Robert Stewart

Robert Stewart / Kings and Queens

  • Name  : Stewart
  • Born  : c.1340
  • Died  : 1420
  • Category  : Kings and Queens
  • Finest Moment : Regent of Scotland, 1406.

As an exercise in how to live long and prosper when all around are losing their heads and castles, this devious character has much to offer. Contemporary politicians take note. Born the son of Robert II, the Earl of Fife became his most capable son. His elder brother Robert (christened John) became King in 1390. Two years earlier, Robert had become Governor, retaining that office on the succession of his brother, and becoming 1st Duke of Albany in 1398.

In 1399 his nephew David, Duke of Rothesay and heir to the crown, succeeded him as governor, but the two were soon at odds. Not to be thwarted from his ambitions, it is almost certain that Robert had a hand in the mysterious death of David in 1406, at Falkland, where Robert and the Earl of Douglas had had him imprisoned (apparently death was by starvation). Robert again became Lieutenant and Governor of the Realm.

Aiming now for the throne, he was cheered by the news that the 12-year-old Prince James had been captured by the English. He was further cheered by the death of Robert III, his older brother. At a General Council in Perth, Robert was appointed Regent. He then ruled Scotland for the next 14 years, taking the view that it was better to broker deals with the other big chiefs, rather than fight them. Coincidentally, he grew even richer in the process.

He died at Stirling Castle in September, 1420, at the incredible age of 80-plus. He left a son, Murdoch, who inherited both the Dukedom and the Governorship of Scotland, but he lost his head in 1425.

 Print  Email