THE ancestor of the race was a Breton noble, Alan, a cadet of the ancient Counts of Dol and Dinan. Walter Fitz-Alan received from David I the office of High Steward of Scotland, and was progenitor of the House of Stewart. Alexander, the fourth Steward, left two sons James, his successor, and Sir John of Bonkyl. From James descended the Royal Stewarts, from Sir John the Bonkyl branch. Walter, the sixth Steward, married Princess Marjory Bruce. Their son reigned as Robert II. From his accession until the death in 1808 of Prince Charlie’s brother, the Cardinal of York, the Chiefs of Clan Stewart were heads of the Royal House of Stewart (Stuart). On the Cardinal’s death the nearest lawful heir bearing the name was concluded to be George, 8th Earl of Galloway, whose successors in the peerage have been received as the subsequent Chiefs of the clan. The Stewarts of Garlies, created Earls of Galloway 1623, descend from Sir John Stewart of Bonkyl. From Sir James, fourth son of Sir John of Bonkyl, sprang the Stewart Lords of Lorne, and the Stewart Earls of Atholl, Buchan and Traquair. The Highland Stewarts of Appin derive from Dougal, a son of Sir John of Lorne, murdered 1463. Duncan Stewart, 2nd of Appin, was Chamberlain of the Isles to James IV. Subsequent Chiefs of the house of Appin and Ardshiel fought for Charles I under Montrose, and for the Chevalier in the Risings of 1715 and 1745. Though the lands are lost, they still bear the title, Stewart of Appin and Ardshiel.
MALISE GRAHAM, a junior grandson of Sir Patrick the Graham of Dundaff, ancestor of the ducal house of Montrose, married Euphemia Stewart, Countess Palatine of Strathearn, of which dignity James I deprived them, but created Malise Earl of Menteith in 1427. William, 7th Earl and Lord Justice General, established his right as Earl Palatine of Strathearn in 1630; but this aroused such envy that his confirmation was recalled, and the arms of Strathearn were ordered to be “dashed out of his windows.” He was created Earl of Airth in 1633. His son, Lord Kilpont, was murdered under dramatic circumstances by Stewart of Ardvoirlich, as recorded in Scott’s Legend of Montrose. William Graham, Lord Kilpont’s son, succeeded his grandfather as Earl of Airth and Menteith, but little was left of the estates. Since his death in 1694, the Earldoms of Airth and Menteith and Strathearn have been dormant. There are many cadets of the Grahams of Menteith, of whom the most celebrated are the Grahams of Gartmore and Ardoch, descending from the fifth son of the 1st Earl, and of which house the Scottish patriot, R. B. Cunningham-Graham of Ardoch, M.P., was lately the representative.