Walter Stewart, 6th High Steward of Scotland
|6th High Steward of Scotland|
Coat of arms of the High Stewart of Scotland: Or, a fess chequy argent and azure
|Died||9 April 1327|
|Noble family||House of Stewart|
Isabel de Graham
|Father||James Stewart, 5th High Steward of Scotland|
|Mother||Giles de Burgh|
He was born at Bathgate Castle, West Lothian, Scotland, the eldest son and heir of James Stewart, 5th High Steward of Scotland (c.1260-1309) by his third wife Giles (Latinised to Egidia) de Burgh, a daughter of the Irish nobleman Walter de Burgh, 1st Earl of Ulster.
At the age of 21 Walter fought against the English at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 where according to some sources, together with Douglas he commanded the left wing of the Scots' army, but according to other sources was (due to his youth and inexperience) merely the nominal leader of one of the four (or three) Scottish schiltrons, the effective leader being his cousin James Douglas, Lord of Douglas. For his services at Bannockburn, Walter was appointed Warden of the Western Marches and was rewarded with a grant of the lands of Largs, which had been forfeited by King John Balliol. In 1316 Stewart donated those lands to Paisley Abbey.
Following the liberation of King Robert the Bruce's wife, Elizabeth de Burgh, and daughter Marjorie, from their long captivity in England, Walter the High Steward was sent to receive them at the Anglo-Scottish Border and conduct them back to the Scottish royal court. He later married Marjorie, receiving the Barony of Bathgate in Linlithgowshire as part of his wife's dowry.
During the absence of King Robert the Bruce in Ireland, Walter 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 took command of the town which subsequently on 24 July 1319 was besieged by King Edward II of England. Several of the siege engines were destroyed by the Scots' garrison whereupon Walter the Steward suddenly rushed in force from the walled town to drive off the enemy. In 1322, with Douglas and Thomas Randolph, he made an attempt to surprise the English king at Byland Abbey, near Malton in Yorkshire, but Edward escaped, pursued towards York by Walter the Steward and 500 horsemen.
In about 1320/26 Walter, Steward of Scotland, granted by charter to John St. Clair, his valet, the lands of Maxton, Roxburghshire, one of the witnesses being Roberto de Lauwedir tunc justiciario Laudonie ("Robert de Lauder, then Justiciar of Lothian").
Marriages and children
He married twice:
- Firstly in 1315 to Princess Marjorie, the only daughter of King Robert I of Scotland by his first wife Isabella of Mar. By Marjorie he had one son:
- Secondly he married Isabel de Graham, believed to have been a daughter of Sir John Graham of Abercorn, by whom he had three further children:
Death and burial
He died on 9 April 1326 at Bathgate Castle and was buried in the Abbey Church of Paisley, alongside his first wife, Marjorie Bruce, and his five High Steward ancestors. A memorial on the wall of the Abbey is inscribed as follows:
In everlasting memory of the High Stewards of Scotland. Here rest their bodies where stood the high altar of this Abbey Church of Paisley.
| High Steward of Scotland
Robert II of Scotland
- G. W. S. Barrow, ‘Stewart family (per. c.1110–c.1350)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004.
- Cal.Doc Scot. vol ii, no 847
- Walter's mother is sometimes identified erroneously as Cecily or Cecilia de Dunbar, his father's first wife
- Simpson, David, The Genealogical and Chronological History of the Stuarts, Edinburgh, 1713.
- Anderson, William, The Scottish Nation, Edinburgh, 1867, vol.ix, p.513, states he was 21 years of age at Bannockburn.
- Peter Traquair Freedom's Sword
- John Prebble The Lion in the North
- Stewart, James King (1901). The Story of the Stewarts. Edinburgh: George Stewart & Co. p. 75-76. Retrieved 12 January 2017.
- Stewart. Story. pp. 75–76.
- Angus, William, editor, Miscellaneous Charters 1315-1401, in Miscellany of The Scottish History Society, vol.5, 1933, p.9.
- Weir, Alison (2008). Britain's Royal Families: The Complete Genealogy. London: Vintage. p. 215. ISBN 978-0099539735.
- Weir. Britain's Royal Families. p. 215.
- "Sir Walter Stewart". Find a Grave. Retrieved 12 January 2017.
- 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.