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The Scottish Nation

METHVEN, Lord, a title in the peerage of Scotland, conferred in 1528, by James V., on Henry Stewart, second son of Andrew, Lord Evandale, afterwards Lord Ochiltree, a descendant of Robert, duke of Albany, son of King Robert II. He owed his peerage and success in life to the favour of the queen-mother, Margaret, sister of Henry VIII. of England, and widow of James IV. In 1524, previous to her divorce from the earl of Angus, her second husband, she raised Stewart first to the office of Treasurer, and afterwards to that of chancellor, intrusting to his inexperienced hands the chief guidance of public affairs. In the following year, on the divorce being granted, she married him. The lordship of Methven, in Perthshire, was part of the dowry lands usually appropriated for the maintenance of the queen-dowager of Scotland, together with the lordship and castle of Stirling and the lands of Balquhidder, &c., and when Margaret procured the peerage for her third husband, the barony of Methven was dissolved from the crown, and erected into a lordship, in favour of Henry Stewart, and his heirs male, on the queen’s resigning her jointure of the lordship of Stirling.

Subsequently, when Angus held the supreme power, an attempt on his part to obtain forcible possession of the queen’s dowry lands, so alarmed Margaret and Methven, that, in their terror, they took refuge in the castle of Edinburgh. That fortress, however, was soon delivered up to Angus, when he ordered Methven to a temporary imprisonment. The queen afterwards endeavoured to obtain a divorce from Methven, but her son, the young king, put a stop to the proceedings. By Lord Methven the queen had a daughter, who died in infancy. Her own death took place at the castle of Methven in 1540. Lord Methven afterwards married Janet Stewart, daughter of the earl of Athol, by whom he had a son, Henry, second Lord Methven.

The second Lord Methven married Jean, daughter of Patrick Lord Ruthven, and was killed at Broughton, in the vicinity of Edinburgh, by a cannon-ball shot from the castle of that city during the siege thereof, 3d March 1572. He left a son, Henry, third Lord Methven, who died without heirs male in 1584, when the title became extinct.

The lordship of Methven was purchased in 1664, by Patrick Smythe of Braco, whose great-grandson, David Smythe of Methven, was a lord of session from 1793 to 1806, under the title of Lord Methven.

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