The Avandale, or Avondale, branch of the Stewart family became heavily involved in the politics of the time and itself diverged into several sub-branches, all of which I will introduce here. In the long run, the various branches collapsed into two main lines, one being the Stewart earls of Moray, and the other being the Irish barony of Castle Stuart, which was later promoted to an earldom.
Lords Avandale (1457)
1st Lord Avandale, Andrew Stewart, b.c.1426, a.1457, d.1488
He was the illegitimate son of Walter Stewart (b.?, d.1425), son of Murdoch Stewart, 2nd Duke of Albany. His father and grandfather having been executed by James I, he spent his youth in England before returning to Scotland in 1440. He was granted the forfeited Avondale lands of the Black Douglases in 1439, being made territorial lord thereof, and in 1457 was created a Lord of Parliament as 1st Lord Avandale. He became Chancellor of Scotland shortly before the death of James II and served as an Ambassador, negotiating the marriage of James III to Margaret of Denmark. He and his brothers were legitimised in 1471. In 1482, when Scotland and England were at war, Avandale was one of the nobles who refused to fight and had the King placed under arrest. It has been suggested that they were in league with Alexander Stewart, Duke of Albany, the Kingís younger brother, who had defected to the English and was being touted as his replacement. Having achieved their aims, the English army that had been led north under the Duke of Gloucester retired southwards, leaving Albany in charge. However the new regime quickly collapsed and James came back to power. Avandale was quick to realign himself with the King. He then quickly faded from the political scene. He had no children and the title became extinct, although his lands were inherited by Alexander Stewart (b.?, d.1489), son of the 1st Lordís younger brother Walter Stewart (b.b.1425, d.b.1488) and Janet Erskine , daughter of Sir Robert Erskine, 1st Lord Erskine (for whom see the earls of Mar).
Lords Avandale (1499)
1st Lord Avandale, Alexander Stewart, b.?, a.1499, d.1513
Son of Alexander Stewart, the previous Lordís nephew as mentioned above. He died at Flodden.
2nd Lord Avandale, Andrew Stewart, b.?, a.1513, d.1548
Son of the 3rd Lord and Margaret Kennedy (b.b.1485, d.1542), daughter of John Kennedy, 2nd Lord Kennedy (for whom see the earls of Cassillis). He exchanged the title of Lord Avandale, with Sir James Hamilton of Finnart, for that of Lord Stewart of Ochiltree in 1543.
1st Lord Stewart, Andrew Stewart, b.?, a.1543, d.1548
2nd Lord Stewart, Andrew Stewart, b.c.1521, a.1548, d.1601-1602
Son of the 1st Lord and Margaret Hamilton, an illegitimate daughter of James Hamilton, 1st Earl of Arran. A younger son, James Stewart (b.?, d.1595), was created 1st Earl of Arran in a new creation of that title and was briefly Chancellor of Scotland until his regime was overthrown. His daughter Margaret Stewart married John Knox, to whom he lent support as a Lord of the Congregation and he was an active participant in the Chase-about Raid, which was an attempt by James Stewart, 1st Earl of Moray (later Regent Moray), to overthrow Queen Mary over her marriage to Lord Darnley.
3rd Lord Stewart, Andrew Stewart, b.c.1560, a.1601-1602, d.1629
Grandson of the 2nd Lord and Agnes Cunningham, and son of Andrew Stewart, Master of Ochiltree (b.?, d.1578) and Margaret Stewart (b.?, d.1627), daughter of Henry Stewart, 2nd Lord Methven (see below). He was First Gentleman of the Bedchamber and a Privy Counsellor to James VI. In 1611 he was granted large areas of land in Ulster and in 1615 he resigned his peerage and sold the territorial barony of Ochiltree to his cousin James Stewart, son of the Earl of Arran mentioned above. In 1619 he was then created 1st Baron Castle Stuart of County Tyrone in the Peerage of Ireland. The 9th Baron Castle Stuart was created 1st Earl Castle Stuart in 1800 and that title is still extant.
Lords Ochiltree (1615)
1st Lord Ochiltree, James Stewart, b.?, a.1615, d.a.1658
Son of James Stewart, 1st Earl of Arran mentioned above and Lady Elizabeth Stewart (b.?, d.1595), daughter of John Stewart, 4th Earl of Atholl. After purchasing the estates of Ochiltree from his cousin, he was raised to the peerage in 1615. In 1631 he claimed that James Hamilton, 3rd Marquess of Hamilton, under the guise of raising troops to fight in the Thirty Years War, was plotting to seize the Scottish throne. This charge was rejected and Ochiltree found guilty of leasing-making (the crime of libel upon the character of the monarch, his court and family) and held prisoner in Blackness Castle for over 20 years before being released by the English after the Battle of Worcester.
2nd Lord Ochiltree, William Stewart, b.c.1658, a.1658, d.1675
Son of the 1st Lord and his second wife Mary Livingston (b.?, d.1683). On his death at an early age, the lordship became extinct or dormant.
Lords Methven (1525)
1st Lord Methven, Henry Stewart, b.c.1495, a.1525, d.1552
Second son of Andrew Stewart, 1st Lord Avandale (1499 version). He was a favourite of Margaret Tudor, daughter of King Henry VII of England, who had previously been married to James VI and was mother of James V. While she was still married to her second husband, Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus, in 1524, she made Stewart Treasurer and then Chancellor of Scotland, and on obtaining a divorce from Angus, took Stewart as her third husband, giving him the lands of Methven in Perthshire and raising him to the peerage. The following year, Angus marched on Edinburgh and Methven was put in prison. Margaret would have divorced him, a pawn in her political manoeuvrings, but her son, the young King, refused to allow this. When she died, Methven remarried.
2nd Lord Methven, Henry Stewart, b.?, a.1552, d.1571-1572
Son of the 1st Lord and the oft-married Lady Janet Stewart, daughter of John Stewart, 2nd Earl of Atholl. He was killed during a siege of Edinburgh Castle by a cannon shot.
3rd Lord Methven, Henry Stewart, b.?, a.1571-1572, d.1585
Son of the 2nd Lord and Jean Ruthven (b.?, d.1591), daughter of Patrick Ruthven, 3rd Lord Ruthven (for whom see the earls of Gowrie). When he died the title became extinct.
1st Lord Doune, James Stewart, b.a.1529, a.1581, d.1590
Grandson of Andrew Stewart, 1st Lord Avandale (1499 version) and son of Sir James Stewart (b.b.1513, d.1544) and Margaret Lindsay (b.?, d.1576-1577), daughter of John Lindsay, 3rd Lord Lindsay of the Byres.
2nd Lord Doune, James Stewart, b.?, a.1590, d.1591-1592
Son of the 1st Lord and Lady Margaret Campbell (b.?, d.1571-1572), daughter of Archibald Campbell, 4th Earl of Argyll. He married Elizabeth Stuart, Countess of Moray and became de uxoris 2nd Earl of Moray. This brought him into conflict with George Gordon, 6th Earl of Huntly, a prominent Catholic and favourite of King James VI. At the time when Huntly was given leave to pursue Francis Stewart, 1st Earl of Bothwell as a traitor (though Huntly himself had been complicit in the plotting), Doune was encouraged to travel south to meet the King. While exposed outside his domains, staying with his mother at Donibristle, he was attacked by followers of Huntly, who set fire to the house. He was killed trying to escape the fire.
For a continuation of this line please refer to the Moray page.
Lords St Colme (1611)
1st Lord St Colme, Henry Stewart, b.?, a.1611, d.1612
Second son of James Stewart, 1st Lord Doune.
2nd Lord St Colme, James Stewart, b.?, a.1612, d.a.1620
Son of the 1st Lord and Jean Stewart (b.?, d.1623), daughter of John Stewart, 5th Earl of Atholl. When he died without heirs, the title transferred to his cousin James Stewart, 3rd Earl of Moray.
For a continuation of this line please refer to the Moray page.
(Last updated: 01/12/2010)