Robert Stewart, 1st Duke of Albany

Is your surname Stewart?

Research the Stewart family

Robert Stewart, 1st Duke of Albany's Geni Profile

Records for Robert Stewart

7,881,435 Records

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


Robert Stewart, 1st Duke of Albany

Also Known As: "1st Duke of Albany", "Duke of Albany"
Birthdate: (80)
Birthplace: Dundonald Castle, Irvine, Ayrshire, Scotland
Death: Died in Stirling, Stirlingshire, Scotland
Place of Burial: Dunfermline,Fifeshire,Scotland
Immediate Family:

Son of Robert II, king of Scots and Elizabeth Mure of Rowallan
Husband of Margaret Menteith Stewart, Countess of Menteith (in suo iure); Countess of Menteith Margaret Stewart and Muriella de Keith, Duchess of Albany
Father of Murdoch Stewart, Duke Of Albany; Isabel Stewart, of Albany; Lady Janet Stewart of Albany; Margaret Stewart, of Albany; Mary Stewart of Albany and 8 others
Brother of Margaret Stewart, Princess of Scotland; Robert III, King of Scots; Walter Stewart, Earl of Fife; Alexander Stewart, 1st Earl of Buchan; Isabella Stewart, Princess of Scotland and 7 others
Half brother of James Stewart, of Kinfauna; Thomas Stewart, Dean of Dunkeld; Maria Danielston (Stewart); Sir John " The Red" Stewart, of Dundonald; Walter Stewart, 1st Earl of Atholl and 4 others

Occupation: 1st Duke of Albany, Earl of Menteith 1361 Scotland; Earl of Fire 1371 Scotland, married 1399, Duke of Albany, I Duke of Albany, Governor of Scotland
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Robert Stewart, 1st Duke of Albany

<Duke of Albany was NOT married to Annabella (she was only married to the duke's elder brother Robert III).>

Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany (c. 1340 – 3 September 1420) a member of the Scottish royal house, served as regent (at least partially) to three different Scottish monarchs (Robert II, Robert III, and James I). He also held the titles of Earl of Menteith (28 February 1361), Earl of Fife (1361; resigned in 1372), Earl of Buchan (1394; resigned in 1406) and Earl of Atholl (1403, for the duration of Robert III's life only), in addition to his 1398 creation as Duke of Albany.

Robert Stewart, an illegitimate son of the future King Robert II of Scotland and of Elizabeth Mure of Rowallan, became legitimated in 1349 upon his parents' marriage. The elder Robert had many children, the eldest of whom, John Stewart, later to be king under the name Robert III, became Earl of Carrick in 1368. In 1361, Robert Stewart married Mary Graham, Countess of Menteith, with whom he had several daughters and one son, Murdoch Stewart, Duke of Albany; his sister-in-law's claim to the Earldoms of Menteith and Fife allowed him to assume those titles after marriage. Robert subsequently married Muriella de Keith, with whom he had two sons, the elder of whom was John Stewart, 2nd Earl of Buchan.

During the reign of their infirm father as King Robert II (1371 - 1390), the future Duke of Albany and Lord Carrick functioned as regents, with Albany serving as High Chamberlain of Scotland; during this time, he also led several military expeditions and raids into the Kingdom of England. However, in 1389, Carrick became incapacitated in an accident. After Carrick nevertheless acceded to the throne as Robert III (1390), this "sickness of the body" caused control of the kingdom to devolve in 1399 to the new king's son and heir apparent, David Stewart, Duke of Rothesay (who held the first dukedom created in the Scottish Peerage). However, the English soon invaded Scotland, and several important events took place, fomenting serious differences between Albany and Rothesay, and in 1402 the latter duke died under mysterious circumstances at Falkland Palace. After the death of his brother Robert III in 1406, Albany served as regent for his young nephew James I.

Doune castle in Stirling 8 miles north-west of Stirling was built in the late 14th century for Robert as Regent of Scotland. The castle passed to his son Murdoch in 1420, after his death. The castle was taken over by the crown after Murdoch was executed in 1425. The Royal family used the castle as a retreat and hunting lodge, including Mary Queen of Scots.

The Duke of Albany died in Stirling Castle and lies buried in Dunfermline Abbey in Fife. He was succeeded by his son, Murdoch Stewart, Duke of Albany.,_Duke_of_Albany

  • --------------------

Robert, Duke of Albany, Regent of Scotland (died 1420),

  • --------------------

SOURCES: 1) GENEALOGY: Royal Ancestors of Magna Charta Barons; Page 225; G929.72; C6943ra; Denver Public Library; Genealogy

2) GENEALOGY: The Scots Peerage; Vol IV; Page 528; G929.72; P291sc; Denver Public Library; Genealogy

  • --------------------


Robert Stewart, 1st Duke of Albany lived from 1340 to 3 September 1420. He was an illegitimate son of the future King Robert II of Scotland and of Elizabeth Mure of Rowallan, but became legitimated in 1349 upon his parents' marriage. Robert, who also at different times carried the titles of Earl of Mentieth, Earl of Fife, Earl of Buchan and Earl of Atholl, is one of the darkest figures in Scottish history (a close rival for the title of the darkest being his younger brother Alexander, the Wolf of Badenoch). He was a man whose cunning and ruthlessness enabled him to wield great power during the reign of three Scottish kings; who murdered his nephew, the rightful heir to the throne; and who very nearly subverted the succession in favour of his own son. The wider picture in Scotland at the time is set out in our Historical Timeline.

Doune Castle

Robert Stewart was the third son of Robert II, who acceded to the throne on 23 February 1371. His eldest brother, and heir to the throne, was John, Earl of Carrick. In November 1384, Robert II - by now ill - was sidelined (in effect, deposed) in favour of John, Earl of Carrick, who became Guardian of the Kingdom. However, John was seriously injured by being kicked by a horse in 1388, something he never recovered from. Robert II took advantage of John's injury to appoint the younger Robert Stewart as Guardian of the Kingdom in place of John.

On 19 April 1390, Robert II died and was succeeded by John, Earl of Carrick. Because of the bad press associated with the only King John that Scotland had ever had, John Balliol, becoming "John II" was thought politically undesirable, so the Earl of Carrick became Robert III of Scotland instead. This is unlikely to have endeared him to his younger brother Robert Stewart, who had probably seen himself succeeding to the crown with that title.

It is unlikely that Robert Stewart ever really released the reigns of power to his older brother Robert III, and for part of his early reign still retained the title Guardian of Scotland. By 1398 Robert III's health was restricting him so much that the Scottish Parliament appointed his oldest son, David Stewart, 1st Duke of Rothesay to be Lieutenant of the Kingdom and rule in his father's place: at the same time they made Robert, until then usually referred to as Earl of Fife, the Duke of Albany.

David provoked an English invasion by an ill-judged and arguably bigamous marriage, then failed to prevent the English capturing Edinburgh before they retired. He then went on to make a number of other decisions that made him increasingly unpopular. Robert took advantage by arranging for David to be arrested and imprisoned in St Andrews Castle, before moving him to Falkland Palace. David died during his captivity at Falkland Palace, aged just 24, in March 1402. The General council of Scotland, largely under the control of Robert, concluded that David had died "by divine providence and not otherwise". The truth seems to be that David was starved to death at the command of his uncle.

Robert III, now largely sidelined in his own kingdom by Robert, Duke of Albany, sought to protect his remaining son James Stewart by rallying support for him, making him Earl of Carrick, and making Stewart lands in the south west of Scotland into a separate principality for him. In early 1406 James' supporters were beaten in battle by the forces of Robert, Duke of Albany near Edinburgh. James went into hiding, first at Dirleton Castle in East Lothian, then on Bass Rock. He was eventually rescued by a merchant ship from Danzig. However, this was intercepted by pirates off Flamborough Head and James was captured, before being handed over to Henry IV of England. On hearing the news Robert III died on 4 April 1406. Accounts differ about whether Robert, Duke of Albany had any hand in the capture of James Stewart, who became James I on the death of his father.

With James I a captive of the English, the Scottish Parliament appointed Robert, Duke of Albany, as Governor and Regent of Scotland. Amongst his duties was negotiating with the English for the return to Scotland of James I to take control of the country Robert was happily running himself. Unsurprisingly, progress was very slow indeed, leaving Robert a free hand to rule as if he were king: and James in English captivity.

And it has to be said that when set alongside the more legitimate occupants of the throne of Scotland across the centuries, Robert, Duke of Albany did a pretty good job of running the country. His most enduring architectural relic is at Doune Castle, while the most significant event during his rule was the Battle of Harlaw on 24 July 1411 near Inverurie. This was possibly the most bloody battle ever fought in northern Scotland, and was a fight for the Earldom of Ross (and effective control of the Highlands) between Alexander, Earl of Mar, and Donald, 2nd Lord of the Isles.

The battle was inconclusive, allowing Robert, Duke of Albany to step in and take control of the Earldom of Ross. Robert continued in power until his death in 1420, at the age of 80, and after effectively ruling Scotland for 32 years. He was succeeded as Governor of Scotland by his son Murdoch, 2nd Duke of Albany. All that Murdoch really inherited, however, was the wrath of James I who had Murdoch executed as one of his first acts when he eventually returned to take up his long-delayed reign in Scotland.

  • --------------------


Robert Stewart, 1st Duke of Albany was born circa 1340. He was the son of Robert II Stewart, King of Scotland and Elizabeth Mure of Rowallan. He married, firstly, Margaret Graham, Countess of Menteith, daughter of Sir John Graham and Mary Menteith, Countess of Menteith, after 9 September 1361, by Papal dispensation. He married, secondly, Muriel Keith, daughter of Sir William Keith and Margaret Fraser, after 4 May 1380, by Papal dispensation. He died on 3 September 1420 at Stirling Castle, Stirling, Stirlingshire, Scotland.5 He was buried at Dunfermline Abbey, Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland.5

As a result of his marriage, Robert Stewart, 1st Duke of Albany was styled as Earl of Menteith on 28 February 1361. He was created 1st Earl of Fife [Scotland] on 30 March 1371. He resigned as Earl of Fife on 6 March 1372. He held the office of Great Chamberlain [Scotland] between 1383 and 1407. In 1385 he made a successful raid into England. In 1388 he made another successful raid into England. He held the office of Guardian of the Realm [Scotland] between 1 December 1388 and 27 January 1399. He succeeded to the title of 2nd Earl of Buchan [S., 1382] on 24 July 1394. He was created 1st Duke of Albany [Scotland] on 28 April 1398. He was created 1st Earl of Atholl [Scotland] on 2 September 1403, for the life of King Robert III only. He was deposed as Earl of Atholl on 4 April 1406. He held the office of Regent of Scotland in June 1406. He resigned as Earl of Buchan, in favour of his second son John, and a special remainder to his third and fourth sons, Andrew and Robert on 20 September 1406. In 1417 he again invaded England, but without success this time.

Children of Robert Stewart, 1st Duke of Albany and Margaret Graham, Countess of Menteith

  • * Janet Stewart
  • * Mary Stewart+
  • * Margaret Stewart
  • * Joan Stewart+
  • * Beatrice Stewart d. c 1424
  • * Isabella Stewart+
  • * Lady Marjorie Stewart+ d. b Aug 1432
  • * Murdoch Stewart, 2nd Duke of Albany+ . 1362, d. 24 May 1425

Children of Robert Stewart, 1st Duke of Albany and Muriel Keith

  • * Andrew Stewart d. c 1413
  • * Sir Robert Stewart d. a 1431
  • * Elizabeth Stewart+
  • * John Stewart, 3rd Earl of Buchan+ b. c 1381, d. 17 Aug 1424
  • --------------------
  1. Christening: 28 Apr 1398 Scotland cr 1st Duke of Albany
  2. Death: 3 Sep 1419/1420 in , Stirling, Stirlingshire, Scotland
  3. Occupation: Regent from 1404 to 1420 Scotland 2
  4. Note:
   GIVN Robert Earl of Fife, Duke of
   Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany, younger brother of Robert III ofScotland,
   who was given guardianship of his nephew, David Stewart. RobertStewart,
   Duke of Albany, was ambitious, and gained control of the Royal Houseof
   Stewart upon the disability of his older brother, King Robert III.
   !1st Duke of Albany, Regent of Scotland 1404-1420. [Ped. of Charlemagne]
   Earl of Fife, Earl of Menteith, Duke of Albany, Great Chamberlain, Regent of Scotland; b. 1339, d. 2 Sep 1420; m.c. 1360, Margaret of Menteith and had Marjory Stewart. [Magna Charta Sureties, p. 46]
   Doune Castle was built at the end of the 14th century by Robert Stewart, 1st duke of Albany and earl of Menteith and Fife. The castle represented the principal stronghold of the earldom of Menteith, which had come to him through his marriage to Margaret, countess of Menteith, in 1361. As well as serving as
   an administrative center and country retreat, the castle occupied a position of strategic and political significance on the edge of the lowland and highland zones of Scotland.
   Robert Stewart was the 3rd son of King Robert II (1371-90) and the younger brother of Robert III (1390-1406); but from 1388 until his death in September 1420, he was the effective ruler of the kingdom. Thus, while Doune was not a royal castle when built, it may be seen as reflecting the military and domestic requirements of one who was king in all but name and whose aspiration to kingship might easily have been realised.
   Following the death of the first duke of Albany in 1420, Doune and the governorship of the kingdom passed to his son, Murdoch. [Doune Castle, p. 2-3]
   Son of Elizabeth More and Robert Stewart; m. Muriella Keith, Margaret Graham and Margaret Murdoch. [Eva K. Stamper <JLeeSharp@insig...., 19 Aug 2002]
   Son of Robert II King of Scotland and Elizabeth Mure of Rowallan; m. Muriella de Keith; father of:
   1. Andrew
   2. Robert, Earl of Ross
   3. Marjory/Marcellina who m. Sir Duncan Na-Adh Campbell
   3. Elizabeth who m. Sir ?? Fleming
   4. John, Earl of Buchan who m. Elizabeth Douglas
   [Hamish Maclaren <, 11 Jun 2002]
   The younger brother of Robert III (whose baptismal name had in fact been John), and older brother of Alexander, the 'Wolf of Badenoch', Robert Stewart, Earl of Fife, was the most capable of the sons of Robert II. As such he had been made Governor two years before the death of his father and retained the office on the succession of his brother in 1390, being created 1st Duke of Albany in 1398. When the King's ill-health forced hsi virtual abdication in 1399 in favour of his elder son David, Duke of Rothesay, much of the power in the land already lay in Albany's hands. In 1406 he almost certainly contrived the murder of hsi nephew Rothesay, who died 'in mysterious circumstances' at Falkland, where upon Albany once again became Lieutenand and Governor of the Realm. His not unreasonable expectations of one day inheriting the throne were given a boost by the capture by the English of the 12-year-old Prince James in 1406, shortly followed by the death of the King. Albany was appointed Regent by a General Council at Perth. Devious, cynical, and politically astute, he ruled Scotland for the next 14 years, preferring to make deals with the more powerful barons, particularly the Earl of Douglas, rather than attempt to crush them, thus preserving the peace as well as filling his own coffers. The only serious attempt to usurp his authority foundered (through none of his own doing) when the inconclusive Battle of Harlaw (1400) sent Donald of the Isles home to lick his wounds. Albany made no attempt to secure the release of his nephew, now James I (although when his own son Murdoch was captured at Homildon in 1402 he did negotiate a ransom for him in 1415), and when he died in 1420 at the age of over 80, he left Murdoch to inherit both the Dukedom and the Governorship of Scotland. [Collins Encyclopaedia of Scotland, p. 906]
  • --------------------,_Duke_of_Albany

Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany (c. 1340 – 3 September 1420), a member of the Scottish royal house, served as Regent (at least partially) to three different Scottish monarchs (Robert II, Robert III, and James I). He also held the titles of Earl of Menteith (28 February 1361), Earl of Fife (1361; resigned in 1372), Earl of Buchan (1394; resigned in 1406) and Earl of Atholl (1403, for the duration of Robert III's life only), in addition to his 1398 creation as Duke of Albany.

A ruthless politician, Albany was widely regarded as having caused the murder of his nephew, the Duke of Rothesay, and brother to the future King James I of Scotland. James was held in captivity in England for eighteen years, during which time Albany served as Regent in Scotland, king in all but name. He died in 1420 and was succeeded by his son, Murdoch Stewart, Duke of Albany, who would be executed for treason when James returned to Scotland in 1425, almost causing the complete ruin of the Albany Stewarts.

view all 32

Robert Stewart, 1st Duke of Albany's Timeline

Irvine, Ayrshire, Scotland
February 28, 1361
Age 21
- 1372
Age 21
December 9, 1362
Age 22
Strathblane, Argylshire, Scotland
December 9, 1362
Age 22
Scotland, United Kingdom
Age 23
Dundonald, Ayrshire, Scotland
Age 24
Age 28
Falkland Castle,Fifeshire,,Scotland
Age 28
Falkland, Fifeshire, Scotland