House of Stuart

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House of Stuart
Stuart COA.png
Armorial of Stuart
Country Kingdom of Scotland, Kingdom of England, Kingdom of Ireland, Kingdom of France, Kingdom of Great Britain
Founder Walter FitzAlan, 1st High Steward of Scotland
Final ruler Anne of Great Britain
Current head Randolph Stewart, 13th Earl of Galloway
Founding year 1150
Ethnicity Breton, British

The House of Stuart, more correctly the House of Stewart, was an important Scottish royal house which continues to exist as nobility. Their paternal ancestors were Bretons who came to England during the Norman conquest of England in 1066. From there a branch of the family went to Scotland, holding the title High Steward of Scotland since the 12th century and eventually providing a line of kings, starting with Robert II of Scotland during the 14th century. The dynasty inherited further territory by the 17th century which covered the entire British Isles, including the Kingdom of England and Kingdom of Ireland, also upholding a titular claim to the Kingdom of France.

In total, nine Stewart monarchs ruled just Scotland from 1371 until 1603. After this there was a Union of the Crowns under James VI & I who had become the senior genealogical claimant to all of the holdings of the extinct House of Tudor. Thus there were six Stuart monarchs who ruled both England and Scotland as well as Ireland (although the Stuart era was interrupted by an interregnum lasting from 1649–1660, as a result of the English Civil War). Additionally at the foundation of the Kingdom of Great Britain after the Acts of Union, which politically united England and Scotland, the first monarch was Anne of Great Britain. After her death, all the holdings passed to the House of Hanover, under the terms of the Act of Settlement 1701.

During the reign of the Stewarts, Scotland developed from a relatively poor and feudal country into a prosperous, fairly modern and centralised state. They ruled during a time in European history of transition from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. Monarchs such as James IV were known for sponsoring exponents of the Northern Renaissance such as poet Robert Henryson. After gaining control of all of Great Britain the arts and sciences continued to develop; William Shakespeare's best known plays were authored during the Jacobean era, while institutions such as the Royal Society and Royal Mail were established during the reign of Charles II.


List of monarchs

Monarch of Scotland

Portrait Name From Until Relationship with predecessor
Robert II, King of Scotland.pngRobert II of Scotland22 February 137119 April 1390nephew[1] of David II of Scotland who died without issue. Robert's mother Marjorie Bruce was daughter of Robert I of Scotland.
Robert III, King of Scotland.pngRobert III of Scotland 19 April 13904 April 1406son of Robert II of Scotland.
King James I of Scotland.jpgJames I of Scotland 4 April 140621 February 1437son of Robert III of Scotland.
James II, King of Scotland.pngJames II of Scotland 21 February 14373 August 1460son of James I of Scotland.
James III, King of Scotland.pngJames III of Scotland 3 August 146011 June 1488son of James II of Scotland.
James IV of Scotland.jpgJames IV of Scotland 11 June 14889 September 1513son of James III of Scotland.
James V of Scotland2.jpgJames V of Scotland 9 September 151314 December 1542son of James IV of Scotland.
Mary I Queen of Scots.jpgMary I, Queen of Scots 14 December 154224 July 1567daughter of James V of Scotland.

Monarch of Great Britain and Ireland

Portrait Name From Until Relationship with predecessor
James VI of Scots.jpgJames VI of Scotland & I of England and Ireland24 July 156727 March 1625son of Mary, Queen of Scots and Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley. King of Scotland alone, 1567—1603, until inheriting the titles King of England and Ireland, including claim to France from the extinct Tudors.
Charles I.jpgCharles I of England, Scotland & Ireland27 March 162530 January 1649son of James VI of Scotland & I of England & Ireland.
Charles II (1670s).jpgCharles II of England, Scotland & Ireland30 January 16496 February 1685son of Charles I of England, Scotland & Ireland. In exile from 1649 to 1660, during a republican period of government known as the Commonwealth of England.
James II.pngJames II of England and Ireland & VII of Scotland6 February 168513 February 1689brother of Charles II of England, Scotland & Ireland, who died with no legitimate issue. Son of Charles I. Overthrown at the Revolution of 1688.
Queen Mary II.jpgMary II of England, Scotland and Ireland13 February 168928 December 1694daughter of James II of England and Ireland & VII of Scotland, who was still alive and pretending to the throne. Co-monarch was William III & II who outlived his wife.
Anniex.jpgAnne of Great Britain and Ireland8 March 17021 May 1707sister of Mary II. daughter of James II of England and Ireland & VII of Scotland. Name of state changed to Great Britain with the political Acts of Union 1707, though family has used title since James I & VI. Died issueless, rights pass to House of Hanover.


  1. The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
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