Stewart, William (d.1588) (DNB00)

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STEWART, Sir WILLIAM (d. 1588) of Monkton, was the third son of Andrew Stewart, second lord Ochiltree [q. v.], by Agnes, daughter of John Cunningham of Caprington. Captain James Stewart of Bothwellmuir (afterwards Earl of Arran) [q. v.] was his elder brother. After the raid of Ruthven in 1582, Arran left his followers under Sir William when he went alone to Ruthven Castle, and they were routed by the Earl of Mar, Sir William being hurt and mutilated of two fingers (Calderwood, iii. 637; Moysie, Memoirs, p. 37). Afterwards he was captured and sent a prisoner to Stirling Castle (ib. p. 38), but was released on 25 Oct. on condition that he should remain within the sheriffdom of Ayr (ib. p. 41). After the fall of Arran in 1586 he was taken prisoner by Lord Hamilton and sent to Edinburgh, but was there set at liberty (ib. p. 56). On 26 March 1587 he was sent to treat of a renewal of the league with France (Calderwood, iv. 612); and on his return he accused the master of Gray of having endeavoured to obtain a knowledge of the letters with which he had been entrusted to France, of having trafficked with France and Spain for the subversion of religion, and of having consented to the death of Queen Mary. Both were thereupon committed to ward in the castle of Edinburgh, but after further hearing of the case Stewart was set at liberty, the master being found guilty (ib. p. 613; Moysie, Memoirs, p. 63; Spotiswood, ii. 373). In May 1588 he was commissioned to pursue John, lord Maxwell [q. v.], and, after capturing him in a cave on 5 June, obtained the surrender of the castle of Lochmaben on the 9th, when the captain, David, brother of Lord Maxwell, was hanged, with five of his men, before the castle gate (Calderwood, iv. 678; Spotiswood, ii. 384; Moysie, p. 68). On 10 July 1588 he had a controversy, in the king's presence, with Francis Stewart Hepburn, fifth earl of Bothwell [q. v.], when each gave the other the lie; and, after the king crossed the Forth a brawl occurred on 30 July between them in the High Street of Edinburgh. Sir William stabbed one of Bothwell's followers, whereupon he was attacked by Bothwell, and, after being stabbed with a rapier, fled to a hollow cellar in the Blackfriars Wynd, where he was despatched (30 July 1588).

[Histories by Calderwood and Spotiswood; David Moysie's Memoirs and Sir James Melville's Memoirs in the Bannatyne Club.]

T. F. H.