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Stuart or Stewart, royal family that ruled Scotland and England. The Stuart lineage began in a family of hereditary stewards of Scotland, the earliest of whom was Walter (d. 1177), grandson of a Norman adventurer. Several early Stuarts were regents of Scotland, and after Robert, seventh in the hereditary line of stewards, became king as Robert II (1371), the crown remained in the family succession. The marriage of James IV of Scotland to Margaret Tudor, daughter of Henry VII of England, made his granddaughter Mary Queen of Scots a claimant to the English throne. Mary's claim was recognized when her son, James VI of Scotland, became James I of England in 1603. Charles I, son of James I, was beheaded (1649) at the end of the English civil war, but after the interregnum of the Commonwealth and the Protectorate, his son Charles II was restored to the throne in 1660. With the deposition (1688) of Charles II's brother and successor, James II, the crown passed to James's daughter Mary II and her husband, William III, and after them to Anne, also daughter of James II. In the reign of Anne, the last of the Stuarts to rule England, the crowns of Scotland and England, united personally by the Stuarts, were permanently joined by the Act of Union (1707). After the death of Anne the crown passed (by the Act of Settlement, 1701) to George I of the house of Hanover, son of the Electress Sophia, who was the granddaughter of James I of England; thus the Hanoverians also had a Stuart claim. The parliamentary rule of succession was adopted because the claim to the throne of the Roman Catholic James II and his descendants, James Francis Edward Stuart (the Old Pretender), Charles Edward Stuart (the Young Pretender), and Henry Stuart (Cardinal York), was upheld by the Jacobites. After 1807 this claim passed to the descendants of Henrietta of England, daughter of Charles I. Stuart, the French form of the name, was popularized by Mary Queen of Scots.

See G. Donaldson, Scottish Kings (1967); A. C. Addington, The Royal House of Stuart (2 vol., 1969–71); E. Linklater, The Royal House (1970); G. Perry, The Golden Age Restor'd: The Culture of the Stuart Court (1981).

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Stuarts (Stewarts) Scottish royal House, which inherited the Scottish throne in 1371 and the English throne in 1603. The Stuarts descended from Alan, whose descendants held the hereditary office of steward in the royal household. Walter (d.1326), the sixth steward, married a daughter of King Robert I, and their son, Robert II, became (1371) the first Stuart king. The throne descended in the direct male line until the death of James V (1542), who was succeeded by his infant daughter, Mary. In 1603, her son, James VI, succeeded Elizabeth I of England as James I. His son, Charles I, was executed in 1649 following the English Civil War, but the dynasty recovered with the Restoration of Charles II in 1660. His brother, James II, lost the throne in the Glorious Revolution (1688) and was replaced by the joint monarchy of William III and Mary II, James' daughter. On the death (1714) of Anne, the House of Hanover succeeded. James Stuart and Charles Stuart made several unsuccessful attempts to regain the throne. See also Jacobites

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Stuart the royal family (also called Stewart) ruling Scotland 1371–1714 and Britain 1603–1649 and 1660–1714. The name of the royal house comes ultimately from steward, and the accession in 1371 to the throne of Scotland as Robert II of Robert the Steward, grandson of Robert the Bruce by Bruce's daughter Marjory and her husband Walter, Steward of Scotland.

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