thirty attendants (Cal. Documents relating to Scotland, 1357–1509, No. 431), and he had similar safe-conducts on 5 Dec. 1391 (ib. No. 433), 10 Jan. 1402–3 (ib. No. 627), and 8 June 1404, in the last instance that he might make a pilgrimage to the shrine of Thomas of Canterbury (ib. No. 656). In 1398 and 1400 he received a hundred marks as keeper of Edinburgh Castle (Exchequer Rolls, iii. 437, 487). He had a charter of the earldom of Caithness, on the resignation of his niece Euphemia, countess palatine of Strathearn, and is so designated in July 1402 (ib. iii. 545). In charters of 20 Oct. 1416 and 22 Aug. 1421 he is also mentioned as tutor of Malise, earl of Strathearn [q. v.] (Hist. MSS. 7th Rep. p. 706). In the safe-conduct of 8 June 1404 he is designated Earl of Atholl and Caithness, the earldom of Atholl having been previously vested in his father, Robert II. On 22 Sept. 1409 he received from the regent Albany a grant of the barony of Cortachy in Forfarshire. He took a leading part in the movement for the return of James I to Scotland in 1424; was a conservator for Scotland of the truce with England, signed 28 March (Cal. Documents relating to Scotland, 1357–1509, No. 949); and at the same time gave surety in twelve hundred marks that his son David would remain a hostage in England for King James's ransom (ib. No. 950). He was also one of the jury which after the king's return condemned Murdac Stewart, second duke of Albany [q. v.] On 22 July 1427 he had a grant of the earldom of Strathearn for life (Reg. Mag. Sig. Scot. i. No. 93), and on 15 May 1430 he resigned the earldom of Caithness in favour of his son Alexander. In 1437 he engaged in the plot for the assassination of James I, in order that his grandson, Sir Robert Stewart, chamberlain to the king, might succeed to the crown. It was successful so far as the king's assassination was concerned; but the cruel deed in the Blackfriars monastery, on 20 Feb., was approved of by few except those immediately concerned in it. Atholl was captured by the Earl of Angus, and, along with the other conspirators, was put to death in April 1437 after enduring unspeakable tortures. He affirmed that although he had been made aware of the conspiracy, he had used every endeavour to persuade his grandson against it, and believed that he had succeeded. Before execution he was placed on a pillory, and, in bitter mockery of his supposed purpose, his head was encircled with a red-hot iron crown, on which was inscribed ‘The king of traitors.’ By his wife, Margaret, daughter of Sir David de Barclay, he had two sons: David, who seems to have died before him in England, leaving a son, Sir Robert, conspirator with his grandfather; and Alan, in whose favour his father resigned the earldom of Caithness in 1430, and who was killed by Donald Balloch in 1431, leaving no issue.
[Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, vols. iii–iv.; Cal. Documents relating to Scotland, 1357–1509; Reg. Mag. Sig. Scot. vol. i.; Douglas's Scottish Peerage (Wood).]
STEWART or STUART, WALTER, first Lord Blantyre (d. 1617), was son of Sir John Stewart of Minto (d. 1583), provost of Glasgow, by his second wife, Margaret, second daughter of James Stewart of Cardonald. The family descended from Sir Thomas Stewart (d. 1500), third son of Sir Thomas Stewart of Dalswinton and Garlies, progenitor of the earls of Galloway, who received from his father the lands of Minto, Sinlaws, and Merbottle, Roxburghshire, on 2 Nov. 1476. The elder Sir Thomas's eldest son, Sir John Stewart of Minto, was killed at the battle of Flodden in 1513, and his second son, William Stewart (1479–1545) [q. v.], was bishop of Aberdeen.
Walter (the great-grandson of Sir John who fell at Flodden) was educated with the young king, James VI, under George Buchanan (Crawford, Officers of State, p. 393). He was designated prior of Blantyre in 1580, when he was nominated a gentleman of the bedchamber. On 28 Jan. 1580–1581 he, also as prior of Blantyre, subscribed the second confession of faith (Calderwood, History, iii. 501). On 14 Nov. 1582 he was sworn a member of the privy council and appointed keeper of the privy seal. On 29 July 1583 he received a grant of the lands of Calderhall (Reg. Mag. Sig. Scot. 1580–93, No. 589), and on 3 Nov. 1587 of the lands and barony of Glasgow (ib. No. 1406). On 28 May 1593 he was chosen an extraordinary lord of session; in January 1595–6 he was appointed one of the commissioners of the treasury, known as octavians; and on 6 March 1595–6 he was promoted to the office of lord high treasurer, when he resigned the privy seal. In the same year he went to the west of Scotland to superintend the preparations for an expedition against Cantyre and the isles. On 18 Jan. 1598–9 he received a charter of the barony of Blantyre, Wrightslands, and Cardonald. For interfering on behalf of Robert Bruce in regard to a pension which Bruce had from the abbacy of Arbroath—or rather for interfering to prevent injustice to Bruce—he so incurred the displeasure of the king that, although the lords asserted that he had