Christian Stewart

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About Christian Stewart


According to Sir James Balfour Paul's Scots Peerage, Christian Stewart is the illegitimate daughter of Robert Stewart, Earl of Orkney, and the wife of John Mouat of Hougaland in Shetland. He says that she survived the death of her husband and that she was alive in 1634.The Scots Peerage Frances J. Grant, sometime Carrick Pursuivant of Arms, has Christian Stewart marrying John Mouat of Hugoland but he makes no mention of her father. The County Families of the Shetland Islands

The Question of Identity

Christian Stewart here mentioned is not the same person as Christian Stewart


Christian Stewart married John Mowat of Hugoland in Shetland. They were married before 21 November 1597. Shetland Documents 1580-1611, pg 117-8, item 264

Evidence Published in the Mowat Genealogy


Skea, 21 November 1597: Disposition by Andro Mowatt of Howgoland; with consent of Johne Mowatt; his eldest son and apparent heir; and of Cristian Stewartt; spouse of Johne to James Mowatt and his heirs male; whom failing to Gilbertt Mowatt and his heirs male; whom failing to the said Johne Mowatt and his heirs; with reservation of the liferent to Andro, of 9 marks land; 8 pennies the mark; in Burrafirth; in the parish of Sandsting; 6 marks land; 6 pennies the mark, in Brownatwat; 6 marks land, 6 pennies the mark, in Stennistwat, 4 marks land, 9 pennies the mark; in Ulvista, 11/2 marks land; 8 pennies the mark; in Brabuster, 1 mark land; 9 pennies the mark, in Brek; 3'/, marks land; 8 pennies the mark; in Seter; in the parish of Wallis; 4 marks land; 6 pennies the mark; in Howasetter; 3 marks land; 6 pennies the mark, in Grenewall; marks land, 8 pennies the mark; in Caldcliff; 2 marks land, 6 pennies the mark, in Daill; 1 mark land; 8 pennies the mark; in Skalloway; and 1 mark land, 8 pennies the mark; in the isle thereof called the Brether Ile, 11/2 marks land; 8 pennies the mark, in Nesbester, in the parish of Tingwell and Quhitnes; 1 mark land; 12 pennies the mark; in Gletnes, 1/2 mark land; 9 pennies the mark; in Beinsta, 1 mark land; 12 pennies the mark; in Catford; and 10 marks land, 8 pennies the mark; in Laxvo; in the parish of Nesting and Lunesting; togidder with the haill landis of Daill and Daillis guidis; quhairever the samin lyis within the cuntrie of Yetland'. The lands are to be held by James for payment of scat and teinds to the king and the kirk, and of all other customary dues; together with one penny; upon the grounds of the lands of Caldbak; yearly to Andro on Beltane day, if asked. The disposition is in fulfilment of a contract between Andro; on the one part, and Johne and Cristiane; his spouse; on the other part, dated 20 and 21 November 1597 at Collafirth and Skea. Precept of sasine. Witnesses: Barrold Mowat, Donald Williamson; Magnus Tullo; Magnus Cogill; Andro Mowat; Archibald Sinclair; and William Fermour, notary public; with divers others. Cristiane Stewartt subscribes with her hand held at the pen. Andro Giffhartt subscribes as a witness. Sasine given at Burrafirth on 23 November 1597 (at 12 noon) by Gilbert Giffert; bailie. Witnesses: Magnus Mowat; George Broun; Nicoll Olasoun, and Archibald Sinclair. William Fermour, notary public. SA, GD.144/254/3. The sasine is on the back. Shetland Documents 1580-1611, pg 117-8, item 264


Olaberie, 11 July 1609: Contract between Andro Mowat of Howgoland; and John Mowat; apparent thereof; with consent of Cristien Stewart, spouse of said John on the one part; and Mr James Pitcairne; minister at Northmavine; on the other part; whereby Andro renounces to Mr James 'the richt, use; government and dispositioun of the haill rent; leving and dewties of all ... thair landis within the cuntrie of Yetland; togidder with the lordis of Norowayis landis presentlie in thair possessioun ... the said Mr James his entrie thairto beand and begynnand to this instant crope and yeir of god Jaj VJc and nyne yeris, and thairefter to be upliftit be him and the said Johnne Mowat coniunctlie, alwayis uset; imployit and disponit upon be the said Mr James allanerlie; ay and quhill the full redemptioun, outquytting and recoverie of sic landis thairof as lyis in wodsett or uthir burding and danger quhatsumevir'; with reservation to Andro of 'his rowmes of Brevick; Stenhous; Howgaland and Lien; frie of all debt or dewtie to be requyrit thairof; as also the landsetter town of Papa, and the fischingis in Veaskerie'. Mr James binds himself to employ the 'rent; leving and dewteis' as will extend to in money 'according to guid estimatioun'; to redeem yearly thereof after first paying and satisfying the lords of Noroway of their debts and duties. Witnesses: Edward Scollay of Strynie; Thomas Swentoun, minister at Kirkwall; John Swentoun; his son; minister at Holme; Mr Robert Swentoun; minister at Wallis; James Mowat; son of said Andro; and James Jack; notary public; writer hereof. Shetland Documents 1580-1611, pg 237, item 482 SRO, RD.1/165, ff. 187-8


4 October 1615: [19r] Anent a precept for production of writs by Johne Mowat of Hugoland against Johne Nevein of Skowisburch and James Mowat of Burrafirth : pursuer had sundry actions to pursue against sundry persons in the sheriffdom for sundry lands, debts and sums of money to which he had right, and divers actions are pursued against him by sundry persons dwelling in said bounds, in which actions and causes pursuer 'can nather gudlie persew nor defend without he have the particular writtis and evidentis underwrittin delyverit to him', namely a crown charter of confirmation and novodamus, with consent of the Regent Morton, to deceased Andro Mowat of Hugoland, pursuer's father , of most of his lands in Yetland; precept and instrument of sasine following thereon; marriage contract between deceased Robert, Earl of Orknay, and Cristiane Stewart, his natural daughter, now spouse of pursuer, on one part, and pursuer on the other; charter by said deceased Andro to pursuer of all his lands, conform to said contract; instrument of sasine following thereon; procuratory of resignation whereby Andre resigned his lands in the hands of the earl for new infeftment to be given to pursuer; instrument of resignation following thereon; charter by earl to pursuer on said resignation; precept and instrument of sasine following thereon; certain charters and dispositions by divers persons in Yetland to said Andro of divers lands there: which evidents were in the hands of Johne Nevein of Skowisburch and James Mowat of Burrafirth , 'at the least they haid, hes or fraudfullie hes put the samen away and will on na wayis delyver the same to him to be keipit and unit be him ... in persute and defence of the saidis caussis, nather yit will they exhibite and produce the samen befoir the schireff principal or his said deputt to be delyverit ... to the said pursewar ... without they be compellit'; and anent the charge given to defenders to compeer before the sheriff depute (19v1 with all writs they have which pertain to pursuer; pursuer compearing by David Heart, his procurator, and defenders being personally present, sheriff depute decerned James Mowat to restore to pursuer the charter of confirmation and sasine following thereon and another evident in parchment, confessed by him to be in his hands and keeping; to be kept; and assoilyied Johne Nevein and James Mowat of having the remanent writs and of the whole remaining points and decerned them quit and free therefrom, because, the having of said writs and tenor of the libel being referred by pursuer to defenders' oaths, Johne Nevein confessed receipt from said James of said charter of confirmation and sasine thereon and the other writ on parchment, and gave his oath thereon and that he had no other writ pertaining to pursuer, and James confessed return from Johne Nevein of said charter of confirmation, sasine and other writ on parchment and made faith that he had no other evident or writ concerning pursuer. Court Book of Shetland 1615-1629, pp. 20-1


14 September 1624: Decreet of removing at instance of David Heart of Tingwall, heritor, against Cristiane Stewart, relict of Johne Mowat of Hugoland and Andro Mowat of Skae, her son, who had been warned, forty days before Whitsunday last, to remove from the 20 merk udal land of Wester Hugoland, 15 merk udal land of Stanehous and holm pertaining thereto, and 15 merk udal land of 011aberrie, in the parish of Northmaven, but refused to flit without compulsion, and anent charge given to defenders to compear this day and place in the hour of cause to hear and see decreet given against them: pursuer compeared by Edward Blaw, his procurator, who produced an instrument of sasine dated 4 March 1624, under the hand of Robert Duncanesone, notary, in pursuer's favour; [93v) and defenders did not compear. Court Book of Shetland 1615-1629, pg 108


27 July 1631: Complaint by Christian Stewart, widow of John Mowat of Hugoland and daughter of the deceased Robert, Earl of Orkney, and James Mouat of Ure, her brother in law against Gilbert Mowat, her brother in law, . Register of the Privy Council of Scotland, Vol 5, 1633-1635 (2nd. Series), pages 219-221


1634: Complaint by Christian Stewart, widow of John Mowat of Hugulaud and Complaint by Christian daughter of the deceased Robert, Earl of Orkney and James Mouat of Ure, her brother-in-law, as follows: - On 27 th July, 1631, when the Said Christian was in the isle Of Papa with some of her servants collecting the duties of her liferent lands there, as she has been in use to do since the death of her said husband, at the instigation of James Sinclair of Quendaill and Mr. Gilbert Mowat, her " unnatural brother-in-law," Patrick Umphra of Sand, and Gilbert Cogill of Gardie, came to her, and Without any occasion given by her, "and without respect to her age and lands. parentage patt violent hands in her person, gave her manie bauche straikes in diverse parts of her bodie, strake her to the ground where she being lying swowning in pitifll maner the saids persons verie barbarouslie tred and tramped upon her with thair feit and thereafter violentlie reft frome her servants the dewteis quhilks they had receaved frome her tennents." Further, the said Mr. Gilbert, not content with this, resolved "to wracke the gentlewoman," with Mr. James Mowat, his eldest son, John Anderson, hangman (" who hanged his awne father, being the said Mr" Gilberts domestick servant"), Mans Mowat, James Irwing in Muros, Daniel Rasimsoun in Oxinsetter, Daniel and Malcolm Mowat in Cllafirth. Michael Pitcaim in Housatter, Christopher Michelsone in Quoyfirth, John Hall in Korwick, Donald Nicolsone in Clodasetter, Gregor Johnestoun in Soulem, Harie Anderson in Hamer, Bert Williamesoun in Vrafirth, and Henry Finlasoun in Skalloway, and others of the lieges to the number of persons, armed with swords, staves and other weapons, came under cloud and silence of night to the lands of Remshell belonging to the said Christian and violently reft and took away thence twelve oxen pertaining to the complainers ; moreover the said Mr. Gilbert, "out of ane imperious and tyrannicall humour," has discharged the tenants of her lands of liberrie, which were disponed to her by her late father, from giving her any days' work, in consequence whereof for the past twelve years these lands have " lyin ley to her heavie hurt and prejudice." When the said James Mowat, her brother-in-law, lent her six oxen to labour these lands (which formerly were four ploughs but are now only one plough of land) the said Mr. Gilbert, accompanied by the foresaid persons, came thither on . . . and not only violently reft and took away the said oxen, " bot with that cruellie hurt and woundit the said Christiane with rungs upon the head and others parts of her body." Charge having been given to the said James Sinclair, Patrick Umphra, Gilbert Cogill, Mans, Daniel and Malcolm Mowats, James Irwing, Daniel Rasimsone, Michael Pitcame, Christopher Michaelsone, John Lyell, Donald Nicolsone, Gregor Johne- stoun, Harie Andersone, John Andersoun, Robert Williamesoun, and Henry Finlasoun, but none of them compearing, the Lords ordain them to be denounced rebels and escheated. Register of the Privy Council of Scotland, Vol 5, 1633-1635 (2nd. Series), pages 219-221


1634: Another complaint by the said Christian Stewart, Robert Mowat, her son and Magdalene Androisdaughter, spouse to Robert Fraser, her tenant, as follows: - Mr. Gilbert Mowat, minister at North Mabein, brother of the husband of the said Christian, " being unmyndful of the manie good offices done to him be her said husband in breeding him at the schooles and other wayes promoving him in his studeis, he hes now after her said husbands decease most unthankfullie recompensed his loving and kynde dealing toward him with maine unnaturall and undewtifull outrages,untolerable in a person of his profession. As, for example, on 13th July, 1630, he, accompanied by Mr. James Mowat, his son, John Andersoun, their servant, Thomas Mowat, his son, Mans Mowat, Robert Williamesoun in Vrafirth, Andrew Andersoun in Hamer, Thomas Sasimssoun in Orabister, John Lyell in Norwick and Henry Sinclar of Swming, with others of the lieges armed with swords and other weapons, came to the said Christian's liferent lands of Papagurds, of which her late husband had heritable tacks from gentlemen of Norway, the proprietors thereof, and imperiouslie, without anie right or warrand, commanded the compleaners tennents of the same lands to pay unto thame the dewteis and maills thairof," and, the tenants refusing, " they forciblie brake up the tennents doores, entered within thair houses and inedled and intromitted with thair haill goods and gear." Again, on July, 1631, these persons, with sindrie others brokin men in great troupes come under cloud and silence of night to the saids lands of Papa, violenthe brake up the tennents doores, tooke and apprehended the said Magdalene Fraser, being ane poore woman, caried her perforce with thame as ane malefactor to the jogs where they intended disgracefullie to have putt her in the same if they had not beene stayed. And the said Bobert hearing heirof, and having come to the said Mr. Gilbert, his uncle, and regraited that his mother and her tennents sould be thus used, he and his complices for this onelie cans gave him manie bauche and blae straikes in divers parts of his boSie, tooke his sword frome him and brake it in peeces. And the said Katharine [sic] having compleanned heirof to James Mowat of Ure, her brother-in-law, unto whois protection her husband had left her, and he, having writtin certaine letters to some burgomaisters in Norway to advertise the heretours of the saids lands of Papa there of the said M' Gilbert his cariage aganis the said Christiane, and having delyvered thir letters to Andrew Sinclair in Bullasetter to have beene carried be him to Norway, how soone the said M' Gilbert gott notice heirof he dealt with Henrie Sinclair of Swming, who wes to go to Norway in ship with the said Andrew to intercept the saids letters, who accordinglie, when the said Andrew wes sleeping, staw the letters out of his powtche and brought the same to the said Mr Gilbert, Chaise having been given to the said Thomas and Mans Mowat, John and Andrew Andersoun, Eobert Williamesoun, Thomas Basimsoun, John Lyell and Henry Sinclar, and Christian Stewart compearing personally for herself and the other pursuers, but none of the defenders obeying the citation, the Lords ordain the latter to be put to the horn and escheat. Register of the Privy Council of Scotland, Vol 5, 1633-1635 (2nd. Series), pages 219-221

Published Genealogies

  1. The Scots Peerage
  2. The County Families of the Shetland Islands
  3. Mowat Genealogy