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Kings of Scotland and The Royal House of Stewart

Updated on February 13, 2014
1794 Campbell map of Scotland
1794 Campbell map of Scotland | Source
Portrait of King James VI of Scotland who was also King James I of England
Portrait of King James VI of Scotland who was also King James I of England | Source
The British monarch Queen Anne, last ruler in the House of Stewart
The British monarch Queen Anne, last ruler in the House of Stewart | Source

Kings of Scotland and England

The House of Stewart (or Stuart in French) was a royal line of Scottish and British rulers that originated from Clan Stewart that in itself had been founded by a Breton immigrant (from the Brittany region of France) named Flaad I in the 1100s. The name Stewart refers to a title held by some clan men during the MIddle Ages that served as stewards - a steward would have been a sort of manager to the royal establishment and the king - to medieval era Scottish kings like King David I.

After the conquest of Britain by William the Conqueror and his army of Normans from northwest France, a Stewart man named William FitzAlan (son of Alan) was granted land and property and also the hereditary office of Senescallus Scotiae, or rather "High Steward of Scotland." Hence, Clan Stewart was known early on as a powerful and influential force behind Scottish politics.

However, before the advent of the royal house of Stewart, Scottish monarchy was at constant struggle for stability and security due to frequent British invasion and rule; the Scottish royal houses of Alpin and Dunkeld had manned the helm of this fragile Scottish rule since the early 800s. By the 1300s, Scots won in the Wars for Scottish Independence and crowned Robert the Bruce as King Robert I of Scotland and founded the short lived royal House of Bruce. After King Robert I died in 1329, his son David was crowned king but because he never had children, the House of Bruce was dissolved upon David's death.

The House of Stewart was in fact founded by the grandson of King Robert I (Robert the Bruce), the son of Marjorie Bruce and William Stewart - William was the hereditary Sixth High Steward of Scotland. The new king was named Robert III and he was the first of nine rulers in the House of Stewart in Scotland, spanning from 1371 to 1603, the last being King James IV.

King James IV married the daughter of the English King Henry VII named Margaret Tudor and their son James would become the heir to the British throne thus merging the Tudor and Stewart Dynasties. In 1603, King James IV became sovereign ruler of England and Scotland. Six monarchs ruled under the House of Stewart (more commonly Stuart once becoming British rulers) from 1603 until 1714 when Queen Anne died leaving no heirs and the House of Hannover was installed.


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