Stewart of Appin





The Stewarts of Appin are a junior stirpes of the Stewarts of Lorn and Innermeath and branched off to form their own House in the second-half of the 15th century. Much has been asserted historically – and frequently perpetuated ever since – in relation to their founder, Dugald Stewart’s descent from Stewart of Lorn and although no evidence now exists to prove the point, it is likely that those traditions are correct when they state him to have been a natural son of John Stewart, 2nd Lord Lorn, who died at Dunstaffnage on 20 December 1463. Writing in the first two decades of the 18th century, the learned antiquarian, Sir Alexander Nisbet stated in his A System of Heraldry, “Lord John had no lawful sons, but a natural one, Dougal, predecessor of the Stewarts of Appin” and in 1738, Rev Duncan Stewart, in his A Short Historical Genealogical Account of the Royal Family of Scotland from King Kenneth II, and of the surname of Stewart asserted “Apine’s Ancestor was Dougal, natural son to John last Lord Lorn”. Curiously, Nisbet makes no comment on there being no marks of illegitimacy within the Appin arms but as with elsewhere, such brisures could often be “worn off” over time.

Dugald Stewart, 1st of Appin, was born some time before March 1448 and following his father’s death in December 1463, he is said to have had “some struggles and differences with his father’s other heirs” in relation to a right of succession to the lands of Lorn which were settled by agreement between them and resulted in Appin and lands in that area being given over to him. He had attained his majority by 21 March 1469, when he makes a first appears in record acting as procurator for his uncle, Walter Stewart of Lorn’s infeftment in various lands in Lorn. Some accounts state that Dugald met his death in battle in 1498 but that is not correct as evidence proves he died within the five or so week period between 26 November 1500 and January 1501. His eldest son was:

Duncan Stewart, 2nd of Appin, who was of age on 29 November 1500 and significantly extended his lands by gift from the King of those of Durror, Ardsheal, Ballachulish and others on 14 January 1501, on the forfeiture of John MacCoull. Extant evidence proves Duncan died between 9 July 1512 and 11 August 1515, treacherously murdered, it is said, for his competence in the office of Chamberlain of the Isles “which the Islanders were not then used to”. Having left no issue, his lands passed to his immediate younger brother,

Alan Stewart, 3rd of Appin, who succeeded his brother Duncan and was confirmed in the lands of Coul of Durrour, Ardsheal, Lagginhall, Ballechullis, Auchincarne, Auchindarach, Auchincarne, Auchinblare, as heir to him on 11 August 1515. His death occurred between November 1563 and May 1564. The date of construction of Castle Stalker being correct at circa 1540, he must have been the Stewart of Appin whom James V charged to oversee that work and whom he created  “heritable keeper”. Apart from an eldest son and heir;

1. Duncan Stewart, 4th of Appin,

The 3rd Chief of Appin had at least four other sons;

2. Dugald Stewart,1st of Achnacone, who founded the Achnacone stirpes;

3. James Stewart of Fasnacloich, who founded the Fasnacloich stirpes and in which lands he was infeft by Sasine dated March 1552-53;

4. Alexander Stewart, 1st of Invernahyle, from whom also descended the junior stirpes of Ballachulish, Incheroch, Bohally and Strathgarry.

5. John, who was a natural son and is so-styled in a remission to him dated 29 March 1538, for having been an accomplice to the murder of Patrick Rattray in Kinballoch perpetrated by John Stewart, Earl of Atholl, on 3 October 1533 as part of his scheme to acquire the lands of Rattray by abducting the eldest of the two heiresses of John Rattray of that Ilk.

Duncan Stewart, 4th of Appin, succeeded but did not long survive his father, his death having occurred before May 1564. By his wife, Janet, daughter of George Gordon, 3rd Earl of Huntly, whom he had married by 24 August 1542, he had one son;

John Stewart, 5th of Appin, who is styled heir apparent to his father on 17 November 1563 and had succeeded him by 25 May of the following year. At his death, which occurred between March 1590 and December 1595, he left at least two sons by two marriages, namely;

  1. Duncan Stewart, 6th of Appin, was a son by the first marriage and succeeded his father in 1590 x 1595. In lineal succession to him was Dugald Stewart, 10th of Appin, who inherited Appin in 1736 when still in his minority. On his death without male issue on 7 April 1764, all descendants in the male line of the body of Duncan Stewart, 6th of Appin, extinguished and representation passed to the heir male, Duncan Stewart of Ardsheal. The present Chief of the Stewarts of Appin, Andrew Francis Stewart of Appin, is senior in descent from that Duncan via his second son, John.
  2. John Stewart, 1st of Ardsheal, by the second marriage.

A detailed, fully referenced genealogical account of Stewart of Appin is included within Volume 9 of the Red Book series and can be viewed here Stewart of Appin Also included are entries for the cadets branches of Achnacone, Invernahyle, Ballachulish, Incherich and Bohally, Strathgarry, Fasnacloich, Ardsheal, Benmore, Coll and Acharn.



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