Albany (Scotland)

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Albany, Alexander Stewart, 1st duke of [S] (c.1454–85). Second son of James II of Scotland, created earl of March [S] (1455), lord of Annandale, and duke of Albany (1458). As admiral of Scotland and march warden in the 1470s, Albany was an obvious focus for Scottish opposition to his brother James III's English alliance (October 1474). Indicted for treason in October 1479, Albany fled to France, where he married and fathered the son who, as John, duke of Albany, would act as governor (1515–24) for James V.

The remainder of his life consisted of a series of spectacular but unsuccessful come-backs—with English aid as ‘ Alexander IV’ (July 1482), as lieutenant-general for James III (October 1482), with Douglas support in Annandale (battle of Lochmaben, 1484), and a remarkable gaolbreak from Edinburgh castle in the spring of 1485. Later the same year Albany was killed by a lance splinter at a tournament in Paris.

Norman Macdougall

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Albany an ancient name for the northern part of Scotland, which from the Middle Ages was a royal title.

In London, Albany is the name of an exclusive block of flats in Piccadilly. Built in 1770 on the site of an earlier property by the architect William Chambers (1726–96), in 1791 it was purchased by George III's son Frederick, Duke of York and Albany, after whom it was named York House. In 1802 it was converted into ‘residential chambers for bachelor gentlemen’, being renamed Albany House in 1803.

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Albany, ancient and literary name of Scotland, N of the Firth of Forth and Firth of Clyde. Variants are Alban and Albin.