This is a fun way to start our Stewart stories. I don't have a lot of documentation on John Stewart, but this is from other researchers.
Taken from notes of Mary Stearnes Henley excerpted from
"Beyond a reasonable doubt the first Col. John Stewart who came to Virginia from Scotland, Mourning Floyd's husband's great-grandfather - was a younger son of the Duke of Berwick, born in Berwick Castle, and cousin of Henry Stewart, Earl of Lennox, whose son, Henry Stewart, married his cousin, Mary Stewart, Queen of Scots. They were all reared in Berwickshire and were all descendants of Walter (Fitzalan) Stewart, the sixth "Grand Steward of Scotland>" pp 74 Bio9-Genealogies of the VA-KY Floyd Families.
The Stewart line has been traced back to Solomon and David. During the second Jubilee of Queen Victoria, clergy traved the royal line back to Judah. Through Kenneth MacAlpin, the line is traced to Fergus MacEurea Ferquahadd is traced through Angus the Prolitic to Tea Tephi. She is the daughter of Zedekiah, who married Hermon, which is the ancestor of the Irish and Scottish Kings. Zedekiah ius traced to Juday, Judah is traced to King Solomon, son of David. King Fegus I MacEarca reighned from 330 B.C., He was a contemporary of Alexander the Great and the King of Persia.
However, the most romantic sotry of the origin of the Stewarts is the claim of the female line. In 1301, it is related by Bisset to the Paper Court that an Egyptian Princess, by the name of Scota, is the progenitress of the Scota Pictish Kings. Scota was the daughter of the Pharaoh who was drowned in the red Sea and is said to have married Gathelus, son of Cecrops,King of Athens. Scota is said to have fled with other to Spain to escape the plaques in Eqypt. From Spain, they sailed to Ireland, later they sailed to Scotland, bringing with them the "Coronation Stone of Scone". It whould be noted the King Fergus is traced down thirty-five generations of kings to Ethus, who was the brother of Constantine, 875 A.D.
On the mainland five miles north of Holy Island, is the mouth of the River Tweed and the most historic town of Berwick Upon Tweed. The most northerly town in England, perhaps no other town in North East England has had a more eventful history than Berwick. There is no doubt that Berwick upon Tweed can claim the distinction of being the Border Town, as it has changed hands between England and Scotland thirteen times. Its history is inextricably tied up with the struggle for the Anglo Scottish frontier. An old legend is said to explain the fascinating history of Berwick;
"During the temptation while the Evil one was showing to the Holy one all the kingdoms of the earth he kept Berwick hidden beneath his thumb, wishing to reserve it as his own little nook"
Berwick with an English name meaning `Corn Farm' began as a small settlement in the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Northumbria, in which it remained until the Battle of Carham of 1018 when it was taken by the Scots. From then on Berwick became a hotly disputed territory. In 1174 Berwick was retaken by England in a ransom following the failure of a raid into Northumberland by the Scottish king, William the Lion.
The town returned to the northern side of the border in the reign of Richard I (1189-1199), who sold it to obtain money for the Crusades. At the beginning of the following century Berwick returned once more to England, after Richard's brother, King John sacked the town, but Berwick continued to change hands until 1482 when the town finally became part of England within which it still (technically) remains.
When the castle finally fell, surprisingly Edward let the Scots garrison flee with their lives. While Douglas was incarcerated in the "Hog's Tower". Edward's army moved on to defeat the Scots army at the battle of Dunbar (where its claimed a rogue called William Wallace stole from the bodies of the dead both Scots and English alike).The alleged stone of Destiny used to crown Scottish Kings was also stolen from Scone by the English and taken to London. Douglas under duress swore allegiance to King Edward to escape imprisonment, but later in 1297 he joined William Wallace in rebellion against the English invaders. In retaliation, his own castle of Douglas in Lanarkshire was stormed by Edward's lacky Robert Bruce (later King Robert I 1306-1329) with Douglas's wife and children, including a young man called James (later Bruce's "Good Sir James" Douglas) taken hostage and handed over to Edward's wrath. Douglas for the sake of his family surrendered and was taken to York castle in chains where he died of ill-treatment in 1302. Three years later Wallace was also captured then hung , drawn, castrated, disembowelled and beheaded for his campaign of rebellion, with his head placed on a stake above London bridge while the remaining parts of his body were sent North to Scotland for public display. Eventually one of his legs was nailed above the gatehouse of Berwick's town walls as a reminder of Edward's justice and a warning to any would-be Scots rebels living nearby.
Likely Douglas's own harrowing account of the Berwick massacre, his inability to protect the civilians and his own death at the hands of the English at York moulded young James Douglas's character into a violent, vindictive killer, whose guerilla campaign against the English earned him the title “The Black Douglas”, a token reference to his dark skin and black hair but more fully a reference to his black nature in warfare. For example he beheaded the entire English garrison in his own castle of Douglas leaving their bodies in the vaults beside spilt grain and wine before setting the castle on fire and for good measure he chopped up their horses dumping the animal parts into the castle's well along with salt to spoil the water supply. The whole event became known as the "Douglas larder".
In 1306 the Countess of Buchan was imprisoned in a cage above Berwick's town walls for the crime of crowning King Robert the Bruce. At the same time Bruce's sister Mary was held in a cage above Roxburgh castle, another Scottish monument occupied by hostile English. In 1307 Edward I died en route to invade the west of Scotland. His son Edward II lacking the military prowess of his father turned back to England, giving the Bruce and his "Good Sir James" Douglas time to gather support for their rebellion. In 1314 Douglas made an abortive assault on Berwick castle, but was successful in taking Roxburgh using the same tactics, attacking at night with specialised rope ladders. Also in that same year the Bruce defeated Edward II's army at the battle of Bannockburn, near Stirling. Edward pursued by Douglas fled to the coastal fortress of Dunbar where he and some of his men escaped by boat to the security of Berwick then still in English hands.
In 1318 Douglas captured Berwick Town and starved its castle garrison into surrender in some small way obtaining revenge for his father's death and the massacre of 1296, though the English did make several unsuccessful attempts to recapture the castle and town in 1319. In 1329 King Robert the Bruce on his deathbed insisted that after his death Douglas should cut out his heart and carry it on a pilgrimage to the holy lands. Douglas did as he was commanded, unfortunately in 1330 he only got as far as southern Spain, where he died at the battle of Teba. Legend claims Douglas realising he was going to die, tore the casket containing Bruce's heart from round his neck and threw it at the Moors crying "forward" following his friend into battle for one last time.
Douglas's body was recovered and boiled so his skeleton could be returned to Scotland along with Bruce's heart. Douglas was interred at St Brides church while Bruce's heart was taken to Melrose Abbey where it remains to this day. After 1330 the Douglas heraldry was amended with a red heart on their surcoats, shields and banners representing the King's heart and turning Douglas's death at Teba into a legend.
(In the recounting of this story, some people tell that Douglas's words in the fateful moment at Teba were, "Pass first in fight, brave heart ", from which would seem to have come the title of the mid-1990s Hollywood historical confection wherein the heart seems to have been transfered from Bruce to Wallace..... Alasdair McKay, ed.)
John Stewart * (1690 - 1782)
is our 5th great grandfather
Son of John Stewart
Son of John Stewart
Son of James Stewart
Son of James Stewart
Daughter of Noah Stewart
Son of Mary Lou Ella Stewart And Charles William Lute