James Stewart, 5th High Steward of Scotland

James Stewart, 5th High Steward Of Scotland

James Stewart, 5th High Steward of Scotland

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James, 5th High Steward of Scotland (died 16 July 1309) was High Steward of Scotland and a Guardian of Scotland during the First Interregnum.

Birth and ancestry

James was a son of Alexander Stewart, 4th High Steward of Scotland. The date of his birth is not certainly known and some sources have placed it, on no good evidence, as early as 1243. This is now thought to be unlikely. Firstly, James's father is known to have planned a pilgrimage to the shrine of Saint James of Compostella in 1252 or after, so that James would probably have been born after this. Secondly, James's christian name was an unusual one, uncommon in Scotland in the 13th century and not a traditional name in the Stewart family where Walter and Alan were favoured. It is therefore quite possible that he was not Alexander's eldest son, but rather the eldest surviving son. For these reasons, and also the fact of his son and successor Walter Stewart being described as a "beardless lad" around 1314 in John Barbour's The Brus, it is proposed that James was born around 1260.

Early years

In 1286 James was chosen as one of the six Guardians of Scotland. He subsequently submitted to King Edward I of England on 9 July 1297, and was one of the auditors for the competitor, Robert Bruce, 5th Lord of Annandale. However, during the Wars of Scottish Independence he joined Sir William Wallace. After Wallace's defeat at the Battle of Falkirk in 1298, he gave his support to Robert Bruce,...
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