Stuart, Or Stewart, the name of a royal family of Scotland and England. According to tradition, Fleanchus, son of Banquo, on the murder of his father by Macbeth, fled into Wales in 1055, where he married a daughter of a chief named Griffithar Llewellyn; the son of Fleanchus, Walter I. (died 1113), returned to Scotland, and became steward of the household of Malcolm III., which office was made hereditary in his family, and from which the surname Stewart was derived. Walter was succeeded by his son Alan, he by another Walter, and the latter by Alexander, who in 1199 was slain in a battle with the Danes, and left his office to his son Walter III., who conspired against King Alexander II., and was subsequently poisoned by his wife Alda of Dembe. Walter's son and successor Alexander was regent during the minority of Alexander III. His son James was regent after the death of that king, and died in 1309. Walter IV., who succeeded his father, married Marjory, daughter of Robert Bruce, in 1315, upon whom, in failure of the birth of an heir male to her father, the crown was settled by act of parliament at Ayr, April 26, 1315. Marjory died in giving birth to Robert, afterward Robert II. of Scotland; but David II., son of Robert Bruce by a second marriage, came to the throne in 1331 as a minor.
A succession of regencies followed, in which Robert the Stewart and the earl of Murray were distinguished, the former at intervals till 1357, when David, captured by the English in 1346, was released and resumed his throne. On the death of David, Robert was unanimously declared king with the title of Robert II. (February, 1371). His licentiousness, and the questioned legitimacy of his first wife's children, with chronic war against England, rendered his reign and that of his son Robert III. harassing and unfortunate for the people. Robert II. died in 1390, and Robert III. in 1406. The succeeding monarchs of the line (all of whom arc treated in separate articles) were James I., assassinated in 1437; James II., who was accidentally killed in 1460; James III., murdered in 1488; James IV., slain in the battle of Flod-den in 1513; James V., son of the preceding and of Margaret Tudor, sister of Henry VIII. of England, who died in 1542; Mary, executed in England in 1587; her son James VI., who succeeded Queen Elizabeth as James I. of England, and died in 1625; Charles I., executed in 1649; Charles II., who died in 1685; James II., who died in 1701, and was the last reigning male member of the family, though his daughter Mary, wife of William of Orange, came to the throne after his expulsion in 1688 as queen regnant with her husband, and his second daughter Anne succeeded her in 1702, reigning till her death in 1714. The only son of James II., James Francis Edward Stuart, was a pretender to the throne of England, and died in Rome in 1766. His son Charles Edward Stuart (born in 1720, died in 1788) was a second pretender.
Henry Stuart, Cardinal York, brother of Charles Edward, was the last of the male line of the family, and with his death in 1807 it became extinct. Its chief branches in the female line are the houses of Savoy and Orleans, both descended from Henrietta Anna, daughter of Charles I. The late duke of Modena, who was that king's lineal representative, and thus, but for the act of settlement, heir to the crown of England, died childless in November, 1875. (See Charles Edward, James Francis Edward, and Stuart, Henry Benedict Maria Clement).