About the Early Stuarts
The Stuarts rule of both England and Scotland had its origins in a family of hereditary stewards who lived in Scotland in the 12th century. The earliest known member of this illustrious family was the grandson of a Norman adventurer named Walter, who died in 1177.
Many early Stuarts were appointed regents of Scotland. One such regent, who came from a hereditary line of seven stewards, became king in 1371 and was dubbed Robert II. His father was actually a Scottish steward who married the daughter of Robert I (who was also known as Robert the Bruce). After Robert II's reign, the Stuarts continued with a succession of monarchs.
One of these later kings of Scotland was James IV and his subsequent marriage to Margaret Tudor (who was the daughter of Henry VII of England) allowed his granddaughter Mary to be a legitimate claimant to the throne. This claim was further strengthened when her son James VI of Scotland was crowned King James I of England in 1603. Mary later went on to rule Scotland and became known as Mary Queen of Scots.
James I later had a son who also became king, Charles I, he was beheaded at the end of the English Civil War in 1649. After the war and the subsequent interregnum of the Commonwealth and Protectorate, Charles I's son, Charles II was reinstated to the throne in 1660 and the Stuarts once again ruled England.
After the rule of Charles II, the crown was passed over to a new successor, his brother James II. James II was deposed in 1688 however and the crown passed on to his daughter Mary II who assumed monarchical duties along with her husband William III.
After the reign of Mary II and William III, another daughter of James II ascended the throne. This daughter, who was named Anne, was the last of the Stuarts to rule over England. It was during her reign however that the crowns of the Kingdom of England and The Kingdom of Scotland, which were already unified by the family bonds of the Stuarts, became officially united under the Act of Union of 1707.
The Act of Settlement of 1701 allowed the passing of the crown to George I of the House of Hanover after the death of Anne. While George I belonged to the Hanover clan, he was also the son of an Electress named Sophia who in turn was the grand daughter of James I of England. George I therefore also had a Stuart's claim to the throne.
There were later claimants to the throne of James II, namely James Francis Edward (who was known as the Old Pretender), Charles Edward Stewart (who was known as the Young Pretender) and still later Henry Stuart (Cardinal York). The Jacobites upheld their claim and it was for this reason that the parliamentary rule of succession was instated.
A daughter of Charles II, who was named Henrietta of England, later passed on the claim of the throne to her descendants.
Original Authors:Doods Pangburn
Edit Update Authors: RPN
Updated On: 26/02/2007