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On one of the English Dynasties

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The Stuart had been kings of Scotland since the 14th century. When Elizabeth died childless, James Ⅵ of Scotland, descended from a sister of Henry Ⅷ, was heir to the English throne; he thus became king of both countries as James Ⅵ of Scotland and JamesⅠof England. James had been brought up in Scotland by the Calvinists who had deposed his mother, Mary Stuart; but he resented the domination of the Presbyterian Church which adhered to Calvinist doctrine. He thought that Calvinism and Presbyterianism were a threat to the royal authority. So after king of England, he was determined not to allow the Church of England to become Presbyterian like the Church of Scotland.

Two years after he came to England, he was the target of an assassination plot when a group of English Catholic planned to kill him by blowing up the House of Lords when he opened parliament on Nov.5, 1605. In total, nine Stewart monarchs ruled just Scotland from 1371 until 1603. After this there was a Union of the Crowns under James VI & I who had become the senior genealogical claimant to The Crown holdings of the extinct House of Tudor. Thus there were six Stewart monarchs who ruled both England and Scotland as well as Ireland. Additionally, at the foundation of the Kingdom of Great Britain after the Acts of Union, which politically united England and Scotland, the first monarch was Anne of Great Britain. After her death, all the holdings passed to the House of Hanover, under the terms of the Act of Settlement 1701.

During the reign of the Stewarts, Scotland developed from a relatively poor and feudal country into a prosperous, fairly modern state. They ruled during a time in European history of transition from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. Monarchs such as James IV were known for sponsoring exponents of the Northern Renaissance such as poet Robert Henryson. After the Stewarts gained control of all of Great Britain, the arts and sciences continued to develop; many of William Shakespeare's best known plays were authored during the Jacobean era, while institutions such as the Royal Society and Royal Mail were established during the reign of Charles II.

The ancestral origins of the Stewart family are quite obscure--what is known for certain is that they can trace their ancestry back to Alan FitzFlaad, a Breton who came over to Great Britain not long after the Norman conquest. Alan had been the hereditary steward of the Bishop of Dol in the Duchy of Brittany; Alan had a good relationship with the ruling Norman monarch Henry I of England who awarded him with lands in Shropshire. When the civil war in the Kingdom of England broke out known as The Anarchy, between legitimist claimant Matilda, Lady of the English and her cousin who had usurped her; King Stephen, Walter had sided with Matilda. Another supporter of Matilda was her uncle David I of Scotland from the House of Dunkeld. After Matilda was pushed out of England into the County of Anjou, essentially failing in her legitimist attempt for the throne, many of her supporters in England fled also. It was then that Walter followed David up to the Kingdom of Scotland, where he was granted lands in Renfrewshire and the title for life of Lord High Steward. The next monarch of Scotland, Malcolm IV made the High Steward title a hereditary arrangement.

The sixth High Steward of Scotland, Walter Stewart, married Marjorie, daughter of Robert the Bruce,



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