earl of Ross James Stewart

(b. 1476)

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B. Mar. 1476, 2nd s. of James III and Mary of Gueldres; d. Edinburgh, 12 Jan. 1504; bur. St Andrews.

Younger brother of James IV, similarly named in case of possible succession, and preferentially favoured by his father, he was given the earldom of Ross in 1481 after its forfeiture to the crown by John MacDonald, lord of the Isles, and named bishop of St Andrews six years later. Negotiations had begun for a marriage to Edward IV's third daughter, Katherine, but they came to nothing, and he was raised to duke of Ross in 1488. Although nominated to the newly vacant archbishopric of St Andrews in 1497, which would remove him as an opposition focus, the canonical minimum age for a bishop was thirty, which was some years away; while in Rome seeking confirmation of this appointment, he seems to have been instituted to the commendatorship of Holyrood abbey. Translated to the commendatorship of Dunfermline in 1500, Ross became Chancellor of Scotland (in name only) the following year, and then commendator of the extremely rich abbey of Arbroath, but died shortly afterwards, before consecration.

Subjects: British History.

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