Stewart, James (1499?-1544) (DNB00)

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STEWART, JAMES, Earl of Moray (1499?–1544), natural son of James IV of Scotland, by Janet, daughter of John, lord Kennedy, was born about 1499, being referred to in a letter of Dacre to Wolsey of 19 Oct. 1519 as ‘a springeolde of 20 years of age’ (Letters and Papers of Henry VIII, ed. Brewer, ii. No. 1480). On 12 June 1501 he was created by his father Earl of Moray, Lord Abernethy and Strathearn, and received a grant of the earldom of Moray (Reg. Mag. Sig. Scot. 1424–1513, No. 2586); and on 12 June he obtained the lands of Abernethy (ib. No. 2587). When, in 1517, Lord Home was arrested by the Duke of Albany, the Earl of Moray accused him of having slain James IV after Flodden, there being a rumour that the king ‘was seen to return through Tweed, and that he was slain beside Kelso by the Lord Hume's [Home's] friends or defenders’ (Calderwood, History of the Kirk of Scotland, i. 59). He remained always strongly hostile to England and to the English party to which Lord Home belonged.

In September 1523 Moray was appointed one of the guardians of the young king James (Abbot of Kelso to Dacre, 8 Sept., in Letters and Papers of Henry VIII, ii. No. 3313), and a little later was made lieutenant-general of the French forces in the kingdom, consisting of four thousand foot and four thousand horse (ib. No. 3414). He was generally adverse to the English influence in Scotland, and was one of those who sat on the forfeiture of Angus in 1528 (ib. iv. No. 4728). In March 1530 he was made lieutenant-general, and sent to the marches to confer with the Earl of Northumberland about a truce; but nothing was concluded, because they were unable to agree as to whether to meet on Scottish or English ground (Calderwood, i. 100). In 1531 he was engaged in suppressing an insurrection in the isles; and on 10 Oct. 1532 he was appointed warden of the east and middle marches, with the promise of having three thousand men under his command (Diurnal of Occurrents, p. 16; Letters and Papers of Henry VIII, v. 1460). In the following year he threatened England with a large force, but did comparatively little (ib. v. No. 1558, and vi. Nos. 163, 230, and 450; Calderwood, i. 105). He was one of the commissioners appointed, 29 Dec. 1535, to conclude a treaty of marriage between James V and Marie de Bourbon, the treaty being signed on 29 March 1536 (Letters and Papers of Henry VIII, x. No. 578). On 13 May 1536 he was discharged of his wardenship of the marches, which was given to Huntly (ib. No. 862).

The Earl of Moray always remained specially hostile to England. On 5 Oct. 1542 Angus reported to Norfolk that there had been words between the king of Scots and the Earl of Moray, who had reproached the king for the gentle offers he had made to Henry VIII (Hamilton Papers, i. 253). He was not present at the disaster of Solway Moss, but lay with a large force in the neighbourhood of Haddington, purposing to invade England should the Scots be successful (ib. p. 315). In the will of James V—supposed to have been forged in the interests of Beaton—he was named one of the governors of the kingdom during the young queen's nonage (ib. p. 350; Calderwood, History, i. 153). But, although really devoted to the interests of the cardinal and catholicism, he made a pretence of being not wholly unfavourable to an agreement with England. On 13 Feb. 1542–3 he sent a message to Suffolk of his delight that both realms should be under one government (ib. p. 417); but about the same time he attended a convention at Perth, called to take measures to set the cardinal at liberty. On being summoned by a herald to disperse those assembled he obeyed, and a few days afterwards gave in his submission to Arran, the governor, but this was done mainly in the interest of the cardinal. On 27 March Sadler reported that he found him much less frank than Huntly; for ‘he is a great beads-man, and noted here to be a good papist, wholly given to the old ceremonies and traditions of Rome’ (Sadler, State Papers, i. 98, summarised in Hamilton Papers, i. 492). Sadler further explained that while Moray merely asserted that once the marriage was agreed on the Scots would ‘not pass much upon France,’ Huntly promised that, this matter settled, he would actually serve against France. On 26 April Sadler reported that Moray appeared well dedicated to the king (Calderwood, i. 161); but on 1 May he had to confess that though he had endeavoured to win Moray, Argyll, and Marischal to consent to the young queen going to England by ‘promising them largely on’ the king's ‘behalf in general terms,’ it would be impossible to move them, unless certain ‘pledges were given’ (ib. p. 169). He further reported that Cassilis had told him that money might tempt Moray as he was not rich, ‘but that it must be with a greater sum than any of the rest have’ (ib. p. 178). On 16 July he was reported as holding aloof from the cardinal (Hamilton Papers, i. 572); but he was present on 3 Sept. at Callendar House when a reconciliation took place between the cardinal and Arran (ib. ii. 19); and he was also named one of the new council of state (ib. p. 46). In May 1544 he took the field against Hertford. He died on 12 June of the same year. By his wife, Lady Elizabeth Campbell, only daughter of Colin, third earl of Argyll, he had a daughter, Lady Mary Stewart, wife of John, master of Buchan. The earldom, having reverted to the crown, was on 13 Feb. 1549 conferred on George Gordon, fourth earl of Huntly [q. v.]

[Authorities quoted in the text; Douglas's Scottish Peerage (Wood), ii. 254.]

T. F. H.