Walter Stewart, 6th High Steward of Scotland

Walter Stewart
6th High Steward of Scotland
Spouse(s) Marjorie Bruce
Isabel de Graham
Noble family House of Stewart
Father James Stewart, 5th High Steward of Scotland
Mother Giles de Burgh
Born c.1296
Died 9 April 1327(1327-04-09)
Bathgate Castle
Religion Roman Catholic

Walter Stewart (c. 1296[1][2] 9 April 1327 at Bathgate Castle[1]) was the 6th hereditary High Steward of Scotland. He was also the father of King Robert II of Scotland.


He was the son of James Stewart, 5th High Steward of Scotland and Giles (or Egidia) de Burgh, daughter of Walter de Burgh, 1st Earl of Ulster.[3] Walter's mother is sometimes identified as Cecily or Cecilia de Dunbar (his father's first wife), but this identification is erroneous.

Walter fought on the Scottish side at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314[4] commanding, with Douglas, the left wing of the Scots' Army.[2] According to another version of events, he was the nominal leader of one of the four Scottish schiltrons, but because of his youth and inexperience, its effective leader was his cousin James Douglas, Lord of Douglas.[5] This is, however, disputed, as some claim that there were only three Scottish schiltrons at Bannockburn.[6]

Upon the liberation of Robert The Bruce's wife and daughter from their long captivity in England, the High Steward was sent to receive them at the Border and conduct them back to the Scottish Court.[2]

During The Bruce's absence in Ireland the High Steward and Sir James Douglas managed government affairs and spent much time defending the Scottish Borders. Upon the capture of Berwick-upon-Tweed from the English in 1318 he got command of the town which, on 24 July 1319 was laid siege to by King Edward II of England. Several of the siege engines were destroyed by the Scots' garrison and the Steward suddenly rushed in force from the town to drive off the enemy. In 1322, with Douglas and Thomas Randolph, he made an attempt to surprise the English King at Byland Abbey, near Malton, Yorkshire. Edward, however, escaped, pursued towards York by The Steward and 500 horsemen.[2]

Walter, Steward of Scotland, made a charter to John St. Clair, his valet, of the lands of Maxton, Roxburghshire, circa 1320/1326, one of the witnesses being "Roberto de Lauwedir (Robert de Lauder) tunc justiciario Laudonie" (Justiciar of Lothian).[7]

Family and issue

Walter married, in 1315, Marjorie, only daughter of Robert I of Scotland by his first wife Isabella of Mar. The Lordship of Largs, forfeited by John Balliol, was bestowed upon Walter by Robert the Bruce, who also granted the Farme Castle estate in Rutherglen to him, as well as other lands and the feudal barony of Bathgate, Linlithgowshire. Walter and Marjorie had one son:[8]

Walter later married Isabel de Graham, frequently identified as a daughter of Sir John Graham of Abercorn but more likely a daughter of Sir David Graham of Montrose. They had three children:[9]

Preceded by
James Stewart
High Steward of Scotland
Succeeded by
Robert II of Scotland



  1. 1 2 G. W. S. Barrow, ‘Stewart family (per. c.1110–c.1350)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Anderson, William, The Scottish Nation, Edinburgh, 1867, vol.ix, p.513, states he was 21 years of age at Bannockburn.
  3. Cal.Doc Scot. vol ii, no 847
  4. Simpson, David, The Genealogical and Chronological History of the Stuarts, Edinburgh, 1713.
  5. John Prebble The Lion in the North
  6. Peter Traquair Freedom's Sword
  7. Angus, William, editor, Miscellaneous Charters 1315-1401, in Miscellany of The Scottish History Society, vol.5, 1933, p.9.
  8. Cawley, Charles, Kings of Scotland at Medieval Lands, Medieval Lands database, Foundation for Medieval Genealogy,
  9. Balfour Paul, Sir James, Scots Peerage, vol i pp 14-15

Further reading

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