James Stewart was a second son of Lord Ochiltree [S]. After service with the Dutch he returned to Scotland in 1579 and was soon in favour with James VI. He took an active part in the prosecution of Morton. His relative the 3rd earl of Arran, who was insane, was placed in his charge and in 1581 consented to renounce the earldom in Stewart's favour. In 1583 he was temporarily ousted by the protestant lords in the Ruthven raid, but recovered his position in 1584 and had Gowrie executed. He became chancellor [S] and for a time wielded great power. But he was overthrown in the coup of November 1585, attainted, and exiled. Though he returned, he was murdered by Sir James Douglas in revenge for his part in Morton's downfall.
Subjects: British History.