his wife~ez_rsquo~s share of Lorn in exchange for his
brother~ez_rsquo~s share of Innermeath. Sir John Stewart who thus relinquished
his share of Innermeath and became Lord of all Lorn, had a second son Sir
James, known as the Black Knight of Lorn. After the assassination of James
I. at the Charterhouse of Perth in 1437, this Black Knight married the
widowed Queen Joan, and they had a son, John, who was of course
half-brother to the king, James II. When that king in 1450 finally
overthrew the last Earl of Douglas, he found a fair Lady on his hands.
This lady, known from her beauty as the Fair Maid of Galloway, was the
heiress to all the great Douglas estates, and, as a child, had been
married in succession by William, Earl of Douglas, whom James stabbed in
Stirling Castle, and his brother, Earl James, who was overthrown at
Arkinholme. While Earl James fled into exile in England, from which he was
only to return to die a monk at Lindores, the king procured a divorce for
his fair young wife, and married her to his own half-brother, John, son of
Queen Joan and the Black Knight of Lorn. He conferred upon the pair the
Douglas lordship of Balveny, and they became presently Earl and Countess
of Atholl. The Earl played a distinguished part in three reigns. On the
death of the fifth Stewart Earl of Atholl, in 1595, the title passed first
to Stewart of Innermeath, and afterwards, on the Innermeath line becoming
extinct, to John Murray, son of the eldest daughter of the fifth Earl, by
his marriage with the second Earl of Tullibardine. The direct descendant
of that union is Duke of Atholl at the present day.
Meanwhile through Robert,
elder brother of the Black Knight of Lorn, the line of the Stewart Lords
of Lorn was carried on. The line ended in two heiresses who married
Campbells, when this family secured the Lordship of Lorn. A natural son of
Stewart of Lorn, however, with the help of his mother~ez_rsquo~s people, the Clan
MacLaurin, succeeded in seizing and retaining the district of Appin, and
founding the family of the Stewarts of Appin. In the days of James IV.,
Duncan Stewart of Appin built on an islet in Loch Linnhe the stronghold of
Castle Stalker in which he entertained his "cousin" the King.
During the Jacobite rising in 1745 under Prince Charles Edward the Appin
Stewarts, led by Stewart of Ardsheal, played a conspicuous part. Sir
Walter Scott in Waverley tells how Stewart of Invernahyle saved the
life of Colonel Whiteford of Ballochmyle, and how, after the overthrow at
Culloden, Colonel Whiteford returned the obligation by obtaining a pardon
for Invernahyle by a special and chivalrous interview at Whitehall. In
Appin itself a cave is shown behind a waterfall, in which Ardsheal hid for
a time from the red soldiers, as well as the hollow in the top of a great
boulder in which he was afterwards concealed. As a result the Appin
estates were forfeited for a time, and while they were under the
management of Campbell of Glenure the famous Appin murder took place which
forms the pivot of R. L. Stevenson~ez_rsquo~s famous story Kidnapped. The
spot where Glenure was shot is marked by a cairn behind Kentalen. The
supposed murderer was Alan Breck Stewart, who escaped to France, but as a
victim James Stewart of the Glens was seized, tried by the Campbells at
Inveraray, and hanged in chains on the little mount behind Ballachulish
The Chief of the Appin
Stewarts is now Robert Bruce Stewart, a lawyer in London.
From Alexander, younger
brother of the Black Knight of Lorn, are descended the Stewarts of
Grandtully below Aberfeldy in Perthshire. It was Sir James Stewart of
Grandtully who, before he succeeded to the family title and estates, ran
away with Lady Jane, sister of the first and last Duke of Douglas, and
whose son by her was the claimant in the great Douglas Cause. The House of
Lords declared Archibald Stewart to be really Lady Jane~ez_rsquo~s son, and he
accordingly came into possession of the great Douglas estates, and was
created Lord Douglas by George III.
Of the main line of the
Stewarts, as represented by the kings of that name, the history is too
well known to need recounting here. Of two of its members, Mary Queen of
Scots and Bonnie Prince Charlie, the careers are among the most romantic
and moving in the world~ez_rsquo~s annals. From first to last these Stewart kings
were consistently unfortunate, yet their lives give a brilliance and
glamour to history that is entirely lacking from the sedate annals of
other dynasties. Their legitimate male line came to an end with Henry,
Cardinal York, the younger brother of Prince Charles, who died in 1807,
but three of the great ducal houses of the country, those of Buccleuch,
Richmond and Gordon, and St. Albans, are directly descended from natural
sons of King Charles II.
The spelling of the name
Stuart, used by the royal family and the Marquess of Bute was probably
introduced by Queen Mary on her return from France.
Septs of the Royal
Stewarts: Boyd, France, Garrow, Lennox, Menteith, Monteith.
Septs of the Stewarts of Appin: Carmichael, Combich, Livingston,
Livingstone, MacCombich, Mackinlay, Maclae, Maclay, Maclea, Macleay,
Septs of the Stewarts of Atholl: Crookshanks, Cruickshanks, Duilach, Gray,
Septs of the Stewarts of Bute: Bannatyne, Fullarton, Fullerton, Hunter, Jameson,
Jamieson, MacCamie, McCloy, MacCaw, MacKirdy, MacLewis, MacMutrie.
Septs of the Stewarts of Galloway: Carmichael, MacMichael.