Francis Stewart, 5th Earl of Bothwell - Marriage and Issue

Marriage and Issue

On 1 December 1577, Francis, Earl Bothwell married Margaret (d. 1640), daughter of David Douglas, 7th Earl of Angus, and widow of Sir Walter Scott, of Branxholme & Buccleuch (d. 1574). Initially, after a brief honeymoon, the new earl was not permitted to come within twenty miles of his new wife 'for reassone of his youngnes'. (Adv. Man. 35.4.2) They later had, at least, four sons and four daughters.

  • Francis, Lord Stewart, Bothwell and Commendator of Kelso Abbey (b. 1584) - After his father's death, in spite of the attainder, he is occasionally styled 'Earl Bothwell', and Lord Stewart and Bothwell. Upon his marriage to Isobel, daughter of Robert Seton, 1st Earl of Winton, he obtained a rehabilitation under the Great Seal of Scotland, dated at Whitehall, 30 July 1614, but reserving the rights of those who had been granted his father's forfeited lands. (The rehabilitation was not formally ratified by Parliament until 1633). In 1630 he was 'absent from the country'. He finally obtained recovery, by decreet arbitral of Charles I, of part of the family estates, which he then sold to the Winton family. He lived in straitened circumstances, in 1637 petitioning King Charles 1st to be made Printer to the King in Ireland for 51 years. When he died his Testament-Dative was given in by his creditors at Edinburgh on 21 April 1640. His eldest son, generally called Charles (b. 1617), fought in the Civil War, but is said to have died in England after the Battle of Worcester in 1651, and on 26 November 1656, his brother Robert was cited as the heir to their father's debts when the barony of Coldingham was acquired by the Home of Renton family; he, too, appears to have died without issue, and their unmarried sister was regarded as the last of the line.
  • John (2nd son), the last Commendator of Coldingham Priory and 1st secular feudal Baron of Coldingham. On 16 June 1622 he transferred the barony to his elder brother, Francis. John was still living in April 1636, and apparently into the 1650s, when he is mentioned by Sir John Scott of Scotstarvet in The Staggering State of the Scottish Statesman, but he seems to have been dead by 1656, when a grandson named Francis was described as his heir in the transaction at Coldingham mentioned above; John Stewart also had a daughter Margaret, married to Sir John Home, Lord Renton, who was the actual beneficiary of the transaction; their descendants are described as the heirs-general of the Earls of Bothwell. John Stewart of Coldingham is also identified as the father of Francis Stewart of Coldingham, "grandson of the Earl of Bothwell", who became a trooper in the Scottish Life Guards after the Restoration, gained a captain's commission in the Scots Greys, and commanded the left wing at the Battle of Bothwell Brig in 1679, but who died around 1683. There seems to be no absolutely definitive evidence to confirm this identification, however, and it is possible that this was the cavalryman son of the titular 6th Earl, who is called "Francis" by Scott of Scotstarvet.
  • Frederick, (3rd son) (b. 1594) mentioned in the Privy Council Registers in 1612 (vol. ix, p. 498).
  • Henry (Harry), (4th son) (b. 1594?) signed many documents with his elder brothers, and who, in 1627, consented to a lease. Possibly twin with Frederick.
  • Elizabeth (b. 1590) (eldest daughter) married James, Master of Cranstoun (appears to have been banished in 1610); they were the parents of William Cranstoun, 3rd Lord Cranstoun.
  • Helen, married John Macfarlane of that Ilk.
  • Jean (d. after 1624) married Robert Elliot of Redheugh.
  • Margaret, married Allan Cathcart, 5th Lord Cathcart.

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