High Steward (Scotland)

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The first High Steward of Scotland was Walter FitzAlan, who was appointed around 1150 by David I, in appreciation for Walter's support of his niece, Maud (or Matilda) in her claim to the throne of England. David's successor, Malcolm IV made the office hereditary and Walter's son, Alan, FitzWalter, succeeded him in 1177.

Prior to Walter the Steward, the family traced its descent from one Alan Dapifer, son of Flaald, of Brittany. Alan, by gift of William the Conqueror was granted the ]]barony of Oswaldestre in Shropshire, and the castle of Milcham in Norfolk. His wife was Aveline of Hesdin.

On Alan's death in 1204, however, his son Walter took the hereditary office as Walter Stewart. The family provided four further Stewards

  • Alexander 1241-1283
  • James 1283-1309
  • Walter 1309- 1327
  • Robert 1327-1371.

Walter married Marjorie, the daughter of King Robert I (Robert the Bruce), and on the death, childess, of her brother, David, his son Robert succeeded as king and the office of Steward was subsumed into the royal honour, thereafter being a title of the Scots heir apparent.

The family married widely and well, and served throughout the nobility: the first Alan's wife was Margaret of Galloway, daughter of Fergus, whose wife was Elizabeth of England, daughter of Malcolm III of Scotland and Margaret daughter of Edward Atheling.

Walter married the daughter of the Earl of Angus, who was married to Marjory, granddaughter of David I. Alexander had married into the Lordship of Bute, and his brother Walter became Earl of Menteith.

Alexander's second son, John, of Bonkyl, had 7 sons. Sir Alexander was Earl of Angus, Sir Alan of Dreghorn was Earl and Duke of Lennox, Sir Walter was Earl of Galloway, Sir James, who held the Earldoms of Athole, Buchan and Traquair and the Lordships of Lorn and Innermeath, Sir John was killed fighting the English, Sir Hugh who fought in Ireland and Sir Robert of Daldowie.

James was one of the regents to Margaret, the Maid of Norway, and whilst compelled to swear loyalty to Edward I of England in 1296, he supported both the Wallace and the Bruce claims to the Scots throne, rather than that of the southern foe.