More Stewart Information

ROBERT II (1371-90)

The House of Bruce ended with David II, who was childless. It is my personal opinion, however, that since the following kings through James VI of Scotland and I of England were all direct descendants of Robert the Bruce through his daughter, that the House of Bruce did continue even if the father of Robert II was a Stewart. But then I am a Bruce so, of course, I would think so.

Robert the Bruce's daughter, Marjorie, married Walter Stewart (the 6th High Steward of Scotland). The name Stewart was a hereditary title bestowed by David I. Marjorie died giving birth to Robert II, the founder of the Stewart dynasty and the grandson of Robert the Bruce. Robert II became King at the age of 54. He had been appointed Guardian of Scotland twice during the reign of David II and was an experienced statesman. Apparently, he was experienced in other things too since he produced 21 children (13 legitmate and 8 illegitimate). His first wife was Elizabeth, the daughter of Sir Adam Mure of Rowallan (9 children) and his second wife was Euphemia, daughter of Hugh, Earl of Ross (4 children). As with his uncle, David II, he did not have the fighting spirit of his grandfather and was a passive person who had a hard time controlling his family or his kingdom. Once again, there was war between England and Scotland. Scotland was assisted by France under the terms of the Auld Alliance.

One son of Robert II was Alexander, the Wolf of Badenoch, whose son abducted the widowed Countess of Mar and assumed the Earldom. Other sons included the Earl of Strathearn and the Earl of Atholl.

Regardless of the weakness of the Crown and the strength of the nobles, Robert II was still the 99th King of Scots (counting from the mythical Fergus).

ROBERT III (1390-1406)

The troubles with England continued under Robert III. Actually, his real name was John but he changed it because there has been so many Johns who were ill-fated. His re-naming of himself didn't seem to have helped. He was disabled from a horse kicking him when he was a youth. He did not command respect. He was 53 when he was crowned.

The Duke of Albany, his brother, who may have been responsible for the death of Robert III's son, David, was a very forceful person and Robert III was overshadowed by him. To protect his second son, James I, he sent James away from Scotland.

Albany became the Governor of Scotland after Robert III died and James I was a prisoner of the English. Albany ruled Scotland as Governor until his death and was succeeded as Governor by his incompetent son, Murdoch.

Robert III told his wife, Annabella, that his epitaph should be: "Here lies the worst of kings and the most wretched of men in the whole realm." He said he should be buried on a rubbish heap.

(This is a little confusing but possibly an illegimate child of his named Lady Jean married first to Sir John Keith, second to Sr. John Lyon and third to Sir James Sandilands was the ancestor of H.M. Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.)

While the power of the crown suffered from the weaknesses of its kings during this time, the baronage was strong. Four successive heads of the Clan Donald, who assumed the title, Lord of the Isles, were almost independent of the king, such was their strength. In the south, the Black Douglases were strong and actually made a bid for the Crown in 1371. Both of these houses were connected to the Crown by marriage.

The most important advantage Scotland had at this time was the continued weakness of England. Edward III was very old, Richard II was very young, the accession of Henry IV, the failure in France after the appearance of Joan of Arc and the War of the Roses all weakened English power.

There were also economic trouble, the Peasants' Revolt and the sharp decline in the yield of wool. Therefore, in these circumstances, the English Kings were unable to exploit their difficulties with Scotland. The claim to suzerainty was left in abeyance although asserted by Henry IV when he wished to proclaim himself in the succession of English Kings.

Robert III's son, James I, was kidnapped by the English and taken to France by Henry V. There are other reports saying that Robert III sent his son to France for safety reasons.

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Let's do a little tree so we know where we are.
Robert III (1390-1406) m. Annabella
James I (1406-1437) m. Joan, daughter of John Beaufort, Earl of Somerset (grandson of Edward III)
James II (1437-1460) m. Marie, daughter of Arnold, Duke of Gueldres
James III (1460-1488) m. Margaret, daughter of King of Denmark
James IV (1488-1513) m. Margaret, daughter of Henry VII
James V (1513-1542) m. Madelein, daughter of King of France and then Mary, daughter of Duke of Guise
Mary, Queen of Scots (1542-1567) m. King of France, Henry Stuart (Lord Darnley), James Hepburn (Earl of Bothwell)
James VI (1567-1625) became James I of England (1603-1625) m. Anne, daughter of King of Denmark.

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