Message to visitors




  • Born in 1545 - Temple, Newsham
  • Deceased in 1567 - Edinburgh (bur Holyrood Abbey, Edinburgh),aged 22 years old
  • 1st cousin of Mary, father of King James (VI) I of England, Scotland, & Ireland


 Spouses and children


  • M Henry "Lord Darnley" STEWART, EARL OF ROSS 1545-1567
  • M Charles STEWART, 1ST EARL OF LENNOX 1555-1576


Individual Note

HENRY STUART, 1ST DUKE OF ALBANY (7 December 1545 – 10 February 1567), styled Lord Darnley before 1565, was a King consort of Scotland. As Queen Elizabeth I of England resented the fact that one of her (former) subjects had been promoted in this manner and refused to recognize his Scots titles, many of the contemporary narratives describing his life and death (those written by English agents) refer to him as Lord Darnley, his title as heir apparent to the Earldom of Lennox, and it is by this appellation that he is now generally known.

He was the first cousin and second husband of Mary, Queen of Scots, and the father of her son King James VI, who succeeded Queen Elizabeth I as King James I of England. Darnley's descendants included the Stuart monarchs as well as the illegitimate daughter of James VII, Catherine Darnley (the wife of John Sheffield, 1st Duke of Buckingham and Normanby).

EARLY LIFE Darnley was born in 1545, at Temple Newsam, Leeds, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, England, the son of the 4th Earl of Lennox, and his wife, Margaret Douglas. His father lived in exile in England for 22 years, returning to Scotland in 1564. Darnley was related to his future wife in at least four ways: they shared a grandmother in English princess Margaret Tudor, daughter of King Henry VII of England and the elder sister of Henry VIII (Mary descending from Margaret's marriage to James IV of Scotland, Darnley from Margaret's marriage to Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus), putting both Mary and Darnley high in the line of succession for the English throne; Darnley was a descendant of a daughter of James II of Scotland and thus also in line for the throne of Scotland; both were descendants of Joan Beaufort, Queen of Scotland (Mary through Joan's marriage to James I of Scotland, Darnley through her marriage to Sir James Stewart, the Black Knight of Lorn); and Darnley's family surname was due to a much more ancient connection to his and Mary's male-line ancestor, Alexander Stewart, 4th High Steward of Scotland. The marriage took place on Sunday 29 July 1565, in the Chapel-Royal of Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh. On the 30 July Darnley was given the title of King of Scots at a proclamation published at the Cross of Edinburgh. At the same time, it was announced that all official documents would be signed by both Mary and Henry.

ESTRANGEMENT His marriage to Mary, Queen of Scots, was a disaster. Henry was three years younger than Mary (their birthdays were only a day apart) and not particularly mature. He was unpopular with the other nobles and had a mean and violent streak, aggravated by a drinking problem. Within a short time, Mary became pregnant, but Henry grew more and more demanding. His jealousy of Mary's private secretary, David Rizzio, by whom he erroneously believed Mary was pregnant, culminated in the bloody murder of the latter by Henry and a group of his supporters, in the presence of the queen herself at The Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh. Archibald Douglas, Parson of Douglas, subsequently secured pardons for all those involved. Mary is said to have nursed Darnley under this Plane tree at Darnley in Glasgow. Following the birth of their son, the future James VI, the succession was more secure; in late 1566 and early 1567, Henry and Mary appeared to be close to reconciliation, as she was often seen visiting his chambers. Henry, however, alienated many who would otherwise have been his supporters through his erratic behaviour. His insistence that he be awarded the Crown Matrimonial, which would have given him executive ruling powers in Scotland, became a source of marital frustration as well. There was also some evidence that he suffered from syphilis.

DEATH On 10 February 1567, the bodies of Henry and his servant at the time were discovered in the orchard of Kirk o' Field, Edinburgh, where they had been staying. Henry was dressed only in his nightshirt, suggesting he had fled in some haste from his bedchamber. A violent explosion had occurred that night at the house, but the evidence pointed to Henry escaping assassination, only to be murdered when he got outside. There was strong evidence that Henry and his valet had been strangled and that the explosion was set as an attempt to cover up the murders.

AFTERMATH Suspicion fell on the Earl of Bothwell and his supporters, notably Archibald Douglas, Parson of Douglas, whose shoes were found at the scene, and upon Mary herself, who married Bothwell shortly afterwards. Suspicions that Mary colluded with conspirators in her husband's death, or that she took no action to prevent his death, were key factors in the downward spiral that led to Mary's loss of the Scottish crown.,_Lord_Darnley


  Photos and archival records

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 Family Tree Preview

                                                                             _____|16_John STEWART, BARON OF TOLBORTON 1445-1495
                                                   _____|8_Matthew STEWART, 2ND EARL OF LENNOX 1465-1513
                                                  /                         ¯¯¯¯¯|17_Margaret MONTGOMERY ca 1440-
                         _____|4_John STEWART, 3RD EARL OF LENNOX 1496-1526
                        /                        \
                       /                          ¯¯¯¯¯|9_Elizabeth HAMILTON 1470-
|2_Matthew STEWART, 4TH EARL OF LENNOX 1516-1571
|                    \                                                     _____|20_James "The Black Knight Of Lorn" STEWART, LORD OF LORN 1383-1452
|                     \                           _____|10_John Balveny STEWART, 1ST EARL OF ATHOLL 1440-1512
|                      \                         /                         ¯¯¯¯¯|21_Joan BEAUFORT, QUEEN CONSORT OF SCOTLAN 1405-1445
|                       ¯¯¯¯¯|5_Anne Elizabeth STEWART 1460-
|                                                \                          _____|22_Archibald DOUGLAS, COMTE DE LONGUEVILLE 1391-1439
|                                                 ¯¯¯¯¯|11_Margaret DOUGLAS 1440-1475
|                                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯|23_Euphemia GRAHAM 1410-1468
|--1_Henry "Lord Darnley" STEWART, EARL OF ROSS 1545-1567
|                                                                           _____|24_Archibald "Bell-The-Cat" DOUGLAS, 5TH EARL OF ANGUS 1449-1513
|                                                  _____|12_George DOUGLAS, MASTER OF ANGUS 1469-1513
|                                                 /                         ¯¯¯¯¯|25_Elizabeth BOYD 1450-1497
|                       _____|6_Archibald DOUGLAS, REGENT OF SCOTLAND 1489-1557
|                      /                        \                          _____|26_John DRUMMOND 1438-1519
|                     /                          ¯¯¯¯¯|13_Elizabeth DRUMMOND 1472-1514
|                    /                                                     ¯¯¯¯¯|27_Elizabeth LINDSEY 1445-1519
|3_Margaret DOUGLAS, PRINCESS OF ENGLAND 1515-1578
                      \                                                     _____|28_Edmund (father of Henry VII) TUDOR, EARL OF RICHMOND 1429-1456
                       \                           _____|14_Henry VII Lancastrian Tudor ENGLAND, KING OF ENGLAND 1457-1509
                        \                         /                         ¯¯¯¯¯|29_Margaret "The Lady Margaret" Beaufort ENGLAND 1443-1509
                         ¯¯¯¯¯|7_Margaret Tudor ENGLAND, PRINCESS OF ENGLAND 1489-1541
                                                  \                         _____|30_Edward IV York Plantagenet ENGLAND, KING OF ENGLAND 1442-1483
                                                   ¯¯¯¯¯|15_Elizabeth York Plantagenet ENGLAND, PRINCESS OF ENGLAND 1466-1503
                                                                             ¯¯¯¯¯|31_Elizabeth WYDEVILLE, QUEEN CONSORT OF ENGLAND 1437-1492

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