Stuart, House of

Stuart, House of

 

a royal house in Scotland (from 1371) and England (1603–49 and 1660–1714). The Stuarts came from an aristocratic Scottish family that had secured for itself the office of royal steward (hence the family name) in the 12th century.

James IV Stuart (reigned 1488–1513) forged a tie of kinship to the English house of Tudor. His granddaughter, the Scottish queen Mary Stuart, a pretender to the English throne, was executed in England in 1587 on a charge of plotting against the English queen Elizabeth I Tudor. Under Elizabeth’s will, Mary’s son, the Scottish king James VI, ascended the English throne and became king of England, Scotland, and Ireland under the name of James I (reigned 1603–25). The policies of the feudal-absolutist dictatorship implemented by James I and his son, Charles I (reigned 1625–49), led to a revolutionary crisis in the country. In the course of the English Civil War, Charles I was executed (1649) and England was proclaimed a republic.

After the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, the Stuarts in the person of Charles II (reigned 1660–85) again occupied the throne. The successor to Charles II, James II (reigned 1685–88), was overthrown in the coup of 1688–89 known as the Glorious Revolution. The throne was then held by William III of Orange (reigned 1689–1702), who ruled jointly with his wife, the daughter of James II, Mary II Stuart (reigned 1689–94). After the death of Anne Stuart (reigned 1702–14), the throne passed to the house of Hanover, which had distant ties of kinship to the Stuarts.

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