Stuart of Bute

Motto: Nobilis Est Ira Leonis (The Lions Anger is Noble)

This Highland clan is a branch of the larger Clan Stewart.  The stewards of seneschals of Dol in Brittany came to Scotland through England when David I returned in 1124 to claim his throne in Scotland.  They rose to high rank, becoming Stewards of Scotland.  Through a marriage to Marjory, daughter of King Robert the Bruce, the Stewarts acquired the throne of Scotland when David II of Scotland, only son of Robert the Bruce died.  Robert Stewart who reigned as Robert II of Scotland gave to his younger some, John, the Isle of Bute, the Isle of Arran and the Isle of Cumbrae.  The king conferred these lands into a county and made his son the sheriff.  This was confirmed in a charter by Robert III of Scotland in 1400. 

James Stewart was sheriff of Bute between 1445 and 1449.  He was succeeded by his son, William, who was also keeper of Brodick Castle on Aran, and his son Ninian Stewart who was confirmed in the office of sheriff of Bute as well as the lands of Ardmaleish, Greenan, the Mill of Kilcatten and also Corrigillis.  

Ninian Stewart was created hereditary captain and keeper of Rothesay Castle on Bute in 1498 by James IV, an honour still held today.  Ninian Stewart married three times.  In 1539 he was succeeded by his son James Stewart, who was entangled in the feud between the Earl of Arran who was regent of Scotland and the Earl of Lennox.  

The family favoured the spelling on of the name as ‘Stuart’, which was introduced by Mary, Queen of Scots.  In 1627 Sir James Stuart of Bute was created a Baronet of Nova Scotia by Charles I.  He garrisoned Rothesay during the Scottish Civil War, and raised soldiers for the king.  Falling foul of Cromwell, he was forced to pay substantial fines to redeem his estates.  His grandson, another James, supported the accession of William of Orange.