Walter Stewart, 6th High Steward of Scotland


Walter Stewart, 6th High Steward of Scotland

Walter Steward (1293 [ Anderson, William, "The Scottish Nation", Edinburgh, 1867, vol.ix, p.513, states he was 21 years of age at Bannockburn.] – 9 April 1326 at Bathgate Castle) Anderson (1867) vol.ix, p.513] was the 6th hereditary High Steward of Scotland.

He was son to James Stewart, 5th High Steward of Scotland by his spouse Cecilia, daughter of Patrick Dunbar, 7th Earl of Dunbar and Marjory, daughter of Alexander Comyn, 2nd Earl of Buchan.

Walter fought on the Scottish side at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 [ Simpson, David, "The Genealogical and Chronological History of the Stuarts", Edinburgh, 1713.] commanding, with Douglas, the left wing of the Scots' Army. According to another version of events, he was the nominal leader of one of the four Scottish schiltrons, but because of his youth and inexperience, its effective leader was his cousin James Douglas, Lord of Douglas. [John Prebble "The Lion in the North"] This is, however, disputed, as it is now claimed that there were only three Scottish schiltrons at Bannockburn. [Peter Traquair "Freedom's Sword"]

Upon the liberation of Robert The Bruce's wife and daughter from their long captivity in England, the High Steward was sent to receive them at the Border and conduct them back to the Scottish Court.

During The Bruce's absence in Ireland the High Steward and Sir James Douglas managed government affairs and spent much time defending the Scottish Borders. Upon the capture of Berwick-upon-Tweed from the English in 1318 he got command of the town which, on July 24, 1319 was laid siege to by King Edward II of England. Several of the siege engines were destroyed by the Scots' garrison and the Steward suddenly rushed in force from the town to beat off the enemy. In 1322, with Douglas and Randolph, he made an attempt to surprise the English King at Biland Abbey, near Melton, Yorkshire. Edward, however, escaped, pursued towards York by The Steward and 500 horsemen.

Walter, Steward of Scotland, made a charter to John St.Clair, his valet, of the lands of Maxton, Roxburghshire, circa 1320/1326, one of the witnesses being "Roberto de Lauwedir (Robert de Lauder) tunc justiciario Laudonie" (Justiciar of Lothian). [ Angus, William, editor, "Miscellaneous Charters 1315-1401", in "Miscellany" of The Scottish History Society, vol.5, 1933, p.9.]

Walter married, in 1315, Marjorie, only daughter of Robert I of Scotland by his first wife Isabella of Mar. The Lordship of Largs, forfeited by John Balliol, was bestowed upon Walter, as well as other lands and the feudal barony of Bathgate, Linlithgowshire.

Marjorie met her death whilst riding a horse from Paisley to Renfrew on March 2, 1316. She was thrown by the horse at a place called 'The Knock', broke her neck, and is said to have died instantly. She was, however, pregnant, and a "country fellow" is said to have instantly performed a caesarian operation and delivered the child alive, the future King Robert II. [ Simpson, David, "The Genealogical and Chronological History of the Stuarts", Edinburgh, 1713.]

Notes

References

* Simpson, David, "The Genealogical and Chronological History of the Stuarts", Edinburgh, 1713.
*Burke, Messrs., John and John Bernard, "The Royal Families of England Scotland and Wales, with Their Descendants" &c., London, 1848, volume 1, pedigree LXVIII, and volume 2 (1851) page xlvi.
* Clay, John W., FSA., editor, "The Visitation of Cambridge, 1575 and 1619" by Henery St.George, Richmond Herald, Harleian Society, London, 1897, pps: 7 - 11.
* Dunbar, Sir Archibald H., Bt., "Scottish Kings, a Revised Chronology of Scottish History, 1005 - 1625", Edinburgh, 1899, pps: 126 - 144.
* Louda, Jiri, & Maclagan, Michael, "Lines of Succession", London, 1981.
* Weis, Frederick Lewis, "et all", "The Magna Charta Sureties 1215", 5th edition, Baltimore, 2002, p.50.


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