Alexander Stewart, duke of Albany

(c. 1454—1480)

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B. c.1454, 2nd surviving s. of James II and Mary of Gueldres; m. (1) Catherine Sinclair, da. of William, earl of Orkney and Caithness; issue: Alexander, Andrew, s., Margaret; (2) Anne de la Tour, da. of Bertrand, comte d'Auvergne and de Bouillon, 19 Jan. 1480; issue: John; d. Paris, 1485; bur. Paris.

Created earl of March and lord of Annandale by his father in 1455, and duke of Albany sometime before July 1458, Alexander was appointed admiral of Scotland, march warden, and then lieutenant of the kingdom, but there was animosity between James III and his brothers; John, earl of Mar, died c.1479/80, while Albany was said to have been imprisoned in Edinburgh castle, with a dramatic escape via a French ship lying off Newhaven, near Leith. His first marriage had been dissolved on grounds of propinquity, and while in France he married the comte d'Auvergne's daughter; their son John would eventually become governor for the young James V. On return to England, Albany made an alliance with Edward IV, agreeing to surrender Berwick in return for the title ‘king of Scotland’. Joining the English invasion (1482), he marched to Edinburgh but was persuaded to make peace with James III, whom he subsequently liberated from Edinburgh castle. Albany was created earl of Mar and Garioch the following year, but almost immediately resumed his English alliance. In 1484 he raided Lochmaben with the earl of Douglas and English forces, but was routed and escaped to France. Said to have been of mid-stature, well-proportioned, and with a ‘verie awful countenance’ when facing his enemies, he was killed by a splinter from a lance while watching a tournament in Paris.

Subjects: British History.

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