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Stuart dynasty

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The Stewards of Scotland. 9
about 1337, married Robert Stuart and Elizabeth. Mure at
Dundonald Castle, near Ayr,* where the bridegroom lived
in early youth ; and, indeed, the distance of the relationship
being so great, the fact itself was probably, if not forgotten
altogether, at least pas.-<ed over in silence, when there must
have been a disposition evinced to ignore such extravagant
Papal pretensions. At any rate not a word appeai-s in any
of the chronicles threatening the young Steward's title to
the throne, although Clement VI., elected Pope in 1342, gave
the marriage dispensation about 1347. Indeed the Regency
must have been conferred within a very few months of the
The chroniclers are silent as to the precise age of John,
known as Robert III., eldest child of this marriage ; but his
brother, the famous Duke of Albany, was born in 1339,f and
it seems probable that Robert Stuart and Elizabeth Mure
joined their fortunes in 1337, just after the campaign against
Baliol, which gained for the Steward of Scotland the position
of joint Regent with Sir A. Moray. It is curious that the
Papal dispensation was lost, and not put in evidence until
1789, after the Stuarts had ceased to strive for the recovery
of the British throne ; and the fact gave rise to some strange
quibbles from time to time.
In 1341 King David returned from France with his Queen
Joanna, and received obeisance from the Regents, who
straightway rendered up the government — despite the fact
that a youth of seventeen was manifestly unequal to the
cares of an unsettled State, such as Scotland was at this
period. It is well known how David II., fired with the
unpractical spirit of chivalry with which he had become
imbued in France, and incited by the king of that country,
his ally, was fatuous enough to advance across the Border
with an army in the year 1346, and attempt to emulate on
English soil the deeds of his great father Robert Bruce —
a project which ended disastrously at JN evil's Cross, near
The defeat of the Scots was such that their King fell into
the enemy's hands, and only one division remained intact
under the Steward's command, so that enemies to the
dynasty soon to be founded averred that Robert Stuart failed
to do his duty towards his royal uncle on that occasion.
* Crawford and Semple's ' History of Renfrewshire,' p. 14.
t Burton (' History of Scotland,' vol. ii. p. 395) says he died ia 1419,

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