Nielsen Hayden genealogy

Robert Stewart

Male Abt 1533 - 1593  (~ 60 years)

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  • Name Robert Stewart  [1
    Birth Abt 1533  [2, 3, 4
    Gender Male 
    Death 4 Feb 1593  [2, 4
    Person ID I20742  Ancestry of PNH, TNH, and others | Ancestor of TWK
    Last Modified 29 Dec 2021 

    Father James V, King of Scots,   b. 10 Apr 1512, Linlithgow Palace, Linlithgow, West Lothian, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 14 Dec 1542, Falkland Palace, Fife, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 30 years) 
    Mother Euphemia Elphinstone,   b. 11 May 1509   d. Aft 1564 (Age > 56 years) 
    Family ID F12366  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 (Unknown mistress of Robert Stewart) 
    +1. Christian Stewart   d. Aft 1634
    Family ID F12362  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart
    Last Modified 21 Dec 2018 

    Family 2 Jean Kennedy 
    Marriage 1561  [4
    Family ID F21830  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart
    Last Modified 29 Dec 2021 

  • Notes 
    • 1st Earl of Orkney.

      From Wikipedia:

      Robert Stewart, Knt., 1st Earl of Orkney and Lord of Zetland (Shetland) (1533 – 4 February 1593) was a recognized illegitimate son of James V, King of Scotland, and his mistress Eupheme Elphinstone.

      In 1539 Robert was made Commendator of Holyrood Abbey, and Commendator of Charlieu Abbey in France by 1557. On 9 February 1560 he testified against the Hamilton Duke of Châtellerault and Earl of Arran, and the Protestant Lords of the Congregation to James MacGill and John Bellenden of Auchnoule. They were collecting evidence for Henri Cleutin and Jacques de la Brosse, the French advisors of his step-mother Mary of Guise who planned to have the Hamiltons charged with treason against his half-sister, Mary, Queen of Scots and France. Robert himself had signed some of the letters that were to be cited as evidence.

      He was knighted as Sir Robert Stewart of Strathdon on 15 May 1565, as part of marriage celebrations of Mary, Queen of Scots and Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley. In 1581 he was named, by James VI, the 1st Earl in a second creation of the Earldom of Orkney. The new earldom replaced a short-lived Dukedom of Orkney, which had been awarded in 1567 by Mary, Queen of Scots, to her notorious third husband James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell. This dukedom was forfeit later that same year after Mary was forced to abdicate and Bothwell was charged with treason. Prior to this dukedom there had existed an Earldom of Orkney that was surrendered in 1470 by William Sinclair, 3rd Earl of Orkney.

      Mary wrote a will at Sheffield in 1577 ineffectually declaring his title to Orkney null and void, after Robert was imprisoned in 1575 for obtaining a letter from the King of Denmark declaring him sovereign of Orkney. His crimes included colluding with Shetland pirates. The Earl was imprisoned at Linlithgow Palace. He was released in 1579. He built the Palace of Birsay on Orkney. On his death in 1593 the earldom passed to his son Patrick Stewart, 2nd Earl of Orkney.

      From the Scots Peerage:

      Robert Stewart of Strathdown was a half-brother of Queen Mary, being a natural son of King James V. by Euphame, daughter of Alexander, first Lord Elphinstone; she married, in 1540, John Bruce of Cultmalundie. Robert was born 1533, and was mentioned in the remainder of the castle and lands of Tantallon, granted to his half-brother James Stewart 31 August 1536, as son of the King by this lady nominatim. He obtained a grant of the Abbey of Holyroodhouse in commendam in 1539. In 1553 he went abroad, and was absent from Scotland for some years. After his return he early joined the Lords of the Congregation against the Queen-mother, and declared himself, according to Knox, to be on the Protestant side. On the return of Queen Mary he was constantly at Court, and had some knowledge of the plot for Darnley's murder. His elder children, legitimate and natural, were provided for out of the temporalities of Holyroodhouse. On 19 December 1564 he obtained a lease of the Crown lands of Orkney and Zetland, but this was revoked when the Queen married Bothwell and created him Duke of Orkney. In 1569, Lord Robert, however, exchanged the temporalities of Holyroodhouse for those of the See of Orkney with Adam Bothwell, Bishop of that Diocese, and in spite of the latter's protest that the proceedings were done by constraint, and also of various revocations and regrants, kept a hold on the earldom and bishopric of Orkney till his death. He was accused in 1571 of treason, having had intrigues with the King of Denmark relative to his islands, was imprisoned by the Regent Morton, and remained in ward until the latter's resignation. In September 1572 he received from Bishop Bothwell three charters of the lands of the bishopric to himself and his wife Jean Kennedy in liferent, and to Henry, their eldest lawful son, whom failing, to Patrick Stewart, his brothergerman, whom failing, to Lord Robert himself, whom failing, to Robert, his natural son, whom failing, to James Stewart, also a natural son, with a remainder to other persons named. He had the satisfaction of assisting at Morton's fall, conveying him to prison. By his nephew King James VI. he was, on 28 October 1581 created Earl of Orkney and Lord of Zetland, with remainder to the heirs of his body, legitimately born, whom failing, to the King. He obtained another entail of the earldom of Orkney, 9 June 1585, and died 4 February 1592-93. He married in 1561 Jean Kennedy, eldest daughter of Gilbert, third Earl of Oassillis, and had issue: 1. Henry, Master of Orkney, mentioned in the entail of the earldom 9 June 1585. He predeceased his father before 1590, when his brother Patrick is styled Master of Orkney. 2. Patrick, his successor. 3. John, created Lord Kinclaven and Earl of Carrick. (See the latter title.) 4. Sir James Stewart of Eday and Tullos, Gentleman of the Bedchamber to King James vi. In spite of the misleading footnote in Wood's Douglas, he was a legitimate son, and is, 1584, described as brother-german of Henry and Patrick, third born. His brother's downfall involved him in difficulties, and he and his eldest son had a protection from their creditors in 1635. He and his wife Margaret Lyon, in 1625, obtained a grant of £900 Scots 'in commiseration of their poore and indigent estate. They had issue:—(1) Colonel Robert Stewart of Eday, ancestor of that family in Orkney. Heirs to the earldom except for the attainder. (2) Colonel John Stewart of Newark, who left issue. (3) Mary, married (contract 1639) to Alexander Bothwell of Glencorse. (4) Margaret. (5) Jean, married, first, to Major George Crichton of Abekie; secondly, to Frederick Lyon of Brigtoun. 5. Sir Robert Stewart of Middleton, described in 1584 as brother-german of Henry, Patrick, and James, and fourth born. He was at one time abroad, and secretary to the Vice-Chancellor of Poland, and then in Ireland. King James VI. wrote to one Stallenge to commend his suit for Elizabeth, daughter of Christopher Kenne, his ward, 14 April 1604. 6. Marie, married (contract 25 November 1585) to Patrick, sixth Lord Gray, as his second wife. 7. Jean, married, first, to Patrick, first Lord Lindores; and secondly, as third wife, to Robert, first Lord Melville of Raith. She survived him, and was alive in 1642. 8. Elizabeth, married to James Sinclair of Murkle, second son of John, Master of Caithness. 9. Barbara, stated to have been married to Hugh or Harry Halcro of Halcro in Orkney.

      Earl Robert had a large number of illegitimate children. 1. Robert Stewart, who was legitimated. He is usually named before his brother James, and they are first named in 1566 in a grant to their brother Henry and two sisters, being carefully distinguished as natural sons. 2. James Stewart, who was also legitimated. He received with his brother Robert in 1574 provision out of the teinds of Holyroodhouse. It is exceedingly difficult to disentangle the history of these legitimated sons from those of their lawful brothers of the same name. 3. James Stewart of Graemsay in Orkney (his mother said to be Janet Robertson of Strowan), who was implicated in his father's treasonable intrigues with Denmark. 4. William Stewart of Egilshay, summoned 1600 to find caution for appearance at trial 'for the schamefull and cruell murther of Bellenden, his first spouse.' He was later a colonel in the Swedish service in 1609. 5. George Stewart of Eynhallow, legitimated 29 November 1586. His mother, and the mother of Edward and David was Marjorie Sandilands, wife of Adam Gordon, brother of John Gordon of Avachie. He had in 1584 been included in the provision out of the teinds of Holyroodhouse, and in 1585 was in the entail of the earldom of Orkney and lordship of Zetland. He had a number of lands, afterwards erected into the tenandry of Brugh, and was dead before 30 March 1616. 6. Edward Stewart of Brugh, ancestor of that family. He held the half of the lands of Brugh, and succeeded to his brother George before 30 March 1616. 7. David Stewart of How. 8. Christian married to John Mouat of Hougaland in Shetland, and, as his widow, was living, and in feud with her brother-in-law, in 1634. 9. Grizel, married before 27 December 1591 to Hugh Sinclair of Brugh in Shetland. 10. Mary, said to have been married to Lawrence Sinclair of Goat, in Shetland.

  • Sources 
    1. [S1579] The Royal Descents of 900 Immigrants to the American Colonies, Quebec, or the United States, Who Were Themselves Notable or Left Descendants Notable in American History by Gary Boyd Roberts. Second edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2022.

    2. [S376] Janet and Robert Wolfe Genealogy.

    3. [S800] The Scots Peerage, Founded on Wood's Edition of Sir Robert Douglas's Peerage of Scotland, Containing an Historical and Genealogical Account of the Nobility of That Kingdom. Ed. James Balfour Paul. Edinburgh: David Douglas, 1904-1914.

    4. [S50] Magna Carta Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families by Douglas Richardson. Second edition, 2011.

    5. [S1480] The Ancestry of Charles II, King of England: A Medieval Heritage by Charles M. Hansen and Neil D. Thompson. Saline, Michigan: McNaughton and Gunn, 2012.