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Alexander Stewart, Earl of Mar (c1375-1435)

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Alexander Stewart
Alasdair mac Alasdair Mór
Earl of Mar, and Lord of Garioch, Lochaber and Badenoch
Reign Mar and Garioch: 1404/8–35
Lochaber: 1424–35
Badenoch: 1427–35
Born c. 1375
Died July/August, 1435
Place of death Mar
Buried Blackfriars, Inverness
Predecessor Isabel Douglas, Countess of Mar*
*obtained lordship of Mar by this marriage.
(heir) Thomas Stewart († 1430, predeceasing Alexander)
Successor Robert Erskine, 1st Lord Erskine, de jure 13th Earl of Mar
Consort Isabel Douglas, Countess of Mar
Marie van Hoorn
Offspring Thomas Stewart (bastard)
Royal House Badenoch Stewart
Father Alexander Stewart, Earl of Buchan
Mother Mairead inghean Eachann

Alexander Stewart (c. 1375 – 1435), Earl of Mar.

BiographyEdit

He was an illegitimate son of Alexander Stewart, Earl of Buchan and probably Mairead inghean Eachann.[1][2]

Arms Alexander Stewart Earl of Mar
Heraldic Arms of Alexander Stewart, Earl of Mar
AngusmclellanAdded by Angusmclellan

Alexander held the Earldom of Mar and the Lordship of the Garioch in right of his first wife Isabel Douglas, Countess of Mar (d. 1408). Alexander's marriage to Isabella followed his capture of Kildrummy Castle, and Isabella with it, in 1404. This event sent major shockwaves throughout the kingdom and Alexander only escaped punishment because he was a close relation to the Royal Family. His possession of the Earldom was later regularised in 1424 by grant of his cousin, King James I.

He was a close supporter of his uncle Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany, who was then ruler of the kingdom as regent for his brother King Robert III of Scotland, after he had been badly injured being kicked by his horse. Alexander led the so-called "Lowland" army, in fact that of the north-east and eastern Highlands, against Domhnall of Islay, Lord of the Isles at the bloody and indecisive battle of Harlaw in 1411.

Unlike his father, who had been unable to keep the peace in the fractious north-east, Alexander, Walter Bower says, "ruled with acceptance nearly all of the north of the country beyond the Mounth".[3] He achieved this not by using different methods from his father but by his ability to keep his cateran forces in check and to use them to protect his extensive lands when needed; the result was that the lowland areas of Aberdeenshire and Moray were protected.[4]

Alexander sat on the jury of 21 knights and peers which convicted his cousin, Murdoch Stewart, Duke of Albany and two of his sons of treason in 1424, leading to the execution of Albany and his sons and the virtual annihilation of his family.[5]

Marriages and childrenEdit

Alexander first married to Isabel Douglas, Countess of Mar (d. 1408). Alexander remarried with Marie van Hoorn, daughter of Willem, Lord of Duffel, in 1410. He died without having a legitimate male heir, and the Earldom of Mar passed to the crown. He had two illegitimate children, Thomas who died childless and Margaret who married Lachlan Maclean of Duart.

NotesEdit

  1. ^ David Ditchburn, ‘Stewart, Alexander, earl of Mar (c.1380–1435)’,Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2005 accessed 1 Aug 2007
  2. ^ Alison Weir, Britain's Royal Family: A Complete Genealogy p. 220 (London, UK: The Bodley Head, 1999)
  3. ^ Grant, p. 157.
  4. ^ Boardman, pp. 265, 266
  5. ^ George Crawfurd, p.159, A General Description of the Shire of Renfrew (1818) Retrieved November 2010

ReferencesEdit

  • Boardman, Stephen I.,The Early Stewart Kings: Robert II and Robert III Edinburgh, Reprint 2007. ISBN 978-1-904607-68-7
  • Grant, Alexander, "The Wolf of Badenoch" in W.D.H. Sellar (ed.), Moray: Province and People. Scottish Society for Northern Studies, Edinburgh, 1993. ISBN 0-9505994-7-6
  • Nigel Tranter, The Stewart Trilogy, Dunton Green, Sevenoaks, Kent: Coronet Books, 1986. ISBN 0-3403-9115-4. Lords of Misrule, 1388–1396. A Folly of Princes, 1396–1402. The Captive Crown, 1402–1411.
Persondata
NAME Stewart, Alexander Earl Of Mar
ALTERNATIVE NAMES
SHORT DESCRIPTION
DATE OF BIRTH 1375
PLACE OF BIRTH
DATE OF DEATH 1435
PLACE OF DEATH Mar
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