Stewart, Andrew (d.1488) (DNB00)

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STEWART, ANDREW, first Lord Avandale or Avondale (d. 1488), chancellor of Scotland, was, according to the latest authorities, eldest son of Walter, second son of Murdac Stewart, second duke of Albany [q. v.] His mother was apparently a daughter of (Sir Duncan) Campbell of Lochow, ancestor of the Argyll family, but her marriage with Walter Stewart was for some reason considered unlawful. Hence in 1472 and 1479 Andrew obtained from the crown letters of legitimation to himself and two brothers, Arthur and Walter. The date of his birth cannot be stated, but he and a younger brother, Murdach, had both been knighted in England before 12 July 1437 (Rymer, Fœdera, x. 672). It is probable he was educated in that country and returned to Scotland after the death of James I, as he was a member of the general council held at Stirling in August 1440 (Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, ii. 56).

Sir Andrew Stewart rose in the favour of the young king, James II, and apparently held office in the royal household. In 1456 he received a grant of the lands of Strathavon, Avondale or Avandale, forfeited by William Douglas, eighth earl of Douglas [q. v.], and was also made warden of the west march and keeper of the castle of Lochmaben. He was created Lord Avandale before 11 June 1457 (Rymer, Fœdera, xi. 397), and appointed to the office of chancellor of Scotland in 1460. He continued to hold this post during the next reign, and was for a time one of the lords of regency during the minority of James III. Stirling Castle was placed in his hands, and he was on more than one embassy to England. He took a very prominent part in the negotiations with the king of Denmark for the hand of his daughter Margaret as wife to the Scottish king (Torfæus, Orcades, 1715, p. 193), and was specially successful in obtaining the cession to Scotland of the islands of Orkney and Shetland, then belonging to Denmark.

In May 1471 Avandale obtained a life-rent grant over the earldom of Lennox, and he also got other lands; but little is recorded of him save the duties of his office until 1479, when by order of the king he besieged the castle of Dunbar, rebelliously fortified against the crown by the king's brother, Alexander Stewart, duke of Albany [q. v.] It soon surrendered. In 1482, when James III declared war against England, Avandale is said to have joined those nobles who refused to advance beyond Lauder, and who warded the king in Edinburgh Castle. This is believed to have been done in the interest of Albany. Avandale certainly was one of those who, on 2 Aug. 1482, effected an agreement between James III and Albany (Rymer, Fœdera, xii. 160), and some days later he was deposed from the chancellorship. The reason is involved in obscurity; but as one historian (Lindsay of Pitscottie) expressly names him among the conspirators at Lauder, the king may have been suspicious of his loyalty, or he may have refused to enter into all the plans of those who held the king in durance. Be this as it may, though he was never again chancellor, he took part in public affairs in March 1483, and he sat in the parliaments which deprived Albany of his office of lieutenant-general and pronounced forfeiture against him. Avandale was one of the ambassadors to France in July 1484 who renewed the ancient league with that country, and in the following month he was named as an envoy to England (ib. xii. 230), but did not go. After this he appears to have retired from public life, though he acted as an auditor of exchequer and witnessed a few royal charters, the latest dated 11 March 1488. He died before the following July, when James IV offered 18s. for his ‘sawlemess’ in the church of Stirling (Accounts of the Lord High Treasurer of Scotland, i. 89).

His wife's name is nowhere recorded, and he died without surviving issue. He was succeeded by his nephew, Alexander, son of his brother, Walter Stewart of Morphie, who inherited the lands of Avandale, and, dying before 1500, was succeeded by a younger brother, Andrew, who about that date received the title of Lord Avandale, and in 1543 was created lord Ochiltree (Registrum Magni Sigilli, vol. ii. No. 2516, cf. No. 1632). The eldest son of Andrew, third lord Avandale (and first lord Ochiltree), was Andrew Stewart, second lord Ochiltree [q. v.]; the second son was Henry Stewart, first lord Methven [q. v.]; and the third son, Sir James Stewart of Beath, was father of James Stewart of Doune, who was created lord Doune on 24 Nov. 1581, and was ancestor of the Stewarts, earls of Moray.

[Genealogical Sketch of the Stuarts of Castle Stuart, &c., by the Hon. and Rev. A. G. Stuart, M.A., 1854, where the question of the legitimacy of Lord Avandale and his brothers is discussed; The Lennox, by William Fraser, 2 vols. 1874; The Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, vols. iv–ix.; Douglas's Peerage, ed. Wood, i. 158.]

J. A-n.