House of Stuart

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The Coat of Arms of Queen Anne, the last British monarch of the House of Stuart

The House of Stuart or Stewart was a Scottish, and then British, Royal House of Breton origin. The House started off ruling Scotland but after the death of Elizabeth I of England, the last monarch from the House of Tudor, took over the whole of Britain. It was followed by the House of Hanover. The House began with the hereditary High Stewards of Scotland.



The earliest known member of the House of Stewart was Flaald I (Flaald the Seneschal), an 11th century Breton noble 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 Shropshire. Along with his brother William, ancestor of the Fitzalan family (the Earls of Arundel), he supported Empress Maud during the period known as the Anarchy. Maud was aided by her uncle, David I of Scotland, and Walter followed David north in 1141, after Maud had been usurped by 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.

The sixth High Steward of Scotland, Walter Stewart (1293-1326), married Majory, 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 of Scotland died childless in 1371.

In 1503, James IV of Scotland attempted to secure peace with England by marrying 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 direct descendant of James II of Scotland and Mary's heir presumptive, who had changed the spelling of his surname whilst at the English court. 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.

Heads of the House of Stewart

Dapifers of Dol

High Stewards of Scotland

Scottish Monarchs

British Monarchs

During the period between Charles I and Charles II, England was a Republican Commonwealth, and then a Protectorate under Oliver Cromwell and Richard Cromwell.


See Also

et:Stuartid es:Estuardo fr:Stuart nl:Huis Stuart no:Huset Stuart pt:Casa de Stuart


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